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Yong Tae Kim

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  1. torakris, the 'hodduk' is a popular street side snack that is mainly sold during the cooler months here in Korea. From a local TV show that I saw some years ago (chronicling the success story of a local hodduk vendor who became a millionaire from selling these), the batter is basically an yeast leavened flour-based dough that has rice flour (from the type of sticky rice that is used to make mochi) mixed in to improve its chewiness. I also remember seeing salt, sugar, baking powder, and milk powder mixed, but I guess it varies according to the 'secret recipe' used by each vendor. The very sticky dough is scooped out a big vat containing the dough with one hand and then flattened out. A spoonful of the filling is then placed on the middle and the dough is shaped into a ball. The ball is then dropped onto a hot griddle with plenty of oil and then flattened into a pancake shape. I think that the filling is basically a mixture of packed brown sugar, rough ground walnuts, and ground peanuts with a dash of cinammon powder thrown in. When the hodduk is fully cooked, this filling melts into a syrupy caramel that always burns the roof of the eater's mouth and and never fails to drip onto one's shirts and pants .
  2. Thank you all for the helpful responses. I found the links to the previous dulce de leche discussions at EGullet very informative. The sweetened condensed milk products that I can buy here in Korea come in pull-top cans or squeeze bottles. Taking Gingerly's experience in making dulce de leche from a pull-top can, I will try boiling it with the can lying on its side so that any rupture will not shoot upwards. Achevres's description of alfajores sounds different from the one I remember eating in Paraguay. Mine is a sandwich made of two corn starch based cookies with a dulce de leche filling and the sides also covered with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut flakes. I guess there are different versions of alfajores in South America.
  3. I am trying to make some 'alfajores' that I used to eat in South America and the recipe calls for dulce de leche for the filling. A quick internet search turned up three methods of preparing dulce de leche at home. The first method is making it from scratch with milk and sugar and cooking it until it turns brown in color. The second method calls for submerging a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water that is brought to simmer for a predetermined amount of time. The third method involves cooking the sweetened condensed milk that has been poured into a double boiler until it turns brown in color. The second and third methods appear to be easier to implement, especially the second method. However, my concern with the second method is the type of can that the condensed milk is packaged in. Is there a possibility of the can exploding if I use a can that has a 'pull-top' kind of opening method rather than the traditional can that requires a can opener to open? Has anyone tried the third method, and could this double boiler be replaced by a slow cooker instead? Thanks for any suggestions!
  4. I remember back when I was living in Sao Paulo, Brazil 15 years ago, my family used to frequent a steak house called 'Baby Beef Rubaiyat". I don't know if this place still exists, but I remember they served excellent steaks, a very good salad buffet, and excellent feijoada. My favorite was a cut of beef called 'Bife de Tira', which was a long strip of steak with a strip of fat running the full length of one side. Anybody know what this cut of meat might be called in English?
  5. I think that their is a constant debate among dukbokki connoisseurs on what the base sauce should be based on to produce that authentic street stall flavor. 1. Gochujang (the Korean red chili paste) based sauce. This results in a sweet but slightly heavy tasting sauce that tastes unmistakably like gochujang. From what I have been able to observe at the ubiquitous street carts in Seoul that sell dukbokki, the gochujang is mixed with clear corn syrup and MSG derived beef flavoring powder and water (or water from boiled oden). 2. Gochugaru (dried red chili powder) based sauce. Finely ground Korean red chili powder is mixed with clear corn syrup and MSG derived beef flavoring powder and water (or water from boiled oden). This results in a very hot and clean tasting sauce. There probably is a 'secret ingredient' that makes street 'dukbokki' taste different than the homemade variety. Anybody know what this could be?
  6. I'll need to go to a local Lotteria here in Korea to take some pictures when I have the time, but here are some interesting new items sold in the Korean Lotterias: "Well-Being Burger" - this is a new supposedly "healthy" burger that catches on to the local craze on "well-being" (pronounced as "wellbing" in Korean ). The hamburger bun is your standard rye bread shaped into a bun. Funny that the Lotteria marketing here says that the Finnish people are healthy because of their high rye consumption. Whether it is rye bread or rye derived liquor they consume is not made clear . The meat patty has whole green peas stuck into them to make it "healthier". The burger is then topped with a whole pineapple slice, ketchup, lettuce and mayo. Whether it tastes good or not, I don't know. I may try it and tell about my experience here if you guys want. Various permutations of the "Rice Burger" - We now have "Kimchi Rice Burger" which is kimchi fried rice shaped into a bun and used in place of the traditional bread bun. We also have "Curry Rice Burger" which is curry flavored rice shaped into you know what. There is also a "Chajang Rice Burger" which is Chinese style chajang sauce flavored rice shaped into, yes, a bun. All these burgers are topped with meat patty, mayo, and lettuce. Lotterias here in Korea have a bad rep because of their poor service, small portion size, and bad taste. However, the Lotteria "Shrimp Burger" is the standard by which all shrimp burgers are measured -- even MacDonalds in Korea has not been able to come up with a shrimp burger that tops Lotteria's version...
  7. Yong Tae Kim

    Kimchi sauce

    Torakris, That kimchi no moto stuff sounds like a mad concoction (and probably tastes horrid), but I think that it's the step in the right direction for further popularizing kimchi by developing new food items from it. The MacDonalds here in Korea used to sell a MacKimchiBurger, which was a basic hamburger with a round layer of chopped kimchi in place of the usual pickles and onions. I don't know if they still sell them, though. The Lotteria here also sells something called the Kimchi Rice Burger, which is Kimchi fried rice shaped into buns, with a hamburger patty and mayo in between them. I would guess that the Lotteria in Japan also has them, am I right? Your ingredient list for cho-gochujang is spot on. It's a matter of mixing the right proportion of those ingredients to one's taste -- some will like it hotter, or more sour, or more sweeter, etc.
  8. Yong Tae Kim

    Kimchi sauce

    richw, Perhaps you are talking about "cho-gochujang", which is a sauce that is universally available in restaurants serving "hwae" (what sashimi style sliced raw fish is called in Korea). "Cho-gochujang" is basically gochujang that has been mixed with vinegar and sugar (and some saesame seeds sprinkled in) that results in a sweet, sour, and hot flavored sauce to dip fish into. I find that "cho-gochujang" goes quite well with shellfish, squid, octopus, and seaweed. However, this sauce is far too strong for sashimi style raw fish, where the traditional soy sauce with wasabi make a far more subtler and complimentary match. Here in Korea, pre-packaged "Cho-gochujang" is sold in squeeze type bottles and readily available. I have never heard about "kimchi sauce" here in Korea though...
  9. Soba, Because we were officer candidates receiving basic military training during the four months that we spent at OCS, the food that was served to us was the same as the food that got served to regular soldiers. The quality of the ingredients left a lot to be desired, of course. Input equals output, and it was not uncommon to have the latrines plugged up with 411 trainees who probably ate 15~18 portions of rice a day and lots of fiber from kimchi and stuff...
  10. All able bodied Korean citizenship holding males are required to serve in the Korean military for a set number of years. As a grad school graduate, instead of joining the regular army, I opted to join the Korean airforce as an officer candidate in 1995. During the four months that I spent at the Republic of Korea Airforce Officer Candidate School I went from a pudgy 85 kilos to a lean and hard 65 kilos (I am 5'9"). The hard physical training aside, I belive that the military food had a great part in this drastic weight reduction. Forget Atkins, this is the Korean military's version of extreme dieting: 1. Mounds and mounds of white rice mixed in with barley. The rice served by the Korean military rice is b-grade stuff that the Korean government buys on the cheap from farmers and then stored for x number of years. The result is that the rice is not white, but grey or brown in color and smelling of musty socks. I belive that a typical trainee ate about 5 to 6 adult portions of rice in each meal, three times a day. 2. Kimchi in every meal (cabbage or radish). 3. Watery and salty soup that always contained tofu and Japanese daikon style radish. Apparently radish is a good source of water for trainees who sweated so much during training that the uniforms were caked in white salt from the sweat at the end of the day. 4. Frozen squid or cod thrown into various soups of number 3 above. 5. Cucumber and onions marinated with Korean hot chili paste, vinegar, and sugar. 6. Blocks of frozen meat from unidentifiable pork or meat parts thrown into various soups or shaved into Korean style 'bulgogi'. 7. No sugary foods and drinks during the entire four months. After three months of this kind of eating and hard physical training, my fellow trainees became so light and fit that they could run with full combat gear for one and half hours non-stop under a sweltering 31+ degrees Celsius heat wave and not miss a single beat.
  11. This thread brings back a somewhat related food memory from my bootcamp training days in the Korean military. Tofu (or tubu) is a favourite food ingredient in the Korean military mess halls because it is 1. a cheap source of protein 2. easily prepared into numerous permutations of soups (kuk), stews (cchigae), and side dishes (banchan). Soups would mostly feature blocks of tofu as one of the main ingredients. Since tofu is highly perishable if not properly refrigerated during the Summer months, what the bootcamp kitchen did during the warmer days was to deep fry the blocks of tofu beforehand. Apparently, fried tofu held better in warm weather than uncooked tofu, since it was always present in the soups and stews that were served when the temperature rised. For a proten-starved military trainee, the extra richness imparted by the frying made the tofu quite special. I still find the texture of fried tofu that is then simmered in liquid quite interesting, with a somewhat firm brown exterior (made rich by the frying) that has turned soft and chewy from simmering in the soup or stew -- somewhat like a poor man's substitue for meat. I believe that this method of cooking tofu is the basis for 'tubu cchim' dishes found in Korea and what the original post in this thread refers to.
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