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
Sublime Franco-Korean Elderflower Soju Martini
St-Germain Liqueur is created in the artisanal French manner from freshly hand-picked elderflower blossoms. Its sublime taste hints at pear, peach and grapefruit, yet none of them exactly. It is a flavor as seductive as it is elusive.
Soju is a Korean alcoholic beverage distilled from rice that has slightly floral and barely sweet flavors. Pleasantly light with a round mouth-feel and an alcoholic content of 20% (about half as much as vodka), it is usually enjoyed neat, sipped from a shot glass.
Angostura Bitters, a product of Trinidad, is an aromatic preparation of botanically infused alcohol. Just a couple dashes of its distinctive herbal spice flavor enhances the other components by adding another layer of complexity.
To create an Absolutely Bewitching Martini, pair soju with elderflower liqueur and angostura bitters, and enjoy a fusion cocktail that is delicate, captivatingly complex, and impossibly irresistible.
Elderflower Soju Martini Recipe
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Cold Fusion Cuisine
Buckwheat Noodles, Peanut Butter Sauce
Banana, Serrano, Scallion, Peanut, Cilantro
Cold Fusion: The hypothetical process of creating energy at room temperature by the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium. If possible, this process could potentially provide unlimited cheap energy for all of humanity. One problem – scientists have never been able to duplicate that 1989 experiment.
Fusion Cuisine: The melding or blending flavors, foods, or techniques from the cuisine of one or more regions, cultures, or ethnicities.
Cold Fusion Cuisine: The harmonizing of foods from different regions into a stellar cold dish. One rarely sees peanuts or peanut butter in Korean cuisine. Here I’m pairing fresh Korean buckwheat noodles with a zippy sauce made with peanut butter and banana.
Cold Food Festival: Hansik Day is a traditional Korean holiday which falls on April 5. The festival is a time to honor one’s ancestors and welcome warmer weather. Like the Chinese, Koreans eat cold food on this day. Try my cold buckwheat noodles, with peanut butter sauce and Szechwan peppercorns for an energetic celebration of flavors!
Buckwheat Noodles, Peanut Butter Sauce Recipe
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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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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.
Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette Recipe
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