Happy New Year!

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恭喜发财,新年快乐!

Today is Chinese new year (or Lunar new year)! A start to the year of the snake. Which is a reminder to me that this year is the year I turn… er… some multiple of 12. Haha.

Yesterday I had some co-workers over for dinner (8 people total). I don’t really know how to cook “traditional” Chinese new year’s food so instead my friend and I cooked up all sorts of different kinds of Asian food. We had some Chinese food – pork and veggie dumplings and scallion pancakes (葱油饼), but then had other Asian foods like Japanese curry, kimchi jigae (top picture), and mochi ice cream (bottom picture).

I’m really starting to love Korean food. I think I really want to try making my own homemade kimchi sometime. According to my Korean friends making your own kimchi is the mark of a “real” Korean woman. I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I’m working my way up there.

I’m really tired, so I won’t be writing more.

The mochi recipe came from Japanese Ice Cream. I pretty much followed it to the T… but found that the folding method did not work very well. Not sure how to make it work better.

The kimchi jigae recipe was adapted from cHow Devine. I ended up using bulgogi beef instead of pork because one of my dinner guests doesn’t eat pork. Also I didn’t really measure anything. I guess that’s not very helpful. But I’m tired and I have work tomorrow so I’m going to end this post.

Addendum – added Tuesday, February 12, 2013:
So I tried making this again today. A freshman Korean friend said the beef gave it a weird consistency so I decided to try it again with her. This time I decided to use Spam instead of beef. It’s funny… when I was little I wouldn’t come near Spam. The idea of meat in a can was not an appealing one. Now I find that it’s essential for kimchi fried rice and kimchi jigae.

As much as I like the kimchi jigae that I made on Saturday, the one today was better. And so simple! Also, I’ve found that kimchi jigae is a really good winter food. It warms the soul.

Anyway, here’s what I did:

Ingredients
14 oz soft tofu, diced
2-3 cups kimchi, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 heaping spoonfuls of gochujang
1 can Spam, diced
4-5 cups water

Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 45 minute to an hour. Add gochujang to taste (I like my soup spicy).

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