So since I’m sick, I’m not even trying to fast for Ash Wednesday, but I believe I’m still bound by the laws of abstinence–no meat products (except fish). I’ve been experimenting with Korean food lately, since the restaurants near me are expensive and not very good. So lunch is royal rice cake (gungjung ddeokkbboki). I’ve reproduced it, but her site is excellent, and if you aren’t familiar with the ingredients, she’s got not only pictures of them, but separate entries as to what they are.
Rice cake (about 20 pieces)
1/2 a carrot (I was out.)
1/2 a small onion
4 button mushrooms
5 shitake mushrooms (you really don’t want to use dried ones for this…trust me)
1/4 red and 1/4 yellow pepper (I used one red pepper, since they’re expensive, and it was going bad)
1 stalk of a spring onion
sauce (mix all of this in a small bowl):
1 tsp sugar (dark brown, but other works)
1 tsp minced garlic (save yourself some time if you’re going to cook Korean food and get yourself a big jar of minced garlic. You’ll need it.)
4 tsp soy
1 dash sesame oil
If you aren’t using fresh rice cake (most people in this country won’t), parboil them first. Note from me: make sure you rinse them after boiling, since they’ll stick to anything. Chop the rest of the items finely.
Pre-heat your wok (or a nonstick frypan works), and pour some olive oil in. stir in the onion. Then the carrot. When the carrot is 80% done, add everything else until they’re cooked. Eat. (Serves 2 people, or one very hungry one.)
She put one sliced green chili in (they’re in big bags in the veggie department of most asian groceries. in a pinch, you can use a serano or thai chili.)
Ddeokkbboki are round, tubes of solidified rice goo in a cake form. Normally you can find them in large vaccuum-sealed packs in the noodle aisle in a good asian grocery. They freeze well. There’s another type that’s like squashed poker-chip sized rice cakes…they work too, in a pinch.
If you can find fresh shitake mushrooms, and they’re not expensive enough to break the bank, splurge. The taste is wonderful, and much better than dried. I think I accidentally bought wood ear mushrooms, and they were great in it, too.