Saturday, July 21, 2007

순두부찌개 & 계란찜 (Soondudu Chiggae: Tofu Stew &Kehranjim: Omelette Soup)

Continuing with my Korean tradition of soup-loving, here are two more dishes that my girlfriend made for me one Tuesday afternoon. The soondubu chiggae is along the same lines as the kimchi chiggae I made earlier, except the main thing is soft tofu. To go with it, I had her made for me one of my favorite side dishes, which is typically served in a barbecue-meat restaurant, a kind of omelette soup.

Prepare Soondubu Chiggae:
-This one starts a bit weird: mash some dried anchovies and seaweed to make a great stock base. I know that this may be out of the range of most Western kitchens, and so dissolving some regular stock powder would be okay. Mix with 3-4 cups of water-Dice some carrot, zucchini, hot pepper, green onion, and any other vegetable you like (it's blasphemously inauthentic but I love throwing in broccoli and cauliflower)
-Prepare your Asian spices and sauces: sesame oil, soy sauce, hot pepper paste and hot pepper powder (고추장 and 고추가루)
-Own soft tofu - this is very different from the regular firm tofu that we find. It's sometimes sold in tubes and should not hold shape on its own well at all
-Set the water/broth to boil. Throw in some garlic, pepper powder and paste, a bit of soy sauce, and a hot pepper, as well as some ginger and sesame oil
-After a couple minutes of boiling, add the tofu and vegetables-A couple minutes later, crack an egg into the soup
-Let simmer for a long time, till it reaches a nice red level

Prepare Omelette Soup:
-Very finely dice green onion, garlic, carrot, and mushroom - about a tbsp of each
-Whisk two eggs with the vegetables, add a bit of salt and pepper, as well as some milk to fluff itCook:
-Set a bit of water to boil in a small pot. You can add a bit of the stock powder that you used above. The volume of water should roughly be equal to the volume of the omelette solution-Once its boiling, pour the egg in. You can mix. Lower the heat, cover, and let cook for about 7 minutes
-For the water for the soups, a Korean trick is to use the water that's had rice soaking in it. It's supposed to up the flavor.
-Enjoy with rice (obviously), kimchi, and a nice cold beer.

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