Korean fried chicken – Let’s make it at home!

If you live in the DMV area, you cannot help running into the name of the chicken joint, Bonchon!

Bonchon Chicken is found in different locations, mostly on the east side of the country. This Korean style soy garlic fried chicken is so delicious that it haunts me day and night so I decided to make it at home.

Here’s what we need (2 servings):

– 8 drumsticks (washed and scored)
– flour (lightly seasoned with salt and pepper)
– sauce : 4 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp molasses or honey, 2 Tbsp sugar, 4 Tbsp mirin or cooking wine, 1 Tbsp flour (My secret ingredient is a Tbsp of sriracha sauce!)

Once you figure out the ingredients, the hardest part is done!

1. Put the chicken in a zipper bag with seasoned flour. Shake it.
2. Pour some oil in a pot and keep your stove at medium heat.
3. When the oil gets hot, put the chicken into the pan. When it becomes light brown, take it out and let it rest on a paper towel.
4. KEY STEP: When it cools down a little, put it back to the pan to finish cooking! This way, the chicken gets super crispy even when smothered in the sauce
5. While chicken is frying, put all the ingredients for the sauce in a separate pan and cook it at low heat so the garlic doesn’t burn.
5. Poke the chick with a chopstick or a knife to make sure it’s done. No one likes undercooked, bloody chicken. 😉
6. Let the chicken rest on a paper towel for a couple of minutes. Then, put it in the sauce.
7. Mix it well till the chicken gets all nice and saucy!

Now, we have this awesome chicken HOMEMADE!

I gotta say, it wasn’t exactly the same but was PDD, pretty damn delicious! 🙂 Much more affordable, much healthier but still mouthwatering!

Korean fried chicken – aka ChiMac – is “a thing” in Korea. Especially when Korean people watch baseball or soccer games, chicken delivery places get unbelievably busy. Recently, a Korean soap opera made ChiMac super popular even in China. So I’m gonna enjoy my garlic soy chicken with some cold beer. Sounds darn good, right? 😉

Quick stir fry

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I just realized that I “cook” this quite often these days. It’s one of my favorite hodgepodge dishes and that’s just because it’s so easy to make!

Any leftover vegetables and/or any type of protein. Beef, pork, chicken, tofu or shrimp! I’ve tried all of them and they all turn out great.

On a pan, put some vegetable oil and cook garlic and onions so they get that nice color. Once they are cooked, dump everything in the pan. Depending on the meat/seafood, you might wanna put certain things a little later that the others. For example, beef or shrimp cooks pretty fast, while cabbages and peppers cook a little slower than that. Then you season what’s on the pan.

The key is the sauce. I don’t really like to use too much salt if possible. So these two things have become my BFF’s: oyster sauce & sriracha sauce! You can find sriracha sauce commonly in Thai restaurants or Vietnamese restaurants. This is easily found in any grocery store Now. THE SAUCE LITERALLY IS GOD’S GIFT! It can be used as a dipping sauce or it can add a nice spicy kick to your boring dish. Everything tastes better with sriracha. You can make an exotic aioli with it as well.

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When you are too lazy to cook anything fancy and you have a lot of leftover veggies – zucchini, onions, cabbages, peppers, string beans or any sort – chop them up and treat yourself and your beloved ones!

Weekend is here and the weather is beautiful! Happy feast!

Orange garlic chicken – simple but great!

This chicken dish isn’t anything crazy. It literally takes less than 30 minutes to cook this delicious chicken. (Hmm.. Did I just sound like Rachel Ray? 😉 )

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What you need (serves 2): 4 chicken thighs (deboned and pounded), 2-3 cups of OJ, 2-3 table spoons of minced garlic, jalapeño bits (I used 1/2 of a whole jalapeño)

Marinate your chicken in the ingredients above all together at least for three hours. Cook the chicken in a pan and season it with salt when cooking. BAM! Dinner is served!

I am not even sure if this is blog worthy but the chicken tasted so good that I had to post this for some novice cooks like me! A great dish is never impossible! You just gotta be willing to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen!

Kimchi Stuffed Chicken Thighs

How does this dish look? Whatever you think, it’s beyond that! 🙂

Here’s a little behind-story of how this dish was born! Main ingredients are kimchi and chicken. Kimchi is a traditional Korean food but this dish is not traditionally “Korean”. Actually, I gotta thank my husband – ex hotel chef- who created this awesome dish for the Korean Food Cooking Contest held in Seoul, Korea in 2011. There were a lot of “foreigners” who cooked great dishes but his kimchi stuffed chicken thighs were the most loved dish by the audience, who were mostly culinary students. Since then, it’s been HIS dish and I am totally stealing it this time because I did it on my own with a little personal touch!  :p

*** Recipe ***

1. Get a couple of chicken thighs and debone them.

2. Pound them flat, if necessary.

3. Sautee some chopped kimchi. Depending on your preference, add veggies and/or cooked rice. I put some zucchini (to add more color) and rice.

4. Spread the cooked kimchi onto the flat chicken thighs and roll them.

5. Season the outer part of the chicken thighs – the hubby used sweet Thai chili sauce but this time I used bacon, which turned out to be really good.

6. Put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes (380°F) COVERED.

7. Get rid of the cover and broil them for about 5-10 minutes (both sides) so they get that sexy color!

Tada~ You see what I am saying about that sexiness here??!! Let them sit for a couple of minutes before you slice and plate them.

You can do so much with this dish in terms of presentation. I cooked some cauliflower to go with it. The hubby made some tangy salad last time (first picture above). Get creative and amuse your senses! Enjoy!

 

 

[Restaurant Review] Lebanese Taverna – Arlington, VA

▣ Location: 5900 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22202

▣ Tel: 703-241-8681

▣ Deli

▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★★☆ (as of September 18, 2012) – Click for more info!

I am very glad to be reviewing this place. It’s been a while since I posted on the blog and I’m so happy that it’s Lebanese Taverna today. 🙂

I found this deli on our picnic day this weekend. To me, picnic=food (go figure, what’s not about food? ;))! So we went to this deli to pick up some shawarma but I got so carried away that I ended up getting more than I could handle (again, this happens quite often). As you can see in the picture, the meat is prepared on a spit. To be completely honest, I don’t really know much about Arabic food so I can’t tell if the food was “authentic” but you know what? Who cares? It was so delicious! My grilled taouk (meaning chicken in Arabic) was heavenly as well.

I gotta say, their salad selections are excellent as well as their dip/sauce options. Like most delis, you can buy these sides by the pound. Some of my favorites include garlic-fried cauliflower, tabouleh, stuffed grape leaves, cous cous and anything with eggplant! Not to mention their garlic sauce, their salads are so fresh and refreshing. As I write this, my mouth is literally watering. You might end up spending 30 minutes there when you go pick up one thing, though. They have so much to offer – cookies, jam, wine, great beers, cheeses, dried fruit AND this awesome dessert called Halawa Chocolate , aka Halva. It is made from tahini so it’s dry, crumbly. Very rich in flavor but because of the dry texture(?), I couldn’t eat more than 4 small bites of it after lunch but it was so good that this might be my favorite chocolatty dessert now! Do you like Whoppers? It kind of tastes/feels like the malted milk inside, if you will.

If you are planning a weekend picnic with your family and if you live in Arlington or anywhere close enough, go to Lebanese Taverna and get yourselves some great lunch! I can’t wait to go back!

P.S. If you are looking for a quite, nice, beautiful picnic please, check out Mason Neck State Park!

Pickle Chicken – No waste any more!

O.M.G.

That’s right. It’s so heavenly, juicy, mouthwatering, scrumptious… You get the point! This is “Pickle Chicken”.

Have you ever finished a jar of pickles and poured the leftover juice down the drain? SHAME ON YOU! No more waste in the house! How do you make pickle chicken then?

Pickle juice + Chicken

That’s it. There’s no salt and pepper. There’s no certain amout of anything! Just pour the pickle juice in the tupperware and put chicken thighs there. Done. Marinate the chicken for a day or two. You don’t have time? It’s okay. Today, the chicken was marinating just for two hours while we were out playing tennis and it was still dºeºlºiºcºiºoºsºo! I personally prefer thighs to breasts (hmm… did that sound weird?) but it’s totally up to you.

The question is “what kind of pickles do I use?”. Any regularsupermarket  dill pickles will work I think. But today, of course, I used the homemade pickles that we made last month (click to see the posting). Think about it. That salty, vinegary, sweet juice makes perfect sense to cook chicken with! 🙂

Super easy recipe. Great cooked in oven. Greater cooked on your grill. See if you have an old jar of pickles right now and try!

Oven-baked Doenjang Chicken!

Ok, we need to talk about Doenjang. What the heck is Doenjang? (I am gonna call it DJ here so you don’t have to get embarrassed trying to pronounce it right.) DJ is a Korean style fermented soybean paste. Korean people usually make soups with it or they use it to get rid of that gamey smell off your meat dish, just like western people use herbs. Every single household in Korea has DJ and Gochujang, which is a spicy pepper paste. I am going to focus on DJ this time though.

We buy a lot of chicken thighs. Chicken breasts are probably a little healthier? Maybe? However, thighs are a lot more affordable and, most of all, they taste way better than any other parts of chicken. Buy a bunch and freeze them in smaller bags. Thaw them out one day before and cook them. And this is one easy way to cook your chicken thighs. Trust me, I ain’t no cook but man, this was delicious. This could seriously be served at a nice restaurant for 27 dollars(+tax) and get a good review on Yelp! 😉

Here’s how I made this dish: 3 chicken thighs, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, ground black pepper, honey, sesame oil, onions, AND 1 tbsp of DOENJANG

1. Score the thighs so the flavor gets in and it also helps cook the chicken all the way – Bones are tricky!

2. Marinate the thighs – soy sauce, honey, ground black pepper (Don’t leave the chicken in the “liquid” cuz it might get too salty.)

3. Rub DJ all over the thighs (Hmm… this could sound kinda weird…? Sorry, but DJ is kind of smelly.)

4. Get a baking pan and put foil on it. Rub a little sesame oil so the chicken doesn’t stick (like you use butter for certain things). If you don’t have sesame oil, it’s not a big deal. Just don’t go too crazy with sesame oil because it’s got a really strong aroma. You don’t wanna overdo it.

5. Set the oven at 400 degrees and put the chicken in the oven COVERED so it doesn’t get dry. Let it bake for 30-35 minutes.

6. Take the chicken out and put the onions in the pan. Get rid of the foil and set the oven on broil at 400.

7. Let it broil in the oven for another 5 minutes and turn the chicken and do it again for another 5 minutes.

8. Dinner is served!

This took less than an hour and the actually “me cooking time” wasn’t even 10 minutes. Onions are optional. You can put any veggies you want. Some summer squash would have been really nice as well. If things are too crazy during the weekdays, get your usual DiGiorno pizza. Then, try to cook this easy dish on the weekend with the fam. And I guarantee you that YOU CAN’T REALLY MESS IT UP. Keep me posted! And if you have any questions about where to get all these “Asian” ingredients, please send me a message on Twitter (@Virginia_Delish). They are easier to find than you think! Good luck!

Happy 4th! Happy tummy!

How was your 4th? It was my first 4th of July in D.C. so we decided to go to the Air Force Memorial to see the fireworks. It was really a unique experience to see the fireworks at an awesome site with nice music played by the air force band, but we had to “pay” for it. Yes, 4 hours under the sun. Plus, we walked to the memorial from our place, which takes about 20 minutes. That means we couldn’t bring anything too fancy for dinner. So, this is what we had. Very light, yet quite delightful! (Hmm… Too corny?)

 

Pasta Salad: pasta(duh!), tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, chopped onions, minced garlic, lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper.

Greek Chicken Salad Wrap: chicken (you don’t need anything crazy-supermarket rotisserie chicken works just great), plain greek yogurt, lemon juice, dijon mustard, craisins, walnuts and spinach tortilla. – If you are trying to avoid mayo but you still want the creaminess in your dish, this is a perfect, scrumptious alternative.

Home-made Pickles: Yes, I said it. H-O-M-E-M-A-D-E-P-I-C-K-L-E-S! It’s going to be another posting soon. We’ve just gotten into pickling! The secret will come out soon so be there for it!

 

This is the thing about this kind of meal, though. There is no rule. If you like spicy food, chop up some jalapenos and put them in your salad. If you like sweet food (I don’t, btw), cut up some apples in there. One thing about cooking at home is that you can be creative (even though you probably got yelled at when you were young, “don’t play with your food!”) and if your food tastes like #2, who cares? Next time, you know what to do (or what NOT to do).

Maybe this weekend, you can fix a nice little picnic lunch and go out to a park with your beloved ones. It’s going to be a hot one (I heard it’s gonna be 106 degrees!) so bring lots of water. Lesson learned yesterday!

So, what are you cooking this weekend? 😉