Archive for the ‘Stew’ Category

2016-02-10 redbean cakes

Happy Year of the Monkey to you all!

We just celebrated Lunar New Year on February 8th.  Did you know that this is Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s Birthday?  Traditionally, her birthday is on a different calendar day each year, as the Lunar New Year date changes.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s story has a very sad start – back in those days, in a small rural village in Korea, girls were considered lower than cattle – at least cattle were useful, you could milk them and eat them and trade them for other goods. Girls, on the other hand, required a dowry to marry them off as quickly as possible.

Not only did she never get any birthday cake, but she also was never allowed to taste the traditional New Year rice cakes.  Only once was she able to catch a little crumb of a rice cake that contained sorghum flour instead of rice flour, and now she reminisces how much she loved it, and would love to have again.

What a challenge!  I browsed through some Korean cook books an blogs and tried to get an idea how to even start on such a thing.  The above picture is the result of that experiment, and it sure brought a big smile into Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim‘s face!  It was close to the traditional “rice” cake and very delicious!

Here is what I did:

2016-02-10 22.02.04 red beans

Boil (or pressure cook) small red beans until soft and mushy, mash them up with enough honey to make it slightly sweet, and a dash of cinnamon, walnuts and/or boiled chestnuts.

This is the filling.

For the outside dough, I did something entirely non-traditional.  I did not want to use sweet and sticky rice flour – not good if you have to watch your carb intake and have diabetes.  So I ground up some yucca root total of perhaps 3/4-1 cup and boiled that until it was all gluey.  I added enough sorghum flour to form a soft but pliable dough.  Then formed small pieces of dough into balls the size of a walnut and flattened them out.  I boiled these for about 5 minutes and then fished them out – let them barely cool off and then flattened these pre-cooked disk until they formed a very thin dough.  Be careful though, the dough is very fragile.

2016-02-10 22.00.08-in steamer

I then put a good heaping teaspoon of filling onto these disks and closed them like you see in the picture, and steamed them for about 1/2 hour.

2016-02-10 redbean cakes

The result is certainly delicious and worth every moment that you spend making them.  They may not be traditional, but you will love the chewiness and sweetness and knowing it’s all good for you!




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It’s still dark, dreary and blustery, with bouts of rain and it’s my favorite weather!  I heard from several of my fellow Jung Suwon warriors that while soup is awesome, sometimes they want to sink their teeth into something “hearty.”  And while I could live off soups for the rest of my life, I do understand that not all Jung Suwon warriors, or other people, think like that.

Still, as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim says, we should eat in balance with the environment, and choose foods that makes everyone smile and rush to the dinner table!  Here is a good solution for today:

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim mentions a lot to her Jung Suwon students, that we need to be creative in all aspects of our lives, including the food we prepare.  So it’s no surprise that there isn’t an exact recipe for this very tasty stew.

First, get some thick, meaty beef ribs.  (but, you could use some chicken legs or thighs just as well).

Here is Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s special way of preparing meat:  bring a pot of water to boiling, add kosher salt and a couple table spoons crushed garlic. Put in the rib pieces, and let it come to a boil again.  Wait until it’s done producing gray scum, then drain, wash and you are ready to use the meat!  They gray stuff that come out is, as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim explains, all the pollution and unnatural stuff coming out, antibiotics, hormones, GMO feed, and so on.)

While you are pre-boiling the meat, make the sauce:

Start by putting a generous big scoop of Korean hot red pepper paste.  Here is the picture of one brand of it:

Put in a couple tablespoons of freshly ground garlic, and the juice of a few lemons, to make a good 1/2 cup.   Juice one large or 2 small Korean pears and add, and at this point you can also add some ground up kiwis.  Add a generous amount of raw sugar – this is supposed to have a sweet, spicy taste.

Coat the pre-boiled ribs with the sauce – there should be enough sauce to cover the meat.  Now you can have some fun – after simmering until the meat is almost done, you can add cut up onions, celery, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower – asparagus, mushrooms – whatever you have at home, and whatever your heart desires!  Today, I added some peeled, cut up sweet potatoes! Think about all the vitamins and minerals you just added!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim points out the health facts of this yummy dish:  the beef (of course you chose good quality, grass fed if possible, local grown?)  will give you protein to rebuild muscles, something you need after the kind of classes we have had at Jung Suwon lately.

Red pepper will clear your breathing, get rid of mucus, and help your stomach.  Garlic has a long list of health benefits, including being a natural antiseptic and antibiotic.  (And no, do not stop going to your doctor when you are sick!)  Lemon has a lot of vitamin C, and so does the pear.  The veggies have lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber and will do you good!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s favorite way to eat this is over rice – preferably cooked in a stone pot.  Look for that recipe tomorrow!

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