Mom’s BBQ Chicken & Sauce
1¼ cups soy sauce
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
6 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chile paste)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
6 cloves garlic, grated or minced
Pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Vegetable oil, for grilling
Doenjang Mayonnaise (page 216), for serving
In a medium bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, scallions, vinegar, maple syrup, chile paste, sesame oil, ginger, sesame seeds, garlic, salt, and a generous amount of pepper until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer 1 cup of the marinade to a container, cover, and refrigerate. Add the chicken to the bowl with the remaining marinade and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator, tossing once or twice, for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Before grilling, let the chicken come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the reserved 1 cup marinade in a small saucepan and simmer until it has thickened to a glaze-like consistency, 8 to 10 minutes; set the glaze aside.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
Lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil. Shake any excess marinade off the chicken and arrange on the grill without crowding. Grill, flipping the thighs halfway through, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the temperature; if the grill is too hot, the outside of the thighs will burn before the inside is done. Transfer the chicken to a platter and brush very lightly with the glaze. The glaze can also be served on the side as a dipping sauce, along with the Doenjang Mayonnaise.
TIP: If you prefer boneless skin-on chicken thighs and can’t find them in the grocery, ask your butcher to debone skin-on thighs or simply use bone-in ones and just add a few minutes to the cooking time.
½ cup mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie or a Korean brand
1 tablespoon doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and soybean paste until smooth. Cover and store in the refrigerator if not using immediately.
Makes 1 drink
Pour chilled soju into a shot glass and drop into a glass of cold beer. Chug. If you want to be more specific, use a ratio of 3 parts soju to 7 parts beer.
Coke, Soju, and Beer
Makes 1 drink
This is a variation on the Classic Soju Bomb. The sweet cola helps with the bitterness.
Fill a shot glass with cold Coca-Cola or other cola and set it in a small beer glass. Fill a second shot glass with cold soju and set it atop the shot glass of cola. Fill the glass with cold beer. Chug.
Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimchi Bokkeum Bap
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
9 button mushrooms, stemmed and diced
[1/2] zucchini, diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1 cup drained Cabbage Kimchi (see below), chopped
4 cups steamed white rice, at room temperature
Kosher salt or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 soft sunny-side-up fried eggs
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the carrots and garlic, and cook, stirring continuously, until the carrots are just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, two-thirds of the scallions, and the kimchi and cook until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and drained bacon, breaking up the rice with a wooden spoon and combining it with the other ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is hot, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the fried rice into four bowls and top each with a fried egg and the remaining scallions.
Tip: Kimchi can stain your cutting board and the smell has a habit of lingering, too. To avoid this, put the kimchi in a bowl and use kitchen shears to cut it into smaller pieces.
8 cups warm water
1[1/2] cups kosher salt or coarse sea salt
1 very large Korean cabbage or several heads napa cabbage (5 to 6 pounds total), bottom(s) trimmed, wilted and tough outer leaves discarded, and rinsed well
2 small onions, coarsely chopped
12 dried shiitake mushrooms
10 large dried anchovies (myulchi), head and guts removed
6 scallions, coarsely chopped
64 cloves garlic, 8 crushed and the rest left whole
1 (10-inch-long) piece dried kelp (dashima)
2[1/2] cups gochugaru (Korean chile flakes)
14 tablespoons fish sauce
10 tablespoons salted shrimp (saewoo jeot), rinsed
4 tablespoons sugar
1 (7-inch) knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, julienned
12 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
7 ounces Korean white radish (mu) or daikon, peeled and julienned
In a large bowl, stir together the warm water and [3/4] cup of the salt until the salt has dissolved; let the salted water cool. Meanwhile, partially cut the cabbage(s) in half lengthwise, starting from the root end and cutting about halfway to the top. Using your hands, pull the cabbage(s) apart to split in half completely. Repeat so that each half is halved in the same way, which keeps the leaves intact and whole.
Loosen the leaves of each wedge so that they are easy to spread. Sprinkle the remaining [3/4] cup salt over and between all the leaves, salting the core area more heavily. Put the cabbage into a large bowl (use two if they don’t fit) cut-side up. Pour the cooled salted water over the cabbage, then pour enough cold water into the bowl to cover the cabbage; don’t overfill the bowl, as some liquid will be drawn out of the cabbage. Weigh down the cabbage with a plate so the wedges are completely immersed. Let sit at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours, flipping the wedges halfway through.
Rinse the wedges well under cold running water and gently squeeze out any excess moisture. Put the wedges cut side down in a colander and let drain for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the onions, mushrooms, anchovies, scallions, the 8 crushed garlic cloves, and the kelp and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids, and let the anchovy stock cool completely.
When the stock has cooled, in a food processor, combine the remaining garlic cloves, chile flakes, fish sauce, salted shrimp, sugar, and ginger and process until smooth. Add enough of the stock to make a smooth paste, about 2 cups total. Discard any remaining stock. Transfer the spice paste to a large bowl and stir in the carrots, scallions, and radish.
Rub the spice paste all over the cabbage wedges and between each leaf. Pull the outermost leaf of each wedge tightly over the rest of the wedge, forming a tidy package. Pack the wedges into one or more glass or other nonreactive containers with a tight-fitting lid (see Tip, below). Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the kimchi, then cover. The kimchi can be eaten at this young stage or after it sits at room temperature and starts to get sour and “bubble,” 2 to 3 days. Store the kimchi in the refrigerator, where it will continue to ferment at a slower pace. I like to age mine at least 2 weeks, but it really is up to preference. Cut the kimchi before serving.
Tip: While large glass jars or Korean earthenware containers are preferred for storing kimchi, they’re not always easy to find. Look in the housewares section of Korean markets for glass or plastic kimchi containers, which have become popular. You can also use any sturdy BPA-free plastic or other nonreactive container with a tight-fitting lid. You’ll need a container or containers with a total capacity of 1 gallon for the kimchi.
Lotus Root Chips
Vegetable oil, for frying
12 ounces fresh lotus root, peeled and cut into round slices no thicker than [1⁄16] inch (use a mandoline)
Kosher salt or sea salt
Gochugaru (Korean chile flakes; optional)
In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot at least 5 inches deep, heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F. Working in batches, slip the lotus root slices one by one into the oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until the oil has stopped bubbling and the chips are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain and immediately season with salt and chile flakes (if using). The chips will continue to darken and crisp up as they sit. Repeat with the remaining lotus root slices, letting the oil return to 375°F between batches. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tip: Don’t use prepackaged peeled and sliced lotus root, which can be found in Asian markets, because they’re way too thick and will usually have been treated with a preservative.
Recipes courtesy of KOREAN FOOD MADE SIMPLE © 2016 by Judy Joo. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.