Friday, January 2, 2009

Dduk bok-ki!

My first day of Christmas vacation from work, I made a quick trip to Knoxville to take some of my daughter's gifts to her, before she left to spend the holiday in Virginia. I thought it would be a good time for Jenny, a friend of mine from work, to ride along...I had been promising to take her to a really good Korean restaurant, and she could try the type of food her son ate while he was stationed in Korea for 15 months.

My daughter ordered dduk bok-kee, which are little firm sticks made out of rice flour, and cooked in a very spicy sauce. Jenny & I both tried one--interesting! I hated to try more, and get too carried away with someone else's appetizer. But over the next week, with just ordinary local food, man, I was wanting something spicy and exotic, and kept thinking I'd REALLY like some of that "Korean comfort food".

I found the links my daughter had sent, read several different recipes, watchd a video, then on my next trip to a large internation market, I picked up the "Rice Sticks", and to get the fermented chili paste that I needed. For Bi-bim-bop, I have a chili paste in a glass jar, but was told it was different, and I needed one in a plastic tub. Luckily, while in the Korean isle at K&S Market, there was a Korean lady there, and I asked her which of the brands/types I should get, and she was very friendly, showed me which one, and then gave me cooking tips!

For my first attempt, I used the recipe that was on the video, EXCEPT I did NOT use the dried fish that she used for her broth. I had some dried seaweed in my cabinet, that I use for miso soup, and simmered that. Of course, you could just skip that, because unless you are a real expert, you are not going to notice. it does not seem to warm up as well, the rice sticks are not as tender, so next time I will make smaller batches. Also, this basic sauce, once cooked down, would be very good over rice, with some very firm tofu and vegetables in it. But be prepared, it IS hot, and we both agreed that the more you ate, the hotter it got. Very good winter warming food!

This is the recipe that I followed:

They give a range of 4 to 6 tablespoons of the paste...I used 4, and a small sprinkling of the red pepper flakes. That is PLENTY! Try that before you get brave and use more! Let me know if you try it!
P.S. For some reason, all my photos made the red pepper sauce looked like it was glowing nuclear waste! But really wasn't quite that "bright". Another thing I would do different is add more green onions to the dish, maybe garnish with a few more at the end of cooking.

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