Categories
Pork Uncategorized

Korean Pork Japchae

It wasn’t until this year that I learned about this legendary meal that consists of glass noodles with all of the most marvelous veggies and meat mixed in with the most flavorful sauce you can imagine.

My daughters and I are frequent customers of a local Korean grocery and we have gotten to know the owner. He recently commented to me that I tend to buy creative ingredients and asked me if I have ever made japchae. I confessed I had never heard of it, and he said it was necessary for me to make it in order to make my daughters happy. He explained what ingredients were needed and said I could be creative with the composition, so here is my take on japchae.

Japchae was once an exclusively royal meal in Korea, but is now enjoyed by the masses as a celebratory dish that is served at special occasions, like weddings and birthdays. I can certainly see why it was considered a royal meal. It’s that good. Enjoy!

Pork/marinade:

1 lb. thick-cut pork chops
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. white sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 tsp. mirin

Veggies/eggs/noodles:

1 small onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 large eggs, beaten
Olive oil, salt, pepper
1 lb. sweet potato (glass) noodles

Sauce:

1/3 c. dark soy sauce
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. sesame oil
Sesame seeds, green onion for garnish

Freeze pork for about 20 minutes that it becomes firm. Then, using a very sharp knife, sliced into very thin slices. Combine all ingredients for pork marinade in a bowl. Place the pork slices into the marinade and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours or overnight.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Pour beaten eggs in and cook until set. Flip and cook until set on the other side. Slide onto cutting board and chop into thin slices.

Next, add a little more oil and cook the onions until soft and translucent. About four or five minutes. Set aside onto a plate to cool. Repeat this process with the red pepper, carrots, spinach and mushrooms.

pour the pork and marinade into the same skillet and cook until the sauce is a bit caramelized. Set aside.

Cook the sweet potato noodles boiling water for then time indicated on the package.

In the meantime whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.

Drain the noodles and cut them, if you would like. Put the drained noodles into a large bowl. Add the pork, vegetables and egg. Pour sauce in slowly, tasting frequently, until the desired result is achieved. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Serve immediately.

Categories
Desserts/Sweets Uncategorized

Snow Day Cinnamon Rolls

Ahhh, the snow day. There is nothing quite like it. Just last week, we got the glorious robo-call announcing that the next day would be a snow day and there would be no school. As a mom and a teacher, nothing is more exciting. We all woke up bright and early to celebrate our freedom from school and decided that we would make our unrivaled (if I do say so myself) cinnamon rolls.

Like most good things, these babies take a little time and effort. But I promise you, it’s worth it. These are so deliciously decadent and slightly dangerous because you might want to eat all of them at once. But snow day calories don’t count, right?

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 (¼ oz) package of active dry yeast

1 c. warm milk (microwaved for 45 seconds)

½ c. white sugar

4 c. flour

⅓ c. butter, room temperature

2 eggs

Cinnamon Filling:

1 c. brown sugar

⅓ c. butter

4 Tbsp. cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:

¼ c. butter

1 ½ c. powdered sugar

½ tsp. Vanilla

¼ c. cream cheese 

Pour the yeast packet into a cup of warm milk and stir to dissolve (wait 5-10 minutes). In a separate bowl, mix sugar with melted butter. Add eggs and stir. Add 2 c. of flour and mix. Pour the milk/yeast mixture into the bowl and mix until combined. Add the remaining 2 c. of flour and mix until well combined. 

Put dough into a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for one hour or until dough is doubled in size. 

Roll dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll until it’s ½ thick. The rolled out dough should be about 18 x 12 inches. 

To make the filling, combine butter, cinnamon and brown sugar in a food processor. Blend until the mixture has a sandy texture. Spread the filling evenly over the rolled out dough. 

Starting at the bottom, roll up the dough to the top so that you have created one large cylindrical roll. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 slices (about 1 ½ inches thick). Place the rolls into a greased pan. Cover with a towel and let the cut rolls rise for about 30-45 minutes. 

While you wait for the rolls to rise, mix all of the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and beat with any electric mixer.

Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. The rolls should be light brown when they are ready. Take the DELICIOUS rolls out of the oven. Let them cool for 5 minutes. Then, spread the frosting on evenly and get ready for the best cinnamon rolls you’ve ever tried!