Can’t remember when Korean food overtook Japanese as my favorite Asian cuisine, but I do crave for it now more than the other. There are a lot of Korean restaurants in Manila, but the problem is I always find it hard to tag along my friends there. You see, everybody likes dimsum but not everyone acquires the taste for kimchi. Moreover, the average you can spend for a meal by your lonesome in a Korean resto is P300 – quite expensive for an office worker, tee hee. So I guessed the next best thing was to figure out how to cook their cuisine.
The first sensible thing to do is to visit the Korean grocery. Most of the ingredients just can’t be found anywhere. Am lucky that I work in the tourist district of Ermita because there are a lot of stores here. I found out too that there are a lot of quality shops in Paranaque, but that’s for another post:D
Easily, the most common perception is that Korean food is uber-spicy – which is true in some aspects. But the popular bulgogi certainly is not. And so is this luscious piece of steak which is my own version of beef kalbi (or galbi). The beef ribs that was supposed to be used for this dish was at an astronomical P800 per kilo, so I substituted with T-bone steak instead. The meat was marinated overnight in cooking wine and other ingredients, then topped with crushed Korean pear for greater tenderness and flavor. The result was a T-bone Kalbi that was bordering on deliciously salty and sweet. It definitely made our Sunday lunch a mouth-watering one!
Kimchi chigae is another popular Korean dish. I even like the one where they put slices of Spam in it. This one I made uses canned tuna, and the oil or brine is even added to the soup to give it even more flavor. For this dish, you need kimchi (of course), slices of soft tofu, the broth from the kimchi, red pepper powder and several more slices of pepper. When you want an alternative to healthy eating, this is it. Caution: uber-hot!!!!