Canada Day Feast

What better way to celebrate the  multiculturalism that is Canada than to have a Korean feast of:

Kimchi Jeon (pancake)

Modeumjeon (pan-fried fish and zucchini)

Jeyuk Bokkeum/Dweji Bulgogi (spicy pork BBQ)

The modeumjeon was super easy to make and is a very tasty appetizer/side dish!  I can’t take credit for the bulgogi though.  I wanted to buy meat and marinate it myself, but we saw pre-marinated ones at T&T that were only $6.99 for 2 packs.

Can’t beat that!  David thinks it was not spicy enough and a bit sweet, but I thought it was pretty good.

With our bellies full, we had a great Canada Day!

Recipe (from eating and living):

Modeumjeon (Fish, Shrimp and Zucchini Pan-fried in Egg Batter)

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 10 shrimp (medium to large)
  • 1/2 pound flounder or cod fillet (or any white fish)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • vegetable or canola oil for pan frying

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • pinch pepper
  1. Slice the zucchini into 1/3-inch disks. Lightly salt both sides and set aside at least for 20 minutes. Pat dry excess water with a paper towel.
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp, keeping the tail on. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Butterfly the shrimp by cutting along the curved back. Do NOT cut through. Open the shrimp halves and remove the vein. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides. Set aside at least for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the fish fillet into 1/2-inch thick, 2-inch long slices by running the knife diagonally through the fillet. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides. Set aside at least for 15 minutes.
  4. Dredge both sides of the prepared ingredients in flour, one piece at a time. (Do this step for all the pieces before the next step.)
  5. Heat a large non-stick skillet with a tablespoon oil over medium low heat. Dip each piece one at a time in the beaten egg, and carefully place in the heated skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes each side, adding more oil if needed, until slightly golden. Do NOT brown.
  6. Repeat until all the ingredients are pan fried. Add an additional tablespoon of oil each time.
  7. Serve warm with the sauce.

Notes and Tips:

I used my hands to rub the salt on the zucchini and fish and also used basa fillets because I couldn’t find flounder or cod.

The kimchi saga continues….

All the kimchi eating (and writing about) that I’ve been doing reminds me of an obesity conference I attended a few years ago.  There were a lot of presentations on the health benefits of kimchi.  Kimchi is high in fiber and low in calories.  It is rich in vitamins (e.g. A, B1, B2 and C), minerals (e.g. calcium and iron) and antioxidants.  Because kimchi is fermented, it contains probiotics that aid in digestion.  Kimchi consumption has been shown to be associated with decreased cholesterol, increased metabolism leading to decreased obesity, increased antimicrobial activity and inhibition of cancer growth and viral infections.

Enough about the benefits of kimchi.  After making kimchi jeon and kimchi chigae, there was still some kimchi left.  I used the last of it in kimchi fried rice.

David liked it so much, the next morning he fried an egg and ate it with the leftovers for breakfast!

Now that the never-ending jar of kimchi is finished, we have to ask ourselves “where are we going to buy more kimchi?”.  And so the cycle begins….

Recipe (adapted from eating and living):

  • 2 cups cooked short grain rice*
  • 3/4 cup diced kimchi
  • 3-4 strips of bacon, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp juice from kimchi
  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil (you will need more if not using fatty meat)
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 scallion, chopped (optional)

* Day old rice is the best.  If the rice is hard after being in the fridge, heat it up in the microwave to soften it a little.  If you make fresh rice, use a little less water than called for to make the rice slightly drier than usual.

  1. Toss the bacon pieces into a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Cook just until the bacon is slightly browned but not crisp. If you don’t want all the rendered fat, remove the fat from the pan leaving about a tbsp.
  3. Add kimchi, onion, carrots and gochujang and stir fry for about 5 minutes until the kimchi turns soft and deep in color.
  4. Add the rice along with a tbsp of oil, if you have removed the bacon fat, and pour in the kimchi juice and soy sauce.
  5. Stir constantly until everything is well incorporated and the clumped up rice is broken up, ~5 minutes.
  6. Scrape up the brown bits from the pan while stirring.
  7. Mix in the sesame oil at the end.
  8. Garnish with the optional chopped scallion and serve.

Notes and Tips:

I didn’t have bacon, so I used spam, another staple in the Korean diet.  I added 1 tbsp of oil to cook the veggies for 3 minutes and then added the spam and cooked for another 2 minutes.  I also used 3 cups of rice because 2 cups just didn’t seem enough and we like our rice.  The second time I made this, I used bacon and prawn and followed the recipe exactly.   For the prawn, I removed the shell and tail, cut into smaller pieces and added it a couple of minutes just before adding the rice.