Wake Food


Family gatherings naturally center around food. No matter the occasion, people must eat. Meals are social by nature, the food being savored and flavored with the jokes, stories, and music; and the pictures passed around the table anticipated as much as the bowls of salad or potatoes.
Until we began our separate lives by going away to college, we four siblings had dinner together every evening. Since then we have gathered only for weddings, and now for funerals. It is fortunate that we were all together last weekend, fortunate that my house is big enough to accommodate all of us.

Neng Myeon: Cold Korean Noodles: 냉면

The label read, “Korean Style Noodles with Buckwheat, “Pyongyang Mul Neng Myeon,” and “Vermecille.” One can see thin brown noodles through the window on the package. I had a vague but good memory of eating these noodles at a restaurant with my daughter: buckwheat noodles in cold beef broth topped with cucumber, pear, radish, thin beef slices and boiled egg. I was thinking about the broth left from the Korean soy braised beef (changjorim or jangjorim) that would be a crime to waste.

Korean Braised Beef: Chang Jorim 장조림

Beef braised in soy sauce is a popular appetizer in Korea. Like oxtail soup, it is made with a relatively inexpensive cut of meat which is unfamiliar to me. Like oxtail, beef shank is rich in fat and collagen thus making both good candidates for long slow gentle cooking which produce delicious broths.
To be honest, I had not planned to make this dish! There is a lot on my mind these days so sometimes I don’t pay close attention to what I’m doing. Twice I accidentally bought the wrong soup: wanted chicken and wild rice—got 1. spinach and wild mushrooms, 2. jalapeño chile! So at least oxtails and beef shank look almost similar in that they are both round, with a bone in the center…

Oxtail Soup 곰탕 (テールスープ)


Oxtail soup is the broth of the gods! It’s deeply robustly beefy delicious.
Shopping so often in the little Korean grocery store means that I see many foods which are unfamiliar. Though it leads me to a neighboring cuisine, I can’t help but be curious. I rarely see the tails of cattle for sale anywhere else! Imagine my surprise when I saw some lovely fresh oxtails in my regular grocery store. I grabbed a couple of packages and hurried home to find my Korean cookbook.

Udon with Hambagu Sauce


Not one to let a good hambagu languish in the fridge, nor one to eat the same meal day after day, I added a bit more beef stock to the pan, mashed the pattie to thicken the sauce, and boiled up some udon for a quick supper after work. Though it was made from leftovers, it was good enough to fool myself!
Oh, no recipe. Just a short trip into memory. A little sad, a little happy…

Sometimes You Just Want a Hambagu!


If you shop when you’re hungry, then you’ll come home with a surprise. My plan was to cook a new dish from Hiroko Shimbo’s book (The Japanese Kitchen): pork belly braised with daikon, then simmered in a flavorful sauce involving hours and hours of cooking time. As I looked at the displays of fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats many quick and simple possibilities lured me toward one of the fastest meals I could cook. Japanese-style hamburgers are delicious!

Japanese Creamy Sesame Sauce


Shabu shabu is a party on a plate. In winter, sharing a hot pot with friends is an entertaining dinner. This version of shabu shabu is like eating a bouquet of summer: cool with colorful fruit and vegetables. Prepare it in the morning before the kitchen is hot. You can bring it to a potluck party, or serve it as an amuse gueule. The sauce with crudité makes a nice change from the usual sour cream-type of dip

Japanese Family Recipe: Tongue Stew

https://1tess.wordpress.comMs. Hiroko Shimbo is the author of The Japanese Kitchen, the book which started my adventure into Japanese home cooking; she is the source of many of the delectable recipes on my blog.You must read the very charming post on her blog when she reminisced about her mother’s cooking while she was growing up. (16 mar 09)Among many delicious dishes she recalled enjoying was tongue stew.

That made me curious because I’d made my version recently, so I commented that I’d be interested in the recipe.

She called her mother, who hadn’t made it for a long time. Hiroko’s mother and her sister collaborated to take make this delicious stew. You will find their recipe and notes they made in preparing the meal on her blog.