July 2023 Letter
2 recipes that I filmed during my trip to the California desert: salad bread and Korean instant ramyeon with rice cake! Plus sharing how I'm doing, and some comments from my readers and viewers.
Last week, I visited the Metropolitan Museum and explored the Karl Lagerfeld exhibit. While I was there, I couldn't help but notice the stunning dress placed next to me. It was absolutely beautiful!
I hosted a dinner with friends at my home and served a variety of side dishes. Can you guess what they are? Starting from the galbi (grilled marinated beef ribs) on the left and going clockwise, we had chwi-namul (aster scaber side dish), bellflower roots, seaweed salad with shrimp, grilled salmon, mungbean sprouts, and mungbean jelly. In the center, we had kimchi. All of these dishes are meant to be enjoyed as side dishes alongside a bowl of rice!
New recipe: Korean Salad bread
Salad bread called “salad ppang” in Korean is perfect for the summer: fresh, refreshing, easy to make and easy to eat! This is the way I used to make Korean potato salad sandwiches for my children. I made it during my recent trip to Joshua Tree in California that I told you about in my last letter. Everyone loved it, especially with coffee. The recipe is here!
New recipe: Korean ramyeon with rice cake
Cooking ramyeon in the desert was a special experience for me. It's incredibly quick to make and delicious and while most people know how to cook Korean instant ramyeon, some people still ask me questions like, "How can I make tteok-ramyeon?" or "When should I add rice cake? Do I need to soak it first?"
In response, I'm sharing my own method for making delicious tteok-ramyeon (ramyeon with rice cake) in a slightly healthier way that reduces the amount of salt involved. I enhance the flavor by adding fermented kimchi and I crack eggs into the boiling ramyeon, resulting in nicely poached eggs. Here's how I enjoy it: with chewy rice cake, kimchi, and an egg. You can find the recipe for two servings here!
Yum yum Spicy chicken skewers, 1-minute video version!
Voila! Saltao’s first time making Japchae!
If you take a look at this japchae dish, you'll definitely agree that it looks absolutely delicious and stunning. The noodles are shiny and transparent, the vegetables and mushrooms are colorful and stir-fried, and there's plenty of crispy, nutty toasted sesame seeds and shredded egg on top! This was FSaltao's first time trying to make Korean japchae. Congraulations! My japchae recipe is here.
Chef Brian’s Pride-themed bibimbap!
Chef Brian's mother, Marie, emailed me this photo along with a delightful message. She said, “Brian made Bibimbap for Pride Month, using butterfly flowers for the blue color eggs. It was a great hit.”
She also mentioned, “You make us feel so happy watching you, like watching a family member.” Yay! I’m so honored to be considered as part of your family like an aunt or sister!
By the way, I had to do some research to learn about butterfly flowers because I had never heard of them before. See? There are always new things to discover! Now that I know about these flowers, I can't wait to try using butterfly flowers in my own cooking experiments someday.
Someone started an 8 month project: garlic pickles!
This is not my maneul-jangajji (garlic pickles) but my reader Armitage’s. She said, “One more boiling of the brine for the very slow fermented garlic in the onggi. It will be so yummy in 8 months!”
Best of luck to her, and I send a special blessing for the garlic to ferment well. "Stay crispy, avoid getting soggy, and ripen perfectly!” lol!
Jang-geum’s Kimchi bokkeumbap
One of my dedicated readers, Jang-geum, shared a photo of her homemade kimchi stir-fried rice on my website. She mentioned that it was her first time making it and she absolutely loved it. As someone who frequently prepares this dish, just seeing her photo made my mouth water. Moreover, I happened to be feeling hungry at that moment, so guess what I did? I quickly whipped up some kimchi-bokkeumbap! I used cold rice and well-fermented kimchi from the fridge, and in just 5 to 7 minutes, I had some delicious kimchi stir-fried rice ready to enjoy! The recipe is here!
Melbmatt's salty beef side dish called jangjorim!
Would you feel a bit jealous if I told you that I want to meet Melbmatt someday? He's been cooking delicious Korean dishes for a long time. Just look at the jangjorim (soy sauce braised beef and eggs) in the front of the photo, along with all the other mouthwatering side dishes in the background! He even used quail eggs instead of chicken eggs. Check out my jangjorim recipe here!
Comments and messages from you guys
My readers and viewers always make me smile, inspire me, amaze me, and make me think. Here are some of their messages that I chose to share with you!
We all know certain foods bring back nostalgic memories! Someone who is Korean left a touching comment on my salad ppang video.
You have no idea how sentimental this is for me. There was a bakery at Shilla Hotel in the 80s and 90s that made this. My grandma had a shop in the hotel so we often went to the bakery. It captures so many memories. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
As someone who loves sharing recipes, it brings me great joy to hear when you guys are delighted with the outcome of your own cooking. I received a nice comment on my bread video that brightened my day, so I decided to pin it to the top of the video comments for everyone to see.
Holy moly. I made this yesterday and it turned out great and fluffy. I'm making more today.
Later she updated how her family enjoyed the bread and that made me happy again!:
My husband buttered two slices of the new loaf yesterday. The kids and I each had a few slices toasted today. It's super yummy!
Patricia, who lives in the Australian outback, let me know that she cooks Korean food using my cookbook. Although I've never been to the outback myself, when I imagine my cookbook sitting on Patricia's bookshelf, it feels like I'm right there with her.
I ordered, and just received a copy of your Big Book of Korean Cooking. Thank you for such a beautiful presentation of recipes.
As we are beef producers, our diet is primarily one of beef, potatoes and whatever we can grow or order from our nearest town several hundreds of kilometers away; however, your recipes have inspired me to introduce some exciting variations to our dinner table!
This is a very adorable comment that I want to share with you. One of my readers who made garlic pickles 5 weeks ago asked,
What is the minimum time we should wait? I was thinking 6 months but how long do you wait?
Wait for at least 8 months before eating it. It may taste too strong and spicy if you eat it earlier. I usually ferment it for a full year before enjoying it.
Alibarana from Bangladesh, who has been faithfully watching my videos for over 10 years, shared a funny story with me. She mentioned that when she was pregnant, she spent a lot of time watching my videos, and her mother would teasingly remark about it.
My mom used to tell me, “I’m sure your kid will look like Maangchi because you watch her all the time!” love you Maangchi!
I have another great simple summertime recipe for you, something to have with fresh lettuce and greens: spicy tuna stew as a filling for your wraps (ssam). Simply take a piece of lettuce in your hand, add some rice, generously spoon the tuna stew on top, and wrap it all up before taking a delicious bite. It's incredibly tasty and fresh!
I will see you next month on August 1st! Keep being happy with your delicious Korean cooking!
And remember that if you’re looking for a specific Korean dish, just type it into the search box on my site. If I have a recipe for it, it will show up right away. This is how I find my own recipes lol.
Take care and enjoy the summertime!
(or the wintertime for those of you in the southern hemisphere!)