Food For Birthdays And New Babies

Food for New Mothers and New Babies: For the first three weeks after childbirth, mothers in Korea drink seaweed soup (miyuk gook). When I gave birth to my first child, my mother-in-law came to the hospital to visit me carrying a thermos filled with miyuk gook.
The Ultimate Health Food: Koreans believe that seaweed helps produce breastmilk and that the soup holds medicinal qualities that aids post-partum healing. I don’t know the science behind this, but it’s well-known that seaweed is one of the most nutrient-rich foods on earth, full of vitamins A and C as well as calcium, iron, and protein. Naturally low in calories and fat, it is an amazing bowl of good things.
Food for Birthdays: Miyuk gook is also called the “birthday soup” in Korea, and most Koreans will have it with at least one meal on their birthday every year. Some will say that this is because it’s the first soup that they’ve ever had (through their mother’s breastmilk) and others claim it’s to remind you of the pain your mother went through to bring you into the world. Either way, all agree that cooking miyuk gook is a must when planning a true Korean birthday meal. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 26, 2009 at 4:42 pm

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An Overview of Chusok Korean Thanksgiving

Chusok: An Overview
The Korean Harvest Moon Festival called “Chusok” is over 2,000 years old, but it is now also sometimes referred to as “Korean Thanksgiving” because it is the traditional time for Koreans to thank their ancestors for the year’s harvest. A three-day celebration that falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, Chusok usually takes place in September or October on the Gregorian (Western) calendar.
Chusok is the most popular holiday in Korea, so it is a time of high travel and unbelievable traffic as people journey to visit their families of origin or the graves of their ancestors. It is also a gift-giving holiday, and friends, employers, and coworkers exchange gifts of food, alcohol, fruit, and other non-perishable items.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm

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Kimbap Cake

Whether you call them kimbap, sushi rolls, or maki, rice wrapped in seaweed makes for a gorgeous presentation. At its most basic, the black and white cut cross-sections are stunning on their own. But its the addition of color that can make your “kimbap cake” or “sushi cake” come alive. If you want to just layer your favorite kimbap or sushi combinations, then simply arranging the rolls into 2 or 3 tiers makes an easy and beautiful “cake”.
The whole concept is fun and a bit tongue-in-cheek, so be creative with your presentation and feel free to serve it as an appetizer plate, as part of the main meal, or even for an after-dinner treat.
For holidays and special themed events, the presentation possibilities are endless.
For Christmas, red and green combinations like salmon and cucumber or red pepper, white tuna, and spinach make a kimbap cake that is both festive and delicious.
For Valentine’s Day, raw tuna rolls and Philadelphia rolls (smoked salmon and cream cheese) can mark the date.
The Fourth of July (American Independence) is a bit hard because there’s no true blue food, but you can certainly use the Valentine’s day rolls and serve them on blue plates. If you are really serious about your red, white, and blue, then you can also use blue food coloring for some of your rice or imitation crabmeat.
For Halloween, any white fish will add some protein, taste, and texture to the naturally white and black combination of white rice and dried seaweed.
More Korean Food Quick Tips

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 24, 2009 at 3:42 pm

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Korean Soy Bean Sprout Rice Kongnamulbab

Koreans like to eat rice cooked with different beans and mixed with a variety of vegetables, but kongnamul bab is a personal favorite of mine. We only had it at special meals growing up, so I still get really excited to eat it, whether it’s being served to me or I’ve made it with some extra bean sprouts in the fridge. Adding beef or pork is something I’ve only started doing in recent years, and it’s a good thing to do if you want to bulk up a meal.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
2 cups soybean sprouts, washed
3 cups uncooked Korean or Japanese rice
1/2 cup beef or pork, cut into small pieces and covered in bulgogi marinade (optional)
seasoned soy sauce (yangnum ganjang) or salt to taste
Preparation:
If using beef or pork, place in bottom of rice cooker.

Cover with rice.

Cover with water, according to cooker directions.

Start cooking rice.

After 5 minutes for a pressure rice cooker (10 minutes for a regular rice cooker), add soybean sprouts to rice, mixing gently to combine.

After rice is done, gently fluff rice mixture.

Serve with seasoned soy sauce on the side or salt to taste.

(Serves 4)

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

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Kimchi Fried Rice Kimchi Bokumbap Recipe

Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokumbap) is humble food that is mostly enjoyed at home, but you might also see it in some casual Korean eateries. At home, it’s a great way to use leftover kimchi that’s a bit past its prime. I almost always make it if we have leftover rice and/or kimchi, and usually use Canadian bacon as a protein if I have it. Quick, easy, and cheap to make, kimchi bokumbap is simple Korean homecooking at its best.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
1 cup kimchi, drained and chopped (preferably the kind made with Napa cabbage)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup thinly sliced beef, spam, pork, bacon, or ham
3 cups cooked rice
Salt to taste
1 Fried egg for each serving
Preparation:
If using American bacon, saute briefly on an ungreased large pan and omit oil from next step. With any other meat or a vegetarian version, start with step #2.

Saute kimchi and onion in a lightly greased large pan over medium heat for a few minutes.

When vegetables begin to look transparent, add ½ Tbsp of butter, garlic, and soy sauce and saute for another 2-3 minutes.

Add meat or pork and continue to saute until meat is cooked.

Turn heat off but keep pan on burner.

Add rice and rest of butter, mixing to combine.

Salt to taste and top with fried egg to serve.
(Serves 4)

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm

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Korean Barley Tea Bori Cha

This light, nutty tea is served year-round with Korean food. Healthy and mild, it can be served hot, warm, or cold.
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp roasted barley*
8 cups water
Preparation:
In a small pot, bring barley and water to a boil.

Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve cold.

(Serves 6)

*If you cannot find the roasted barley, you can make your own by toasting barley in a saute pan over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the grains turn a dark brown color.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm

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Soju

Overview:
Soju, a clear distilled liquor made from rice, is the most popular alcoholic drink in Korea. Most bottles of soju will fall in the range of 20-40% alcohol (40-80 proof).
The Taste:
Soju has a clean, neutral taste that makes it a good accompaniment to Korean food or Korean snacks. People often say that the taste reminds them of vodka, but most commercial soju sold today has a sweeter and less aggressive flavor than vodka.
History:
Soju was first distilled in Korea in the 1300s, and historians believe that the Mongols brought the Persian technique to Korea. It became one of the most popular spirits in Korea over the centuries until the Japanese occupation, when soju production was strangled and sake and beer became more popular. Following the liberation of Korea from Japan and the Korean War years in the 1950s, soju production was again in jeopardy by the rice shortage in the 1960s. The government made it illegal to use rice for soju, so instead distilleries began to use sweet potatoes, wheat, barley, and tapioca as replacements.
Soju Today:
Most soju today is made not just with rice, but in combination with wheat, barley, tapioca, or sweet potato. Many members of the older generation prefer the stronger bottles of soju, but younger folks like the milder taste of the lower alcohol content varieties. Flavored soju is also now popular in flavors like apple, lemon, and peach, and it is also used in mixed drinks and alcoholic punches.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 20, 2009 at 11:42 am

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Yogurt Soju Cocktail Recipe

A yogurt cocktail might sound crazy if you’re new to soju, but yogurt soju is popular in Korea and all over Asia. Both yogurt and soju go well with the fiery aspects of Korean cuisine, so it makes sense that they’d be mixed by Koreans. But be careful, as the most common complaint about yogurt soju is that it’s so easy to drink that you’re drunk before you know it.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:
Soju
Asian Yogurt Drink*
Lemon/Lime Soda (Sprite or 7up are popular)
Preparation:
Using 1 part soju, 1 part yogurt drink, and 1 part soda, pour all ingredients into stainless steel shaker full of ice to chill.
Pour and enjoy.

*Asian yogurt drinks are milk-based drinks and are watery compared to American yogurt. You can try an American yogurt drink if you don’t have access to the Korean yogurt, as long as it’s not too thick. You can use the plain (regular) flavor, but people do use the peach, strawberry, and other fruit varieties as well.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 19, 2009 at 10:42 am

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Sour Soju Shot

This sour soju shooter is simple and not overly sweet or tart. I used a sour granny apple schnapps to mix the version in the photo, but it’s easy to make with almost any sour schnapps or your own homemade sour mix.
Ingredients:
Soju
Sour Schnapps
Preparation:
Pour 3 parts soju to 1 part sour schnapps into shot glass.
Drink and enjoy!

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 18, 2009 at 9:42 am

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Apple Soju Cocktail

This refreshing apple soju cocktail is simple to mix for even the sloppiest bartender. Light and smooth, you can serve it in a martini glass with apple slices as garnish. If you want to do it up like a Korean bar, hollow out an apple to use as a cocktail glass.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Ingredients:
Soju
Seltzer
Apple Juice
Preparation:
Using 1 part soju, 1 part tonic, and 1 part apple juice, pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker full of ice to chill.
Pour into martini glass and garnish with apple matchsticks or pour into hollowed-out apple.

* You can also use 2 parts sparkling apple juice or apple cider to 1 part soju.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 17, 2009 at 8:42 am

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