Jeyookbokeum and Respecting the Carrot

I turned to Good Man and said, “We don’t have rice wine, so I’m leaving that out. Is that OK?”

“It’s OK. Even though I don’t know what you are talking about.”

I love my Korean cookbook.

제육볶음, Jeyookbokeum, Spicy Stir-Fried Pork

1 lb (500 g) pork fillet or pork belly, thinly sliced
1 T vegetable oil
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms or 5 dried black Chinese mushrooms, rinsed, soeaked in water for 30 mins to soften, stems discarded and caps sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, sliced
1/2 C (100 g) kimchi, lightly squeezed dry and thinly sliced (we just threw the kimchi in there, no squeezing, no slicing)
2 red chilies, sliced diagonally
1 small green bell pepper, sliced into thick strips

toasted sesame seed, to garnish (optional)
1 small carrot, or zucchini, or a handful of sugar snap peas (not traditionally Korean, but yummy)

3-4 T chili bean paste (gochujang, 고추장)
1-2 t ground red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t grated ginger (we don’t have a grater, so I just minced some ginger)
2 t sesame oil (I do think using sesame oil is important; when I used it in my parents’ house, my mother immediately recognized it, exclaiming, “That’s the smell I kept smelling in Korea!”)

1 T rice wine or sake
1 1/2 T soy sauce
1 T sugar
2 T water

Combine marinade in a medium bowl, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pork and mix to coat well. Drain the pork and reserve the marinade. (We didn’t do this. The marinade was not going to “drain” and I wasn’t going to wait for it to try.)

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok (or giant pot) over high heat and stir-fry the pork for 1 min. Add the mushrooms, onion, leek and kimchi (and carrots/zucchini/sugar snaps if you’re using them) and stir-fry for 1 more min. Add the reserved marinade and continue to stir-fry until pork is cooked, about 4 mins.

Add the chilies and bell pepper and stir to mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot. Have lots of steamed rice around! Serves 4.

퓨전 제육볶음

You’ll note there are carrots in there. Good Man loves carrots. “I like carrot. I want carrot.” He is always telling me to “respect the carrot.” That sounds so dirty, but it isn’t.