Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Day Brunch: Rice Cake Me Baby!

Happy New Year to all my blog readers!  Thanks for making 2011 so fun!

On January 1st, of any given New Year, Koreans eat rice cake soup.  My paternal grandmother did hers with these special balls of dduk that she would hand roll herself while most families are familiar with the sliced kind.  No matter your preference, rice cake soup is what you traditionally eat the first day of the New Year.  I will be partaking of a bowl or two with family, Son and Daughters this year and I know it's going to be delicious because Mother puts in homemade Korean dumplings (mandoo 문두) in there which just makes it more special.

When younger, single, unmarried, child-less and more ENERGETIC, friends and I would find ways to have fun in through the night, in a manner more exciting than sitting in front of the TV watching the proverbial ball drop somewhere else in the world.  Newly married, in Hong Kong, husband and I found ways to go out and have fun with all the other young hipsters in the city, but I have to say that it feels like a very distant memory, those days of staying up late.  If I were hosting a New Year's Day brunch, I'd just want to invite some families over, have the kids play together and relax and not do anything too strenuous.  Even if I didn't do much else the night before except watch the ball drop.

Here are two potential menus you might find helpful for planning your New Year's Day brunch or meal.  I've done a Korean one and one with more Western leanings.  Happy New Year my dear readers and see you on the other side!


Korean New Year's Day Menu
Traditionally a mother will slave over the kitchen making lots of complicated things which require effort like individually pan fried vegetables (Juhn 전), mung bean pancakes (bindaedduck 빈대덕), and fresh vegetable side dishes (nameul 나물). Me? Not so much.  I want a satisfying meal that will come together with minimal craziness in the kitchen.

Korean Rice Cake Soup (떡국)
Sweet and Sour Spicy Wings
Bokchoy Salad or Tofu Salad 
Spinach Nameul (if you are feeling industrious, do this in lieu of one of the salads above)
Steamed Tofu with Spicy Sauce (an extra nice touch)
Mochi Cake



New Year's Day Brunch
Bagels with cream cheese, lox, capers, onions
Spinach Dip and Vegetables
Chicken Salad (done the night before)
French Toast Bread Pudding (Takes 90 minutes in the oven, so if you're doing this and the potato bake as well, you'll need two ovens.)
Egg Havarti Asparagus Potato Bake (Prepare the night before, and take it out of the fridge and cook it day of, but give it about 20 minutes at room temperature before sticking it in the oven.  It takes 1.5 hours to bake.)

4 comments:

Kenz said...

I have eaten a Thai dessert before that consisted of some sort or rice cake. I was not impressed, maybe because my palette is not trained for such odd ingredients mixed with sugar. However, this looks interesting (in a good way).

caroline said...

Well that's my New Years Menu sorted. You have no idea how much time you saved me - haha!
Have a wonderful new year!!!

@kenz - I think mochi does require some getting used to. Having grown up with it I love it. My husband on the other hand is English - he didn't like it at first, and then one day when I came home from the Korean grocery store he promptly broke open the package of rice cake and just kept on eating - I was surprised. He actually forgot that he didn't like before. :) Funny man. Once you get used to it, it's very addictive ;)

caroline said...

Oops!! I forgot to say thank you!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

pearls and green tea said...

Hi Joanne! I loved your idea of gifting personalized mugs with some treats inside. I did this over Christmas and wrote a post about it, linking back to you of course. It will go live later this week. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks for all your great posts!! I really do use your recipes and ideas and refer friends to your blog all the time!

jiye
pearlsandgreentea.com

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