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Oi naengguk is a classic chilled soup made with cucumber and seaweed (miyeok). It’s a refreshing, tangy soup that’s perfect for hot summer days!

Oi naengguk (오이냉국) is a classic Korean chilled soup. Oi means cucumber, and naengguk means chilled soup. It’s one of those dishes that reminds me of my childhood summertime meals, which consisted of fresh vegetables and refreshingly cold dishes! This chilled cucumber soup is a refreshing, tangy soup that’s perfect for hot summer days!

Cucumber and miyeok (seaweed)

I use Korean cucumbers which I can easily find around here in summer. You can also use any crunchy cucumbers, such as Kirby, English, Persian, and Japanese varieties. 

It’s typical to add miyeok to this soup, which is a sea vegetable (edible seaweed). Dried miyeok is a pantry staple for making soups and side dishes. Once soaked, miyeok turns green, plump, and ready to be eaten. However, blanching it briefly in boiling hot water will soften the texture and brighten the green color. The crunchy cucumber together with slightly chewy and slippery seaweed creates interesting textural contrasts and a flavor combination, making the dish far more interesting than the cucumber alone!

Depending on which ingredient is used more, the soup can also be called miyeok naengguk (미역냉국). Some people call it oi miyeok naengguk (오이미역냉국), recognizing both ingredients.

Simply use more cucumbers if you are not adding miyeok. 

How to make Korean chilled cucumber soup

To make the soup, I season the cucumber and seaweed first with the seasoning ingredients. The soup soy sauce (guk ganjang) and vinegar are important for the flavors of this soup. You can make ahead up to this point, and then add water and season with salt later. Don’t forget to drop a couple of ice cubes in right before serving. 

This oi naengguk recipe was originally posted in July 2011. I’ve updated it here with new photos and an improved recipe. 

More chilled soup recipes

Kongguksu (Chilled Soy Milk Noodle Soup)
Chogyetang (Chilled Chicken Soup)
Naengmyeon (Cold Noodles)

Have you tried this chilled cucumber soup recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me onPinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Oi Naengguk (Chilled Cucumber Soup)

Oi naengguk is a classic chilled soup made with cucumber and seaweed (miyeok). It’s a refreshing, tangy soup that’s perfect for hot summer days!

  • 1 Korean cucumber or 2 Kirby (pickling) cucumbers ((5 – 6 ounces))
  • 1 cup soaked miyeok (seaweed – about 1/2 ounce dried miyeok)
  • 1 Korean green or red chili pepper or scallion
Seasonings
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soup soy sauce (guk ganjang)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Korean red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 4 cups of water
  • salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon)
  1. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks. Finely chop the chili pepper or scallion.
  2. Prepare the dried seaweed by soaking for 10 to 20 minutes and rinsing well. (See my miyeok guk recipe for more.) Boil water in a small pot and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Blanch the soaked seaweed briefly, about 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again, squeeze out excess water, and cut into bite size pieces.

  3. In a medium size bowl, gently toss the vegetables with the seasoning ingredients. Set aside for about 10 minutes. You can make ahead up to this point several hours or a day before if desired.
  4. Mix in 4 cups of cold water and season with salt. Start with a half teaspoon of salt, taste and add more if necessary. Refrigerate to chill. Serve in chilled bowls with a couple of ice cubes.

The post Oi Naengguk (Chilled Cucumber Soup) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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Got kimchi in the fridge! Try making this spicy, slightly sweet, savory and tangy cold noodle dish. It’s simply made with kimchi and a few staple seasoning ingredients! 


What do you make for lunch, or dinner for that matter, when there seems to be nothing in your fridge? For Koreans, it’s usually a dish made with kimchi because there is almost always some kimchi in our fridges. So, when your fridge has nothing substantial but has kimchi, make this kimchi bibim guksu (김치비빔국수) for a quick lunch or a light meal any time of the day. It’s deliciously spicy, sweet and tangy with a kimchi crunch!

How to make kimchi bibim guksu

Unlike my other bibim guksu recipe which uses a few different vegetables, kimchi is truly all you need for this humble dish. But, you can add other vegetables such as cucumbers or lettuce, if you want. I also like to use some perilla leaves (kkaennip) for a wonderful aroma and flavor it adds to the dish. Thinly sliced gim (dried seaweed sheet) is also an excellent addition.  

For the seasoning, I mix kimchi and some juice from kimchi with a few staple ingredients such as soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste), and some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes). You can leave out gochugaru if you like the noodles to be less spicy. For the sweetener, I use a combination of corn syrup (or oligo syrup) and sugar. The syrup gives a nice sheen to the dish, but you can simply use more sugar if you want. 

What noodles to use

Typically, kimchi bibim guksu is made with thin wheat noodles, which come in two slightly different thickness — somyeon (소면), very thin noodles, and joongmyeon (중면), slightly thicker noodles. You can use either one for this recipe, depending on your preference. 

This kimchi bibim guksu recipe was originally posted in July 2011. I’ve updated it here with new photos and minor changes to the recipe.

More similar cold noodle dishes

Bibim guksu (spicy cold noodles)
Jjolmyeon (spicy chewy noodles)
Jaengban guksu (cold noodles and vegetables platter)

Have you tried this kimchi bibim guksu recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me onPinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Kimchi Bibim Guksu (Spicy Cold Noodles with Kimchi)

A simple cold noodle dish made with kimchi and a few seasoning ingredients! Spicy, slightly sweet and tangy!

  • 8 – 10 ounce somyeon, 소면, (thin wheat noodles)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced kimchi (preferably fully fermented)
  • 1/4 cup juice from kimchi (use a little more soy sauce and vinegar if unavailable)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or any other clear vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (or oligo syrup, 올리고당) (use more sugar if unavailable)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Optional Garnish
  • 4 perilla leaves (kkaennip) (thinly sliced)
  • or cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil while preparing the kimchi sauce.
  2. Thinly slice the kimchi and place it in a medium size bowl. Add the juice from the kimchi and remaining sauce ingredients, and mix everything well.

  3. Add the noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (3 – 4 minutes). Drain quickly and shock in icy cold water to stop cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water again. Repeat until the noodles become cold. Drain well.

  4. Combine the noodles with the kimchi sauce, and toss everything until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste by adding more soy sauce, sugar and/or vinegar, if necessary. Garnish with your choice of the optional vegetables and/or the boiled egg and serve cold.

The post Kimchi Bibim Guksu (Spicy Cold Noodles with Kimchi) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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This simple and refreshing Korean shrimp salad is packed with flavors and heat! It’s an easy recipe that’s perfect as an elegant starter, a side dish or a light meal!

Here’s another great Korean-style salad recipe! It’s a shrimp salad with a hot mustard (gyeoja) dressing (겨자소스), which is a classic Korean sauce. As mentioned in the chicken salad post, this type of cold salad dish is called naengchae in Korean, so the Korean name of this dish is saewu naengchae or saewu gyeoja naengchae. The simple and refreshing dish is perfect as an elegant starter, a side dish or a light meal!

Which shrimp to use for shrimp salad

For this salad, any size of shrimp works. I typically use 21 to 25 count, but smaller ones are fine too. To stack the ingredients up as seen in the first photo, I cut the shrimp in half lengthwise by cutting along the back as if you’d butterfly the shrimp but cutting all the way through. It’s up to you whether to leave the tails on. 

You can, of course, buy peeled and deveined cooked shrimp to make it even quicker and easier. 

Vegetables for shrimp salad

I typically pair the shrimp with cucumber and Korean pear slices for this salad. Korean pears are sweet, juicy and crunchy, making it perfect for salads. You can use apple slices instead if Korean/Asian pears are unavailable. Colorful bell peppers are also great additions.

For the presentation, I sometimes stack the thinly sliced salad ingredients, especially for individual or small servings, but you can arrange them on a plate anyway you want. Other times, I julienne the fruit and vegetables and arrange them by color with the shrimp on top.

Here, I’m showing you the two different ways to serve this Korean shrimp salad. Use your creativity to make your own beautiful plate. You can easily double this recipe for a potluck or dinner party.

How to make hot mustard dressing (gyeoja sauce)

The hot mustard (gyeoja), also known as spicy yellow mustard, adds flavorful heat to this salad. When first mixed, the heat can be intense, but it gradually dissipates over time. You can use a powder version (gyeojabun, 겨자분, or gyeoja garu, 겨자가루) or a paste version (called yeongyeoja, 연겨자) sold in a tube for this recipe. Although not traditional, you can use yellow or dijon mustard if you like.  

Making the dressing is simple! Combine the ingredients and whisk together until smooth. You can serve the dressing drizzled over the salad or on the side.

This Korean shrimp salad recipe was originally posted in October 2010. I’ve updated it here with new photos, recipe card, and minor changes to the recipe.

Have you tried this shrimp salad recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me onPinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Korean Shrimp Salad with Hot Mustard Dressing

This simple and refreshing salad is packed with flavors and heat! Perfect as an elegant starter, a side dish or a light meal!

Hot mustard dressing:
  • 2 teaspoons hot mustard powder (gyeoja, 겨자) (If using prepared paste, use 1 tablespoon and add 1 tablespoon water to thin it.)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • pinch salt
Vegetables:
  • <strong>3 </strong> <strong>Kirby (pickling) cucumbers (or 1 Korean cucumber)</strong>
  • 1/2 Korean pear
  • radish sprouts for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 lemon
  • Optional vegetables:
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 orange bell pepper
Shrimp
  • 10 large shrimp (21-25 counts, shelled and deveined (more if using smaller shrimp))
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix the mustard with 1 tablespoon of warm water. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Cut the cucumbers and pear into thin slices. If using bell peppers, julienne the fruit and vegetables. Refrigerate while preparing the shrimp.
  3. Have a bowl of ice water ready near the stove top. Bring a small pot of water (4 cupto a gentle boil over medium heat. Add salt, lemon and shrimp and simmer uncovered until the shrimp turn opaque and curl, about 40 seconds. Remove immediately and plunge them into the ice water to stop cooking and chill. Drain. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise.
  4. Remove immediately and plunge them into the ice water to stop cooking and chill. Drain. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise if you want to stack them with the pear and vegetables.

  5. Nicely arrange the cucumber, pear and shrimp on a plate and spoon the dressing over. Or serve the dressing on the side. Garnish with optional radish sprouts and lemon.

The post Shrimp Salad with Hot Mustard Dressing (Saewu Naengchae) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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This simple chicken salad recipe is made with shredded breast meat and a Korean pine nut dressing! It’s a healthy dish you can easily make for a quick lunch. Or, double/triple the recipe for a potluck or Korean BBQ party.

This Korean chicken salad is made with a traditional pine nut dressing. No mayonnaise! The pine nut dressing is light, creamy, nutty, and tangy! It certainly is a healthier option for you.  Chicken salad is called dak naengchae (닭냉채) in Korean. Dak means chicken, and naengchae refers to a cold salad type that’s typically served with some sort of protein and a traditional dressing such as this pine nut dressing and hot mustard dressing.

How to cook chicken for the chicken salad

I usually use a poached chicken breast(s) for this salad for a nice clean taste. Boneless, skinless breast meat cooks up really fast. First, boil some water with aromatic vegetables such as onion, garlic, etc. And then add the chicken breast and simmer over medium low heat for about 8 -10 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow it to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred and lightly season it with salt.

To make this chicken salad recipe even faster and easier, you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken.

How to make Korean pine nut dressing

Pine nuts have a rich nutty flavor and give the dressing a creamy texture. Always toast the nuts lightly to bring out the flavor, and then either finely chop or ground it in a blender. The garlic and hot mustard (called gyeoja in Korean) add robust flavors to the dressing. The acidity from the vinegar and lemon juice ties everything together, brightening the taste of the dressing.

If pine nuts are not available, you can use other nuts such as peanuts or walnuts or sesame seeds. You can also make chicken salad with a mustard dressing (gyeoja sauce).

How to serve chicken salad

I often serve this salad over a bed of lettuce or spring mix. You can use any salad vegetables. Red radishes add some crunch and color. Cucumbers and carrots are good additions as well.

Another option is to toss the salad, before serving, with crunchy vegetables such as cucumbers and colorful bell peppers.

Thinly slice the vegetables and mix well with the chicken salad before serving. 

I love having this salad in my fridge for a quick lunch for week days. It’ll keep well up to 4 days in the fridge. Also, if you double or triple the recipe, it’s a great dish for a potluck or Korean BBQ party!  

This Korean chicken salad recipe was originally posted in October 2010. I’ve updated it here with new photos, recipe card, and minor changes to the recipe.

More Korean Cold Salad Recipes

Shrimp Salad with Hot Mustard Dressing
Tofu Salad

Have you tried this Korean chicken salad recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Korean Chicken Salad with Pine Nut Dressing

This simple chicken salad recipe is made with breast meat and a Korean pine nut dressing! It’s a healthy dish you can easily make and grab for a quick lunch.

Pine nut dressing:
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or any clear vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon hot mustard paste – gyeoja, 겨 (or dijon or yellow mustard if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Poached chicken:
  • 1 chicken breast (8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 1/2 stalk celery
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf – optional
To serve on a bed of salad vegetables:
  • a handful spring mix or other salad vegetables of choice
  • 2 to 3 red radishes (thinly sliced)
Or to toss with salad:
  • 1/4 red bell pepper (julienned)
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper (julienned)
  • 1 small Kirby cucumber (cut lengthwise and then thinly sliced diagonally)
  1. To make the dressing, toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. This will enhance the flavor. Grind the pine nuts in a blender or food processor (or finely mince them with a knife). Add the remaining dressing ingredients and blend well. Refrigerate while preparing the chicken and vegetables.
  2. In a medium size pot, bring 5 cups of water and the aromatic vegetables to a simmer over medium heat. Add the chicken breast and simmer over medium low heat for about 8 -10 minutes (increase the time if cooking more than 1 chicken breast). Remove the chicken and allow it to cool.

  3. When cool enough to handle, shred and lightly season with salt. Refrigerate while preparing vegetables. Wash salad vegetables in ice water and drain well. Cut them into desired sizes if needed.

  4. Combine the shredded chicken with the dressing, leaving a couple of tablespoons of dressing.
  5. Line the platter with the salad vegetables. Place the chicken salad in the middle. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, and garnish with a few pine nuts if available.

  6. OR thinly slice the optional vegetables and mix well with the chicken salad before serving.

This chicken salad can be stored in the fridge up to 4 days. 

The post Korean Chicken Salad with Pine Nut Dressing appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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Easy spicy grilled shrimp flavored with a deeply savory gochujang sauce! The marinade is so easy to prepare, and the shrimp cook up very quickly. It’ll be perfect as a weeknight meal or a simple addition to your summer BBQ!

Sometimes it only takes one special ingredient to give a dish a total makeover. In this recipe, that one ingredient is gochujang (고추장)! I simply added a couple spoonfuls of it to my usual marinade for grilling shrimp. That’s it!

Gochujang sauce

If you think about it, how can you go wrong with gochujang? It’s deeply savory, peppery, pungent, slightly sweet and spicy – all at once. No wonder everything tastes better with gochujang!

Gochujang is commonly used in Korean spicy marinades, as used in such dishes as spicy grilled chicken, spicy grilled squid, and spicy pork BBQ. If you want to add more spiciness without altering the saltiness, add some gochugaru.

Adjust the amount of sugar or honey in the recipe to your liking, but don’t leave it out. The sugar or honey in the recipe helps balance out the saltiness of the gochujang, and also helps caramelize the shrimp faster.  

I used garlic in this recipe, but minced ginger is a nice addition to the marinade as well.

How to prepare and grill the shrimp 

For grilling, large shrimp work best. I use 16 to 20 count shrimp, but 21 to 25 count should be okay too. Be sure to adjust the cooking time if you’re using smaller shrimp. Peel and devein the shrimp for the marinade to penetrate quickly. I like to keep the tails on as the cooked shrimp look more attractive with the tails on.   

Be sure to soak wood/bamboo in water for about 30 minutes, so they don’t burn on the grill. I used skewers here, but you can grill the shrimp individually if you want.

Once skewered, lightly sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper while preparing the marinade. Let the shrimp marinate for about 30 minutes up to overnight. 

Grill the shrimp over open flame or in a grill pan. You can also cook them under the broiler in a skillet. Shrimp cooks up very fast, but time will vary depending on the heat source. Do not overcook them. Nothing worse than overcooked dry, rubbery shrimp. The shrimp are cooked when they curl up and turn opaque. Don’t forget that they’ll continue to cook with remaining heat.

Serve the shrimp with grilled vegetables or a summer salad.

This recipe was originally posted in June 2013. I’ve updated it here with new photos, recipe card, and minor changes to the recipe.

Have you tried this grilled spicy shrimp recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp (Gochujang Saewu Gui)

Easy spicy grilled shrimp flavored with a gochujang sauce!

  • 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp (peeled, tail on, and deveined)
  • salt and pepper
  • For the marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or more to taste)
  • juice of 1/2 of a fresh lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • For the garnish:
  • finely chopped scallions or chives for garnish (optional)
  • Bamboo/wood skewers
  1. Soak wooden skewers in water while preparing the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp and drain well. Thread the shrimp on to the skewers. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients well in a bowl.
  3. Spoon (or brush) the marinade over the shrimp to coat evenly. Let stand for about 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat a lightly oiled grill. Grill the shrimp over moderate heat until just cooked through, a minute or two each side, depending on the heat source. Do not overcook. Baste the shrimp with the remaining sauce while grilling. You can also cook the shrimp in a grill pan over medium high heat. Garnish with the optional scallions or chives.

The post Spicy Grilled Shrimp Skewers (Gochujang Saewu Gui) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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A simple Korean banchan made with spring garlic scapes! This delicious side dish takes less than 20 minutes to whip up. 
 

Garlic scapes (maneuljjong – 마늘쫑 ) are in season. I got a bunch from a Korean market for the first time this season. They are available in the late spring and early summer, when scapes are most tender and sweet. 

What are garlic scapes? 

Garlic scapes are the curly flowering shoots/stalks of garlic plants that are snipped off to allow the bulbs to grow bigger. They have a milder flavor than garlic cloves but are still quite garlicky. When cooked, the scapes become sweeter with a subtle garlic undertone and have a texture similar to that of thin asparagus.

In Korea, garlic scapes are commonly used as a vegetable for various side dishes. I sometimes pickle garlic scapes in a soy brine. I also blend scapes into a paste and add it to the grated potatoes to make potato pancakes.

For this recipe, I stir-fried the scapes with walnuts in a soy sauce-based sauce. You can omit the walnuts if  you want. Stir-fried garlic scapes are a simple and delicious spring side dish!

This recipe was originally posted in May 2013. I’ve updated it here with new photos and minor changes to the recipe.

If you haven’t cooked with garlic scapes, make that a goal this spring. You’re missing out on a wonderful vegetable! The scapes only appear in markets for a short period time, so grab them while you can.

Have you tried this stir-fried garlic scape recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Maneuljjong Bokkeum (Stir-fried Garlic Scapes)

A quick and easy Korean banchan (side dish) made with spring garlic scapes!

  • 10 ounces garlic scapes (maneuljjong)
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts (broken into quarters — optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oligodang or corn syrup (or more sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  1. Rinse and cut the garlic scapes into 2-inch lengths. Mix the first four sauce ingredients well together, and set aside.
  2. In a heated pan over medium low heat, roast the optional walnuts for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  3. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan, and increase the heat to medium high. Sauté the scapes for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low. Return the walnuts to the pan, and pour the sauce into the pan. Cook until the garlic scapes are tender and the sauce is almost gone, about 2 – 3 minutes.

  5. Add the oligodang (or corn syrup), and stir well. Finish with the sesame oil and sesame seeds.

The post Stir-fried Garlic Scapes (Maneuljjong Bokkeum) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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Kongjang is a classic side dish that’s made by braising soybeans in a sweet and savory liquid. It’s a popular banchan that’s easy to make with a few ingredients. 


Kongjang (콩장), also called kongjaban (콩자반), is a sweet and savory braised soybean dish. It’s a staple side dish in Korean homes. 

On weekends, I try to make a few side dishes, banchan (반찬), to help make my weeknight meal preparations easier. During the week, I make a quick soup, stew, or meat dish and serve it with the pre-made side dishes.

I mentioned in the previous posts, that those side dishes that are made to be last relatively long and served with meals over several days (or weeks) are called mit-banchan (밑반찬), meaning basic side dishes. There are a number of them, ranging from stir-fried dried anchovies to pickled perilla leaves. We grew up on these mitbanchan dishes. They were a big part of every meal, including home-packed school lunch boxes. 

What kind of beans to use

Kongjang is typically made with dried black soybeans, but you can also make it with yellow soybeans. Black soybeans are called geomjeongkong (검정콩)  or seoritae (서리태) in Korean and available at Korean or Asian grocery stores. Be sure to pick out rotten beans before soaking. 

The soaked beans should be cooked in water first before you add the sugar and soy sauce for slow braising. This will keep the beans from getting hard. Cooking in an open pot helps reduce the liquid and gives the kongjang beans their unique shiny and wrinkled look.

The result is sweet and savory beans that are a tad chewy, which is a nice contrast to steamed rice they accompany!

This kongjang recipe was originally posted in March 2013. I’ve updated it here with new photos and minor changes to the recipe. 

Have you tried this braised soybean recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)

Kongjang is a classic side dish that’s made by braising soybeans in a sweet and savory liquid. It’s a popular banchan that’s easy to make with a few ingredients.

  • 1 cup dried black soybeans (seoritae, 서리태) (or yellow soybeans)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin/mirim)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 -2 tablespoons oligodang (올리고당), or rice syrup (조청) (or corn syrup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds – optional
  1. Rinse and soak the dried beans in water for 3 – 4 hours. (The time required may vary depending on the beans.)

  2. In an uncovered medium size pot, bring the beans and 2 cups of water (including the water used to soak the beans) to a boil. Continue to cook, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Stir a couple of times so the beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

  3. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Reduce the heat to medium. Gently boil, uncovered, until almost all the sauce is evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. (Keep your eyes on the pot during the last few minutes to avoid burning the beans.)
  4. Add the corn syrup, stirring well to coat for a minute or two before turning the heat off. Sprinkle with the optional sesame seeds. The beans will be soft at first, but they will get a bit chewier in the fridge.

Kongjang will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

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This Korean BBQ beef, bulgogi, is very easy to make at home. The marinade is made with a few basic ingredients, and the thinly sliced beef doesn’t take long to marinate and cook. Here’s everything you need to know about how to make the best bulgogi!

Bulgogi (불고기), also known as Korean BBQ beef, is marinated thinly sliced beef. While it can be made with other meats such as chicken (dak bulgogi) and pork (dweji bulgogi), the term “bulgogi” generally refers to beef bulgogi. 

While this Korean marinated beef is most commonly char grilled at restaurants and homes, especially outside Korea, there are many regional variations of how this dish is prepared. 

This Korean BBQ beef recipe was originally posted in May 2010. In this updated post, I’ve made minor tweaks to the recipe and introduced the Seoul-style bulgogi (서울식 불고기), which is how I used to eat bulgogi growing up. Over the last decade or so, it has made a remarkable comeback and become very popular throughout the country. My family loves it! So, I decided you should know about it also.

Cut of meat for beef bulgogi

The best cut of meat for this dish is rib eye. Any tender, flavorful cut of beef, such as sirloin and tenderloin, works well too. I even use tenderloin when I cook for the elderly members of my family and friends. You can find pre-cut bulgogi meat at Korean markets. It usually comes in different grades. Spend a little more for good quality meat if you can. You can also ask your butcher to thinly slice the meat or slice it yourself after freezing the meat for a couple of hours.

How is bulgogi marinade made

The classic marinade or sauce is made with a few basic ingredients such as soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, etc. The important thing is to find the right balance between saltiness and sweetness. Using generous amounts of garlic and sesame oil is necessary to create an authentic taste.

As a further flavor enhancer and tenderizer, Korean cooks traditionally add a grated Korean pear to the marinade. If you cannot find a Korean/Asian pear, you can omit it or use an apple instead. Thinly sliced good quality meat doesn’t need much tenderizing. If desired, some people also use kiwi or pineapple, but be sure to use a small amount so you don’t over-marinate the meat. They are very strong tenderizing agents and can break down the meat too much.

This marinade can also be used for other meats such as chicken or pork.

The thinly sliced meat doesn’t take hours to marinate. All you need is about 30 minutes to an hour, although you can marinate it up to overnight.

How to cook the meat

Grilling: You can grill the meat over charcoal or wood charcoal (sootbul, 숯불), but a gas grill or a grill pan over the stove top works well too. If you are pan-frying your bulgogi and want nicely caramelized meat, preheat the pan nice and hot and don’t crowd the pan.

Stir-frying: Contrary to the popular belief, Koreans also cook the bulgogi in its own juice in a pan over the stove top for softer meat and some delicious sauce. Use all the marinade if you want more sauce at the end. 

Seoul-style bulgogi

As I mentioned earlier, this is how we grew up eating bulgogi, which has revived and become very popular. This style of bulgogi is also known as yetnal bulgogi (옛날불고기), meaning old-fashioned or old-school bulgogi. The meat is cooked on a special dome shaped pan with holes and a flat bottom that holds water or broth. The dome shape allows bulgogi drippings to flow down to the water or broth, which thickens as the meat cooks.

The starch noodles and/or vegetables such as mushrooms are delicious cooked in the slightly sweet and savory sauce. Try mixing the sauce with the rice. Incredibly tasty! 

The liquid can be simply water or broth. I use dashima broth that’s mildly seasoned with some soy sauce.

I found my dome shaped grill pan at a local Korean market, but I also saw it online as well if you like to buy one. Otherwise, simply use a large skillet instead.

What to serve Korean BBQ beef with

Pa muchim (scallion salad) is excellent to accompany this dish along with lettuce wraps and ssamjang. For other vegetable side dishes, see my 15 Korean vegetable side dishes. Doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew) pairs very well with bulgogi too.

What to do with leftover bulgogi

Leftover bulgogi is excellent in bibimbap, gimbap (also spelled kimbap), bulgogi doepbap or bulgogi jeongol.

More variations

Flank steak bulgogi
Slow cooker bulgogi
Dak bulgogi
Dweji bulgogi

Have you tried this Korean BBQ beef recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)

This Korean BBQ beef is very easy to make at home. The marinade is made with a few basic ingredients, and the thinly sliced beef doesn’t take long to marinate and cook. 

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced beef (rib eye or top sirloin) – see note
  • 3 scallions (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 small carrot (thinly sliced)
Marinade
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar ( or you can use 2 T sugar 2 T honey) (Use more if not using Korean pear or apple)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or mirin
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons Korean/Asian pear, grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
For Seoul-style
  • 3 ounces potato starch noodles (soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and drained)
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 pack enoki mushrooms (stems removed)
  • 2 cups water, dashima broth, or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  1. If using packaged pre-sliced meat, separate the slices. Remove any excess blood from the pre-sliced meat using paper towels.

  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.

  3. Place the meat and vegetables in a large bowl. Add the marinade and toss gently to combine everything well. Marinate the meat for 30 minutes to an hour, up to overnight. 

  4. Grilling: Grill the meat on a charcoal or gas grill or pan fry in a skillet over high heat until slightly caramelized. If pan searing, preheat the pan nice and hot and cook the meat until slightly caramelized. Do not crowd the skillet.

  5. OR Stir-frying: Preheat the pan, and add the meat over high meat. You can crowd the pan to generate some liquid and let the meat cook in its own juice. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Use all the marinade if you want some sauce at the end. 

For Seoul-style
  1. Thinly slice the scallions. Season 2 cups of water or broth with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.

  2. Heat the pan, and add the bulgogi and top it with the scallions and mushrooms. Add about a half of the broth around the edges of the pan and more as you cook.

*Pre-sliced bulgogi meat is sold at any Korean market. Pay a little more to get good quality meat. If cutting the beef at home, partially freeze for about an hour to firm it up for easier slicing. Cut across the grain into about 1/8-inch thick slices.

The post Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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Myulchi bokkeum (or myeolchi bokkeum) is a popular side dish (banchan) in Korea. The stir-fried anchovies are sweet, savory, sticky and crunchy! This easy recipe also shows how to make it a bit spicy.

Myulchi bokkeum (멸치볶음), stir-fried dried anchovies, is a staple side dish in Korea. It’s one of the most common basic side dishes, called mitbanchan (밑반찬). Basic side dishes are made to last long and served with every meal, including home-packed school lunch boxes. Korean stir-fried anchovies are sweet, savory, sticky and crunchy! This recipe shows two ways to prepare myulchi bokkeum – mild and spicy.

Korean dried anchovies

As explained in my Anchovy Stock for Korean Cooking post, dried anchovies (myulchi or myeolchi, 멸치) come in a wide range of qualities and sizes. If you visit traditional markets in Korea, you can easily find big piles of different sizes of dried anchovies on display everywhere. Buy the best quality anchovies you can find. These anchovies are a staple in my freezer. Dried anchovies are best kept in the freezer. 

Medium to large anchovies are primarily used to make broth, gukmul yong (국물용). Smaller ones are used for various stir-fried or braised side dishes and usually labeled bokkeum yong (볶음용). The smallest, tiny anchovies are called jiri myulchi (지리멸치). You can use any small dried anchovies for this recipe.

Anchovies are high in nutrition, so Korean moms encourage their kids to eat more anchovies. They are an excellent source of calcium, protein, Omega 3 fat, etc. My kids didn’t favor them when they were little, but they both eventually acquired the taste. Now, these stir-fried anchovies are among the regular side dishes I prepare to bring with me when I visit them.

How to make myulchi bokkeum

You don’t need to remove the guts and/or the heads from small anchovies before using them. They are all edible. If you are sensitive to a fishy taste, you can pan-fry the anchovies for a couple of minutes in a heated dry pan before using them. This will remove some of the fishy taste.

To make myulchi bokkeum, stir-fry the dried anchovies in a little bit of oil, and then mix them in a thickened sweet and savory sauce. You can give them a spicy kick by using some gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste). Dried anchovies are naturally salty, so don’t over season them.

This myulchi bokkeum recipe was originally posted in September 2011. I’ve updated it here with an improved recipe, more information, and new photos.

More banchan dishes

Kongjang (Soy Braised Black Soybeans)

Ojingeochae Muchim (Spicy Dried Squid Strips)

Yeonguen Jorim (Soy Braised Lotus Roots)

Ueong Jorim (Braised Burdock Root)

Have you tried this Korean stir-fried anchovies recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Myulchi bokkeum (Stir-fried Dried Anchovies)

Myulchi bokkeum, stir-fried dried anchovies, is a popular side dish (banchan) in Korea. The stir-fried anchovies are sweet, savory, sticky and crunchy! This easy recipe also shows how to make it a bit spicy.

  • 1 cup small size mulchi (멸치, (dried anchovies))
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 2 – 3 green chili peppers (cut into small pieces (optional))
Sweet and Savory:
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup or honey
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Sweet and Spicy:
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup or honey
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  1. Heat a pan with the oil over medium heat. Add the anchovies and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the seasoning ingredients, except sesame oil and seeds, to the pan. If using the spicy version, stir the sauce well to dissolve the gochujang. Turn the heat back on. Boil the sauce over medium heat until it bubbles up and slightly thickens, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add the anchovies and the optional chili peppers to the pan. Stir well until the anchovies are coated well with the sauce. Stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds at the end.

Myulchi bokkeum can keep well up to a week in the fridge. 

The post Myulchi Bokkeum (Stir-fried Anchovies) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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Here’s how to make a hearty, flavorful Korean braised chicken dish, jjimdak! It’s very easy to make at home with a few basic ingredients! Simply omit the chili peppers for a mild version.

Jjimdak (찜닭) is a braised chicken dish. Jjim generally refers to the dishes that are steamed, stewed or braised in a sauce, and dak means chicken. These two syllables can be reversed, so jjimdak is also called dakjjim (닭찜). A popular spicy version is known as Andong jjimdak (안동찜닭). It’s a huge restaurant favorite that’s easy to make at home with a few basic ingredients!

This Andong-style jjimdak recipe was originally posted in February 2011. I’ve updated it here with an improved recipe, more information, and new photos.

What is Andong jjimdak?

Andong jjimdak, which originated from the city of Andong, is a spicy version of braised chicken that has become enormously popular since late 1990’s. Braised in a sweet and savory braising liquid, the nicely clean spicy kick comes from dried whole red chili peppers and fresh hot chili peppers. Unlike dakbokkeumtang (also called dakdoritang), no gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) or gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes) is used!

Making Andong jjimdak is relatively simple. The dish uses small sized chicken pieces and is cooked over high heat. As such, it cooks up pretty quickly. In Korea, braised chicken dishes are usually made a whole chicken cut up, but you can use pre-cut pieces if you want. However, for this dish, you’ll still need to cut the chicken parts into smaller pieces.

Jjimdak variations

You can reduce the amount of the peppers or omit them entirely to make a mild version. This reminds me of the braised chicken dish I grew up eating.

When I was a small child, my parents raised a few chickens in our backyard. I remember feeding baby chicks and watching them grow. I remember how fascinated I was to see a mother hen lay her eggs. They were great company and provided us with warm fresh eggs every day. Occasionally, some of their lives were cut short by my father who had to do the unpleasant job to feed his family. These events apparently stirred strong emotions in one of my brothers. To this day, he does not eat chicken. As for me, I loved a sweet and savory braised chicken dish my mother used to make.

For vegetables, I used potatoes, carrot, onion, mushrooms, and scallions. Green cabbage is also a common ingredient for this dish. Some people also add a little bit of green leafy vegetables such as spinach and bok choy.

If you care about the color of the dish to be dark as a restaurant’s version you might have had in Korea, you can add a tablespoon of instant coffee powder or some caramel sauce.

Have you tried this dakjjim recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Jjimdak (Korean Braised Chicken)

Here’s how to make a hearty, flavorful Korean braised chicken dish, jjimdak! It’s very easy to make at home with a few basic ingredients! Simply omit the chili peppers for a mild version.

  • 1 medium size chicken cut up (2.5 to 3 pounds of cut pieces)
  • 3 ounces sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon, 당면)
  • 2 medium white or yukon gold potatoes (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 – 4 mushroom caps (shiitake, white, or baby bella)
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 – 3 dried whole red chili peppers (4 to 5 small ones)
  • 1 – 2 fresh chili peppers or jalapenos – optional
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
Braising liquid:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or use more soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn syrup (or 3 tablespoons honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  1. Soak the starch noodles in warm water while preparing the other ingredients for about 30 minutes. Drain well before using.
  2. Clean the chicken and cut into small pieces. Trim off excess fat.
  3. Cut the potatoes in chunks (about 1-1/2 inch) and soak in water while preparing other vegetables. Cut the carrot, mushrooms, and onion into bite size pieces.
  4. Add the chicken pieces to a large pot. Pour 3 cups of water over the chicken. (You should reduce the amount of water if not using the noodles.) Add the sauce ingredients except sesame oil and seeds. Bring it to a boil over high heat, uncovered, and continue to boil for about 10 minutes, skimming off the foam.

  5. Add the potatoes, carrot, mushrooms, onion, and dried whole red chili peppers if using. Cover, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. There still is a lot of liquid, but the potatoes and starch noodles will soak up a lot of the liquid.
  6. Gently mix in the green chili peppers (or jalapenos), scallions and starch noodles, and continue to cook, uncovered this time, for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil. Garnish with the sesame seeds to serve.

You can prepare ahead of time up to step 5. When ready to serve, bring it to a boil and do the final step. 

The post Jjimdak (Korean Braised chicken) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

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