We’ve recently been watching a lot of Korean dramas, and in nearly every one somebody has eaten jjajangmyun.  It is a noodle dish made with fermented black bean paste, pork and vegetables.  Pretty it is not, but quite delicious.  It takes a bit of prep work, and uses more than one pan, but in the end, worth every minute.

Jjajangmyun (adapted from www.maangchi.com)

1 pkg. Korean style vermicelli noodles    

7 tbsp fermented black bean paste

1/2 lb. pork belly (I used pork side)

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp potato starch powder (or cornstarch)

dash of sesame oil

1 cup Asian radish (daikon), cubed

1 cup sweet potato, cubed

1 cup zucchini, cubed

2 cups onion, diced

3 cups water

small amount of julienned cucumber, to top finished dish

Cut pork into 1 inch cubes.  Leave skin on.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a heated wok.  Add pork and stir fry until crispy.  When pork turns golden brown (skin will look a bit crackly), drain fat and pork aside (leave in wok).  Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet.  Add black bean paste and stir fry for 1 minute.  Drain extra oil and set aside.  Reheat pork in wok over high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Add radish and sweet potato, sauté for 2 minutes.  Add zucchini and onion and sauté for another 2 minutes.  Add 3 cups of water, cover and boil 15-20 minutes, until potato is cooked through.  Skim off foam and stir in the fried black bean paste.  Mix potato starch with 1 tbsp water and stir into boiling soup (should become thick and sticky).  Stir in 1 tbsp sugar.  Cook noodles according to package (approximately 3 or 4 minutes).  Reheat sauce and serve over noodles, toped with julienned cucumber.  Serve HOT!


Chicken Curry Bake

This is just something I threw together last night, when I couldn't figure out what to do for dinner. It is a very simple dinner, but the kids couldn't get enough. Excellent left over too!

Chicken Curry Bake

3 lbs. chicken pieces (I used thighs and legs)
2 cups plain yogurt
1 tbsp cornstarch (helps prevent the yogurt from curdling)
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 cup apricot jelly
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
4 large carrots, cut into coins
1 large onion, sliced into rings
1 large granny smith apple, diced
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Place chicken pieces in a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt. Add carrots, onion and apple on top of chicken. In a large bowl, combineremaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour evenly over chicken. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until juices run clear. Serve over rice.


On Hiatus

I'm taking a break from cooking these days, unless you count making salads. If I come up with a super delicious salad or juice recipe, I'll be sure to post it! I'll be back, please bear with me :)