Samgyeopsal, Ultimate Meatlovers’ Dish

Samgyeopsal!

The picture up there said it all. Pure delight in your mouth. Every single person in Korea has had this and vegan population in Korea is pretty insignificant probably because samgyeopsal is so irresistible!! You can’t go vegan with this meat cooking right in front of you!

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What’s cooking on the pan:

– Meat: Go to any Asian grocery store (in my case, I go to H-Mart) and look for “sliced pork belly”. It is basically thicker bacon meat that’s not cured or smoked. Frozen samgyeopsal works just fine too.

– Garlic: Slice garlic cloves and just throw them in the pan with the meat. No rules.

Kimchi: Yup. Kimchi it is. Even if you might like the strong taste of kimchi normally, you will be pleasantly surprised with the amazing taste of cooked kimchi. Trust me and try this.

– Pan? Your regular non-stick frying pan works fine but if you want to get a little fancy, try your breakfast griddle! It seems that someone made it just for samgyeopsal without telling anyone this secret! *Warning: lots of grease!

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“Triple-S” Salad – Spicy, Sweet and Sour!

It’s got all the flavors that you can imagine. Just grab a bag of any lettuce at the supermarket. I usually get red leaf and a mix of other greens. All you have to do is to toss it with this mind-blowing dressing!

Pepper flakes (2) + Soy sauce (2) + Fish sauce (1, optional) + Honey(1) + Vinegar (2) + Sugar (2) + Minced Garlic (1) + A hint of sesame oil

After tossing it nicely in a big bowl, if you are into a nice presentation, sprinkle some sesame seeds! ALL DONE!

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SoMac! = Soju + Maekju (Beer, in Korean)

A complete Samgyeopsal meal is finally served with some SoMac! Soju can be purchased pretty much at any ABC store in Virginia for $4-$6 a bottle (it’s kinda sad because it’s less than a dollar in Korea). 😦 Anyway, watch these people make SoMac. ->; So Cool! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL6oWNgAZNs

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No exaggeration. Not a month goes by without Samgyeopsal in Korea. If you have a regular job, not a week goes by without it. This is meat lovers’ ultimate pilgrimage so you should try it some time. If it’s too much headache for you to do it at home, go find any Korean style BBQ restaurant. It is one of those things that you can’t really mess up! Enjoy!

Make your own pickles! Don’t forget Soju!

There’s nothing easier than making home-made pickles! The pickled cucumbers are traditional ones that you see in the supermarket. However, the sexy, dark one on the right side is what I call “Grandma Pickles“! You know why they are great? Even my grandma, who is a notorious cook, can make these pickles and they are so yummy! So anyone can make them and they taste heavenly especially with BBQ’d meat! I usually put these pickles on the table when we have samgyeopsal! That’s a cut of pork belly and it’s gonna have to be another seperate post, if not, a book!

Here’s the simplest secret recipe >>>>>> vinegar : sugar : soy sauce : soju = 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 

You can put them all in a pot and boil. When it gets to a boil, turn it off and wait a couple minutes for it to cool down. You wanna pour the yumminess onto cut-up veggies when it’s still hot. Obviously, use a glass jar. 😉

You can pretty much pickle ANYTHING. In the picture are banana peppers (which I love!) and onions. I put a couple of garlic cloves and a few pieces of jalapenos for the flavor as well. My mom sometimes uses carrots, cucumbers and radish too, which are all great. If you don’t like anything too salty, add a half portion of water. 😉

What’s different here is the thing called SOJU! Soju is a what I call “Korean vodka”. It doesn’t really have any strong taste but Korean people for some reason seem to love this. It usually has 20% alcohol and people drink it out of shotglasses, usually in a “bottoms-up” pace. They say “Gun-Bay” or “One Shot” before they empty their glasses. How old you are really matters in Korea so if you are younger, you have to pour soju with two hands. It’s all about showing respect. It’s a dollar in Korea but you gotta pay at least $5 a bottle here in the states, depending on where you are. Most ABC stores in VA carry them so maybe get two bottles and use one for your pickels and the other for some dinner entertainment!

If you do make my GRANDMA PICKLES, keep me posted! Let me know how they come out 🙂

[Restaurant Review] China Boy – Chinatown, D.C.

 

▣ Location: 815 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

▣ Tel: 202-371-1661

▣ Chinese

▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★★☆ (as of July 28, 2012) – Click stars for more info!

 

The picture up there says it all. A HOLE IN THE WALL. And the hole ain’t even big.

Whenever I go to the Chinatown in D.C., there’s this one place on 6th, where there’s an old Chinese lady making noodles and dumplings with roasted peking duck hanging off the hooks. There are always many people there too. I’ve eaten there once and (don’t get me wrong) it was good. However, it is still “for American tourists” it feels like.

However, if you walk 50 feet up the street, you see this restaurant with a grumpy-looking Chinese lady, who doesn’t really even seem that excited that you walked in. There are 1 and a half tables and there are no servers. The food is served in a plastic container. I don’t think they deliver either. I really wanted to try their “famous” crepe but they don’t even serve it after 5 p.m. Plus, it’s cash only. Now you get the point. FOOD IS REALLY GOOD.

 

Chow Foon (sometimes spelled “Chow Fun” or “Chao Fen”)

Chow Foon is a southern Chinese dish. “Chow” means to stir-fry and “Foon” is the flat, wide rice noodles. This is roast pork chow food was amazing. Perfectly seasoned pork and that smokey flavor from the sauce that they use to cook the noodles with bring out the amazing taste with the crisp texture of bean sprouts. Please ask for “spicy sauce” when she brings the food out to your table. Then, she will give you a squeeze bottle of some red sauce but the best part is their pickled peppers. Try a very small piece of the pepper with your pork. It tastes like heaven!

 

Roast Pork Noodle Soup

They use the same roast pork but you gotta taste their broth! It’s very rich yet not too “meaty”. It tastes great with the green onions too. I just grabbed the bowl and drank it out of it at the end because it was that gooooooooooooooooooooooooood. I couldn’t even finish the noodles. 😉

 

Other than pork, they have your choices of chicken, beef or shrimp as well.I kept saying, “the people in this neighborhood are so lucky!” So don’t get distracted with some Chinese characters luring you on the main street of Chinatown next time (they probably don’t mean what they say they do ;)). This place is very easy to find and once you taste their food, you are gonna wanna start writing a food blog yourself!