Korean Chili Con Carne
Red Beans, Kimchi, Shishito Peppers
Sesame Garlic Yogurt, Yellow Picked Radish, Scallion
How’s your Korean food vocabulary? Gochujang, gochugaru, kkwarigochu, pat, kimchi, danmuji, pachae, chamgireum and bokkeun-kkae are some of the ingredients that transform a traditional chili con carne into this super-flavorful Korean Chili with a unique topping.
Gochujang and gochugaru are sold in varying degrees of spiciness. For this recipe, I use medium-hot heat level as shown on the packaging. Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. It has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers. Gochugaru, also made from sun-dried red peppers, is a coarse-ground chili powder. Together, they give this chili its distinctive Korean spiciness. Kkwarigochu (shishito) are thin-walled mild peppers with a fresh green vegetal flavor and just a whisper of heat. But beware, every once in a while, there’s a hot one in the bunch! Kkwarigochu stand in for green bell pepper used in standard recipes.
The usual Western chili toppings of onion, cheese, and sour cream are replaced with a Korean flair. Pachae (curled green scallion) stands in for the diced white onion. Yellow cheddar is replaced by danmuji, a yellow pickled radish that is sweet, sour and crispy. Thick tangy yogurt gets a punch from garlic and rich toasty notes from sesame oil. Finally bokkeun-kkae (toasted sesame seeds) add visual appeal, nutty notes, they are a common Korean garnish.
Korean Chili con Carne with Red Beans and Kimchi Recipe
With Hanukkah right around the corner I have a hankering for brisket. But, just for fun this year, I am taking our beloved Jewish brisket recipe and giving it a Korean twist by replacing the tomato-based sauce with a gochujang sauce.
Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. It is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers.
Beef plus gochujang is a classic Korean pairing, slow-roasted beef brisket plus gochujang equals a match made in heaven. Fresh ginger and plenty of garlic round out the flavors. A touch of sugar brings out gochujang’s natural sweetness. Serve this brisket as the main dish of the holiday gathering and be sure to serve leftovers as gochujang brisket sandwiches – two ways to ensure happy guests this holiday season!
Gochujang Brisket Recipe
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“The food that you cook has to come from within.”
Chef Hooni Kim to the students of Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, May 5, 2015.
Invited by the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles to demonstrate Korean cooking to the students at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, he flew across the country to share his passion. With such a broad subject to cover in one class, Chef Hooni Kim decided to focus on a few special ingredients, ones that really give Korean cuisine its unique flavors.
One of these special ingredients is gochujang – the red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. It is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers.
“I like to share Korean flavors and Korean culture through my restaurants. Not only do I feel like I need to cook delicious food, I need to teach a bit about Korea through the flavors.”
The menu at his Michelin-starred New York City restaurant Danji was inspired by his Korean-American heritage and his New York stomping grounds. The second restaurant, Hanjan, features pure Korean cuisine inspired by all his trips to Korea, the place of his birth.
Continue reading “Gochujang Chicken Adobo and Chef Hooni Kim”
Korean Grilled Salmon, Gochujang-Soju Marinade
Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber & Radish Batons
Served with Ice Cold Soju
Gochujang, a red chili paste with sweet heat and a funky fermented umami richness is used as a base for many marinades. Combined with soju, sesame oil, and soy sauce – this gochujang marinade lends a complex flavor profile to the smoky salmon’s unctuous texture.
Ice cold soju makes a perfect accompaniment to grilled salmon. This Korean alcoholic beverage distilled from rice has slightly floral and barely sweet flavors. Pleasantly light and refreshing with a round mouth-feel, and an alcoholic content of 20%, it is usually enjoyed neat, sipped from a shot glass. In this dish, the salmon is obviously the star, a fresh crisp salad and smooth snappy soju play the supporting roles.
Korean Grilled Salmon, Gochujang-Soju Marinade Recipe
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BBQ OYSTERS – KOREAN STYLE
Gochujang Butter, Kimchi, Scallion
Let’s not pretend that these BBQ oysters will appeal to everyone. But surprisingly, those who said they were not fans of bivalve molluscs nor fermented cabbage found themselves enjoying several of the Korean Style Oysters hot off the grill. At a recent party, we served Fanny Bay Pacific Oysters boldly dressed with Korean flavors – a spicy rich gochujang butter, complex kimchi, and fresh scallion. And paired with cold Hite lager to get the party has started!
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Fresh Local Swordfish over Spicy Fish Soup with Gochujang and Gochugaru
Doenjang Braised Beech Mushrooms, Red Jalapeño, Scallion, Cilantro
This version of Korean Maeuntang, a hot spicy fish soup is bright, fresh, and fiery. Chili paste, chili flakes, and fresh chilies layer on the heat while beech mushrooms add slightly crunchy slightly nutty texture and flavor to the fragrant fish broth. Pan-seared fresh local swordfish sits atop the soup, retaining its crispy exterior. Fresh cilantro and scallion add verdant sparks. The flavor comes from the various forms of red chili, not from a long simmer, so this mouthwatering red-hot meal can be on the table in about 20 minutes…
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