Tag Archives: korean

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Goodness, today just flew by. I went for my appointment (ugh, now I go to the doctors EVERY week) and did some shopping/errands, then when I got home ate, then my parents texted me that they were coming over to bring my sister’s old rocking chair. Which led to talking with my parents, then eating out, and now I am rushing to get this vegan mofo out there. Sorry I am not going to be as detailed as normal.

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For my monochrome meal I am making gimbap. I know what you are thinking- Jen this just sushi. WRONG! This is Korean rice rolls. Well, not really. See gimbap is often described as Korean sandwich sushi, which seems pretty accurate. See these are really common to find in Korea. Basically you take a nori wrap and add unseasoned rice and fill it with various namuls (aka think about using your leftover veggie sides from dinner) Traditionally gimbap uses pickled radish, carrots, spinach, cucumber, egg, or cheap seafood. But over the years, the fillings have gotten to be much more “american” with additions like mayo (you actually get this often in modern gimbap), potted meats, and cheese

Unlike sushi, gimbap isn’t an artistry. How pretty it looks isn’t important. If you watch Korean dramas you will often see kids and adult main characters eating gimbap that their parents made (Pst… I suggest reading our Korean Food 101 from last year’s vegan mofo for my context.) I remember a bonding scene where to female characters talked about how they always picked the spinach out of their rolls. I personally like slicing mine, but sometimes people leave the rolled nori uncut like a long skinny burrito.

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It is funny because I remember getting a homework assignment similar to this. I am not sure if it is still up, or what the name was, but there were various artistic experiments that Yoko Ono posted online. It was a really interesting interactive artist think piece, and the homework assignment was to do one of the prompts. I don’t remember what I did, but I remember there was one that was to make a monochrome meal. A lot of students did this, and almost all soon found out how hard it was. 

So when I saw this vegan mofo prompt I was a little more prepared, but I was kind-of lazy. I don’t like making several dishes, but I felt like cheating saying something was monochrome if it covered in a sauce. Enter my green gimbap. The end result wasn’t nearly as green as I hoped, but still very green overall! I also fought the temptation to use a dye, and try and use all flavors. Okay, so the rice didn’t get a green as I hoped from the spirulina, and yeah the mayo and tofu is white, but hey can’t be perfect right?

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Gosh, I can’t believe the results of the election. I am just so disappointed in the United States for making such a dumb vote. No really. I think anyone who voted for Trump over Hillary is an idiot who has no idea how the government, economy, and budgeting works. Period. If you are hiring a person to work, who would you hire? The person with zero skill sets and wasn’t very good at his previous job, or the highly qualified person? I think the thing that scares me the most is what this election symbolizes. I have a very bad feeling there will be a huge rise in hate crimes. I don’t think the government will fail and crumble, but I do think there will be some damage to a lot of human rights movements, the economy, and our government budget.

The saddest part is that I was getting many phone calls from Philadelphia asking if I voted yet. I was once registered in Pennsylvania when I was going to school at UArts. It was exciting to know my vote counted in a swing state. It helped elect president Obama. It felt awesome. And it is sad thinking that I have a voicemail from a woman asking if I could walk around the corner to vote, when I wasn’t registered to vote in that state. Yes, I am happy and proud that Clinton did so well in the state of New Jersey, but it is so depressing that my vote isn’t counting more. If we are lucky there will be a strong movement to change the electoral voting system.

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But I think it is important to keep on moving, so let’s talk about these Kimchi Nacho Tots. I thought about this dish after Olives For Dinner made some gochujang queso. Many people who eat Korean food might think cheese + gochujang seems like a mistake. But it is a pretty awesome combo. Making a platter similar to nachos with tater tots is a pretty American meal. But I prefer midwest method of making a bubbly casserole with the tater tots.

I like to eat these with some corn tortilla chips, lettuce, salsa, and korean pickles. Having the mix of soft melty cheese and potato and crunch cold textures is a match made in heaven. The recipe is pretty customizable, just keep things either tex-mex or asian inspired. Don’t want black beans? Try tofu or beef crumbles. Ran out of salsa? Try making some quick cucumber pickles with rice vinegar and sesame oil.

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For this recipe I used Daiya for the cheesy sauce. I don’t normally using fake cheese in this sort of way, but I ran out of nutritional yeast (oh no!) So this was a lot more rich than what I was use to. You can pick whatever cheese you want, but try and pick one similar to cheddar or monterey jack and it make sure it can melt. If it still isn’t your thing, feel free to use nutritional yeast. No biggie.

As for gochujang, it is an important part of the dish. It is a fermented chili paste that is popular in Korean cooking. The taste is pretty unique compared to other chili pastes out there. Luckily it is becoming increasingly more common place in groceries stores so you can grab some. If you live near a Korean or Asian food market you might be able to find MANY different kinds of gochujang. You can even pick from heat levels. If you don’t like hot, I suggest trying to get a mild version and using the max amount. If not, just cut down on the amount.

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If you still can’t find any gochujang, I recommend checking out my cheater’s gochujang recipe, that I listed below. It still uses Korean pepper, but that is much cheaper to get from Amazon online than a bottle of paste. 

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Last Monday I was able to hang out with Alexa and try out two new restaurants. It was amazing. But one thing we talked about was our diets, cuz that is what vegans and weight lifters do. Alexa mentioned how she is eating a high protein diet, trying to get about 113 grams of protein and 150 grams of carbs. It made me think about my diet, as I have started to shift towards a very carb-veggie heavy diet. I hit my protein requirements, but I like trying out new recipes. One thing I learned in art school is that sometime making rules for your art can actually help you creatively. So you might see more protein heavy recipes on the blog. 

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This recipe was already slated to be posted on here, but it fits Alexa’s dietary requirements. High protein and low fat. I used tofu originally in the recipe, but you can sauté some seitan and stir it with the noodles, mushrooms, and bean sprouts at the end. So how much protein? Well I actually shocked myself a little once I crunched the numbers- 52 grams of protein, 63 grams carbs, and 10 grams fat!  That means 44% of the dish protein, 30% is fat, and 26% are carbs. The numbers will shift a little depending on the tofu brand you use or if you use seitan instead of tofu. The dish is pretty hearty, and is 550 calories, which might be a little too big for one person to eat in one sitting, as I can imagine with Alexa (I am usually the one cleaning a plate while she tends to just save it for later)

So where is the protein coming from? Well it is comes partly from the Explore Asian bean noodles. These noodles have particular texture so you might not want to just sub them for normal pasta. But they work well with lots of asian style dishes where they use noodles that aren’t made with wheat. That is why I think they work so well with this hot pot. A quarter of a package has a total of 25 grams of protein, making it the highest protein noodles out there…. well the same protein content as Banza chickpea noodles. I used the adzuki bean noodles, since I like the taste of red beans. The prices I am finding online are around $5 a pack, but I was able to get them at Wegman’s for $3.50, making each serving around 88¢, about 50¢ for the tofu, and $1 for the mushrooms (less if you sub for carrots or a cheaper mushroom). I am not really sure how much the rest would cost as I made the kimchi and broth at home. The other ingredients might cost a bit at first, but the last for a long time.

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So let’s talk about the soup outside of nutritional content. Let’s talk about the cultural context. So many people know that kimchi is a korean pickled cabbage. There is also a popular korean stew called kimchi jjigae. Kimchi jjigae has become so iconic and has become a popular dish in Japan- translating into kimchi nabe. The differences are subtle, but my vegan version is a little bit more like the Japanese version… with protein noodles. If you are interested about the differences, Just One Cookbook does a good job explaining all the differences.

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I’ve mentioned how I love my individual sized hot pots, or donabe have been a life saver. I admit, they are kind-of pricey. You can use other types of pots, and you can find similar things in Asian food markets for a discounted price. Take a look around. But since the dish is designed to be eaten by one person, the recipe is small. So if you are using a normal pot for everyone, adjust accordingly. It is easy enough to double or triple the recipe for however many people will be eating with you.

If you do buy a donabe for this recipe, I found a blog post about seasoning your pot! Most pots don’t come with manuals, so I had no idea this was something that needed to be done a day in advance. It will make your pots last longer and doesn’t take much effort to do.

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cover

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When I first went vegan I did it mostly for health related reasons. In the middle of it all I started to get sucked into the raw lifestyle. I slowly branched away from it, but I am still always interested in eating more raw food. I decided to try and eat more raw lunches and decided to use some of the recipes from Ani’s Raw Food Asia cookbook. I love Ani’s simple and easy recipes, making it quick and easy to prep a lunch.

Photos

The pictures are pretty true to what the food looks like, which I really like. Nothing drives me more bonkers than seeing a photo that will never match my recipe. Ani’s food does look inspiring to make, but there aren’t that many photos of the food themselves. The photos in the book are actually more about the sights and people that are in Asia. There are photos of Ani preparing recipes, and posing at markets. I would say this is annoying in a cookbook, but honestly, I like it. I find it relaxing and I like flipping through the book to just look at the photos. And let’s be real, do I need a photo for all these salads? Answer- no.

Set-up

Unlike most modern cookbooks, Ani’s organization is a little all over the place. This might be a smart move. It isn’t often do that people sit down and read all of a cookbook. So Ani takes advantage of how people read a cookbook, by flipping through recipes, and gives information and facts throughout the recipes. Most of her tips are mostly about keeping up health, mentally, physically, and living an eco-friendly life. Before doing this review, I’ve read most of the note she has written, which I normally don’t do.

What does drive me nuts about this style is that certain recipes are scattered all over. I would of liked to have the sauces and pastes all grouped together rather than all over the place. If I just want to make that sauce, it is easier to find in a chapter devoted to sauces, rather than tucked away under the “rice” section. It isn’t a huge problem though. Otherwise, like any other cookbook there is an introduction, recipes divided up by types, suggested menus, then some more closing remarks about living a healthy life. 

Writing

Ani’s writing is always easy, but sometimes a little too dumbed down. It is a little frustrating to read some poorly worded information, that ends up being false. I might know what Ani is trying to say, but it the wording makes the information easily misinterpreted. For example she talks about buckwheat and writes “buckwheat is a seed, not a wheat, so it’s gluten-free.” Yes buckwheat is gluten-free, and yes, it isn’t related to wheat. But “not a wheat”? That is just horrible english, and makes the definition of grains even more confusing for most people.

On the flip side there is also some great information that is very much true. I have to agree with many of suggestions she makes for living a generally healthier life. So I wouldn’t say that everything is false, but when it comes for nutritional and food specifics know that she is simplifying the information a lot.

Overview

In general I like Ani’s super easy raw style of food. This book is probably better than her other books for starting out with a raw diet since most of the food doesn’t use a dehydrator. The dishes are pretty veggie heavy which is what I am looking for in a raw recipe. I do wish she offered up more recommendations for substitutes for recipes that use a dehydrator. She does recommend using the oven but it would of been nice is she suggested other substitutes like using a rice paper wrap instead of her dehydrated coconut wraps.

What I do like about the cookbook is that it isn’t very judgmental, particularly at the end chapter. Ani shares her experience with raw food over the years, and admits that she doesn’t eat raw all the time. Nor is she totally a vegan anymore, but is more so a pescatarian (or maybe a flexi-pesca-tarian? Basically fish is only a small fraction of her diet.) It takes a lot guts for a person to admit when their health isn’t 100% when their whole profession is built on it.

The authenticity of the recipes are a little up in the air. Ani doesn’t claim that these recipes are authentic, clearly since some of the originals involve cooking. Some of the Korean namul and kimchis are probably rather close to being authentic since she has Korean roots, and says in her book she visits family in South Korea. I think it bothers me when Ani tries to call a recipe after an specific dish, and it just isn’t even close. For example the samosas were delicious, but didn’t use potatoes, nor did it have a wrap around it. The only recipe that really made me annoyed was the “black rice pudding” which was a recipe for chia pudding. Neither are anything alike, and it really should of just been left out of the cookbook in my opinion.

Overall, I think I would recommend this book to anyone who is trying to eat more raw foods. There are some light dishes that are quick to make. I don’t think there was a recipe I wouldn’t make again (except the ‘rice,’ but that isn’t exclusively something Ani has made up, just give me normal rice please.) Sure there are some modifications people might have to make if they don’t have a dehydrator, but if you have a blender and food processor, you will be able to make most of these recipes.

If you are interested in individual reviews of recipes just click to expand the review.

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I really enjoy Korean food. I suppose this recipe could of been placed for the “share your favorite cuisine” prompt on day 25, but this recipe is so simple! I am not the type of person who does “quick” and “easy” unless it is re-heating older dishes. I can tell you right now that this isn’t a “healthy” recipe. I am not sure what the health benefits are outside of the carrot.

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If you aren’t familiar with Korean food you probably have never heard of this dish. If you are going to a Korean restaurant in the US, you probably would get served these as an appetizer. But in Korea they are often served in street stalls and speciality restaurants. At the speciality restaurants it is usually that you order a big serving of rice cakes (according to your party) and order add ins. I first was introduced to this concept from the Korean show Let’s Eat. The main character Soo-kyung orders a big pan of Ddukbokgi (spicy rice cakes) with ramen, and lots of other non-vegan foods. It is a great scene to sell the dish with all or orgasmic moaning and all.

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This recipe is super simple, you can make it on the fly for yourself for lunch or as a starter. But you can easily make a more sustainable meal by doing the add ins. Traditional add ins aren’t really vegan, eggs, fish cakes, blood sausage, mandu (pork dumplings) and cheese. But some options are vegan like ramen noodles, rice, and fried batter. You can sub some vegan versions of the food like some daiya cheese, vegan sausages, veggie dumplings, and fried tofu. Look, I never said this stuff was healthy. This Korean COMFORT food.

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Now, let’s talk ingredients! Although this is simple to cook (sauté carrots and rice cakes, then boil in a spicy sauce) the ingredients might seem a little foreign if you don’t have easy access to asian food market. The ingredients that will be hard to find are the rice cakes and gochujang. Gochujang is a thick paste made from fermenting chili peppers. I wrote about it on the blog, and give a recipe for cheaters gochujang. Gochujang is starting to pick up in popularity, and I was able to pick up a pack at Wegman’s!

The rice cakes are fairly common in lots of other asian cuisines. You can buy them in a log to slice, or you can get them precut. They can come in many different shapes, like these flat ovals that I used, little spheres, or long logs. There are even novelty shapes like stars, but they tend not to be available in the US. (if you want a sneak peak at the fun shapes, you can check out this REALLY old Eat Your Kimchi video) Try going to HMart, which specializes in specifically Korean foods. But most Asian food markets should have rice cakes. They need to be refrigerated (which is why they are hard to buy online), so check in those sections. And keep in mind mochi is different from the rice cakes for this recipe. Mochi is usually sold sweetened. If you are worried, check the ingredients.

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So start with this simple recipe, and next time, jazz it up. Add sausages, some soy cheese, more veggies, whatever your mind can think of. This is seriously a yummy meal, and quick to make.

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storefront

Mogo

632 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712 (sit down dining)
850 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712 (boardwalk stall)
website | facebook | instagram | twitter | youtube

Simply put, Alexa and I love Mogo. It has built a cult status in New Jersey. People have gone and become hooked instantly. It started out a cool little stand by the Asbury Park Boardwalk. It featured korean fusion tacos, and had a pretty simple menu- beef, pork, chicken, fish, or tofu tacos. They had a little bit of hot sauce and kimchi to put on top. Alexa briefly talks about the stall on her Asbury Fresh post.

Mogo announced that they were opening a storefront so they could expand their menu and offer a place for people to eat. Their storefront opened in December 2013, and I hadn’t been able to check it out until now.

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The restaurant has a casual set-up. It is similar to Panera or Chipotle, order at the counter and pick a table. But unlike those chains, workers BRING your food to your table, so you don’t have to listen for your name. The menu is similar to the original taco stand. You have six types of proteins: beef, chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, and tofu. Then you have four styles of food: taco, burrito, bowl, and salad. That means as a vegan, I have four different options.

They have other main eating options and sides, but most are not vegan. The only other option is the fried rice side and some of the different kimchi pickles. After placing your order, stop by their condiments bar. They have self serve kimchi and gochujang sauce. They have easy to read labels, showing that the nappa cabbage kimchi has fish in it. BUT the cucumber and daikon kimchi are all good to eat.

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I can say that if you come in saying you are vegan, the staff will happily guide you. I asked if their Hotteok (korean donuts) were made with eggs or milk, they guy immediately said that they weren’t vegan. Which means they get lots of vegans coming in.

I also noticed they streamlined their menu (to avoid vegan confusions maybe?). Their original stall location had many different kimchis, krauts, and dressing to be featured in each protein. I remember mixing and matching them, but looking back, some might not of been vegan. This new menu all the condiments are same in a burrito if you get fish or tofu.

Jen eats the tofu burrito which features fried rice inside

Jen eats the tofu burrito which features fried rice inside

So downside? There really aren’t THAT many options for vegans at Mogo. But then again, it isn’t like going to a restaurant with 30 different options and only one vegan option. It is a place that pretty much has few options and combos are mixed around to make lots of options. Plus as a vegan you are getting something super filling and hearty. Salads? You don’t have to get stuck with it.

Curious about visiting the boardwalk stall for tacos on the beach? Due to space they only serve salads and tacos. They serve all six protein options, the only one that’s vegan is tofu.

What's that Mogo? You love me? Really? I love you too.

What’s that Mogo? You love me? Really? I love you too.


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I’ve probably passed by hundreds of bibimbap recipes on blogs. And can you blame people? Bibimbap is super easy to make. It is also the father of the “vegan bowl.” Think about it- the grain (rice), the veggies, greens (spinach, kimchi), protein (traditionally egg or meat), and a sauce (gochujang). An authentic bibimbap uses up various “namul,” or veggie side dishes. Plop on some rice, dress with side dishes, give a protein, and plop on some gochujang. Your dinner is done.

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But if you actually go to a Korean restaurant and order a bowl, you might not have the beautiful bowls you can find on google. You might get a bowl where all the veggies and protein are all sautéed together. This is an easier method when making the dish at home. Though the traditional style is a great way to use up leftovers from a big Korean style dinner. 

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But one of the secrets I will teach you is how to make bibimbap in a dolsot. Dolsot is the Korean word for a stone pot, and many styles are available online. I personally use my nabe, a Japanese styled hot pot, which is sized for one serving. The biggest difference between the two styles is that a dolsots come with a tray to carry it with so you don’t burn yourself. If you use a stone pot, you will get a yummy crispiness to bottom of the rice. It is easy to burn and takes practice, so be patient.

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The beauty of bibimbap is that is simply translates into mixed rice. So it is flexible with ingredients. Don’t want seitan? No problem, use tofu or beans. Don’t like carrots? Just skip them. Don’t want gochujang? You can use miso or doenjang. The key is to use fresh and cheap ingredients.

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I received this book as a Christmas gift. It seemed like a well thought out gift since I love Asian cuisine and I am a vegan. I was pretty excited about the book since it featured recipes outside of popular regions. Hema Parekh reaches out further than India, Japan, and China and puts recipes from Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, and South Korea. Parekh writes about how she got married and moved out of India to Japan, where she learned to cook. The book is a mixed bag of emotions for me, as I feel like there could of been so much potential for it.

Photos

All the photos are clustered in the middle of the book. I hate this sort of set up, especially since the book is divided by country instead of food “types.” The style of photography is very outdated, all the dishes have clay-red hue. I don’t think there was a photo that I saw and thought- that’s what I want to try and make. 

I wish there were more photos as most cookbooks featuring specific regions of cooking have recipes for dishes I’ve never heard of. So having a photo would help me visualize what the end result should look like. This particularly important for dishes where presentation is very important like dumplings and Japanese cuisine.

Set-up

I can’t help but compare this book to Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero. Terry features cuisine from a larger range of countries, and organizes all the recipes by styles, soups, salads, curries/stews, etc, etc. Parekh on the other hand groups all the recipes by nations, then divides them up by style. So there would be a chapter from India, then listed in that chapter would be soups, desserts, curries, rice, etc. In some ways it is an easier for planning dinners, in other ways it is hard to search around. Especially since many dishes overlap each other. Dumplings are eaten outside of China, so if I was planning a meal I could include them as a side for most dinners.

The book has an introduction but only as a way for the author to say hello. She jumps into the recipes, which would be find if the purpose of the book was not to teach a new cuisine. It would of been nice to have an overview of the ingredients, subtle differences between noodles, and rice types over the countries. There is an ingredients reference at the end of the book, but I didn’t find it till I got towards the end. If anything she could of put page numbers next to ingredients to help guide readers.

The visual representations of the recipes is okay. Since the photos aren’t set up next to the recipes it can be a little frustrating and demanding of the imagination of the reader. The text for the ingredients are small, making it harder to try and piece together the end result.

Writing

There is a lot of confusion in the book, much of it is cultural. Parekh is writing as an Indian living in Japan, which makes the translated names of the dishes confusing. She lists the dish as an English translation, then puts the original name in small text next to it. For example samosas are listed as Crispy Pumpkin Turnovers (the recipe mentions how they normally made with potatoes, not pumpkin) This translation problem continues with ingredients and dishes as she mentions the japanese translation over the English. The most obvious example is that she gives a recipe for Chinese dumplings, but lists them as “gyoza.” This isn’t a problem if you know some Japanese cuisine, but most American’s would recognize dumpling over gyoza.

Aside from the cultural issues, I’ve spotted several spelling/typing errors. There are even issues with recipes, as she leaves out when to add ingredients to recipes. These are not issues that only happened once, but several times. Clearly this was a rushed publication.

Overview

Parekh’s life story seems to shape the outcome of the book. There is a large bias for Indian and Japanese food. Those two chapters make up at least half of the recipes, pushing the other nations into weak collections. This bias extends to the ingredients, listing them under their Japanese names. For example many of the noodle listed for China are of Japanese styled noodles. Yes, there is style overlapping, and some differences. But the point is that if you are making a Chinese sesame noodle, it probably doesn’t call for udon noodles.

This naturally creates confusion for the book. This is a book written by a woman in Japan, for people who probably don’t live in Asia. Some ingredients are going to be easy to find, some will not be. Because of this reason it would be extremely helpful to have a very detailed ingredients guide. Going into detail about common ingredients, and what would be good replacements. Some recipes already do this, some don’t. It also worth mentioning that I live in a culturally diverse area, I live near a Korean, South East Asian, and Indian market. I am sure there are more ethnic markets, I just never found them yet. Some ingredients are hard to find, or are very seasonal.

My other problem with the book is that is wavers back and forth from super authentic to completely not. I have no problem from straying away from tradition and giving a fun twist to a recipe. But in some ways it seems that Parekh doesn’t change things in ways that could honestly make them better. There isn’t ANY innovations to try and add more flavors. Many of us know that Asian cooking use fish and meat by products (think oyster sauce). Parekh seems to take a recipe, remove the offending ingredients, like maybe fish sauce, and calls it quits. This leaves many bland recipes. Nor does Parekh seem fully educated about vegan products, listing one recipes with worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies. Yes there are vegan versions, but they aren’t common.

I have to say I am sorely disappointed with this cookbook. It was rushed, and I am unsure of who the audience is. Is it for people who live in Asia with easy access to the ingredients? Or is it for anyone, anywhere in the world? I can say there I found some inspiration in the recipes, but mostly because I wanted to make them taste better. All dishes seemed pretty bland and relied heavily on fats, which I am not particularly fond of. 

Recipes

This cookbook I tried my best to pick at least on recipe from each country spotlighted in the book. Since there were a lot of recipes featured from Japan and India, there is naturally more recipes tested from those countries.

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Asian cooking can be intimidating. There are many pastes, sauces, and liquids that are specific to certain regions and countries. You’ll be told there aren’t any substitutes, so you buy sauce after sauce, cluttering your refrigerator. So it is understandable if you want to really know about what you are buying.

But if you are into Korean food you’ll notice a common ingredient- gochujang. It is a fermented soybean chili paste that goes on a lot of various dishes. It is either really easy or extreamly hard to find. It usually depends on where you live. In New Jersey I can find some at a few generic grocery stores chains in their “international” aisles. But I am aware that there is a large Korean population in the area. It is easy to order through HMart or Amazon, with many brands to choose from. Each brand has their own heat and sweetness levels, so keep that in mind with your recipes and shopping.

The color of gochujang varies, but most commercial brands use dyes to get a bright red color.

The color of gochujang varies, but most commercial brands use dyes to get a bright red color.

How to Make It

Gochujang is made by taking fermented soybeans and mixing them with chili powder and rice. The mixture is put into earthenware and left out into the sun to ferment further, developing a unique flavor. Modern gochujang is sweetened and pasteurized to stop the fermentation process. This makes a shelf stable product, making transportation cheaper.

You can make your own gochujang but you’ll need a sunny backyard as sunlight is vital for the fermentation. If you want to give it a try Maangchi has directions to make you own gochujang. Her recipe uses various powders that are made to make process easier.

But what if you live in the middle of nowhere? There are no Asian food markets? You can still buy tubs pre-made, but it can be intimidating to buy online. Plus gochujang can have coloring and preservatives. If you want to avoid that you can make cheaters gochujang No, it isn’t authentic, but it tastes very similar and it’s pretty damn good. It will also give you a taste before buying the tub.

Cheater's Gochujang
Need gochujang but are completely out? Here is a cheaters recipe to get you by.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup miso
  2. 4 tbsp agave syrup
  3. 1 tsp-1 tbsp korean chili powder
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients together until combined
  2. If you can't find korean chili powder you can use 1/2-2 tsp of cayenne powder
One Raw Bite http://one-sonic-bite.com/

Gluten Free?

Although Wikipedia says that gochujang is made with soybeans, rice, and pepper, wheat sneaks in there with modern recipes. I have not sat down at the market and read the backs of all the gochujang cases, but I haven’t come across one without wheat. If you want a gluten-free version you can make gochujang at home with Maangchi’s directions, which is good for people with wheat allergies. The recipe uses barley malt flour, which barley contains gluten, so that might be a problem for you. 

Or you can find a gluten-free miso and make my faux gochujang! This also extends to whatever miso you want including chickpea miso, making a soy friendly version. Realistically, the amount of gluten in gochujang is very small. If you eat normal miso without a problem, gochujang shouldn’t be a problem either.

Cooking

Gochujang is often used as major component in Korean cooking. It is often mixed with other ingredients to make sauces or vinaigrettes. Most of the time it is used to coat food while being cooked, such as spicy Korean rice cakes or in a veggie stir-fry. The key to unlocking the power of gochujang is letting it caramelize when grilling or baking.

Recipes

Adzuki Bean Burgers
Ddukbokgi – Spicy Rice Cakes
Dolsot Bibimbap – Korean Rice Bowls
Kimchi Hot Pot Soup
Kimchi Nacho Tots
Kohlrabi Kimchi and Adzuki Tacos


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This dish semi-fails. It fails in the blogging sense that it photographs HORRIBLY! I had a recipe planned out and thought out and when I finally poured the sauce over the noodles it hit me that this would taste great but look fairly bad. So I beg you guys not to judge the appearance of this dish, it really tasty.

So what’s the second failure of the recipe? Well, this dish is inspired by a clip from the Korean show Let’s Eat. One episode had the characters eat a red bean and noodle soup. The dish originally is a sweet red bean soup that has little mochi dumplings in it. At some point in history, someone decided it would taste better with fat noodles in it. Overall it is more sweet than savory, so I wanted to make it more appropriate for dinner. If you want to see the original dish in action, you can watch the show clip here.

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So to make it dinner appropriate I decided to add some broccoli florets and fresh noodles. That way you could boil both at the same time, and have them both cooked perfectly. I also started with un-sweetened adzuki/red beans so I could play with more savory flavors. 

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The end result is tasty but very ugly noodles. And I am fine with that. The dish was so quick to make, so it is ideal for rushed weeknights. I could improve on the recipe, and maybe I will be revisiting it on the blog in the future.

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