Friday, September 16, 2011

NomNom: Banchan: Spicy Bean Sprouts and Spicy Steamed Egg

Banchan in Korean refers to small side dishes. If you've ever been to a Korean restaurant you'll notice that they always give you a plethora of banchan that may vary from pickled vegetables, tofu, and kimchi which are meant to be shared. This is a staple in Korean cuisine because aside from the main dishes you always need an accompaniment(s).

"Kongnamul muchim" is a soybean sprout side dish that can be prepared either spicy or not. I chose to make the spicy version because, well, I just like a little heat in my dishes. After all, I am Korean;)

Kongnamul Muchim
1/2 lb soybean sprouts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1.5 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 chopped green onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste

1. Break off the end pieces or the soybean sprouts and throw out any wilted ones.
2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot and put sprouts into the pot. Close lid. Boil for 10 minutes.
3. Drain the soybean sprouts and rinse with cold water.
4. Move to a bowl.
5. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, green onions, garlic, salt, and sugar with the cooked soybean.
6. Mix with hand.

"Mae woon gye ran jjim" translates to spicy steamed egg. Similar to the soybean sprout side dish, this can be prepared spicy or non spicy and again, I made the spicy version. HA! What can I say, spicy runs in my blood. This is such a simple yet savory dish that you can whip up in less then 20 minutes. I've seen this dish cooked using the microwave but I chose to steam it because I find that the texture is more silky, almost pudding like when steamed, which I prefer.

Mae woon gye ran jjim (adapted from beyondkimchee)
2 eggs
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 green onion
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sesame oil (optional)

1. Combine all the ingredients minus the sesame oil in a steam proof bowl. Cover the bowl with foil.
2. In a pot filled with water that can reach to the half way up to the steam proof bowl in it, place a small plate on the bottom of the pot to secure the bowl during boiling. 
3. Place the bowl and cover the pot with a lid. Boil over medium high heat for 7-9 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Be cautious! It is very hot.
4. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve hot or warm.

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