Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sogogi Kimchi Jjigae

     Spicy Healthy Korean Kimchi Jjigae with Beef!
     There are many Korean soups and stews that are cooked in a hot earthenware Jjigae Pot and these items are usually called Jjigae on a restaurant menu.  It does not matter whether a Jjigae is called a soup or a stew on a menu, because Jjigae is somewhere between a soup and a stew!
     A spicy Jjigae is a traditional starter for a multi course meal.  In Korea, usually only one large meal is served each day and the big dinner is a social dining event for family members or guests.  The great flavor of a spicy Jjigae stew has a way of getting everybody in a festive mood.
     Korean restaurants usually offer 5 to 10 different kinds of Jjigae on the menu and they are served in individual size earthenware pots that are heated to an extremely high temperature.  In a restaurant, the Jjigae literally is still boiling when it is served and the broth is hot enough to poach a raw egg at the table.  Poached egg is a traditional garnish for Jjigae, but when Jjigae is described as a soup on a menu it may not have an egg garnish.  
     Some of the traditional Jjigae recipes require a specific list of ingredients, like Kimchi Jjigae (usually pork, but sometimes beef), Ge Jjigae (crab), Budae Jiggae (assorted meats) and Haemul Sundubu Jjigae (seafood and soft fresh tofu).  When a traditional broth is made with specific ingredients, the name the broth is usually mentioned in the Jjigae recipe title too.  For example, there is a name for a Jjigae broth that is flavored with pork, roasted pork stomach and tripe, so the name of this broth is mentioned because this kind of Jjigae only appeals to certain guests.    
     Sundubu Jjigae refers to a Jjigae made with soft fresh tofu and Dubu Jjigae refers to a Jjigae made with slices of firm tofu.  When tofu of any kind is featured in the recipe title, there will be plenty of tofu in the Jjigae.  When tofu of any kind is not mentioned in the recipe title, then only a small amount of tofu usually is added to the Jjigae as a garnish, just like with today's Sogogi Kimchi Jjigae.
     Kimchi Jjigae is usually made with pork, so the Korean word for pork (daeji) is not usually mentioned in the recipe title.  When Kimchi Jjigai is made with beef instead of pork, the Korean word for beef (sogogi) is mentioned in the Jjigae recipe title.    
     Just like with any Korean entrée, a Jjigae is usually served with a bowl of Sticky Rice and several small plates of Banchan.  Banchan refers to tiny portions of a wide variety of tasty Korean appetizers.  What kinds of Banchan are offered is up to the chef or a customer request.  Usually 4 to 8 tiny plates of Banchan accompany an entrée.    
     Not everybody has a Jjigae Earthenware Pot and this is okay.  The same cooking techniques that are used to make a recipe with a red hot earthenware pot can be applied to a hot sauce pot or soup pot.  When Jjigae is cooked in a metal pot, it is always transferred to a soup bowl before serving.  When serving Jjigae this way, the poached egg garnish is either cooked in the simmering broth or poached in water in a separate pot.  
     Sogogi Kimchi Jjigae:
     This recipe yields a little bit more than 3 cups.  (1 hearty portion that can be shared by 2 guests)
     The level of spicy heat is about 3 on a scale of 10.  
     Jjigae is cooked quickly at a high temperature, so all of the ingredients must be ready ahead of time.  To start the Jjigae, quick sauté and marination is done at the same time, so be sure to stir often to prevent excess browning.   
     This recipe is written for making Jjigae in a metal sauce pot instead of a red hot earthenware Jjigae Pot.  
     Step 1:  Heat a wide stainless steel sauce pot over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil.
     Immediately add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 4 ounces of thin sliced strips of lean beef.
     Sauté and stir till the beef is cooked rare.
     Step 2:  Add 1 tablespoon of thin soy sauce.
     Sauté and stir till the soy sauce reduces enough to glaze the beef.
     Step 3:  Add 2 1/2 cups of beef broth.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of Korean Red Chili Powder (or Chinese Hot Red Chile Powder).
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 2 tablespoons of Korean style Red Serrano Chile Pepper Paste (sambal).
     Add 1 tablespoon of Korean Red Bean Paste (or Japanese Red Miso Paste) while stirring.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Add 5 slices of Daikon Radish that are 1/4" thick.
     Add 2/3 cup of Korean Cabbage Kimchi.
     Boil till the Daikon Radish just starts to become tender.
     Step 5:  Add 1/4 cup of sliced carrot.
     Add 3 trimmed whole small baby bok choy.
     Add 1/4 cup of bite size pieces of mixed yellow squash and zucchini.  (Remove the seed pulp core from the squash first.)
     Add 1/4 cup of mixed green bell pepper and red bell pepper strips.
     Add 1/4 cup of onion strips.
     Add 1/2 of a whole shallot.
     Add 1 thick sliced green jalapeño pepper.
     Add 2 green onions that are cut into bite size pieces.
     Step 6:  Return the broth to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     *After boiling the total volume of the Jjigae will be a little bit more than 3 cups.
     Step 7:  Place enough lightly salted water in a small sauté pan to barely cover 1 raw egg.
     Place the pan over medium high heat.
     Bring the water to a boil.
     Poach 1 large egg in the boiling water till the egg white is fully cooked.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Step 8:  Pour the Sogogi Kimchi Jjigae into a large soup bowl.  (1 quart capacity)
     Arrange some of the ingredients on top of the Jjigae so it looks nice.
     Step 9:  Cut 1 thick slice of firm tofu.  (About 3/8" x 1 1/2" x 3")
     Place the slice of firm tofu on the surface of the Jjigae and partially submerge the tofu slice into the broth.
     Place the poached egg on the surface of the Jjigae.
     Place 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro sprigs on one side of the bowl.
     Step 10:  Serve with a small bowl of steamed sticky white rice on the side.
     Serve with a variety of Korean Banchan side dishes of your choice.
     The aroma and flavor of Kimchi Jjigae with Beef definitely wakes up the senses!  Kimchi Jjigae also helps to fight the common cold and flu.

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