Sunday, July 13, 2014

Korean Spicy Pork Sandwich (돼지불고기 sandwich): Unexpected outcome

 For EK - my first drum teacher, who assured me that if I mastered one beat, I could play drums in praise for the rest of my life.  You were right.
For DK, EBK -your support and encouragment!

I started fiddling with the drums almost 4 years ago.  I got it in my head that long while ago, that given enough practice and discipline, I could be good enough to play in front of my church with our praise band.   Our praise band needed a drummer as there were none, and I was motivated to fulfill this role.  I practiced diligently for a while, then the drums sat idle for a long while, and then recently, in the last six months or so, I've been practicing far more regularly and trying a lot more to get my rhythms and my coordination together.  But I'm very much not that good.  A novice at best and an uncoordinated old lady at worst.  I've actually played excitedly in front of friends and family before and their immediate response isn't "You're good" but rather, "Don't you have any other beats or fancy stuff you can do?"  Deflate my ego.

However, because I am stubborn, I kept on practicing.  Still only novice level, but a confident novice.  And on a whim, one day during praise team rehearsal, where I have always been a pianist or keyboardist and sometimes a vocalist, I offered to play the drums while my guitarist took the lead on the song.  Everyone perked up on the team, and we decided to give it a go.  I helped establish the rhythm and I kept the beat for the entire song and the guitarist said, "You're great.  Why don't you play Sunday for service?"  My jaw dropped.  My face turned red.  My armpits got sweaty.  Piano in front of service was easy, a no brainer, and simple to follow through.  I had no worries when I played piano, but drums was a whole new perspective and I began to silently freak out.  "Can I do it?" I asked the team, and they all nodded encouragingly and said, "You were great!  Do it!"  After rehearsal was over, I asked, "Are you guys only saying to play drums because you're trying to keep me happy or do you actually want me to drum?"  They all said, "JUST PLAY!  It'll be GREAT!"

Then Sunday came.  I told Children I was playing drums but to keep it a secret from Husband so that he could be surprised when the beats came during our service.  I led a song on the piano, then moved from the piano to the drums and BAM!  Began playing!!!  And it was both thrilling and completely freaky at the same time.  It was only one song, probably about two minutes of beating the drums, but it was one of the most thrilling minutes of my life.  I was focused, concentrated and completely unable to do anything but focus on the two sticks and all the rhythm I was to create.

I got offered another opportunity to play again today, and I drummed TWO songs today.  And still, I'm not an expert drummer with fantastic beats or fancy embellishments.  But the praise leader this week made the interesting observation that what is needed isn't the fanciest drummer.  What is needed is the steady beat to help keep the song together and not mess it up with fancy solos.   In my head and in my arrogance I wanted to be the fanciest most spectacular female praise drummer the world had ever seen.  What I am is the steady and consistent amateur rhythm maker who helps keep the team together. Somehow, God used my small ability and used it to do what was actually needed, not what I wanted in my head.  I don't need to be fancy for God to use me.  I only need to be consistent and faithful and God uses me in the most effective way.

Unexpected outcome, but oh what a blessing.

These sandwiches were also an unexpected outcome.  I had made Korean spicy pork (돼지불고기) for Husband for dinner, and Girls complained that it was KOREAN FOOD AGAIN.  I quickly grabbed pretzel buns, sliced them in half, and said, "It's not Korean if it's on a sandwich. Make yourself a spicy pork sandwich."  Something about the pretzel bun must have intrigued them for they both decided to make themselves a sandwich and within seconds were oohing and aahing at the flavor.  It looked so good to me I threw some Korean perilla leaf on mine and was blown away at the yummy amazing flavor.  They are easy to make and the pretzel bun (which I picked up at Costco) is the perfect foil to the saucy and spicy pork.  It's a great dish to make for a large group.
Unexpected outcome.  But oh so good.

Korean Spicy Pork Bulgogi Sandwich (Dweji Bulgogi 돼지불고기Sandwich)
Serves 5 to 6

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced pork shoulder (also called pork butt) OR you can use pork belly for this (your local Korean market will have the appropriate cut of meat)

1/3 cup Korean chili pepper paste (gochujahng 고추장)
3 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (omit this to reduce the heat)
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon crushed toasted sesame seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths

12 pretzel buns (small so 2 per person) (or another type of soft roll)
24 perilla leaves and/or romaine lettuce leaves for serving on top of the sandwich.

Method
In a large bowl, mix together gochujang, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sake, sesame oil, honey and sesame seeds.  Add thinly sliced pork and using your hands, making sure each piece is evenly coated.

Add onions and scallions and mix well.  Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Heat a heavy fry pan over medium high heat.  It is better to cook this in batches, than trying to cook it all at once.  Cook half the pork until the onions are translucent and the meat is fully cooked, about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a serving plate and cook the other half of the pork.

While the pork is still warm, slice pretzel buns in half, and scoop a nice hefty portion of pork onto the bun.  Add perilla leaves and romaine leaf.  Place bun on top and move sandwich to the mouth.  Chew. Chew. Chew.
Printable recipe


Great outcomes, unexpectedly


9 comments:

Hyejin Jin said...

이거 무슨 맛일까 진짜 궁금해요~
쌀밥이 아닌 빵이랑 먹는 고추장 불고기~~!!
근데 조앤~ 한국이름이 최정아였어요? (페이스북에서 봤음)
완젼완젼완젼 예쁘다!!!

이제 정아언니라고 부를래요~

LadySaotome said...

That is great about the drumming! Congratulations! :) I keep meaning to try teaching myself the guitar - I need to buckle down and try!

Tatiana Giacomel said...

Congratulations about the drumming :D and thanks for the recipe, it came out sooo good!!!

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