For an adaptation of the Korean stir-fry of squid with a garlicky, umami-loaded, savory-sweet, gochujang-based sauce, the squid here is replaced with plump, briny shrimp. This version includes carrots, scallions and zucchini (or yellow summer squash) for layers of texture and color, as well as to round out the meal.
Look for gochujang, the vivid-red fermented chili paste and workhorse in the Korean kitchen, in the international aisle of the supermarket or in Asian grocery stores. Before cooking, marinate the shrimp for about 10 minutes in a mixture of gochujang, sugar, sesame oil and soy. To be efficient, prep the other ingredients for the stir-fry while the shrimp marinate. Serve with steamed short-grain rice.
NOTE: The seedy section at the core turns soft and slightly squishy when cooked, so remove the seeds in the zucchini or summer squash. To do so, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape out the core.
Buying “easy-peel” shrimp is a great option because they are already deveined, all you have to do is easily peel away the shells. Since we make our own shellfish stock, we appreciate having the shells which we then freeze until it’s time to make another batch of stock.
Spicy Korean-Style Shrimp with Zucchini and Scallions
1 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash (about 8 oz.), halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
In a medium bowl, stir together the gochujang, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat; let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the neutral oil until shimmering. Add the carrot and cook, stirring often, until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Push the mixture to one side of the skillet and add the shrimp with its marinade, distributing it in an even layer. Cook without stirring until the shrimp are pink on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
Add the scallions and zucchini, then stir to combine with the shrimp and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until the shrimp are opaque throughout and the scallions and zucchini have softened, about 3 minutes. Off heat, taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the sesame seeds.
OK, I’ll go out on a limb here and claim this cod recipe is probably one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever eaten! The skillet braise is a simplified version of daegu jorim, or Korean braised cod. Here, Milk Street builds an umami-rich braising liquid by combining sake, mirin, soy sauce and gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste), plus garlic, ginger and chilies.
In the Korean kitchen, steaks of fatty fish, such as black cod or mackerel, are commonly used in daegu jorim, but this recipe opts for easy to source Atlantic cod fillets. Instead of buying individual fillets, we bought a 1 1⁄2-pound piece and cut it down to our preferences.
Earthy, subtly sweet daikon radish is a standard ingredient in the braise but Yukon Gold potatoes are said to be a good alternative. Baby bok choy is also added for color and to round out the braise. Let ‘s just say, this packs quite a punch—which we loved—but to tone it down a notch or three, use only one Fresno chili and discard the seeds and veins.
If you like, sprinkle on sliced scallions or toasted sesame seeds as a garnish, and/or drizzle on some sesame oil. Be sure to serve steamed short-grain rice alongside. Kimchi would be a great accompaniment, too. It was even very good as leftovers. — Just YUM!
Don’t cover the skillet tightly after adding the cod and bok choy. Leaving the lid ajar allows some steam to escape, so the broth reduces slightly, for more concentrated flavor and consistency.
1 – 2 Fresno or jalapeño chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds
12 oz. daikon radish, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces or 12 oz. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
4 6-oz. skinless cod fillets, each about 1 inch thick
8 oz. baby bok choy, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
In a 12-inch skillet, stir together the sake, mirin, soy sauce, gochujang, garlic, ginger and chilies; bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Add the daikon (or potato), then cover, reduce to medium, and cook, flipping and stirring the radish every 5 minutes or so, until a skewer inserted into the pieces meets no resistance, 10 to 15 minutes.
Slide the cod fillets into the skillet and scatter the bok choy over the top. Cover partially and cook over medium, turning the fish and stirring the vegetables just once or twice, until the cod flakes easily and the sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into shallow bowls and garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
As you may have surmised over the years through posts on this blog, The Hubs loves baby back ribs. You’ll find numerous recipes for different approaches to seasoning and cooking them—both adaptations and our own creations—but this one we hadn’t yet tried. If, like us, you embrace bold flavors, then these ribs are speaking to you.
Korean dwaeji kalbi are pork ribs seasoned with gochujang (a fermented chili paste), garlic, sugar and a few other high-impact ingredients. The ribs typically are grilled for only enough time to cook the pork through, not for hours on end to render the meat American-barbecue tender. However, this version from Milk Street, is a riff on Sohui Kim’s recipe from “Korean Home Cooking,” where they use the oven for convenience and cook the ribs to that ultra-tender state.
As luck would have it, we had one package of baby backs in the freezer, which would suffice in feeding just the two of us, so we cut the recipe in half. To accompany the ribs, we paired them with roasted acorn squash slices and an adaptation of an Asian Slaw recipe found in Men’s Health, details below.
Look for gochujang in the international aisle of the supermarket or in Asian grocery stores. When shopping for baby back ribs, try to select meaty racks of equal size so they cook at the same rate.
Tip: Don’t use regular foil, as it’s too thin and narrow to securely wrap the racks of ribs. Be sure to use extra-wide (18-inch) heavy-duty foil. When wrapping the ribs in foil, be sure to position the racks meaty side down and keep them that way when placing them on the rack before baking. This allows the meat to braise in the pork juices that collect in the foil.
Heat the oven to 300°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with extra-wide, heavy-duty foil, then set a wire rack in the baking sheet. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gochujang, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture, cover and refrigerate to use for glazing. Cut two 20-inch lengths of foil; set aside.
Turn each rack of ribs meaty side down. Using a paring knife, cut a slit about 1 inch long in the membrane between the bones without cutting through meat. Lay one foil sheet on the countertop and set one rib rack on top. Coat the ribs on all sides with half of the remaining gochujang mixture, rubbing it into the meat and into the cuts in the membrane. Turn the ribs meaty side down on the foil. Draw the long sides of the foil together to cover the ribs and fold to seal tightly, then fold up and seal the short sides, creating a well-sealed packet. Repeat with the remaining foil sheet, rib rack and gochujang mixture. Place the packets seam side up on the prepared rack and bake until a skewer inserted into the meaty area between the bones meets no resistance, 2½ to 2¾ hours.
Remove the ribs from the oven and let rest, still wrapped, for about 10 minutes. One packet at a time, carefully open one end of one of the foil and pour the liquid inside the packet into a 1-quart liquid measuring cup or medium bowl; you should have at least 2 cups. Unwrap the ribs and set them meaty side up directly on the rack; set aside while you prepare the glaze.
Heat the broiler. Using a spoon, skim off and discard the fat from the liquid, then pour the liquid into a 12-inch skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high, reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the reserved ¾ cup gochujang mixture, return to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick enough that a spatula drawn through it leaves a trail, 5 to 7 minutes. Brush the surface and sides of the ribs with about half of the glaze.
Broil the ribs until the glaze begins to char, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush on the remaining glaze, then continue to broil until lightly charred, another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the sesame seeds (if using). Let rest for about 15 minutes. Transfer the rib racks to a cutting board. Separate the ribs by cutting between the bones, then transfer to a platter.
If you’re not fluent in Korean, the title translates to “Korean Chicken Salad (with Pine Nuts)“. And best news of all, it uses a supermarket precooked rotisserie chicken (at least my version). Other than a bit of chopping and measuring, you only have to use the stovetop to blanch the beans for a few minutes. I’ll toast to that!
Light, creamy, nutty, and tangy
This Korean chicken salad is made with a traditional pine nut dressing—no mayonnaise. It is light, creamy, nutty, and tangy, and certainly a healthier option for you. Always toast the nuts lightly to bring out the flavor, and then either finely chop or, as in this recipe, grind them in a blender. The gochujang and mustard add robust flavors, while the acidity from lemon juice ties everything together, brightening the taste of the dressing.
The original recipe indicates adding yellow mustard, but I went ahead and used Dijon. Other variations incorporate hot mustard, so it’s up to you which way to go. The Hubs thinks mixing Coleman’s brand hot mustard powder with vinegar would make a good acidic choice.