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I absolutely love everything about curating the best Korean ingredients and making it work for everyone! Email me for questions, recipe requests and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!

E-mail:      mina@minacucina.com

 

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Plant Based Jjajangmyeon

November 20, 2020

Sultry, salty harmoniously slurpy Jjajangmyeon noodles.

Discovering these seaweed kelp noodles was a very exciting moment for me. I know, I know, they might sound weird or gross but hear me out. The seaweed noodles have 6 calories per 4oz serving!!! They’re filling, a bit crunchy in texture and NEUTRAL in taste!!!

I originally found them while wasting time in the Asian aisle at Whole Foods. Who else does this at stores?! On a separate trip to the Korean market, I found them next to the radish section, yes, there is a specific section for pickled radishes (separate from kimchi). Haha..This is where my Keto loves will find joy in all types of radish wraps you can use for meats, fried tofu, etc.

Enter the craving for Jjajangmyeon, a Korean-Chinese wheat noodle dish topped with a thick, black bean sauce usually stewed in potatoes, onion and zucchini. The traditional sauce can include beef, lard, stock which make it a very delicious albeit high calorie food.

Making it with seaweed noodles eliminates 50 percent of the calories and will be easier to digest for gluten sensitive.

The paste used for the sauce does contain wheat flour and beef extract. Note: you can make your own paste though using fermented black beans but I just used the paste.

I hope everyone tries this because it was the perfect way to satisfy my noodle craving without all the extra calories!

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp black bean paste
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used avocado)
  • 2 tsp monk fruit or sugar or sweetener
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce

    top with cucumber for an added fresh crunch

  • 3/4 cup chicken or veg stock
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 chopped zucchini
  • 1 Persian cucumber for topping

Start by cutting the onion into quarters then chipping into 1/8 chunks. Cut zucchini and potato into same size. In a pot, heat the oil on medium. Fry the onion and potatoes for 4 minutes. Add zucchini, black bean paste and stir. Add sweetener, oyster sauce, and stock. Stir and cover for 10 minutes. Uncover, and while stirring, evenly add arrowroot/cornstarch.

 

 

 

The sauce should thicken (add more arrowroot or cornstarch for thicker consistency, or stock for more liquid). Add the seaweed noodles and stir so that the noodles are throughly coated in the sauce mixture. Cover and let cook for another 3 minutes.

That’s it! Noodles will be saucy and slurp able! Serve with the thinly sliced Persian cucumber on top!

***I also ate mine with taken (yellow Japanese radish) and kimchi and it was sooooo delicious!!!

Gochujang Braised Swordfish Bao Buns

November 17, 2020

Trust me, you want these.

I’ve been dreaming to make bao buns but with a Korean flair for a while. I originally planned to make these with bulgogi (KBBQ marinated steak) but had these two beautiful swordfish fillets I didn’t want to go to waste.

The swordfish seasoning (no need to marinate) is a deliciously spicy gochujang sauce. It really gave the swordfish a beautiful color and braising it a few times throughout the quick oven time gave it the perfect crisp on the skin.

Bao buns take a bit longer to prepare but most of the time is just allowing the dough to rise. The recipe from eatlittlebird has great instruction but I tweaked a few things as I didn’t want to use cornstarch and thought it seemed like too much oil.

Altogether, pairing the salty, hearty swordfish went so perfectly with the mildly sweet fluffiness of the bao buns! The Chinese meets Korean food strikes again! This dipping sauce is inspired by the Korean “crack” sauce used for gimbap. Top it off with cool, crunchy cucumber and green onion and you’re gonna want to make these again and again!

There’s a reason it’s called “Crack Sauce”

Ingredients:

  • swordfish fillets
  • cucumber
  • green onion
  • soy bean paste
  • soy sauce
  • gochujang
  • sesame oil
  • minced garlic
  • dijon mustard
  • chili oil (I used Dynasty brand)
  • honey

For the bao buns:

  • 2 cups plain or bleached flour
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder (this is a sub for cornstarch)
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar (super fine sugar)
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast (mixed with 3/4 cup warm H20) mix & let sit for 5 min
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Just under 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Follow the bao bun recipe and use my adaptations.

For the Swordfish:

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp soybean paste, 1 tbsp gochujang, 1/2 cup sesame oil, 1 clove minced garlic. Put fillets in an oven safe dish and pour sauce over fillets making sure to coat the bottom as well. Bake for 20-25 minutes and broil on low for an additional 5 minutes for that crisp!

For the dipping “Crack Sauce” :

Mix 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp chili oil & chunks of chili, 1 tbsp honey, salt to taste.

Once your swordfish has set, slice into 2×1″ portions that will fit inside each bun. I gently pried each bun open with a steak knife to open them slightly before assembling. Place swordfish portions inside the bun, top with julienned cucumbers and sliced green onion. I served the sauce on the side to dip but you can pour it over too.

These were so satisfying and fairly easy if you have the time to prep the buns ahead of time. If you haven’t had bao buns before, you must try them!!!

Top it with kimchi or just read about kimchi benefits, then decide.

Kimchi Fried Rice

September 24, 2020


Kimchi-fried-rice

Click to watch the process! Frying the kimchi video

There are endless combinations of kimchi fried rice by adding egg, subbing meats etc. But there is one non-negotiable: YOU MUST use day old rice! Why you ask? If you use fresh, hot rice, the grain fills with too much water from the sauce and heat. You will end up with soggy, not-so-fried rice.

When you use day old rice (I refrigerate mine packed in an airtight container), the grains have had a chance to cool and become chewy. When it comes time for the rice to be fried, it has a chance at being flash fried, locking in the flavors but not too much of the liquid.

Also, as with all recipes that involve cooking kimchi, the more pungently aged, the better!

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked calrose rice (preferably cooked the day before) 
  • 2 cups chopped kimchi (preferably aged)
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp fish sauce or 1 tsp fish stock
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp butter for frying kimchi 
  • 1 tsp butter for frying egg 
  • 1 tbsp butter kept cold
  • 1 chopped jalapeno or chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp gochujang 
  • 1 cup chopped green onion 
  • **Sesame seeds and gochugaru if desired for topping 
  • Top with toasted sesame seeds and gochugaru (red pepper flakes) if desired.

Whisk egg and milk set aside. Mince garlic. Cut green onion into 1 inch portions. Chop kimchi. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce (or stock), and gochujang until blended into pourable sauce. Heat wok or deep skillet with butter. When butter bubbles, add kimchi and spread evenly. 

Stir when kimchi begins to soften. Add green onions. Stir then let fry for 90 seconds. Add garlic. Add 1/2 gochujang sauce mixture and stir. Add peppers and rice. Pat down rice and spread evenly to cook. Let fry for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Heat on low a small non-stick pan separately with butter. Add egg mixture. Scramble or form omelette. 

Once rice is browned serve with egg mixed in or on top. Top with gochugaru pepper flakes and sesame seeds if desired!

Japchae Glass Noodles

August 23, 2020


japchae glass noodles paleo

 

These miraculous noodles take 8 minutes to make, they’re paleo, gluten free and delicious!

Korean sweet potato noodles are clear after being boiled and super fun to eat- they’re slippery, bouncy and kids love em! This version is vegan but feel free to top with meat if you choose! 

K-tip: Japchae is typically served room temp/mildly warm. It is a very common banchan (side dish).

 

Ingredients:

  • Japchae (sweet potato) Noodles (7oz)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms 
  • 2 sprigs green onion
  • Sauce: 
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar (can sub sweetener)
  • 1 tbs sesame oil for frying
  • 1 tbs soy for browning the veggies
  • Sesame seeds for topping 

Bring 4 cups water to a boil and submerge noodles. Time 6 minutes on the clock. While the noodles cook, slice green onion into 1 inch portions, slice mushrooms 1/4 inch thick, chop 1 clove garlic or use 1tsp garlic paste. Stir noodles!

Heat a nonstick skillet with 1 tbs sesame oil, add mushrooms, stir 1 min, add carrot, stir, let cook 2 min until flexible, add green onion and pour 1 tbs soy sauce- fry for 2 min. Add garlic, stir. Add spinach & stir. Turn off heat. 

Strain noodles in a fine mesh strainer, rinse w/cold water. Plop noodles in the veggie skillet, add sauce and stir. 

Enjoy!!!

 

Click to watch the video on Instagram!

Japchae Glass Sweet Potato Noodles

Pork Belly Soondubu Jjigae (Tofu Stew)

September 14, 2020


Soondubu-Jjigae

 

Soondubu jjigae is a Korean comfort food that is especially warming in the winter months. It is cooked in a dolsot (Korean stone pot) and served so hot it’ll cook the raw egg that comes on the side. 

**This version is with pork belly but you can sub for other meats or even tofu or shrimp. For vegans, take out the fish sauce and add nutritional yeast & a tbsp of vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Ttbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp gochugaru
  • 1 tbsp soybean paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 10 oz pork belly 
  • 1/3 cup kimchi juice
  • 1 tbsp Korean soy sauce (guk-kangjang).
  • 1 package silken tofu

Click here to watch it on my YouTube!

Heat sesame oil and add onion & chopped pork belly. Add chopped kimchi and minced garlic. Let fry and once sizzling (about 3 min) stir. Add water, kimchi juice, gochugaru and bring to a boil. Add soybean paste, fish sauce and mix. Layer zucchini & serrano chili. Reduce heat to low & cover. Boil for 2 minutes. 

Uncover, add salt, guk-kangjang and stir. Add silken tofu and gently mash up into chunks. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Carefully skim any foam off top. 

Serve hot with fresh rice!!!

Plant Based Jjajangmyeon- Kelp Seaweed Noodles

November 20, 2020

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