Sunday, June 17, 2012

Gochujang: Some Uses

I haven't been posting as much as I would like. I do have a lot on my mind (my day trip to Dongducheon and the "Special Foreigner Tourism Zone" in Bosan; introversion and Korea; the chicken delivery shop down the street) but I don't have the mental wherewithal to focus and write those pieces.

Part of that is because I've been stepping up my cooking game a notch. It's arguable whether or not that's a "poor skill" in Korea, where eating out is so cheap, but it's a useful skill and I like it. It also doesn't help that everyone in the world keeps posting delicious-looking recipes to Pinterest.

Of course, available ingredients in Korea are different than back home, so alterations must sometimes be made. You can experiment, too. My favorite thing to experiment with is the seminal Korean ingredient gochujang. Here are three non-Korean dishes that, I think, are vastly improved by red chili pepper paste.

1. Omelettes

Fry up your egg; before adding your stuffing, add some gochujang.

2. Shakshouksa

This was a Pinterest find: The Shiksa in the Kitchen's shakshuka recipe. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try it. Lacking tomato paste, I used gochujang instead. Mmm, flavorful. 

3. Quesadillas

Same principle as the omelette: before you load up your tortilla with ingredients (mine were peppers, onions, and cheese), spread a dollop of gochujang on it. 

4. Bonus, Non-Culinary Use

It makes great fake blood!

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