Sunday, October 24, 2010
Kimchi mandu & dukbokki
I had also bought some "rice cakes" at the oriental market the other day. These are not the crunchy rice cakes Westerners know and love (or hate; personally I am neutral towards them), but a kind of rice pasta or gnocchi. It comes in different shapes, but mine was in slices or coins. With this I made another Korean dish, dubokki.
Where to begin? Here are the rice cakes in their packaging:
They look kind of soft and lima-bean like, but that look is deceptive. They're quite tough and dry, and once the packet was opened, fell out of it in individual slices without sticking at all. Cooked, they're more like gnocchi than anything else. I based my dish closely on this one from Maangchi. I didn't use a recipe but followed her method, though instead of anchovies, I simmered about 2 square inches of kombu in the water for ten minutes, then removed it before adding the other ingredients. Watch her video; the way the rice cakes suddenly thicken in the broth is magical. This dish reminded me a little of spaghetti with tomato sauce, though of course without spaghetti or tomatoes...
I did use this, Korean hot pepper paste, something new to me in the last week. It's a dark red paste, spicy but not fiery hot. Its texture is a little gritty and floury and it does in fact contain some wheat flour:
Then I made dumplings. Kimchi dumplings. Again, I'll give pictures but not a recipe, because I mostly just put it together with things I had. My efforts were based loosely on this recipe, which I halved, and I also subbed ground seitan for the pork. Dumplings seem like a ton of work, and of course they can be if you're making them for an army, but 24 dumplings took me about an hour. I made most of it in the food processor. The dough first, which is just flour and water:
Then the filling. If you didn't want to use seitan, there's no reason at all they couldn't be all-tofu. The only trick to a dumpling filling is not to let it be too wet. I squeezed out my tofu and kimchi in a cloth before adding them to the mix:
Then roll out the little bits of dough into circles about 3 1/2 inches in diameter and place about a tablespoon of filling in the centre:
Wet one half of the edge, fold the other over and pinch shut, then join the two ends of the half circle to make a cute little circular dumpling:
A family group:
So far, so good, but when I steamed them they didn't come out all shiny and glossy like the ones you make from the bought wrappers, but they held together well and tasted fine. I ate seven and froze the rest, so it may be that after their chilly sojourn in the freezer their texture will improve. I have special plans for those dumplings!
This was served with a salad with a simple soy sauce/rice vinegar/sesame oil dressing, and some sweet-and-salty daikon pickles from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking I made a day or two ago and am really pleased with. The dumpling-dipping sauce was just rice vinegar with grated ginger, and was superb!