Tuesday, March 13, 2012

argumentative and resistant teen

korean style pork bulgogi tacos

Grandma Park is my mother's mother.  She passed away when I was in high school.  The things I remember about her are mostly of food.  When I was a little girl, she would always give me $1 to take to the store to buy anything that my little heart desired.  Some days it would be candy and other days it would be a snack from a street vendor.  My grandma told me that when I was little I use to refuse to eat the wrinkly leaves of the kimchee and only eat the stem part because I thought the wrinkly leaves looked old but the bottom part looked young.  Another time I saw a little table on the side of the street so I lugged the table all the way to grandma's house because I thought she needed a table.  Logic of a little child is hard to understand.  Grandma Park was my favorite grandma because she would let me get away with anything and I could do no wrong in her eyes.  Whenever we went over to my grandma's house she would make me one of two things, Korean spicy pork or kimchee fried rice only because they were my favorite. 

I did not get to see grandma Park again until I was 13, when I moved back to Korea.   I lived with my mom, grandma Park and my aunt at grandma's house.  Why I moved back to Korea is another story for another day.  At first everything was great, grandma would ask me everyday what I wanted to eat, she would go to the local market and buy just what she needed to make the meal.  Isn't it funny how people all over the world buy enough food to make just for that day?  Only in America do we buy things in bulk to last us for a whole year.  Then one day, I became an argumentative and resistant teen.  We were sitting around watching tv and grandma wanted to watch the news, I was in the middle of watching my show and didn't want to give up the control of the remote.  We argued for a few minutes and I ended up throwing the remote at her.  I know everyone is scrunching up their face as they read this.  Looking back I really wish I hadn't done that.  If I could sincerely apologize for it now I would.  I don't know what came over me or who I thought I was.  I was a teen who thought she knew everything.  Needless to the say the relationship went sour and my mom and I had to find our own place to live.  We lived in the same neighborhood and I would always see her at the end of our street because that was the spot where her an her friends would sit and talk daily.  My mom would work crazy hours to support us and I would have the house to myself.  So naturally, I fell into a crowd with less than desirable group of friends.  I would see my grandma every day at the end of the street when I came home from school with my friends who no one approved of.  Everyday she would see me but she wouldn't say anything.  Everyone knew in the neighborhood that I was hanging out with the wrong group of people but she said nothing.  Still to this day, I don't know why she didn't say anything.  She could have told my mom or scared me straight, but she just let me make my mistakes.  Maybe she was so disappointed in me at that point she had given up or maybe she didn't think it was her place.  I grew out of my rebellious phase at some point.  I think that may have happened recently when I had a child of my own.  If I could tell her now, I would apologize and tell her that I love her.

This recipe is in memory of Grandma Park.  My two favorite things that she made for me,  kimchee fried rice and Korean spicy pork.  I've incorporated a Mexican flare to this Korean dish by putting the pork in a taco and serving it with guacamole and cheese.  I would have used queso fresco but I didn't have any on hand so I just used what I had which was cheddar.  Instead of Mexican rice I served kimchee fried rice.  I cooked it extra long so that I can get the crispy bits and burnt ends!

These are the ingredients that you will find in most Korean recipes.
garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili paste, chili powder, soy sauce
what the marinade should look like
Kimchee fried rice
 (Notice how I have the rice pressed against the bottom of the pan?
That is so we can obtain the crispy bits and burnt ends)
what the pork looks like after it comes off the grill
Chop it all up
Spicy Korean Pork Tacos
This is the infamous Kimchee fried rice with "crispy bits and burnt ends"
it still wasn't good as my grandma's
This is a variation I made with beef in a soy marinade and kimchee on the taco!

Korean Spicy Marinated Pork
recipe from here

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup gochujang (Korean chili paste)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 lbs pork loin or pork chop (I think you can use any cut that has substantial meat)
1/4 cup canola oil

Put all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix.  Place pork in the marinade and work in the meat with your hands.  Let it sit in fridge for 24 hours.  Remove pork from marinade and grill!

Kimchee Fried Rice
1 cup choppede Kimchee at least 2 weeks old (save the juice)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cup white rice
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil.

Heat pan until screaming hot and add sesame oil.  Place kimchee in pan and sautee for about 5 minutes.  Add the rice and mix well until the white in the rice is gone.  If you feel that the rice is too dry add a little more sesame or a tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil.  Press the rice on to the pan and let it sit on high heat.  That is how you get the crsipy bits and burnt ends.  Sprinkle sesame seeds before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment