Did you know? Hidden next to Jeju Sauna is Sun and Moon Cafe - a Korean restaurant/bar much like the popular Cafe Todamgol(Cafe T). A big banner advertising AYCE pork belly and thinly sliced brisket for $9.99 flies outside this restaurant but what youreally want to come here for is the bossam (보쌈) and the agujjim (아구찜) which is monkfish braised in a spicy sauce topped off with bean sprouts and other veggies.
The pork for the bossam is perfectly braised and while tender, it still retains some bite giving it texture. One thing that's also worth noting is that the pork has no "porky" scent which you try to get rid of in Korean cooking. The daikon kimchi is sweet and spicy giving it a flavorful kick and the dish also comes out with a generous mound of oysters in the middle. Kimchi, pork, oysters - the holy trinity. Wrap all of it inside a steamed napa cabbage and let the flavors explode in your mouth. Delicious.
(agujjim pictured above)
The agujjimlooks like a sloppy melange of fish (don't worry, it's supposed to look like that), bean sprouts and other vegetables but don't let the presentation fool you - it's absolutely tasty. The monkfish rests at the bottom of this huge platter and the bean sprouts still have great crunch giving the dish texture. The sauce is spicy and slightly sweet which makes for a killer accompaniment with alcohol. What I like to do is add some of the veggies to my rice and mix it together to make a quick bibimbap. Very tasty.
Sun and Moon Cafe is another great example of how there's more to restaurants than that meets the eye, Yelp or Urbanspoon - you just have to know what to order. It gets a bit more difficult to order food if you don't speak or read Korean but that's why you have bloggers like me, Eat Drink Man, Blissful Glutton and ChowDownAtlanta around for. Helping people overcome language barriers to order food and spreading word of the deliciousness that is Korean cuisine.
Located in the same plaza as Jeju Sauna in the opposite corner. Across from Wild Bill's/Chipotle/Hooters
There's an AYCE pork belly and chadolbaegi (thiny sliced brisket) for $9.99 per person with the purchase of alcohol...although I'd rather cough up the extra $5 to eat at Iron Age across the street for that. That's just me though.
May not be friendly for people who have asthma, COPD or breathing problems...
There is English translation in the menu but if in doubt, just ask one of the waitresses for help.
...is one of the quintessential dishes that you associate with Korea along with kimchi jjigae, galbi and bibimbap.
So what is a yakisoba doenjang jjigae? It's a Korean stew that's flavored with doenjang(fermented soybean paste) and various vegetables, meats and/or seafood. You'll usually get this at the end of a Korean BBQ along with rice or you may see some people order it a la carte for lunch or dinner. The strong flavor of the fermented soybean takes some time to get used to if you haven't been raised in a Korean household and I believe it's one of the most underrated and under the radar Korean dish in the popular food scene.
I grew up on this stuff as a little boy in Korea. The one thing about Korean food you'll see is that there's a real humbleness humility to most of the dishes. Doenjang jjigae is made from cheap ingredients but they're combined and prepared in a way to develop the most flavor with what's given. Look at galbi as another example. It's a cheap cut of meat that's marinated to make it more flavorful and tender after you grill it. There's a lot of history and culture to each of these dishes and it's important to keep the heritage alive even in the US.
The secret(I think) to making great doenjang jjigae is choosing a good doenjang and the anchovy stock. There's a place in Duluth, GA that make's their own doenjang and I use the stuff from there but if you can't get your hands on something like that, use the best doenjang you can buy at the Asian supermarket. Make sure you refrigerate after opening if you buy one from the supermarket. Sometimes you can buy anchovy stock at the supermarket or they may have tea pouches with some anchovies and vegetables inside on the shelves. If all else fails, use light chicken stock but the flavor really isn't the same. There's a lot of ways to make doenjang jjigae, but this is what I do to make mine.
Makes 2 servings
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of doenjang
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- leftover steak (ribeye works wonders) or 1/4 pound of steak diced (you can also use seafood like clams, oysters or keep it vegetarian. To this day, I have never seen chicken in a doenjang jjigae)
- 2 cups of anchovy stock
- half of an onion, diced
- 1 small potato, peeled and diced
- half of a zucchini, diced
- half of a tablespoon of gochugaru(Korean chili flakes)
- half block of firm tofu, drained and diced
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 1 package of enoki mushrooms
1) In a hot pot, add the tablespoon of sesame oil. Once the oil is hot enough, add the doenjang, minced garlic and uncooked steak. If you're using leftover steak, we'll add that in later. Stir the steak around for a minute or two along with the doenjang until the steak is browned. Take care not to burn the paste and garlic.
2) Add the diced onions and potatoes and cook for another minute.
3) Add the 2 cups of anchovy stock and bring up to a boil. Once at a boil, cook for about 2 minutes so the potatoes start to get tender.
4) At this time, add the zucchini in (and the leftover steak if using). Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the gochugaru in and stir to incorporate into the stew. Add the diced tofu and cook for another minute to warm the tofu through. Be careful while stirring at this point as the tofu will break apart if the stew isn't stirred gently.
5) To finish, add the sliced jalapeno and enoki mushrooms and cook for another minute. Serve immediately with fluffy rice.
Notice that no salt is added at any point while making the stew. The fermented soybean paste is salty as it is and you can add a little more to the stew if you need that extra seasoning. The chili flakes add a nice kick and changes the color of the soup to a vibrant, reddish brown color.
Did you know?Song Do has a kickin version of this stew if you live in Georgia. Add in some of the BBQ right as the soup comes out and let it swim in the soup for a minute to add meaty goodness. Yum!
Whoever said that 3rd year of Rx. school was the easiest is a liar and deserves a swift kick in the...ahem. Anyways...
I've been really really ridiculously good looking busy lately and when I do cook it's just fast, easy and boring things. Not really blog worthy I think. Who wants to see toast and eggs and kimchi jjigae every single week?
While paying attention really well during class, I saw a recipe on the NY Times and I bookmarked it (or..at least I thought I did) to cook later on during the week. Simply a steak on top of a bed of spinach and crispy fried potatoes. The original recipe calls for deglazing the pan with red wine to create a quick sauce after frying the steak but I said screw it to the red wine sauce and just spooned some ssamjang on top of the steak instead.
Ssamjang is a mixture of gochujang(Korean red chili paste), doenjang(fermented soybean paste), as well as other ingredients like garlic, scallions, onions, sesame oil, etc. You could make your own...but in all honesty - some of the store bought stuff is just as good, if not better. The Sunchang brand ssamjang is absolutely fire (no pun intended). If you can get your hands on a tub, buy that instead of anything else you see on the shelves.
Flat Iron Steak (Ssamjang, Crispy Potatoes, Spinach)
Adapted from the NY Times, Serves 2
- 2 pieces of steak (flat iron, sirloin, strip...whatever)
- 1 gold potato
- handful of baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons of ssamjang
1) After scrubbing and cleaning the potato, cut it really thin (about 1/8 of an inch) using a sharp knife or carefully use a mandolin to slice them thin. Set aside.
2) In a cast iron pan, add enough olive oil to come up about 1/4 of an inch and over medium to medium-high heat, fry the potatoes about 2 minutes per side until crispy and browned. Remove the potatoes to a plate with paper towels to drain. Work in batches and set aside once finished.
3) In that same pan, add more oil if you need it and fry your steaks. The cooking time will vary depending which cut of steak you use. For my flat iron, I seared it on high heat on all sides until browned and then finished it in a 400 degrees F oven for 6 minutes. After resting, they came out a yummy medium-rare.
4) To serve, arrange the baby spinach leaves like a flower, make a circle in the middle of the spinach bed using the potato chips and then place the steak on top. Spoon a teaspoon of ssamjang over each steak and serve.
Fast, easy and yummy. If you're kinda intimidated by the ssamjang or the spicy punch it brings to the table, you can do the red wine reduction thing. Or...just get the A1 out of the fridge. It's all good.
Did you know? Not pictured here is Mickey Mouse - my eating buddy when I'm alone. He was shy and hiding that day :)