It’s winter here in Australia and we’re craving hearty, warming dishes like soups, stews and curries. We love eating out at Korean restaurants, and there are so many to choose from in Sydney now. We rarely cook Korean at home though, so we decided to try making this fairly simple stew. You need to visit a specialty Asian grocer to find a few ingredients, but they will last for ages and will hopefully inspire you to cook more Korean food in the future.
A few notes about this recipe – we added the beef stock to give the soup more body, a traditional recipe would just use the rice washed water, which we found a little bland. You can remove the chillies if you don’t like the dish very spicy. We used a mixture of enoki, shiitake and oyster mushrooms here but feel free to add whatever kind of mushrooms you enjoy.
Serves 2 people as a main dish, or can serve up to 4 people with the addition of Korean side dishes (Banchan).
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp green onion, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Stew:
200g sirloin steak, thinly sliced
2 cups medium grain rice
500ml beef stock
75g Korean soybean paste
250g firm tofu
1 tsp Korean red pepper powder
30g green onion, sliced
1 green chilli, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
Sesame seeds, to garnish
Green onion, finely sliced, to garnish
Prepare the seasoning sauce ingredients and mix together. Add the sliced beef and leave to marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Wash the rice in water and drain, reserving 500ml of the rice washed water. Put the rice on to cook in a rice cooker or according to the instructions on the packet.
Drain the tofu and cut into 2cm cubes.
Preheat a heavy pot or large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the beef and seasoning sauce and stir fry for two minutes.
Add the beef stock and the rice washed water and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, and keep the stew simmering gently.
Place the soybean paste in a fine metal sieve and lower into the simmering stew. Allow the paste to dissolve into the stew for 10 minutes and then remove the sieve and any remaining solids.
Add the tofu, mushrooms and red pepper powder and continue to simmer for another two minutes.
Add the green onion and chillies and cook for another minute. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
Serve the stew in bowls and garnish with sesame seeds and finely sliced green onion. Serve with a bowl of rice and side dishes of your choice, if you like.
When we began Recipe Road, we listed our favourite cuisines that we hoped to explore. We’ve presented some French dishes, and plan to explore Italian cuisine after our travels in Italy later this year. Japanese is our other love, and we know we’re not alone here! Who can resist the delicacy of finely sliced sashimi or sushi with a side of soy sauce, wasabi and some pickled ginger? For us it’s using the flavours of sake, mirin, soy sauce and rice vinegar in various combinations that keeps us inspired; whether it’s creating a simple teriyaki dish or something a little more complex like this salmon dish. The joy of this dish is the beautiful sauce, which enhances the natural flavour of the salmon fillet and vegetables.
We have adapted this recipe from Adam Liaw’s wonderful book The Zen Kitchen.
Serves two people.
2 small salmon fillets, skin removed
¼ cup cornflour
2 cups vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
2 cups chicken stock
10g bonito flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into batons
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 tsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water
100g enoki mushrooms, trimmed and broken into clumps
2 spinach plants, washed and cut into 5cm lengths
¼ tsp chilli oil
Dust the salmon in cornflour and shake off any excess. Pour the oil into a wok or pan to a depth of 2cm, and heat to 180°C. Shallow-fry the salmon for about 2 minutes each side, until barely cooked and just beginning to colour. Keep warm in a very low oven until ready to serve.
Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Add the bonito flakes and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, discarding the solids, and set aside.
In another saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil over a high heat. Add the garlic, carrot and half of the spring onion and fry for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the ginger and cook for another minute. Add the bonito stock, soy sauce, sake, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cornflour mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Add the remaining spring onions, enoki mushrooms and spinach and cook for one more minute, until the sauce thickens to a silky consistency and the vegetables wilt slightly. (We prefer the vegetables just slightly wilted, if you’d like the mushrooms and spinach more cooked, add them to the saucepan with the ginger and before the liquids are added.)
Place each salmon fillet in a serving dish and arrange the vegetables across the fillet. Spoon the sauce into the bowl around the fillet. Finish with a few drops of chilli oil, if you like.