Authentic Korean Home Cooking and Recipe Blog

Korean Ramen/Lamyun Instant Noodles (라면)
Many people loves noodle in general especially ramen and here is a quick “For Fun – What We Eat” post on how to make your instant ramen taste most delicious.Many grew up eating ramen aka lamyun (라면) at home especially when you were alone or if you didn’t feel like cooking anything. During my college years, I’d buy a box of ramen to share with friends and would often have late night ramen parties trying to cook 8 packs in a single pot all for just 4 hungry guys. The noodles would often come out “overdone” but they’d always taste delicious. There is also a HUGE difference between imported ramen and ones you buy and bring back from Asia directly. Ones in Asia taste so much better because FDA doesn’t regulate those. You know what that means… After many years of ramen cooking experience, I have come to realize 3 simple yet critical tips that’ll help your ramen to taste even better.
1. Amount of water is everything. You MUST make sure that you have the right amount of water to ensure that the taste is optimal. If you like egg in your ramen, you must add slightly more water. Because every ramen requires a slightly different amount, this will require experience. You usually gain this during your college years.
2. When the water begins to boil, add the soup base FIRST. This will increase the water temperature by nearly 20 degrees F. Proven! Let it boil and then add the flakes/noodles.
3. Air your noodles while you’re cooking. Lift them in and out of the boiling water while you stir. You will only need 1-1.5 minute max once you drop the noodles in. This way, your noodle will be cooked “al dente”

Green Onion Salad (파절이)
What can be “healthy and refreshing” with a Sam gyup sar (grilled pork belly) meal? Soju? Yes, soju is refreshing but it’s not something that Top Chef Korea cooks. Soju is something that Top Chef Korea’s executive dishwasher drinks after a long day. Green Onion Salad is a healthy and refreshing sidedish for Sam gyup sar and many other meat dishes. It saves us from drowning to the bacon fat and redeems us from our own guilty consciousness. Trust me.

Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 2 people
Total Time: 1.5 hours
Main Ingredients
3-5 stalks of green onions
1/2 onion
1 lettuce leaf

2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of vinegar (white)
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of water
(optional) 2 teaspoons of chili pepper
(optional) 2 teaspoons of sesame oil

Green onions – Shred it thin and long. Rinse in cold water multiple times to remove the slimy stuff. Soak it under cold water for an hour or more to soften its sharp taste. Click here for our posting on Sam Gyup Sar and green onion slicer we got from Korea!
Onion – Using mandolin or food processor, slice it very thin. Rinse in cold water multiple times and soak it for an hour or more to soften its sharp taste.
Lettuce – Rinse in cold water and drain completely. Cut it to bite size.
Dressing – Mix all ingredients. If you want it to be more spicy and red (remember, green onion and onions are already spicy), add chili peppers. You can use Korean chili pepper flakes (goh-choo-gah-roo) or crushed red chili peppers (the one you use for pizza). I personally prefer for the latter for this salad. Sesame oil is also optional.

1. Drain green onions and onions completely so that it won’t water down the salad. Use your salad spinner or paper towel to completely remove excess water.
2. Add the dressing and mix everything gently. Serve immediately.
Kimbap (김밥)
Kimbap is a Korean dish made from steamed white rice and various other vegetable and/or meat ingredients rolled in a sheet seaweed paper. Japanese futomaki and sushi rolls share similar concepts, but they are different in that Kimbap does not use sushi rice (no vinegar) and that the ingredients are usually cooked (no raw fish). Kimbap is considered to be one of the best fast foods available for anyone on-the-go or catering to outdoor events. There are restaurant franchise specializing in such Kimbap and can come in all forms and shapes. You can roll pretty much anything in Kimbap including Kimchi, tuna, and bulgogi, cheese and the list goes on. Growing up in Korea, Kimbap has been one of the classic “to-go” foods for all ages. If you grew up with Koreans, you will have most likely tried some form of Kimbap.

Key characteristics of successful Kimbap:
– Kimbap stays tight and stable, not falling off or seaweed paper peeling off.
– Yummy ingredients are nicely located in the center, not running away toward the edge.
– Each ingredient, including rice, is seasoned.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Serving Size: 2 people
Total Time: 30 minutes

Main Ingredients
2 cups of white rice
5 sheets of seaweed paper a.k.a. nori (kim 김)
1 bundle of spinach
5 sticks of imitation crab meat
5 strips of pickled daikon radish a.k.a. takuan (dahn-moo-jee 단무지)
3 eggs
½ carrot

Rice Seasoning
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 teaspoon of salt

Preparation / Cooking Rice – Make steamed rice with less than normal amount of water (~95%) and keep it warm in the rice cooker until we’re ready to roll. While rice is cooking, make the rest of the ingredients ready.
Spinach – Blanch in boiling salt water for 10 seconds. Rinse with cold water and drain.
Carrot – Julienne thinly and stir-fry in hot pan with vegetable oil. Add 2 pinch of salt.
Egg – Beat eggs and season with 2 pinch of salt. Heat the pan, add vegetable oil and wipe out the excess oil from the pan with paper towel. Lower the heat and add the egg mixture to cover the whole pan. It’ll be easier to use a small pan to make the thick layer. Otherwise, carefully roll the egg layer from one end to the other end to make a thick layer.
Imitation crab meat – Grill on the pan for a couple of minutes.
Picked radish – Mine was already cut for Kimbap purpose, but if yours is not, cut it to long strips.

1. Transfer rice into a large bowl. Season with the sesame oil, salt and sesame seeds. Gently mix the rice to season evenly and also to let the steam out. Leave the rice to cool off for about 5-10 minutes. Rice should be warm but not steaming hot because the hot steam may break the seaweed paper.
2. Cover the bamboo mat with plastic wrap. I learned this from my mother, and it really helps!
3. Spread rice on the seaweed paper to fill about 2/3. According to your preference, spread rice thinly or thickly. Mine was relatively thin, about stacking 3 grains of rice.
4. Stack the ingredients in the lower part. Do not spread them around but put them tightly close to each other.
5. Start rolling slowly. Occasionally press and squeeze to keep the shape tight. Repeat the roll-press-roll-press process. When you reach toward the end, wet the edge of the seaweed paper to create “glue.”
6. Apply sesame oil on the surface. Cut Kimbap with very sharp knife (to me, Kimbap making day = knife sharpening day) and apply sesame oil to your knife blade. Make it 1/3-1/4 inch thick, or whatever fits your mouth – yummy yum.

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