Aside from the weekends on which I find myself downtown or in Seoul, I don’t eat out very often. My first month’s worth of meals consisted in great part of boil-a-bag meatballs, frozen mandu (dumplings), and instant curry, mainly because I didn’t have much in my kitchen aside from rice, eggs, and water. But, as time goes by, my pantry is slowly becoming better stocked with spices, condiments (hellooooo sesame oil!), and raw ingredients. I rarely buy snacks these days, because my meals are becoming so substantial.
This past week, I happened across a fantastic tutorial on how to debone a whole chicken.
I am Jacques Pépin, hon hon!
I’d been thinking lately on the rarity of chicken noodle soup in Korea. Surely it must not be that difficult to make oneself. Insert this video, and voilà! An idea was born. I am going to make my own chicken stock!
Of course, boiling a chicken down to its essential juices takes hours of simmering, something not entirely possible on a weeknight. So, today I decided to head to the Lotte Mart and buy my ingredients ahead of time (and happen across a sale on chicken. YEAH!!). In the meantime, I got such a hankering for soup-making that I decided to throw something together with my leftover bibimbap ingredients. What came out of it was a vegetable and tofu soup. Here’s the ad-libbed recipe I came up with!
1 chunk of daikon radish
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 chopped chives + green onions
1/2 cup seasoned seaweed
3 small bunches of spinach
a handful of bean sprouts
1 tbsp soybean (or canola) oil
2 tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bouillon cube
All in all, it turned out quite savoury and filling! As a vegetarian dish, it definitely lacked that certain satisfaction you can only get from chewing on a piece of meat. I think next time a pork bone is in order – or a beat egg!