Monday, September 24, 2012

jiimdak--korean chicken stew

I have to come clean...I don't have a TV and most of the viewing I do consists of watching food programs or recipe videos online. It's a great way of making me uselessly hungry at like a quarter to eleven at night. I was on an Asian recipe watching kick and this stew looked really easy and delicious, and now that I have a resident carnivore living with me, he was in charge of cutting up the disgusting looking yet delicious meat for the recipe. Try making this braised chicken stew with noodles the next time you want something hearty with zippy asian flavours!


dried whole chili peppers, oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sweetener, garlic, ginger, chicken, green onion, white onion, carrots, potatoes, sesame oil, mushrooms, mung bean noodles

You will need for the sauce:

1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C oyster sauce
1/4 C sweetener (agave or honey)
1 T rice vinegar

Prepare the chicken:

2 1/2 pounds of chicken ( I used skinless boneless thighs), cut into 2 inch cubes. Cut the chicken and then rinse it well, and drain.

Prepare the vegetables:

1-2 carrots cut into medallions (cut on the bias to look fancy--see below)
1 onion cut into strips
2-3 potatoes cut into 1 1/2  inch cubes
1 cup of mushrooms ( I used portobello)
5-7 green onion cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 C. minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 T. minced ginger

For the noodles:

Use half a package (2-3 big handfuls or 100g) of mung bean noodles or potato starch noodles. Follow the cooking instructions--that is, soak them in cold water to soften.

To make the stew:

Heat up the wok and add 3-4 dried chilies cut up into 2-3 centimeter thick pieces. Now you are making plain vegetable oil super pimped up with chili flavours. Fry the chilis in oil until they become darker, but before they begin to burn, on medium heat, about 45 seconds. Go!  

Remove the chilis and now you have an amazing fragrant chili oil in which to fry the chicken (or tofu, i am sure this would be equally delicious).

Fry the chicken in a wok or large frying pan until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and keep frying for a couple of minutes. Now add the minced garlic, ginger  and sauce and give it all a stir. Add 3 cups of water and let cook for 10 minutes.

Now it's time to start adding veggies. Add the carrots and onions and stir.

When the carrots and onions are nearly cooked to your liking, add the shrooms and stir well.

Now it's time to add the noodles that have been soaking away. Drain them and stir them into the stew. The starch from the noodles will start to create a beautifully clingy and thick gravy sauce, bathing all those yummy ingredients in delicious flavoursome liquid. Let the noodles soften in the stew over medium heat for a few minutes.

When you're ready to serve, get your plate and spoon the jiimdak, making sure to get some noodles in your bowl, and some gravy. Add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and some chopped green onion, like so. Sprinkle some sesame seeds for garnish and serve with kimchi, for that extra korean flair.

This dish is perfect for the cold weather that's certainly on its way. Double carb action with the potatoes and noodles just feels extra filling and decadent. I really loved this stew, and hope you do to!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

food highlights: august

Let's take a spin through August's eating haul, shall we? Let's just say I indulged...

We went to Le Pégase for our anniversary dinner. It's an amazing French restaurant that serves high quality food and still allows you to bring your own wine. We drank a special bottle to celebrate one year of extreme tolerance of one another's quirks to the point of finding them nothing short of adorable. The young French waiter was suitably impressed by our rock star dark side of the moon wine. He asked us how our "Pink Floyd" wine was and I told him it certainly didn't taste of hallucinogens and dark thoughts. My mom got this special bottle for Matt as he is a true Floyd fanatic.

I had the venison tataki, served with crispy sweet potato, cranberries and cumin. I liked it but had food envy. (Matt always chooses the best thing on the menu by fluke or by intuition--who knows?) He had a salad of magret de canard.

For mains I had this lovely piece of turbot type fish with smoked salmon mousse, that sinfully sweet stuffed tomato with a fennel salad. Again, food envy ensued because Matt had lamb, and it was so perfectly prepared that I learned exactly why people love eating these beautiful fluffy animals. It's because they taste damn good.

Dessert time! Classic creme brulée for me.

Matt sniffing the Quebec cheese platter. His love affair with cheese will sustain him through life, just look at him!

Moving on to other delicious times...

Yoshi's daily creation: her leek and patty pan pizza at Café Petit Gateau. What a tasty place to have lunch.

 Parental units bonded over seafood at Teklenburg's. Fun times. Turns out, if you are from a small town and dating someone from the same small town, your parents will have many, many shared connections.

Authentic ramen, I mean pulled by hand and dropped into a pot of boiling water before your very eyes. A crazy huge portion for less than 10 bucks. In the Faubourg. Go.

Tasting my very first roasted loin of pork, prepared by Matt. I'm a lapsed vegetarian, remember?