Keep on cookin’!
Since the first of March, I’ve been making Korean dinners on a nightly basis (except for the long weekend we went to Gore Mountain), mostly things my mom made and good recipes from A Korean Mother’s Cooking Notes by Chang Sun-Young, one of my favorite cook books.
So far, the Boyfriend picks pajun as one of his favorites (besides the braised short ribs, that is), and I have to say that tofu has been a stand out for me. Not only the eating of it, but the cooking of it. It’s a pleasure to cook with such a flexible ingredient. It’s easy to take it for granted, but I’ve counted on it for many years as both main and/or side dish. Not everyone’s first choice for dinner, but it would be if they knew how to use it.
And you will notice just how hard it is to f**k up, that is, unless you are really trying to…like the people who make Tofurkey. I think they get the gold medal in having found a way to f**k up tofu. Gross to the nth degree.
I like the Korean brand, Pulmuone, but because I only see it in Korean markets, I settle for whatever brands my local market carries. On occasion, I’ve gone to the tofu lady who keeps her tofu in a big bucket and doles out as much as you want from her little storefront on Grand Street. I hope those fat-cat landlords don’t push her out of there with their ghastly rents!
Here’s the recipe for pajun for you to make and share with your boyfriend or just eat it yourself:
(adapted from A Korean Mother’s Cooking Notes)
2 bunches scallions
1/2 cup sliced squid, tossed with a little salt
3 eggs, beaten with a little water and pinch of salt
3 tbls flour
1. Clean your scallions, top them and cut them in half. Make sure to slice the white part of the scallion, lengthwise, so you don’t have big white chunks of scallion in your pancake.
2. Toss the scallions with flour and mix in with half of the beaten egg mixture.
3. Spread the mixture on a heated, oiled pan and arrange the squid slices over the pancake. Cover with remaining egg mixture. Lower heat. When the one side is nice and golden, flip it over. I find it easier to turn it over in two pieces. Check for doneness in about five minutes.
4. Cut the pancake in pieces before serving. It’s fun to use kitchen scissors.
5. Make a dipping sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, pressed or minced garlic and black pepper.