Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki, also known as ddeokbokki or topokki,is a popular Korean snack food which is commonly purchased from street vendors or Pojangmacha. Originally it was called tteok jjim (떡찜), and was a braised dish of sliced rice cake, meat, eggs, and seasoning.

So while I was completely and utterly sick from a head cold for a good week I ended up watching some Korean dramas online and I stumbled upon one called Gourmet. This drama was all about the traditional foods of Korea and of course the drama of the characters’ lives, but anyways I got really into the food shown on it. This has led me to wanting to make some of the dishes. Well at least the ones that I can kind of manage with the limited supplies on hand in my town.

So today, finally after getting over the nasty cold, I will show you how to make topokki. Well a version that I am able to make right now. After looking over dozens of food blogs and videos I have come up with my own version. Let’s hope it’s not too spicy to eat. As an added bonus you can add instant ramen to the mix as well and it’s really tasty.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1lb. rice cake sticks (there are different types, the smaller they are the less time it takes to cook them, so be careful when cooking them, try not to overcook them.)
  • 4 oz. fish cake, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. cabbage (optional)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 green onion, cut into 2-inch pieces (I had tiny ones from the market so I used 3 of them)
  • 4 boiled eggs (optional)
  • 8 oz. fish meat balls (optional)

Sauce

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  • 2 Tbsp. gochujang (hot pepper paste) I’ll be using a milder version (Korean Bean Paste [green container])
  • 1 tsp. red pepper powder (paprika for my taste)
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp. mirin
  • 1 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 cups anchovy stock, vegetable stock, water, or in this case dashi
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the rice cakes as indicated by the packaging.

Step 2: In a large saucepan, add stock or water, pepper paste, sugar, corn syrup, pepper powder, and garlic and bring to a boil. (When you add in the pepper paste make sure you press it in, cause it doesn’t like to dissolve easily)

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Step 3: Add in the rice cakes, cabbage, carrot, and fish cake. (Add the instant ramen)

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Step 4: Turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Step 5: Add in remaining ingredients.

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Step 6: Keep stirring until rice cakes are cooked through, or soft. (I removed everything but the sauce so that I could thicken the sauce without overcooking everything else.)

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Step 7: Serve hot and garnish if desired with sesame seeds and sliced green onion.

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Honey Ginger Noodles

I know I haven’t posted in a month or so, but I’ve been super busy with life. So while I was taking a break from life and going out for dinner I came across something called “Soy Sauce Noodles”. I was intrigued and when I tasted it…YUM!! Wanting to remake it though was a whole other story. Some of the ingredients were a bit hard to come by in my small town. So I improvised instead and “MacGyvered” my own version of the recipe that is so much simpler and cheaper to make.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (preferably Korean, but I didn’t have any, if you have ground use only 1/4 tsp I didn’t and it was way to spicy.)
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds (I didn’t have any)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 (6oz.) pkg. chow mein noodles
  • 2 stalks of green onion, chopped (save 1/4 for garnish)
  • 1 Tbsp. red vinegar (optional)

Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, minced garlic, and honey. Taste to adjust.

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Step 2: In a medium pot of boiling water, blanch the chow mein noodles for 30-40 seconds.

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Step 3: Drain the noodles well and set aside. (Make sure you do this or else the noodles will stick to the pan)

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Step 4: In a large pan, heat up some oil over high heat. (Canola or vegetable oil)

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Step 5: Add the drained chow mein noodles and ginger into the pan. (I didn’t drain the noodles enough so they stuck to the pan)

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Step 6: Stir-fry for a 3-4 minutes.

Step 7: Add in the green onion and cook for 30 seconds.

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Step 8: Add in the sauce mixture and continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. (The sauce will help loosen the stuck noodles)

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Step 9: Serve immediately with a quick garnish of the leftover green onion.

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Fettuccine Alfredo

I’ve been craving for pasta with a creamy sauce for the past couple of weeks. So I decided to make fettuccine alfredo. After going over different recipes I figured I should just go with the original recipe. It only requires 3 ingredients, but I want to add a little something else to it.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 8 oz. dried fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 finely grated parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Step 1: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Step 2: Add fettuccine and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 8-10 minutes.

Step 3: Drain pasta, reserving 3⁄4 cup pasta water

Step 4: In large saucepan, bring the reserved 3⁄4 cup pasta water, garlic, and the butter to a boil

Step 5: Add the pasta

Step 6: Sprinkle with the cheese while tossing with tongs over medium-low heat until the pasta is creamy and coated, about 2 minutes.

Step 7: Serve the fettuccine immediately on warmed plates.

Gnocchi with Summer Squash

As i was surfing the net for a project that I was working on I kept stumbling over recipes on gnocchi. So in a moment of craving it I decided to make a dish with gnocchi. Since it’s practically still summer here I was able to get a hold of some summer squash and figured out what to make with it. Not really sure on what to do though I searched the web for some inspiration on a recipe.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs of any summer squash, quartered and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved (used leftover tomato and beef dish)
  • 1 pkg of (16 oz) frozen gnocchi
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (used 1 tsp of dried)
  • 2 Tbsps grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (didn’t have any)

Step 1: In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat

Step 2: Add the squash and garlic

Step 3: Season with salt and ground pepper

Step 4: Cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is crisp-tender (4-5 minutes)

Step 5: Add the tomatoes

Step 6: Cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are released (2 minutes)

Step 7: Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions

Step 8: Reserve 1/2 cup of the water

Step 9: Drain the gnocchi and transfer to the large pan

Step 10: Toss the gnocchi and add enough of the water to create a sauce

Step 11: Remove pan from heat

Step 12: Stir in the basil, cheese, butter, and lemon juice

Step 13: Serve hot

Gnocchi with Garlic Butter Sauce

Craving for some gnocchi I decided to eat out, but then I ended up going to the grocery store instead. Finding the gnocchi in the pasta aisle I decided to make something with it instead of eating out. I found a recipe for gnocchi with sage butter sauce, but I didn’t have any sage so I used some other ingredients instead. Finding green onion and shallots in the refrigerator I decided to use this in place of the sage.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 (16 oz) package of gnocchi
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried sage (used in place: 1 stock of green onion, sliced and 5 cloves shallots, minced)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1: In a large pot of salted boiling water over high heat, cook the gnocchi until they float to the surface, 2-3 minutes

Step 2: Drain the gnocchi and set it aside

Step 3: Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat

Step 4: Stir in the garlic (I added the shallots as well)

Step 5: Cook the garlic until it has softened and is beginning to turn golden brown, 4 minutes

Step 6: Stir in the sage and salt for a few seconds (this is where I added the green onion)

Step 7: Add the gnocchi

Step 8: Gently toss the gnocchi with the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and ground black pepper

Step 9: Sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese when serving

Hotdogs and Pasta

Today I didn’t really feel like making a time consuming meal. Instead I found a jar of pasta sauce and some hotdogs in the refrigerator and decided to make them together. This recipe can use any brand of pasta sauce, but it has to be a red sauce of some sort. I prefer Prego because it’s a sweeter flavor sauce.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 (24 oz) bottle of pasta sauce (I will be using Prego’s Chunky Garden: Tomato, Onion, and Garlic)
  • 1 lb of pasta (spaghetti for this)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 5 hotdogs (cut into bite sizes)

Step 1: In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onions

Step 2: Cook the onions until they are caramelized

Step 3: While onions are caramelizing, boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes or until al dente and then drain

Step 4: Add the garlic and cook till aromatic

Step 5: Add the pasta sauce and hotdogs and cook until the hotdogs are fully cooked

Step 6: Place the cooked and drained pasta into the hot sauce and toss together.

Step 7: Serve hot.

Pasta with Garlic Lemon Cream Sauce

I randomly bought some heavy cream thinking I would make some whipped cream for a cake I had just made. But by the time I got around to making the whipped cream the cake had already been devoured by people. So with that gone I had to figure out what to do with a carton full of heavy cream and that’s when I saw something about cream sauces for pasta. Since I’m not a big fan of cream sauce I had my doubts about making this dish, but I figured ‘why not?’ That and I had an extra lemon to use before it went bad soon.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 lb of pasta (spaghetti for this)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (depending on how much garlic you want, I love garlic so I added 3)
  • zest of 1 lemon (mince the zest to get more oils out)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream (using heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Step 1: In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter

Step 2: Add the minced garlic and lemon zest, cook until fragrant

Step 3: Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg

Step 4: Cook this until it’s heated through. Set aside until the pasta is cooked

Step 5: Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente (10-11 minutes)

Step 6: Reheat the sauce and adding half of the Parmesan and lemon juice (do this when pasta has 4 minutes left to boil)

Step 7: Adjust the seasonings

Step 8: Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce

Step 9: Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and serve hot

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