Thursday, July 15, 2010

Korean Style Spicy Slaw: Preparing to turn 40....

I'm doing it.  I'm outing myself and my age.  I will be turning 39 later this year, and the next year I will be 40.  I have a year to prepare for that mental age milestone, and hopefully by the time it hits, I will do what so many women have done before me...age gracefully.  I will no longer fret about the white hair at the top of my head, because hey, I'm 40 and that's what women have at 40, white hair.  I will no longer freak out when I see my reflection in the mirror while exercising upside down, and catch my face obeying the laws of gravity and sink in a direction I don't expect.  I will no longer compare my skin to that of a woman much younger than I, and instead accept it with all of its wrinkles, spots and blemishes.  I will be beautiful in my spirit and I will embrace my 40.

To help me accept my aging self, I like to think about how to plan my birthday party. I've told Husband that I will have several different celebrations, one being a weekend away with my best girlfriends, another is a meal at a posh restaurant surrounded by the the husbands and wives who are closest to Husband and me, and the final one is one where I invite a bunch of my close friends to my home, and I celebrate 40 by cooking for them.  I already think about that menu, what I can create and make to satisfy all those tastebuds that will be in the room.  I still haven't figured it all out yet but this is one dish I sort of tried out in anticipation of that party.  I thought of it because I'm pretty sure that my 40th birthday cooking fest will involve some sort of marinated meats, grilled and lots of yummy different sides.  That is my style of cooking so I'm pretty sure it would carry over on this day as well.  To go with yummy marinated meats I like to have lots of crisp refreshing salads. 

This is the result.  A spicy slaw, that looks sort of like kimchee, is spicy like kimchee, but really is a slaw.  I loved the texture, and I especially liked it with the black pork belly that I had with my dinner tonight.

I took a piece of pork and wrapped it around a bite of the coleslaw.

Son ate the slaw as well, and couldn't get enough of it with the pork either.  It was a hit for the two of us, and I managed to get daughters to taste it, only they couldn't take the spice.  (Son at 2 1/2 years old LOVES his spicy food.)
Korean Style Spicy Slaw
Serves 4-6

1/2 a head of cabbage, thinly shredded
2 mini cucumbers (Persian), julienne
1/2 onion, (red or white) thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

Dressing (same dressing as the Bok Choy Salad)
3 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seed
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugahloo-고추가루 )

Mix all the ingredients of the dressing together.  It gets really thick so do not be shocked. (I like to use an old jar to mix the ingredients for the dressing.)  Place the vegetables in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over the vegetables and carefully mix them together.  Serve.

Printable recipe

This is oh-gyup sahl (오굡살). See the five layers of fat and meat alternating.  It is nice because it is leaner than samgyupsahl (삼겹살).
Label on the package

And the pork belly, eaten with this, just tastes so perfect.

The fish sauce I like to use


Me, the hubby, plus 3 said...

i'm a big fan of crunchy foods... like pickles, daikon kimchee, plain kimchee, etc. this look perfect as an accompaniment to any of the korean meats that i cook! making my mouth water and it's only 6:30 AM! my 2 year old daughter is the same way with spicy foods, she loves them but my 6 year old son can't hang.

Sandi said...

that looks great!!! really interesting. Ohhh and don't worry....40 is not bad at all...LOL!!! Especially since I passed it many many moons ago....HAHA!!!

catb said...

mmmm. Looks good!
AND - it looks like you were in my neighborhood - I am ridiculously close to that Kyo Po!

You know - I've never tried pork belly even though my parents tried to convince me to try it. I love bacon so not sure why I haven't now!. How do you prepare the pork belly?

Joanne Choi said...

Thanks everyone!

to Catb - If you are going to get pork belly, get the kind I show - Black pork belly - it is significantly less fatty and super delicious. I just fried it in my fry pan like one would fry bacon. On the side I had salt and pepper with a bit of sesame oil poured on top to dip the pork in.

SOOOO good...and the spicy slaw cuts the grease and makes it even yummier.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this recipe!!
Where I live (in Mexico) I can't get baechu (napa cabbage) to make kimchi, this slaw will fill in the void :)

Reenah Lee

Joanne Choi said...

Reenah - have you considered making kimchee more chinese style with the head of cabbage? I'm sure that maangchi has one.

Janet said...

Is oyster sauce the same thing as the fish sauce?

Joanne Choi said...

Janet- oyster sauce is not the same as fish sauce. I've posted a link from amazon with the fish sauce I like -but DO NOT buy it from amazon. Too expensive. Instead, go to your local Chinese or Korean market and they will have this brand.

Janet said...

made this tonight! everyone loved it, including the in-laws. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

Kevin said...

This Korean style slaw sounds so good! It would go really well with the pork belly.

Joudie's Mood Food said...

Looks like a dream. I am so into this type of dish. crunchy, salty, spicy and full of goodness.

Ari said...

This sounds really interesting. Not sure how I'd handle the spice level, but I love variations on slaw. Also, love the idea of adding pork belly (yum!) to the dish. Is yours cooked all the way through? Looks undercooked, but still tasty!

emz said...

Does the type of vinegar used matter? which would you suggest?

Ellie said...

Ohhhmagoodnesss. I kid you not I just posted today a Korean slaw recipe! But very different from this one. :) Very nice to meet you, and I give it up to you for announcing your preparation for 40, hehe! I know this sounds crazy but oftentimes I compare myself to my own 15 month old daughter and wonder...why oh why can't I have pristine complexion like her?! :P


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