For a long time, all I knew about Korean food was gogi gui- the dish typically composed of meat, meat and more meat, and grilled at the table. It’s not surprising that Korean wasn’t high on my list of favoured cuisines. But veganism is an eye-opener in more ways than one, and it led me to look further than the Korean barbecue so popular in Australia, to discover a world of new foods.
Still, Korean food isn’t something that I’ve ever really attempted at home. I knew I wanted to make a Korean street food for Vegan MoFo, but didn’t know where to start. Who better to come to my rescue than Terry? Among the tester recipes for her new (and s0 far very impressive-looking) world food book were several Korean concoctions- and as my luck would have it, the perfect example of Korean street food.
But firstly, there’s no more quintessentially Korean food than kimchi. Street food or not, no Korean meal is complete without it.
Kimchi always seemed like something too complicated and time-consuming for my liking, but Terry’s recipe is a quick one, with great results. I took the option to simulate fermentation by leaving this on the counter overnight. The flavour today was a huge improvement on yesterday’s freshly-made taste, so I can’t wait to leave the unused half of this jar in the fridge and try it again in a few days’ time.
The other half of the jar, however, has destiny to fulfil elsewhere- in kimchi manju dumplings.
I can’t say no to dumplings in any form. They’re the perfect street food. And these ones, stuffed with kimchi and tofu, don’t disappoint. Chadwiko, who had never eaten kimchi and was sceptical of my claims as to its deliciousness, adored these and polished off more than his fair share. But that’s okay- I had also whipped up a batch of sesame bean sprouts (yet another tester recipe for Terry). My not-so-inner hippie loves bean sprouts, so I was content.
So, my first real foray into Korean cooking was a success! I can say with confidence that this won’t be the last time Korean food makes an appearance in our kitchen… and that’s not just due to the giant bag of gochugaru sitting on the floor of my pantry. I’m sure it’ll also be in part due to Chadwiko’s demands for more dumplings.