Every year our church holds two potlucks, and the weather forecast showed this past Sunday to be a warm day. I was trying to think of something that would be good for a crowd, yet easy enough to make in my barely-moved-in kitchen supplies and equipment! My friend G had requested that I make the Taro Coconut Dessert, but I thought it would be too warm for that. She has some food allergies and also tries to be vegan when possible, so I tried to also keep her in mind for the dessert.
Enter memories of mung bean soup, or lu dou tang, from childhood. My mom would make this simple lightly sweetened dessert of mung beans cooked until they were ‘sandy’, served cold. Sometimes she would add grains or seeds like lotus seeds or pearled barley, but the heart and soul was the mung bean. I thought of grass jelly as a refreshing addition to the mix, then thought of chewy mochi balls for some texture. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this soup would actually be an ode to some of my most favorite Taiwanese shaved ice fillings, in a drinkable form. (Imagine trying to make shaved ice for 100+ people and keeping it cold…good luck!) To keep it simple, I’ll call this mung bean soup. The additions are recommended, but not required; even just mung beans on their own soup taste delicious.
As I mentioned in the other post, I was really excited to try Leela‘s recipes from her new book, Simple Thai Food ! I was trying to think of a ‘balanced’ dinner that would have different types of dishes, and dishes that wouldn’t make us sweat more, now that it is getting gross and humid outside.
Luckily, most of the dishes sound deeelicious and don’t call for complicated or new cooking techniques. I happened to have red curry paste in the freezer, so I decided on Phat Phrik Khing. Continue reading
When I was in Taiwan on vacation, we stayed at the 台北國軍英雄館 (Taipei Hero Hotel) while we were in Taipei. The rooms are affordable and location is great because it’s within minutes (walking) to Ximending, a popular shopping/market area.
Anyway, there was a breakfast buffet that came with the room rate (otherwise it was something like 2 USD…what a steal!), and there would be a lady making fried eggs and scrambled eggs with lo2bo1gan1, or salted radishes. I had both egg options on 2 separate days. These pictures were clearly taken during some of my first days in Taiwan there, because I got greedy then realized it would be wiser to save room for lunch and goodies..
Hongdoutang- the only not so good item, because it was not cooked for long enough for the soup to get ‘sandy’!
I am not Korean, but I do like Korean food, and I know a smidgen of Korean (limited to mostly food items, as well as “I love you” and “Thank you”).
Haemul (Seafood) Pajeon (Pancake)
Recipe adapted from Koreancuisine lady, Anna Kim
makes 2 large pancakes
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour)
3/4-1 cup water
That’s correct; no salt. This ain’t a typo.
1-2 Tbsp Oil (canola or light olive oil)
5 green onions or scallions, chopped into thirds
1 1/2 frozen seafood mix (or any desired combination of bay scallops, small shrimp, calamari rings, mussels, clams, whatever), defrosted and drained of excess water
optional: colors! 1 red bell pepper, thinly thinly sliced
Vinegar (Rice vinegar preferred, but you could probably use white or apple cider in a pinch?)
Pinch of Sugar
Extras: Sesame seeds, minced jalapenos, Korean red pepper flakes (gochukaru), sesame oil <–not conventional..
1. Mix pancake batter ingredients together. Start with 3/4 cup of water, and add more water as needed, to get the batter slightly thinner than American pancake batter. The more water you add, the less chewy/bite the pancake will have. If it is too thick, you will have a MOUND of very thick pancake.
2. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet. You can use Teflon, if you must…..
3. Dump half the green onions into the batter to coat them, then put them into the pan. Line them up like you would if you were building the base of a log cabin of green onions..
4. Evenly spread half your seafood mix and bell peppers atop the green onion base, so that they fill up in circle. Drizzle your batter back and forth across top to fill in the gaps. Cook on medium low until browned, then flip. Don’t cook too quickly, lest your pancake burn before your seafood cooks!!
You can make your sauce while waiting by mixing the soy sauce and vinegar in a rough 2:1 ratio. Add a little bit of sugar, and toss in some extras for some variety.
5. Cook until the other side is nicely golden brown, too.
6. Slice with a knife or pizza cutter, and DIP in the sauce and eat!