Spicy squid soup (ojingeo guk)

My favourite cuisine has to be Korean food, hands down.  Followed by Japanese.  Why? well for one, what’s so great about Canadian food? It’s practically the same as American food…meat and potatoes.  I mean we have the odd food that delicious and hard to resist such as maple syrup or poutine, however both can be pretty bad for you on a regular basis!
So as I sit here writing, and drinking my tea I’ll tell you my story on how I came across Korean food.  I’m warning you though it’s a long story, so sit back grab a warm beverage and possibly a fuzzy blanket because this might take a while…I’m kidding it’s not a long story at all!

I actually got into Korean food from watching Korean dramas, yes you read that right.  Korean dramas.  I must tell you they are A LOT better than our corny North American ones.   Anyways when I fist came across the cuisine there were no Korean restaurants in the city, (that I knew of) a few years down the road and they were popping up all over the place.  In the shows it always looked so tasty;  So when I finally got a chance to try it, I pumped myself up for the better and for the worst.  Sometimes food doesn’t always taste the way it looks, as you all may have encountered at some point in your life.  In conclusion, the food did taste as delicious as it looked!

So in today’s post I’ll be teaching you how to make ojingeo guk, also known as spicy squid soup. It’s really simple and only take a few ingredients…most of which you might already have lying around! This soup is also fairly cheap to make in the long-term.  If you’re having to buy all the products now it could be pricey, however all the spices and sauces that you need to buy lasts quite a while; And could be used for other dishes!  This soup can be very spicy, I’m the type of person who doesn’t get to bothered by huge amounts of spice and loves to over kill.  So if spice is an issue just use less of it! 🙂
I also came across many variations of this soup, so I combined the best aspects of the soup to create a delicious meal.
**Don’t mind my bowls and plates, I know they are nontraditional…I really need to pick some up.

**On another note I was able to reset my camera and get the proper settings again, SO my pictures should be all great quality from now on! (compared to the cellphone pictures from recent posts)  I know I’m not the greatest photographer but I try the best I can!  With all the being said though I’ve been really thinking about taking a photography course because I do enjoy it.

Yields: 5-6 portions.    Prep time: 10-15 minutes.    Total time: 50-60 minutes.

Equipment:
1 large pot.
Cutting board.
Knives (chefs and pairing).
Bowl (for thawing squid).
Measuring spoons.
Liquid measuring cups.
Large spoon (for stirring)

Ingredients:
2-4 squid tubes OR whole (it depends on how much you want and if you want to take the squid apart yourself).
1 -2 white onions.
4-6 green onions.
1 cup daikon radish…Or more.
1/4 of a green cabbage.
4 cloves of garlic.
2 tbsp fish sauce.
4 tbsp soy sauce.
4 tbsp hot pepper flakes.
1-2 tbsp sesame oil. (optional, for added flavour)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

  1. Prepare all your vegetables and squid by cutting to the appropriate size. Onions can be a rough larger chop, cabbage and squid you can slice, daikon slice into bite sized pieces. (I did not use daikon in my soup because, when I got home I found out the one I had bought was rotten inside!)
  2. Combine all your ingredients into the pot including the spices and sauces (do not add water yet). Mix together making sure it’s well incorporated.
  3. Add 5-6 cups of water to the pot, stir and bring to a boil for 15 minutes.  With the cover on.
  4. Turn down to a medium heat and let simmer for another 25 minutes with cover still on.
  5. Every so often check on it, stir it and taste to see if it needs anything.
  6. You may serve this soup with side dishes such as rice and kimchi.  However it’s just as delicious on its own.
  7. ENJOY!

Sushi roll Sunday.

Who doesn’t like sushi?  There’s a type of roll for everyone!  Everything from veggie rolls, to tempura rolls, to rolls with raw or cooked fish and even meat & poultry rolls.  It all depends on personal preference.  I love all of them; I have defiantly been in the mood for sushi and put anything I wanted into some nori.  That’s what cooking is all about right?  Today I decided to make sushi rolls for everyone.  I made so many of them!!  I even showed a friend how to make sushi, he calls it the candy of the sea gods.
The day started just like you would assume, shopping at the grocery store for the ingredients.  However I’m so forgetful I forgot the most important part…the sticky rice.  So we stopped at another grocery store on the way back to my place.  We may have look a little crazy.
I was also really craving kimchi that day, just like any other day…So I combined kimchi with my spicy salmon!  It was delicious and satisfying.

I can’t tell you everything about sushi but I can tell you what I know.   I’m no expert on every type and every way to prepare it.  I’ll try my best to be as informative as possible.

So if you didn’t know I’m moving across the country in the next few weeks.  All my posts may or may not be delayed because I have a lot to do, and people to see before I leave! I’ll still get posts out as much as I can though!

Yields: 2-4 rolls    Cook time: 20-30 minutes    Over all time: 1.5 hours

Equipment:
Small to medium sized-pot with cover.
Measuring cups.
Wooden spoon.
Small and medium-sized bowls.
Baking sheet.
Cutting board.
Knife.
Sushi roll mat.
Plastic wrap (optional).

Ingredients: (The roll part)
1-2 cups calrose rice/sushi rice (some stores call it by different names).
2-4 cups water.  (Ratio is 1 part rice 2 parts water)
1 tsp salt.
1 tbsp butter.
Kombu (optional)

Nori (seaweed paper).
Wasabi (optional).
Soy sauce (optional).
Sesame seeds (optional).
What ever you want inside!! I used: Avocado, orange pepper, English cucumber, salmon, imitation crab…and kimchi for one.

Ingredient:(rice vinegar seasoning)
4 tbsp rice vinegar.
2 tbsp sugar.
1 tsp salt.

Ingredients:(spicy mayo)
4 tbsp mayo.
1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce (more or less if you desire).
A small splash of sesame oil.

Method:

  1. Measure out rice and wash with cold water till the water becomes translucent.  By doing this you get rid of the extra toxins and starch.
  2. Add water, salt, butter and kombu to the rice and place on stove.  Bring to a boil, quickly turn down to a very low heat and cover.  Let cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.  Try not to stir the rice as it’s cooking.
  3. While rice is cooking start cutting your vegetables, meat or fish. Prepping everything while the rice is cooking saves time! If marinating your fish now would be the time to do it!! (Or marinate over night for better flavour)
  4. Combine your rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  5. Once rice is done, keep the cover on and set in a cool area. Let stand for about 5 minutes to release the bottom.  Remove kombu.
  6. Using your wooden spoon gently pour rice seasoning over cooked rice, cutting through NOT stirring.
  7. Pour rice onto a baking sheet and spread.  This will help cool your rice down faster. I tend to put mine in the fridge because I’m impatient.  However using a hand fan would be the traditional way.
  8. Fill a medium bowl with water, this will be used to wet your hands.  You will constantly need to keep them wet, it will help keep the sticky rice from sticking to you and not the nori.
  9. This is where you use your sushi mat.  Placing the nori sheet shiny side up with the lines going vertical, each sheet will need about 1/4 cup of rice. Wet your hand and gently spread the rice across leaving and inch at the top for an easy seal.  Make sure the rice is even.
  10. Now fill!  In a straight line pile your ingredients one on top of the other, near the bottom.
  11. Now roll.  take the bottom of the roll and gently fold it over your ingredients, tucking it under everything. Continue to roll gently but tightly till you are only left with the 1 inch empty part.  Wet the end of the nori and finish rolling.  You may need to go over the seal with a small amount of water just to give it a better seal!
  12. If you want to make “inside out” sushi simply cut 1/4 off of your nori sheet.  Wet hands and completely fill your sheet with rice.  Place some plastic wrap on top and gently smooth it out.  Flip over!  You then begin to pile your ingredients the same way, except on the seaweed side, not the rice side. You will not need your sushi mat for this because the plastic wrap is helpful for this.  Roll the same way as stated above.  Once you get to the sealing part continue to roll all the way; The rice seals it off so no water is needed!  Once rolled smooth and even it out, unwrap and roll in sesame seeds if you like.
  13. Using a sharp, wet knife begin to cut into about 8 pieces.  Wet your knife every time you feel the rice is starting to become to sticky.
  14. For spicy mayo just combine mayo, sriracha, and sesame oil.  Adjust to your liking.
  15. ENJOY!!

Thanks to my friend who runs The Smiling Fool blog, he was a big help and learned a lot!  Check him out when you get a chance.