Swag = Cooking Adventures

I’m on a roll, who knows why I’m in a writing mood. I wrote recently about differences in the vendor’s presentations and demeanors at conferences and trade shows (September 17). Or at least I tried to do that.

At the trade show I attended a week ago in Las Vegas, the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) had a large display at which many different conference venues around the country were represented. Koreans are great for encouraging visitors to try their hands at crafts. This time it was a white paper fan and a choice of stamps and colors to decorate it. I chose lovely flowers to adorn my fan.

The swag offered by the KTO included two books about Korean food, a type of food I’m trying my hand ast, as you might have already read. For the past so many years, every February I travel to Korea (another story, maybe in February) and enjoy all of our food adventures and more. When I get home, I try to cooking some things (see the ‘Favorite Post’ and July 10). One of the swag books is a beautifully illustrated display of the rich variety of Korean food. The other was a small cookbook.

The recipes are really easy

The cookbook starts with a simple repertoire of basic instructions. Basic cuts of vegetables are shown. The to make the common types of stocks and juices are given. Rice, a Korean staple, is also described in detail.

I could not resist the urge to use the book.  So for dinner one evening this past week, with all the ingredients on hand I tried Japchae, a beef stir fry with uniquely Korean sweet potato glass noodles. First, I had to so some conversions from grams to ounces as the book is published for a European audience. It’s an easy task using my friend Google!

The Japchae starts with the noodles, beef (I used a thin cut piece of chuck), 1 shitake mushroom, zucchini, and carrots.

1 – Boil the noodles on high for about 5 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water.

2 – Cut the meat into thin strips and marinate in white sugar dissolved in soy sauce. Then stir fry quickly.

Beef Marinating

3 -Julienne the vegetables (cut into thin strips) and stir fry separately in the wok with a little bit of oil.

4 – Make a seasoning sauce: 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar (I omitted this), 1/8 tsp black pepper, a little water, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp sesame seeds, mixed all together.

5 – Put the noodles the wok with the seasoning sauce and bring to boil, then simmer to absorb the sauce

6 – Add the beef and vegetables to the noodles and toss it all together with sesame seeds.

Note: I follow two Korean recipe blogs.  Another recipe for Japchae is on Korean Bapsang (https://www.koreanbapsang.com/japchae-korean-stir-fried-starch/) just in case you can’t get your hands on the cookbook.

The dinner was great. But … you’ll never believe my surprise the next morning when no leftovers to be found.  It turns out that later in the evening, my husband could not resist the japchae, especially when all the flavors married after sitting a few hours – he finished it all!

I am very happy with this useful piece of swag and look forward to trying other recipes. Thank you KTO. Next is kimchi using the beautiful head of cabbage bought at my beloved, and closed Penn Dutch (see Sept. 21 post). 

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