October 2023 Letter
The results from the Chuseok gift exchange, plus recipes for makgeolli bread and perilla leaves jangtteok!
Ange in Australia received a delightful package from Elena in Cyprus! Ange exclaimed, “How exciting!” as she unpacked her gift, which included a charming Cyprus cup adorned with a city landscape design, L'Occitaine hand cream, and some delicious Olives from Cyprus. In a heartfelt note, Elena wished her a wonderful Chuseok in Korean. “추석 잘 보내세요.” What a thoughtful gift!
In my last letter, I told you about a gift-giving event I was organizing for my letter readers, where participants were paired together at random to exchange gifts for Chuseok. A total of 198 people from all around the world joined, and they seemed to have a fantastic time getting to know each other! You can find more stories and photos of the gifts they exchanged on my website.
I was surprised to hear that another pair, Ariel and Stella, who live close to each other, already met in person and went to a Korean BBQ restaurant (it was closed lol)! It warms my heart to see connections like this. Every time I read about their experiences and new friendships, I see that they've not only made good friends, but they've also made me part of their new group of friends!
New recipe: Makgeolli bread
Sulppang (makgeolli bread) is a special bread: sweet and fluffy, with the slightly tangy taste of makgeolli, a Korean rice liquor. Despite the dough being mixed with makgeolli, by the time this bread is ready to eat, all traces of alcohol have nicely evaporated during the steaming process. This way, everyone can enjoy it!
Best of all: no kneading whatsoever, just mix, rise, and steam for fluffy, fluffy bread!
The recipe is here!
New recipe: Perilla leaves jangtteok
I know a lot of you grow your own perilla leaves (kkaennip) so this recipe is great for using all of your end-of-season leaves. It’s a kind of Korean pancake made with Korean jangs - Korean fermented soybean paste (doenjang), hot pepper paste (gochujang), fish sauce, or soy sauce.
This jangtteok is made with both doenjang and gochujang and is savory, earthy, a little spicy, minty, and crisp on the outside and soft and chewy (like Korean rice cakes) on the inside. You will love it!
Check out the recipe here!
Three dishes from SanSan
SanSan Kwan, a long-time reader, recently made galbijjim (braised beef short ribs), japchae, and miyeokguk (seaweed soup)! Each dish looks amazing, and especially the beef short ribs cooked with radish, shiitake mushrooms, and carrot look so juicy and tender. Seeing that photo was all the inspiration I needed to make galbijjim again myself!
May Low’s kimchi
May low has every reason to be proud of her homemade kimchi! Having three containers filled with freshly made kimchi must have brought her triple the happiness! Interested in making your own? You can find my geotjeori kimchi recipe here!
Liv’s Korean feast!
Liv said, “I made a feast! stir fried kimchi with tuna, spicy cucumber, radish kimchi, kimchi soup, rice, green beans, zucchini pancakes, and soegogi-jeon! all recipes from my idol @maangchi” Thanks a lot for calling me your idol! haha!
Sliced beef pancake called soegogi-jeon is very easy and fast to make, and very delicious, too. The recipe is here!
A good tip from Teez!
Teez living in Singapore is showing us her meal plan! “I cooked all three ahead of time over the weekend, and will be having them slowly across this week with my partner. Today was the first meal and they all tasted great!”
kkakdugi from Bahamas
I would definitely continue making kimchi even in a place where Korean cooking ingredients are scarce. I'm confident I could adapt by using local ingredients, and if necessary, I'd even consider traveling to another country to get the essential Korean cooking ingredients. It seems like I can't go without kimchi, doesn't it? Let's see what Gigi said.
Gigi living on a small island in the Bahamas made kkakdugi (Korean cubed radish kimchi)! She says, “Finding Korean ingredients is sometimes a challenge. I bring many items over from the U.S. Yesterday I made kkakdugi!”
My comment for Gigi is: “clap, clap, clap!” : )
Comments from my readers and viewers
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!
This is such a touching message so I’d love to share it with you. I can vividly imagine her and her dad cooking, sharing meals, and chatting, which warms my heart. Finding a passion for cooking after retirement can be a rewarding adventure!
I love your videos! I bought my dad your cookbook years ago, and we enjoyed MANY amazing Korean dishes. You gave him purpose in his retirement, and I look back fondly at all of those amazing memories. Thank you!!
You may be surprised to hear that many people have been making doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste) ever since I posted the recipe years ago. Here's a question someone had about her own batch, and sharing my response might help you if you've come across the same thing:
My doenjang is developing white mold on top. I have it stored in a hangari (earthenware crock). I moved recently. Is it possible that the bacteria in the new place is spoiling my doenjang? Is the whole batch bad? What should I do?
Maybe your doenjang is not salty enough? To fix this issue, I'd remove any white mold, and then sprinkle some salt (Kosher or sea salt) on top of the doenjang. Additionally, be sure to periodically open the lid and let it receive sunlight on sunny days. Good luck!
Wherever I may find myself, I will always be cooking Korean food! Even when I travel for more than a week, I make sure to prepare for making some delicious Korean dishes. Why not relax while traveling, you ask? Well, for me, cooking is actually a relaxing and fun thing to do that makes me happy. So Yuan's story brought a smile to my face!
For past few years I have been watching your videos and trying to replicate them and serving to my loved ones. I moved to Paris then Hawaii then New York. I always excited to watch your videos and love your positive energy and fun stories 🥰
Busan is ready!
I came across this in Times Square in New York City the other day. Even though I live in the USA, my heart beat faster when I saw the word 'Busan,' the largest harbor city in Korea. I soon realized it was part of the promotion for World Expo 2030! : )
I will see you next month on November 1st! Keep being cozy with your delicious Korean cooking!
And remember that if you type any Korean dish into the search box on my site, you can find it (if I have a recipe for it). I use the search box all the time because that’s the fastest way to find a recipe among my hundreds of recipes.
See you next time!