Seoul Food

The pun kind of had to be made ;-)

Last night, Ben re-invented Korean spicy tofu-mollusc stew.  It was utterly delicious, and turned kimchi from an evil substance that fills the apartment with fumes to the tasty spicy sour concoction that I enjoy in Koren restaurants.  It is authentically made with chili oil instead of (or possibly in addition to?) kimchi, but it created approximately the same effect, though there’s just something endearing about the layer of almost incandescently glowing red-orange oil on the soup when you get it in a restaurant.  It is a good thing to feed to people who think tofu is boring, provided they eat shellfish.

Boil mussels until they open, then removed the shells.  In the same water the mussels had been boiling in, add cubed silken tofu, sliced ginger and garlic, chopped greens, kimchi (we used the tail ends of a jar of daikon and a jar of cabbage kimchee), honey, leftover cooked rice, noodles, and sesame oil.  SImmer until veggies and noodles are cooked, add mussels and simmer for a few more minutes.

Yum.  Kimchi can also be used to create Korean “barbecue” sauce for noodles, which Ben has made but I have not experienced yet.  Its newfound usefulness goes along with my new food storage plan.  Kimchi comes from the Korean grocery store in wide-mouthed glass quart jars with tight-fitting plastic lids (or pint jars, or plastic gallon jugs, but we usually get the quart size).  As we use kimchi, I am transferring bulk grains and beans into the kimchi jars for immediate use in the pantry.  Larger quantities will be stored in the basement, and the uniform size of the jars will make it easier to track how much of each thing we use.  If we run out of uses for the kimchi jars, we can also return them to the store and get 25 cents back.  (The store owner makes it herself.)

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