Saturday, April 29, 2006

Breakfast and Fog

I present my breakfast!
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It's a take on soon doobu jjighae. I've never reconciled on how to spell it, but if you search my site you will know it's by far one of my favourite dishes. For those of you in Korea (or those of you elsewhere with a Korean grocer) it's easy to make, delicious, and, as Koreans say, "Good for Health!"

My version pictured is not exactly the traditional Korean version. I felt like making it, but lacked some of the ingredients, so I went with what I had. Here's the approximate recipe:

1 bag or so of frozen shrimp
1 zucchini
1 Japanese eggplant
½ onion
10 button mushrooms (dried shiitake are better)
a mess of chopped kimchi (the older, the better)
a healthy bit of chopped garlic
a bit of grated ginger
a tablespoon or two of gochujang (red bean paste)
a teaspoon or so of gochugaru (red chilli flakes)
a tablespoon of whatever you like - the soybean pastes that come in the green containers or the brown ones, I mean - why the hell not?!?
cubed super soft tofu (or any kind of tofu - the ones in the "tubes" are best, but I worked with what I had)
1 egg per person
sesame oil

Saute the shrimp until they're not quite done.
Saute all the vegetables until they're yummy. I like a bit of colour on my eggplant, 'shrooms and zucchini, so I get them going 1st, then add the onions, ginger, garlic, and kimchi. Cook 'em until they smell goooood.
Add water to cover and then some.
Once it's good and hot, mix some paste and hot water in a bowl to dilute and add back into pot. Or not. It'll eventually dilute itself if you just shove it in the pot. Add the flakes. Put the shrimp back into the mix. Then the tofu. Boil it up nice, then bring it down to a simmer.

If you're adept, gently - oh so gently - break an egg into the mix. Break multiple eggs in multiple places. If you're clumsy, break an egg into a shallow dish and gently lower it into the mix. You can ladle the hot liquid overtop to help solidify it. We're poaching the egg, kind of, and if you do it right the white will be soft and delicate and the yolk still runny. Finish with a nice splash of good sesame oil.

Ladle into dishes and eat with lovely rice. What you're aiming for is your sinuses to empty after a couple spoonfulls, and you having to sniff your runny nose back into your head for the rest of the meal. It's an excellent way to start the day.

For you folks in Korea more into convenience, pick up s couple of the pre-packaged soon doobu mixes in the refrigerated sections of your grocers. Add some water to taste - they're delicious and easy. In that case omit the pastes and flakes, just pour! Enjoy!

Oh, and the other night it was so foggy I could barely see the management office right downstairs. I took a picture, and this is what I got!
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**By the way, the dish in the background is massive sliced mushrooms and a bit of chopped ham stir fried in a bit of wine and chicken stock. I have no oven or microwave, so ALL my cooking is done on stove-top, which is both limiting and challenging!


albert said...


I think I can smell it.

Thanks for sharing.

sher said...

Oh boy--that looks and tastes (in my imagination) wonderful. I bet that is really good when you have a cold--clears out the sinuses.

Lisa said...

That looks so good. A new Korean restaurant opened here in town and I've been looking for tips on what to order. I'll have to remember "soon doobu." A friend also told me about chap chae, and of course I've heard of bulgogi.