Monday, November 7, 2011

Braised Mackerel and Korean Radish (고등어 무조림): Simple living

During out trip to Korea, I heavily strategized on how to pack for three children and one adult.  I needed to take a bunch of snacks for Son, as I was unsure of what selection of allergy safe foods would be available to him in Korea (and thankfully I did because many snacks made him quite sick) and I had presents to give to people.  I took 8 bags of rolos, a bag of pretzels as well as pecans because I wanted to make Pecan Rolo Pretzels as gifts for people. As a side note, this was one of the hugest hits ever!  People loved them so much and were asking me how to make them.  (sheepish grin on my face since they are so easy.)  There were special toiletries for Son since I wasn't sure of the skin care, and all in all it turned out I had to very much simplify what creature comforts my children and I could bring. I rationed out the children's items.

5 pairs of underwear.  Son got a 6th pair because he has sometimes accidents.
4 pairs of pants (Girls - two pairs of jeans, two pairs of leggings).  Son got an extra pair since he sometimes has accidents.
5 tops.  4 long sleeve, one short sleeve.  Son got an extra because he spills
One zip up sweatshirt.
One puffy vest.
Two dresses for an occasion.  One tuxedo for an occasion.
5 pairs of socks, including two pairs of tights for the girls.
One bathing suit a piece.

One mini stuffed animal each.  Son got to bring two small cars.  4 books a piece.  2 pencils each.  2 workbooks each.

I did very much the same, getting an extra outfit for working out and one more dressier outfit in case Husband and I could find some private time together.

Our space in Korea was small - the five of us stayed in a two bedroom apartment in the heart of Seoul.  The kitchen was the size of my powder room, and it was stocked with 2 pots and two fry pans.  There was plate service for 4.  The fridge was tiny and could barely hold the needs of a family of five for 3 days.  The kids slept in one queen bed all in the same room.  We were blessed with two bathrooms thankfully and so I couldn't complain.

We didn't have a car.  We walked, took taxis, or a bus everywhere that we went.   I didn't have wired access everywhere so I wasn't on facebook all the time or checking my email.  The kids went to school and didn't have any extracurricular activities, aside from the fun of getting to and from school.

We lived, for three weeks, very simply.  No toys, no ruckus, no extras, just enough.  I have to say - it was nice.  I didn't worry about filling up gas, what email I was missing, how I was going to get something - instead I just worried about which bus would get me where on time.  And it was really nice.  Really great. Daughters seemed to do pretty well with the changes, but it was Son that had the hardest time.  He said at one point, "Mom.  I want to go home.  I really miss my toys."

Ah well....there goes simple living for him.  But I really want to bring some of that home with me and I think the place that I brought it home with me is in this braised mackerel dish.  It's simple - layer vegetables and fish. Make sauce. Pour over.  Braise. Nothing much more than that.  I will say that cleaning and gutting a fish - if you're not into it, could be unpleasant.  I'm not into it, so I asked my fish guy at the Korean market to do it for me.  He did.  I told him heads off, body cut into chunks and give it to me gutted and cleaned.  The vegetables and the other stuff I was happy to do and the fish was done for me.  It is very very simple.

This is one of those super comforting, super delicious meals with plain rice.  Think of it as a Korean cioppino or chowder and you'll get the idea.  Fish and vegetables braised together.  Ah....simply...so good.
Braised Mackerel and Korean Radish (고등어 무조림)
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 mackerel, cleaned, gutted, heads removed, and cut into 3 or 4 pieces. (this will be about 1 ½ lbs.)
½ a large Korean radish
2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 onion
1 or 2 green peppers (Korean spicy green peppers or jalapenos will work)
2 red peppers (for color - sweet is fine)

½ cup of water
7 tablespoons of soy sauce
¼ cup sake
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 tablespoons Korean red chili powder (고추가루) - use less if you want it less spicy
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Korean red chili paste (고추장)


Method
Prepare vegetables. Peel radish. Slice radish into 1/2 inch thick rounds and then cut each round into fourths. Slice onions into ½ inch pieces. Slice both peppers into 1 inch pieces. Set all vegetables aside.

In a large bowl, mix together, water, soy sauce,  sake, scallions, red chili powder, honey, minced garlic, and red chili paste.

In a large pot with a lid, place all the onion and radish on the bottom.  Sprinkle ginger pieces.  Add the fish on top. Pour the sauce over all the vegetables and turn the heat to medium high. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, and cover pot for about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove lid and check to see that the fish is done and the radish is tender. Then add both the red and green chili peppers and allow them to cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Serve piping hot with beautiful rice.

Printable recipe

simply good

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

This is one of my fave childhood dishes! Korean comfort food. Thanks for posting this!!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff!

Labels

allergy friendly (8) almonds (7) appetizer (27) appetizers (4) apple (3) apples (1) apricots (3) artichoke (3) arugula (7) asian (7) asparagus (6) avocado (5) baby broccoli (1) bacon (5) baked (3) baking (8) balsamic (1) banana (11) bananas (2) banchan (3) bar cookies (7) basil (4) bbq (8) bean sprouts (2) beans (4) beef (12) beets (1) bell peppers (2) berries (1) birthdays (5) biscuits (2) blackberries (2) blueberry (10) boba (1) bok choy (2) braise (4) braising (1) bread (8) breakfast (25) brie (2) broccoli (4) brownie (1) brunch (2) brussel sprouts (1) bundt (12) bundt cake (15) burgers (2) buttermilk (1) cabbage (5) cake (16) cantaloupe (1) caramel (9) caramelized onions (1) cardamom (2) carrot (4) casserole (1) chai (2) cheese (17) chicken (33) chicken breasts (1) chicken thighs (3) chigae (1) chip (1) chocolate (25) chocolate chips (7) Christmas (1) cilantro (3) cinnamon (4) clams (1) coconut (6) coconut milk (5) coffee (4) cold (1) college (1) comfort food (1) cookie (3) cookies (17) corn (6) corn-free (2) cornbread (2) couscous (3) crab (1) cranberry (6) cream (5) cream cheese frosting (11) crisp (2) crostini (4) cucumber (3) cupcakes (21) curry (8) custard (1) dairy free (29) dairy-free (12) delicious (1) dessert (42) dinner (9) dip (2) donations (1) dressing (2) easy breakfast (9) easy dessert (14) easy lunch (9) easy main course (42) easy side dish (43) edamame (1) egg (6) egg free (14) egg-free (11) eggs (3) entertaining (1) event (1) fall (2) family (1) feta (4) figs (1) financier (1) fish (5) food as gifts (15) food for schools (2) french fries (1) fried (3) fried rice (3) frozen yogurt (1) fruit mosaic (7) fundraising (1) fusion (10) ganache (1) garlic (6) gelato (1) gift ideas (3) gift packaging (3) giveaway (8) gluten free (16) gluten-free (8) granola (3) grapefruit (1) Greek (4) green beans (7) green onion (1) green tea (3) Group (1) Haiti (1) halloween (1) ham (3) healthy eating (9) healthy snacks (7) holidays (37) honey (3) honeydew (1) hot (2) ice cream (3) indian (3) jalapeno (1) juices (1) kale (11) kids (3) kimchee (6) kimchi (6) korean (49) lasagna (1) lemon (15) lemongrass (2) lobster (1) lunch (7) lunch box (5) main course (6) main dish (9) make ahead (6) make-ahead (2) mango (1) marinade (7) marshmallow (1) Marx Foods (1) matcha (1) meatballs (2) meatloaf (2) meet (1) menopause fighter (6) menu (3) menu ideas (8) mexican (2) miso (1) mochi (2) movies (1) muffins (12) mushrooms (2) mussels (1) nectarine (1) non spicy (9) noodles (5) nut free (3) nuts (2) oatmeal (9) oats (3) orange (1) ornaments (1) orzo (1) oven cooking (16) paella (1) pan cake (3) pancetta (4) pandamania (1) parfait (1) party (2) party planning (16) pasta (24) pasta salad (6) peach (3) pears (2) pecans (4) pepitas (1) pickles (3) pie (4) pineapple (2) pizza dough (4) polenta (3) poll (1) popcorn (1) pops (1) pork (7) pork chops (1) potatoes (7) pretzels (2) Project Food Blog (1) prosciutto (4) puff pastry (1) pumpin (1) pumpkin (12) quinoa (3) radishes (2) raisin (1) raspberry (3) review (1) ribs (2) rice (6) rice cake (4) rice crispies (6) ricotta cheese (2) roast chicken (3) roasted (3) rum (1) salad (27) salami (2) salmon (3) sandwich (11) sauce (3) sausage (12) savory (1) scones (1) sea salt (2) seafood (2) seaweed (1) sesame (2) shawarma (1) shortbread (2) shrimp (2) side dish (20) simple (6) slaw (1) smoothie (2) sorbet (2) soup (15) soy free (3) soy sauce (2) soy-free (1) spice rub (1) spicy (13) spinach (5) squash (3) squid (1) steak (2) stew (3) stir fry (7) strawberry (6) stuffing (1) sugar free (2) sugar snap peas (2) summer dessert (9) sweet (1) sweet potatoes (4) taco (2) tart (1) tea (3) tea cake (1) teaching (1) tex-mex (2) thai (3) thank you (1) thanksgiving (13) Thomas Keller (1) toffee (5) tofu (13) tomato (12) tortilla (1) treetop treats (1) tuna (1) turkey (13) twice cooked (1) Vacation Bible School (2) vanilla bean (6) vegan (23) vegetables (22) vegetarian (39) velvet (1) vitamix (3) walnuts (1) watermelon (1) wheat-free (4) white chocolate (1) wings (6) winter (1) yogurt (4) zucchini (1)