When my friend Joann said that she’d be coming back to the US for a quick visit before starting her second year teaching in South Korea, we started making lots of plans. I can’t lie; a lot of those plans involved food. One thing we knew we wanted to do was cook some Korean food together. Since I am wildly unfamiliar with Korean food in general, I asked Joann to take the lead in choosing our menu (Although she would probably want me to mention that most Korean meals consist of many more side dishes than what we made.). Besides the recipe I’m about to share with you, we had Doenjange jjiage (a spicy soup with tofu and mushrooms), kimbap (a sushi-like food made of steamed rice and other fillings rolled in seaweed), Bingsu (super awesome dessert of fresh fruit, strawberry sauce, shaved ice and milk), and, of course, kimchee (fermented cabbage and other veggies that is served at most Korean meals).

It was all very very tasty, but my favorite dish that we made was the one pictured above: Andong jjimdak. It’s a dish of braised chicken and veggies. And it’s not even hard to make. GET ON IT.

Main dish ingredients:

  • 1 medium size chicken cut up* (about 2 pounds of cut pieces)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 3 -4 mushroom caps (shittake, white, or baby bella)
  • 2 scallions
  • 3 – 4 dried whole red chili peppers (optional)
  • 1 – 2 green chili peppers or jalapenos (optional)
  • 3 ounces starch noodles

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (preferably dark) – use more if using light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (if not available – use a little more soy sauce )
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Directions:

  • Mix all of the sauce ingredients together, except the last three
  • Cut the chicken into chunks and arrange them in one layer on the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes
  • While chicken is simmering, cut potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions into chunks. Add the veggies to the pot, cover, and boil for another 10 minutes until liquid is reduced.
  • Stir in the corn syrup, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Gently mix in the green chili peppers (or jalapenos), scallions and starch noodles and continue to cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Serve family style

My notes:

  • Holy yum!
  • The recipe calls for starch noodles, but we ended up going with rice noodles because that’s all we can find. Less authentic, I guess, but work with what you can get it.
  • Korean chopsticks are REALLY HARD TO USE.

Recipe via Eating and Living: A Korean-American mom’s home cooking.

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