Friday, February 5, 2010

Made this up yesterday

Last night I planned on making some Chinese dumplings for dinner, and I did. When one makes dumplings for dinner, one needs to augment the meal with some other vegetables, or rice, or something. I hadn't really planned beyond the dumplings, so I looked in the fridge and cupboard and came up with a few things. Here was the menu:

Japanese spicy cucumber pickles from a package (Oh Horrors!)
Rice, with Japanese rice Furikake
Tea eggs
Eggplant with Chili Garlic Sauce
Korean beef soup with shitakes and spinach

So, the one I made up on the spur of the moment was the soup. And boy was it good. Why did I call this soup Korean? Because I used a Korean beef stock base. I know, I know, I always tell you that buying stock is wrong and stupid and for lazy people who like to throw away their money. And generally, it is. You don't need another lecture on the evils of $3 cartons of stock. Okay, yes you do. Throw some bones in a stock pot, (I'll even let you do it in the crock (shudder) pot.) and simmer. How hard can it be? But in this case, the Korean soup stock base is something I probably can't duplicate. I tasted it first when we were down in DC and went to the fabulous H Mart, about which I have already told you. Remember? Are you paying attention?

The beef base and Japanese rice condiments

Korean Soup

Soak a handful of shitake mushrooms in hot water until soft, about 20 minutes.
Heat 3 cups of water and add two tsp of soup base. Simmer until base is disolved, about five minutes. Add shittakes and several handfuls of fresh spinach. Cook until spinach wilts. Add a tsp of sesame oil and a tablespoon of soy sauce. Eat. Yum.

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