Food Plant

dduk bok-ki yummittee
September 13, 2008, 4:11 am
Filed under: main | Tags: ,

sorry for no proper recipe with photos, i just want to remember how i made this dish tonight because i didn’t use a recipe.

fiiirst, cook about half a package of flat oval dduk (the traditional shape for this would be cylinders, but i don’t like them as much) in salted water until they are flexible and can be pierced with a fork, but still too firm to eat.

after draining the rice cakes in a colander, wash and dry the pot they cooked in (it will be used again later.) heat a large cast iron or nonstick pan on medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. fry the dduk in the pan on medium heat until both sides are dry and they soften a bit. add sliced onion (about half a medium onion) and continue to saute until it softens.

place the pot in place of the pan on the stove, and transfer the content of the pan into it.  add 3-4 tablespoons of fermented hot pepper paste mixed in about 2 cups of water to the pot. let it simmer on medium low heat.

in the meantime, prepare tvp by soaking it in very hot water with a splash of soy sauce, 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil and a shake of powdered garlic. i used those thin dark slices of tvp that look like asian-style steak, about a large handful when dry, and tried to break as many as i could in half (tvp chunks can be used instead.)  when they soften and become flexible, drain and add them to the pot.

at this point add: 3 thinly sliced cloves of garlic, 1 or 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1 T sugar, about 4 T braggs soy sauce (start with less and add more until it’s salty enough,) and splash of white wine (regular or rice.) keep simmering.

cut up enough  tasty greens for two (i had 2 baby bok choi and 2 big chard leaves.) wash them in the colander and leave them there until the rice cakes are soft to your liking. add the greens to the pot and more water if necessary – the sauce for this dish should be thinner than curry, but not so watery it’s like soup. chopped scallions can be added at this point, although i didn’t have any.

turn the heat off once the greens are sufficiently tender. serve hot in a bowl.

serves two, although i was starving and ate the entire pot.


stuff i’ve been up to
April 12, 2008, 5:35 pm
Filed under: main, sweet

i forgot to mention the very successful experience i had with baking susan’s mini tofu quiches in traditional (that is, EB laden) pate brisee crusts. i made the little things for a lunch potluck that took place during the last lecture of the semester. not only did no one realise they were made with unusual ingredients without being told, i got several unsolicited compliments, my favourite of which was “your quiches are off the hook!”

so it’s exam period, which means that i shouldn’t spend time on new and time-consuming dishes, but i do it anyhow. yesterday i ended up making two. the first was an old israeli favourite that originally involves poached eggs and i decided to try using the tried and true quiche batter (actually, the slight variation that susan uses for omelette.)

shakshooka is in the same category as hummus in the sense that it’s a popular israeli dish of arab origin that has a working-class charm and simple ingredients, and yet is the subject for endless arguments over the proper ingredient list and preparation method. everyone seems to think theirs is the tastiest and most authentic, if the 200 comments under every recipe online are any indication.

the ingredients generally agreed on are tomatoes, eggs, olive oil (and salt and pepper, but those are too obvious to mention in the wiki article!) beyond that, common additions are bell peppers and garlic, onion, cumin, paprika or various middle eastern chili pastes. some further fancy it up with fried eggplant or more pointless animal products. and here i am, shaking things up even further by saying: no eggs! the sauce is the tasty part, anyway. the sulfuric things are mostly there for some added richness and a texture contrast, so nothing irreplaceable there.

speaking of texture contrast, i won’t post a recipe until i managed to make the tofu batter a bit firmer and played around with the sauce (i think i might be in the anti-onion camp.) here are some photos for now:

the second thing i made were my first ever cupcakes for home consumption. to be honest, i find cupcakes much more fun to make and decorate than eat. the exception would have to be a cupcake that isn’t overly sweet and comes in an interesting flavour. i’ve been planning to try london fog cupcakes for awhile, but an unexpected sogging of the loose earl grey bag led me to finally make them yesterday. the concept is simple:

make an earl grey cupcake and top with vanilla buttercream, preferably one that’s flavoured with vanilla syrup for drinks instead of an extract. again, i won’t post a recipe until the tea ratio is measured and perfected, but if you can’t wait it might help to know that i used modified versions of golden vanilla cupcakes and raspberry buttercream from “vegan cupcakes take over the world”, with a dash of cinnamon on top.

pictures, for a change
September 15, 2007, 5:09 am
Filed under: main, snack, sweet

anna and i had a pie baking date planned for today. she loves blueberries and lots of crust, as the final result clearly shows. to make the very decadent crust, i followed the instructions for pate brisee found here and added a 1/4 cup of cubed non hydrogenated shortening, to get the same ratio of fat to flour as in the lovely crust my roomate uses, which can be found here.

for the blueberry filling, we used

4 cups frozen wild blueberries
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp fine lemon rind
1/2 tsp cinnamon
(next time i will try 5 or 6 cups blueberries,3 T corn starch and accordingly generous with the other ingredients.)

mixed together in a bowl and baked in the crust, in a 9″ pie pan, at 400f for about an hour. we almost ran into the problem of scorched rims and under-baked middle, but a crust protector (fashioned out of aluminum foil covering the edges) proved to do just what the name says. to make things pretty, we brushed the crust with some wine jelly and sprinkled with large sugar crystals. anna brilliantly covered up minor aesthetic damage with cutout dough flowers ❤

by the time it was ready, kay had just returned home and we were all extremely hungry, so we ate the hot pie with a bowl and spoon. i can’t say we regret it, but be warned that the filling only sets once the pie cools to room temperature.

blueberry pie

done with the appetizer, we joined efforts to make kimbap with what we had around.



including: tofu marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic and sugar; eggplant, sweet potato and carrots julienned and fried; cucumber; bits of white miso (only in one roll.)

this was my first time eating korean sushi, and i am pretty sure we’re in love. sure, sushi in japan is a fine dining experience and kimbap in korea is thought of as junk food, but i’m not the kind of food snob who would be bothered by this, in particular, when garlic and roasted sesame oil are involved.