08 January 2023

a Korean Adoptee makes Korean 떡국 American Style (or 'her way' cause, being raised by not-koreans means she doesn't inherently understand korean food, but she has spent a fair amount of time in korea, so understanding is on its way to her, one hopes) for New Year, like a good little Korean.


the day before ...

make chicken stock with twelve cups of water, 

chopped garlic, 

thick chopped onion, 

chicken (breasts, thighs, whatevs)

in amounts that sound delicious to you (i used half a white onion [we're going for clarity here in the broth] and half a bulb of garlic)

and salt to taste

... basically splash a little oil into the bottom of a stock pot, throw in the onions

once the onions start to sweat, throw in the garlic, 

once the smells start smelling, add water, 

once the water starts boiling, add chicken,

once the water with chicken reaches a simmer, turn down the heat so that the chicken never boils hard (i use a method where the temp is at 3 o'clock until the water starts to simmer again with the chicken in it, and then i turn the heat down to 9 o'clock and put a lid mostly over the top, not covering it, and i find that this keeps the water bubbly but not boiling. boiled chicken will be rubbery. yikes!),

once the chicken is cooked through (this will depend on what chicken parts you've decided to use, etc.), remove chicken bits and use for whatever (we made chicken cesar salads with half and a chicken and bean hot dish with the other),

once cooled enough to handle, strain the contents of the pot into a vessel for the broth,

use broth immediately or refrigerate for a day or two and use later.

the making of it ...

fill a large bowl with one kilogram of flat-disk rice cakes, fill the bowl with cold water, gently nudge stuck rice cakes apart, let sit for at least thirty minutes or so, 

then pour the already-made chicken broth into a pot large enough for however much 떡국 needed for hearty consumption (i.e. how many people will be eating it?) 

while the broth is coming to a boil, prepare the toppings,

prepare egg topping, scallions, and seaweed topping

crack one egg and split the yolk into one small bowl, the whites into another, whisk each until loose

in a small sauté pan, melt a tablespoon or so of butter,

once the butter bubbles, pour the egg whites into the pan, cook until nearly cooked, then flip and wait for it to sizzle for about a thirty seconds, then remove from pan and fold like a burrito, set aside,

repeat with the egg yolk, 

then slice both white and yellow egg "burritos" into thin strips, set aside,

once the egg is prepared, slice up one sprig of scallion (like you're making tiny rings) for each serving,

once the scallion is prepared, cut up a sheet of dried seaweed into mouth-sized strips,

once the toppings are prepared, set aside so they may await their use,

once the broth starts to boil, drain the rice cakes, drop into boiling chicken broth,

once the broth begins to boil again, cook until the rice cakes are soft,

once the rice cakes are soft, serve the soup into serving bowls,

sprinkle the scallion in the broth,

make a small mound of white egg strips in the middle,

make a smaller mound of egg yolk strips on top of that,

gently mound the seaweed on top of the egg yolk,

eat with kimchi and fresh, sticky white rice,