bulgogi panino ~ kimchi, cheddar, ssamjang mayo

bulgogi panino ~ kimchi, cheddar, ssamjang mayo

bulgogi panino ~ kimchi, cheddar, scallion, ssamjang mayo

Now this is a sandwich. A Korean-Italian sandwich, Bulgogi Panino. Bulgogi (literally “fire-meat”) is grilled marinated beef which is piled on a roll with kimchi, cheddar, scallions, and ssamjang mayo – then pressed and grilled on a panini maker.

The thinly sliced beef is marinated in a soy sauce-brown sugar-sesame-garlic marinade then cooked over fire. Napa cabbage kimchi and sharp cheddar cheese is one of my favorite food combinations. It simply rocks – kimchi’s zingy fermented flavors are balanced by the rich cheese. And ssamjang mayo, nothing like the ubiquitous chipotle mayonnaise, is a bit spicy but has an incredible depth of flavor. Ssamjang is a thick, spicy paste made from combining gochujang (red chili paste) with doenjang (fermented soybean paste) with sesame oil, onion, and garlic.

There is obviously no shortage of flavor going on here…

the bulgogi panino recipe

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Korean Fusion: Lettuce Wraps with Burrata, Shishito, Anchovy

Korean Fusion: Lettuce Wraps with Burrata, Shishito, Anchovy

Korean Fusion:

Lettuce Wraps with Burrata, Shishito Pepper, Stir-Fried Anchovy

Sangchu Ssam with Burrata, Kkwarigochu, Myulchi Bokkeum

상추쌈과 부라타 치즈, 꽈리고추, 멸치 볶음

Enamored with the Korean side dish, myulchi bokkeum, I set out to create a hand-held appetizer for our next dinner party.

Myulchi bokkeum (stir-fried anchovy) is positively addicting. Tiny crisp anchovies are tossed in a sweet, sticky, garlicky sauce. Kkwarigochu (shishito peppers) are blistered in a hot pan with a bit of oil. Kkwarigochu are thin-walled mild peppers with a fresh green vegetal flavor and just a whisper of heat. Every once in a while, though, you’ll come across a hot one! Beware…

Anchovies with peppers is a classic Korean banchan (side-dish). Burrata, a heavenly fresh mozzarella that is stuffed with a mixture of shreds of cheese and heavy cream. Pair them together in a lettuce wrap for a bite of fusion paradise. The textures of butter lettuce and soft cheese are contrasted by the crunchy anchovies. Savory salty flavors are balanced by sweet and creamy notes in a delightful little package. It’s sure to be a hit!

Lettuce Wraps with Burrata, Shishito Pepper, Stir-Fried Anchovy Recipe

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Griddled Gochujang Chicken Sandwich, “Kimchi” Slaw, Seaweed Mayo

Griddled Gochujang Chicken Sandwich, "Kimchi" Slaw, Seaweed Mayo

Griddled Gochujang Chicken Sandwich, “Kimchi” Slaw, Seaweed Mayo

Our panini maker has uses beyond those delectable yet ubiquitous cheesy Italian sandwiches. Here we are smothering chicken thighs in a spicy gochujang (Korean red chili paste) marinade, then grilling them to charred perfection on the panini maker. Mounds of “kimchi” slaw and a slightly crunchy curiously-addicting seaweed mayonnaise make for an intriguing fusion-style sandwich!

The “kimchi” slaw is not really a kimchi at all, as it is not pickled nor fermented – but it is a crisp slaw with vibrant kimchi flavors such as chili, ginger, and garlic.

The sandwiches are enjoyed with Bek Se Ju, a Korean glutinous rice-based fermented alcoholic beverage infused with ginseng and several other herbs which is especially good with spicy grilled chicken.

Griddled Gochujang Chicken Sandwich Recipe

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Celebrating the Lunar New Year with Korean Rice Cake Soup

Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup) 떡국

Happy Lunar New Year! We’re celebrating with the Korean soup traditionally eaten on this day – Tteokguk. Rice Cake Soup is the main dish of Seollal (Lunar New Year). It is a day to express respect and gratitude, especially to one’s elders and one’s ancestors. The white color of the rice cakes is said to symbolize purity and cleanliness while their shape represents coins, symbolizing success and prosperity.

My version of tteokguk is not exactly traditional but I sure do love symbolic meals, that is one of the reasons why Passover is a favorite holiday. Here, I make a rich stock with roasted beef bones as well as brisket – to manifest a flavorful New Year. I add hot chiles – so our year will be spicy! I garnish with a rainbow of color – for a bright, brilliant, colorful year to come. And finish with edible flowers – for beauty and grace…

Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup) 떡국 Recipe

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Kimchi Ramen with Korean Fried Dumpling

Kimchi Ramen with Korean Fried Dumpling

Seafood Kimchi Ramen (Haemul Kimchi Ramyun)
Shrimp & Kimchi Fried Dumpling (Goon Mandu)
Quail Egg, Fishcake, Roasted Seaweed, Shrimp, Scallion

We’re celebrating the re-dedication of our beloved Korean Friendship Bell by enjoying Korea’s most celebrated pickle dish – kimchi! There are several hundred types of kimchi which are made from various vegetables, fish, seafood, fruit, and herbs. Our recipe uses the most popular of all types of kimchi – napa cabbage kimchi – for the base of the soup and the filling for the fried dumplings.

Korean Friendship Bell

Kimchi is made by pickling vegetables (or other foods) with seasonings such as chili, ginger, garlic, and salt. Generally, there are two categories of kimchi – the “quick” kind which is made for immediate consumption or eaten within a few days just slightly fermented, and the other type in which the mixture is allowed to ferment and mature. Both methods result in Korea’s favorite dish – a delightfully pungent, robust food that is so much more than a side dish.

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Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette

Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette

Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette

Even if you are not among those of us who crave kimchi on a regular basis, you may still find this omelette irresistible. Korea’s most celebrated pickle dish – kimchi – is super flavorful! Here, napa cabbage kimchi’s zingy fermented flavors are balanced by light fluffy eggs, melting cheddar and rich sour cream. The result is an omelette that is tangy, spicy, even a bit crunchy. A real eye-opener. Good morning! Breakfast. Is. Served.

Sunrise over the Port of LA

Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette Recipe

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