Tag Archives: Korean

Korea Garden

The Korean food scene in Pittsburgh tends to be very pricey, and I believe Korea Garden is one of the cheaper places. However, they recently remodeled (sometime during March?) and they’ve raised the prices since then. It doesn’t deter me from coming back because I think they have the best soon dubu I’ve ever had.

Soon dubu

Soon dubu

I really like this dish because of the depth of flavor they put into the broth. Its just incredibly… brothy. It tastes like lots of different seafood has been cooked with the broth, which makes the flavor very complex. The egg comes precooked inside the soup, which is not typical, but I don’t mind. The rice they serve is also very delicious, and a little soup with some rice is amazing.

Spicy cold soba noodles

Spicy cold soba noodles

Non-spicy cold soba noodles

Non-spicy cold soba noodles

 

My roommates ordered a cold stringy soba noodle dish, one with the spicy Korean pepper sauce and one without. The dish comes with Asian pear, an egg, and various vegetables. Supposedly the cold broth is supposed to be a beef based broth, but it tasted more like a seafood based broth (perhaps seaweed?). My Korean roommate commented that the flavors of the dish were not typical. I thought it was pretty good, but I was completely weirded out by a cold broth soup. I guess, its an interesting dish.

Typical side dishes

Typical side dishes

So this post concludes my last post (for a while) in Pittsburgh. I am leaving for Toronto, and then I will settle in Chicago for culinary school. I’m not sure how often I will be posting in Toronto (since I am poor and lack equipment to bake), but during August in Chicago I will definitely try to update!

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Korean food with an American cut of pork

I think of pork tenderloin as a really “American cut” of pork because I can’t think of an instance where Taiwanese people would choose this cut deliberately. Its a very low fat cut, and given that most Taiwanese people only know how to stir fry with the biggest fire they can muster, this isn’t a great cut to deal with. Most of the time pork belly is used, and even if other cuts are used fat is kept on just so that it will taste better.

However, I figured out the way to make tenderloin properly. As I have repeated before, cooking it to medium rare is key. Yes yes, the USDA tells you to cook it to 160F, and blah blah blah, but seriously, 160F is pushing it. 140F is what you should be going for, even if you want to stir fry something. So I made Daeiji Bulgogi with pork tenderloin, and it tastes great. =)

Also, I find Korean food to be very addictive. I think its the heavy flavors, the sweet and spicy really get to me. I think the best part, though, is that its hard to mess up with Korean food. Whenever I make it, it always tastes good.

Recipe from Maangchi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sliced medium onion, 3 chopped green onions
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic, ½ ts minced ginger
  • 1 chopped green chili pepper (optional)
  • 1/3 cup hot pepper paste
  • 2 tbs hot pepper flakes
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • ½ ts black ground pepper
  • 2 ts of sesame oil
  • ~2lbs pork tenderloin

Procedure:

  1. Put all the ingredients except the pork into a large wok/pot/pan whatever you have. Since there are a lot of ingredients, I put it into a big (3 or 6qt I’m not sure) pot.

    All but the pork

  2. Cut the tenderloin into 1 inch cubes. Larger is preferable, since you don’t want the meat to cook too fast.

    BIG CUBES I SAY

  3. Heat your cooking utensil over high heat, and allow the onions to cook till translucent.
  4. Move the meat into the pot, and, using a timer, go for 3-5 minutes of cooking time depending on the size of your cubes. NO MORE THAN THAT. I’m telling you. Trust me on this one. It tastes awesome if you don’t let the meat overcook. You want the centers to still be pink when you’re done.

A bowl of tastiness

Super easy entree, and it tastes great too. =D

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Green Pepper

A while back I went to Green Pepper with several of my friends.  I’ve been here over the summer, and my first impression was that it was just Korean food, which I’m not obsessed over.  However, I decided to give this place a second try despite the price.  On average each entree was 15 or more dollars, and honestly, the service wasn’t that great.  During my second visit, I felt like the waiters didn’t know what to do, and let us sit at the table for a ridiculously amount of time before asking for our orders (I was starved by then so I was pretty annoyed about this).  I just looked like waiters were walking around, seemingly with a purpose, but they never came to our table despite the fact that we looked ready.  I hate slow service.

But anyway, two of us ordered the Dolsot Bibimbap, two of us ordered the Beef Dumpling in Stew, and one person ordered the Spicy Chicken Meal set.

Hand Made Beef Dumpling Stew

Dolsot Bibimbap

Spicy Chicken Meal Set

I actually really liked my dish, the dolsot bibimbap. I don’t know if it was because I was extremely hungry or what, but I thought it was good. They used some vegetables that I had no idea what they were, but it went well together with the sauce and marinated meat. I had hoped that the stone bowl would make some of the rice crispy, but that didn’t happen so I was a little bit disappointed. Perhaps the stone bowl wasn’t hot enough?

For my friend’s dish, I loved the soup that used.  I think it was a pork bone soup even though it may look like a cream based soup.  It had a creamy and aromatic taste to it, but not overly strong.  This was probably my favorite thing of the meal. I’m not very fond of dumplings in soup; its a very non-Chinese thing to do, and I’m not really sure what to think of it. Also, noodles with the dumpling seemed like it was really really filling. I liked their soup, even though it wasn’t very strong (good for drinking, not so good for a noodle-soup).

The Chicken Teriyaki was typical. It was some sort of marinated chicken with a bunch of side dishes. I forget what the marinade was because I only had one bite of it.

Of course, as with every Korean restaurant, there were side dishes that came with the entree.  I had a taste of all of them and they were very good.  However they charged for refills, which furthers my point of how expensive this place is.  I love the Korean side dishes and if other restaurants can offer it for free, why can’t they?

Overall, I don’t think I would come back to Green Pepper anytime soon.  The service is slow, and the food is expensive.  I have heard that this is a very authentic Korean restaurant, but I think Korea Garden is just as good and not as expensive.

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the eating moster cooks! – Bulgolgi

Its summer and I am currently living at my friend’s apartment.  This means that I have a kitchen, nice pots, a big fridge, and lots of free time on my hands.  I have been cooking for a while, but they were mostly uninteresting dishes that were meant to just keep me alive (also, a lot of instant food was made too).  But now that I am running low on money (due to excessive shopping), I’ve resorted to being more serious about cooking.  Anyway, this is a dish I made a few weeks ago – Bugolgi!  The bugolgi I made was amazing – even better than some of the cheap Korean restaurants in Pittsburgh. =) Here’s the recipe I followed:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of sirloin beef
  • soy sauce, honey, garlic, pear, onion
  • sesame oil

Bulgogi

  1. Make marinade sauce for 1 pound of beef by mixing following: ¼ cup soy sauce, 1/8 cup honey, 6 cloves minced garlic, 1 medium size onion (diced and crushed), 1 small size of Asian pear (crushed), ¼ cup of mirin (cooking wine)
  2. Prepare a large stainless bowl (I used a pot)
  3. Cut the beef into thin slices.  I ended up with a sirloin steak cut, so I cut it into long thin pieces using a pair of scissors.  You can also use tenderloin cut.
  4. Add 1 or 2 tbsp of sesame oil.
  5. Marinate the beef for 3 hours or more.  (The longer you marinate it the better it tastes! Overnight is best)
  6. You can grill the meat on charcoal bbq, broil it in oven, or grill it on pan.
  7. Usually bulgolgi is grilled with mushrooms, green onions, and carrots.  Other ingredients can also be added, such as more onions, enoki mushrooms, broccoli and tofu.  Feel free to add more vegetables as you like! The marinade is amazing and goes well with anything.

(The original recipe is here: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/bulgogi-and-bulgogi-stew)

The end result was amazing, although I spent 3 hours crushing onions and pears, and mincing garlic.  I wouldn’t make it again unless I have a food processor next time.  Its too much work without one.  =(  But anyway, here are the pics of it (and yes, I always cook with chopsticks because I’m cool like that =D).

Sirloin beef in marinade

Cooking bugolgi

Added the mushrooms

Done!

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