Spicy

  1. Sweet Heat

    August 3, 2013 by The Squishy Monster

    I know, I know.  Another spicy recipe but before you shake your head at me, realize that there’s juice and honey to mellow out the heat imparted by the gochujang {Korean pepper paste} and if you’re still not crazy about it, you can substitute the gochujang for tomato paste and you’ll still have yourself a fine meatball recipe.

    Korean Style Meatball Recipe

    5.0 from 3 reviews

    Korean Style Meatballs
     
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    Ingredients
    • 1 lb hamburger meat
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tb soy sauce
    • 2 ts sesame oil
    • 2 ts garlic
    • 1 ts ginger
    • 2 green onions
    • ½ c panko bread crumbs
    Glaze
    • ½ c orange juice
    • 2 tb honey
    • 2 tb gochujang {Korean pepper paste}

    Instructions
    1. In the first bowl, mix together the meat, egg, soy, sesame, garlic, ginger and green onions then, sprinkle in your panko. Make sure not to over mix.
    2. Roll into balls and set in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat a sauce pan with the juice, honey, and gochujang. Allow it to simmer and bubble on medium/low, occasionally whisking until it reduces and thickens.
    4. Bake your meatballs at 350 for about 10 minutes. When they’re ready, plop each one into the glaze and allow them to roll around to be evenly coated with it.

    {Last years gouda stuffed meatballs}

    Love,

    Your Squishy Monster ^.~


  2. Pleasure in Pain

    July 15, 2013 by The Squishy Monster

    People stare at me in awe when they see just how much spicy food I devour.  Random fact 147: spicy is not actually regarded as a “taste” and does not belong to salty, sweet, sour, bitter, or umami.  A bottle of heat is inextricably tied to my side to satisfy my spicy addiction.  If I wander too far from it, I find myself developing crazy cravings for something spicy pronto.  There’s talk about submitting yourself to extremely spicy foods as a version of “benign masochism” which I find interesting to say the least!  Last week, as my hot sauce bottle finally gave out on me, I realized that I was probably averaging an absurd number a year and having long since been an advocate of homemade laundry detergent, vanilla extract, brown sugar, sauces…and even health and beauty products, I scratched my head wondering why I hadn’t made my own sriracha yet, especially considering just how much I was spending on it plus all the preservatives in one red rooster bottle.  So today, I present to you homemade sriracha, minus all the yucky stuff.

    5.0 from 5 reviews

    Sriracha, Homemade
     
    Author:

    Ingredients
    • 1 lb sliced fresno (red jalapeño) peppers
    • 10 cloves sliced garlic
    • 2 c apple cider (or rice) vinegar
    • 5 ts fish (or soy) sauce
    • ½ c honey*

    Instructions
    1. Combine everything together, cover, and allow to sit overnight (or up to 3 days if you have the time/patience).
    2. Afterwards, pour everything into a pot and bring to a bubble and simmer for 10 minutes.
    3. Allow this to cool and blitz in a food processor as smooth as you can get it.
    4. Using a fine mesh strainer, push your pepper mixture through it (if need be, run it through the processor again). The goal here is to release all of the liquid and leave behind just the pulp/seeds.
    5. Take the liquid and simmer for about 10 minutes, just to reduce it a bit further naturally. You can skip this step if you’re using cornstarch/arrowroot/tapioca.
    6. Cool and bottle.

    Notes
    *1/2 c of honey sufficed for me but you may want to add just a bit more sweetener.

    Live a spicy life!

    Love,

    Your Squishy Monster ^.~


  3. Summer Kimchi

    July 9, 2013 by The Squishy Monster

    It’s no secret that my favorite fruit is watermelon.  It just screams summer to me.  This past weekend, I consumed an entire one all by myself while laying out on the beach.  If that isn’t my own little slice of Heaven, I don’t know what is.  Stack that on top of the fact that Korean watermelon kimchi utilizes the parts of this fruit that might otherwise be tossed out, watermelon makes the perfect summer time treat for me, all while reducing/reusing.  That’s what I call delicious and responsible snacking!

    How to Make Watermelon Kimchi {Recipe}

    5.0 from 1 reviews

    Watermelon Kimchi 수박김치
     
    Author:

    Ingredients
    • 1 lb {white only} watermelon rind + 1 tb *coarse* sea salt
    • 3 minced garlic cloves
    • 1 ts minced ginger
    • 2 tb Korean red pepper flakes {gochugaru}
    • 2 chopped green onions
    • 1 tb honey
    • Optional: 1-2 ts baby brine shrimp

    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl, toss the rind with the coarse sea salt and set aside for about an hour. Taste test, and depending on how salty the rind has become, you can either drain or rinse/drain it.
    2. In another bowl, combine your garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, green onions, and honey (as well as the brine shrimp if you’re using it).
    3. Combine your first and second bowls and mix to combine, taking care not to squeeze the rind too firmly.
    4. If your finished product does not include any shrimp, leave your kimchi on the counter for a day or two, just to jump start the fermentation process. Afterwards, keep refrigerated.

    And just for kicks and giggles, I present to you my favorite video on how to properly consume a watermelon.

    How to Eat a Watermelon Tutorial Tom Willett

    Love,

    {your needs marshmallows}

    Squishy Monster ^.~


  4. April 19, 2013 by The Squishy Monster

    Chicken?  Check.  Veggies?  Check.  Rice cakes?  Check.  Delicious sweet and spicy sauce?  Check.

    If the above sounds appealing to you at all, you’ll be in love with this Korean marinated chicken dish that offers a little bit of everything.  It totes a variety of flavors and textures and comes together as a complete meal under an hour and you probably already have everything, save the rice cakes so why not give this one a try?

    How to Make Korean Chicken DakGalbi 닭갈비

    5.0 from 5 reviews

    Korean Stir Fried Chicken 닭갈비
     
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    Author:

    Ingredients
    • 1½ lbs chicken
    • 4 tb Korean red pepper paste
    • 2 tb Korean red pepper flakes
    • 2 tb soy sauce
    • 1 tb sesame oil
    • ½ tb curry powder
    • 1 tb minced garlic
    • 1 ts minced ginger
    • 2 tb honey
    • Optional: 2 tb sake
    • Sesame oil
    • 2 c veggies of your choice (I used zucchini, onions, bell peppers, Korean peppers, cabbage, carrots and scallions but sweet potatoes and sesame leaves are nice too).
    • 1½ c rice cakes (or plain ramen noodles if you can’t find rice cakes)
    • ½ c chicken stock or water
    • Salt and pepper

    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl, combine your chicken, paste, flakes, soy, sesame, curry, garlic, ginger, honey, and sake (if using) and massage everything together.
    2. In a separate bowl, steep your rice cakes in water. Set both bowls aside for 30 minutes.
    3. Begin stir frying your veggies in sesame oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. You only want to begin to soften them.
    4. Lay your marinated chicken on top of your veggies along with your drained rice cakes. Give everything a toss with the stock/water and cook until the rice cakes are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

    Wishing everyone a very happy weekend…

    Love,

    Your Squishy Monster ^.~

     


  5. Another Edition of “Weird Things”

    February 26, 2013 by The Squishy Monster

    When we were itty bitty, Mama would put something on your plate and you knew not to gripe or pout and stomp.  You ate it or you didn’t eat.  An array of ruby colored salads would be paraded before us but really, as a kid, it all kind of bled together into one heap and this salad was just another I gnawed on, not appreciating it for what it was.  Today, it sits high on the shelf labeled “delicious delicacy” though, many would disagree.  One could say it has a distinct smell.  We eat it cartilage and all (its entire skeletal structure is comprised of it) with not a single complaint.

    What in the world is Skate?

    It belongs to the shark family and resembles a sting ray (sort of).  We consume the “wing” portion and often serve the “mottled skate” variety.

    I’ve actually never had it prepared any other way but raw.

    Here’s mama’s recipe for fermented Skate fish salad.

    5.0 from 5 reviews

    Skate Fish Sashimi Salad 홍어
     
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    Author:
    Cuisine: Korean

    Ingredients
    • 2 chopped skate wings
    • 2 ts salt
    • 3 tb apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tb minced garlic
    • 1 ts finely minced ginger
    • 2 ts sesame seed
    • 3 tb sugar
    • ½ chopped Korean pear
    • ½ c julienned Korean radish
    • ½ c chopped cucumber
    • 3 tb red pepper flakes (Gochugaru)
    • 2 chopped green onions
    • Optional: watercress

    Instructions
    1. In your first bowl, combine your wings and vinegar. Set aside for 30 minutes.
    2. After this time has elapsed, squeeze out all the excess moisture.
    3. In a second bowl, sprinkle the salt on your radish and cucumber. Let this sit for about 15 minutes and squeeze out the excess moisture from them as well.
    4. In your third bowl, combine the rest of your ingredients and add in your first and second bowl as well. Mix and toss to combine.
    5. Garnish with green onions.

    My hope is that you’ll at least give this a try once in your life but then again, your Squishy friend also adores durian so it’s all up to how brave you are.

    Are you up for the challenge?

    Love,

    Your (loves stinky foods) Squishy Monster ^.~


  6. Things I Find Amusing +

    December 6, 2012 by The Squishy Monster

    Things I found amusing today: at a business luncheon, the gentlemen stood up for me when I went to use the restroom.  Tickled pink, I was!  It’s so rare to find organic gentlemen anymore and my friend calls a replacing phenomenon as “overt chivalry,” where now, when men display manners, they also bring with them a neon green highlighter, nearly screaming “look what I did!!”  I found more amusement when I went to refill my prescription.  I don’t know about you, but I just don’t own a fax machine so, in the end, I was actually able to text a picture of my prescription and it sufficed.  They even sent a  “thank you, have a great day” reply text.  The thing I find even more amusing is the fact that I’m amused.  My friends who are much more tech savvy than I’ll ever be are on digital clouds, streaming music that came out tomorrow and I’m not even sure what streaming is, exactly which is all the more funnier considering The Squishy Monster lives on the internet.  All I know is that her house is pink.  Last thing I found amusing today: I woke up mighty perturbed having been jolted out of my slumber by a dream of pops being chased by a vicious dinosaur.  Random much?

    Ok, enough random nonsense, let’s talk about Kimchi…

    What is Kimchi? 

    Spicy, fermented Napa cabbage.  It is on every Korean table for every meal.

    We grew up poor.  No bones about it.  Many immigrants breathlessly arrive in the States with little more than a dream in their left pocket, a photo of their loved ones in the other.  Often times, meats lined in tin cans served as our main protein.  Spam, vienna sausages, tuna?  We had it all.  Both pops and mama had a knack for making things stretch.  I attribute my resourcefulness to them.  We never threw anything away, certainly not food but they had a way of making it so delicious, we were fain to devour it.

    This jjigae (stew), is a vibrant marriage of old kimchi, scraps of veggies, and whatever potted meat that’s been left lonely in your pantry.  I hope y’all can appreciate it for what it is.  To us, kimchi is as primary as the rice that we eat it with.

    How to Make Kimchi Jjigae (Soup/Stew)

    5.0 from 4 reviews

    Kimchi Jjigae (with Tuna)
     
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    Author:
    Recipe type: Soup/Stew
    Cuisine: Korean

    Ingredients
    • 4 strips of chopped bacon
    • 2 ts minced garlic
    • ½ tb Korean pepper flakes
    • ½ sliced onion
    • 1 c roughly chopped well fermented kimchi
    • 1 can tuna (packed in olive oil)
    • 1½ c water (or chicken broth) + 1 c kimchi broth
    • ¼ block of cubed tofu
    • Green onions (to scatter)
    • Optional: Glass noodles

    Instructions
    1. Fry your bacon.
    2. Stir in your onion, garlic, and pepper flakes.
    3. Add your kimchi and allow it to soften a bit.
    4. Tumble in your tuna.
    5. Tip in your liquids. Allow it to bubble.
    6. Top with tofu and sprinkle with lots of green onions.

    Notes
    Additionally, you could boil this together with pork neck bones, brisket, seafood (really anything you’d like).

     How to make Kimchi

    How to make a different kind of Kimchi

    How to make Radish Kimchi

    How to make Kimchi Braised Chicken

    How to make Kimchi Fried Rice

    How to make Kimchi Pancakes

    How to make Kimchi Sausage Potstickers

    How to make Kimchi Soba Noodles

    Love & lots of Kimchi!

    Your Squishy Monster ^.~


  7. Gochujang FAQ

    November 24, 2012 by The Squishy Monster

    Q: What is Gochujang?
    A: Fermented red chili paste used for everything from Bibimbap to Meuntang or Pizza…(as well as dips, marinades, stocks…) It primarily consists of Gochugaru (red chili powder), glutinous rice/powder, a bit of cultured soybeans, salt, and sometimes sweetener.

    Q: Where can I purchase it?
    A: Everywhere from Asian markets to Amazon.

    Q: Is it very spicy?
    A: Different brands produce a range of flavors. I find that most of my tubs produce a milder level of heat. Its distinctive deep ruby color should not be associated with the likes of Sriracha but, if you find the kick to be too much, you can always try incorporating it into mayo/yogurt/ketchup/bbq sauce, or even sweetening it up with your favorite natural sweetener (i.e., coconut nectar, agave, honey). I would say it’s a nice blend of savory, spicy, and sweet.

    Q: Why is it so important?
    A: Dare I say it’s our mother-condiment?  It’s literally the trinity of sauce bases in my home, along with Daenjang (soybean paste), and Soy Sauce. It’s been around since the 1700′s and goes into everything (it seems)…even noodles. I love it on burgers, too.

    Q: How is it produced?
    A: It’s blended and stored in a traditional clay (earthenware)  pot to age for at least a month in lots of sunlight.

    Q: What should I be looking for when purchasing store bought Gochujang?
    A: A deep, dark color, a smooth (almost creamy texture)…a great Gochujang isn’t only about the spice, it’s pungent and complex, with just a note of sweetness and should never contain MSG or high fructose corn syrup–those are just fillers and will muddy the purposeful delicate balance of great Gochujang.

    How to Make Shrimp Tacos with Gochujang & Mango Salsa

    5.0 from 3 reviews

    Gochujang Shrimp Tacos
     
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    Author:
    Cuisine: Korean Fusion

    Ingredients
    Mango Salsa
    • 1 ripe diced mango
    • ¼ c chopped red onion
    • 1 chopped jalapeño
    • ⅓ c chopped cilantro
    • Juice of ½ lime
    • S & P
    Gochujang Shrimp
    • 1 dozen large shrimp
    • ½ tb sesame oil
    • 2 tb gochujang (Korean pepper paste)
    • 1-2 tb brown sugar (depending on how sweet your paste is)
    • 2 ts minced garlic
    • 2 ts toasted sesame seeds
    • 2 chopped green onions
    • S & P
    Warmed Corn Tortillas

    Instructions
    1. In your first bowl, toss everything together for your salsa and set aside.
    2. In your second bowl, massage everything together into your shrimp and allow it to steep in the sauce for 30 minutes-1 hour.
    3. Grill your shrimp and after it’s cooked, layer your salsa and shrimp together on your tortillas.

    Love & great gochujang!

    Love,

    Your Squishy Monster ^.~

     


  8. Craving Heat?

    November 9, 2012 by The Squishy Monster

    You’re in the right place!  This soup delivers heat in two ways.  First, it’s hot and bubbly and then, it’s red and spicy (but not so much that you’ll double over).  As always, you can tailor fit this to your own personal taste.  Don’t like that kick?  Remove the jalapeños and scale back the pepper flakes (though Korean flakes are without the seeds and much milder).

    For me, it’s like an aphrodisiac.  I love spicy and hot dishes and seafood is my favorite, and there’s something so subtly seductive about a personal pot of fierce aromatic bubbles that almost has a lulling effect on you as you slurp your way through.  It’s like the food version of a roaring fire and that’s always sexy ;)

    How to Make Silken Tofu Soup with The Squishy Monster

    5.0 from 1 reviews

    Silken Tofu Seafood Soup 순두부찌개
     
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    Ingredients
    • 6 c Mushroom Broth (or Water)
    • ¼ c dried Anchovies
    • 2 Kelp pieces
    • 4 Garlic Cloves
    • 2 Jalapeño Peppers
    • 1 Onion
    • 1 tb Fish Sauce
    • 2 tb Korean Red Pepper Flakes
    • 2 ts Sesame Oil
    • 2 c Seafood (of your choice)
    • 12 oz Silken Tofu
    • 3 Green Onions
    • 1 Egg

    Instructions
    1. Simmer your broth, anchovies, and kelp for 15-20 minutes on medium/low.
    2. Toss in your garlic, peppers, onion, fish sauce, pepper flakes, and sesame oil and allow it to reach a fierce boil.
    3. Carefully slide in your seafood, crumble in your tofu, and crack in your egg.
    4. Sprinkle with your chopped green onions allow it to bubble just until your seafood is cooked and your egg is set.

    Wishing you a hot & steamy weekend (I’ll be over there, cuddling with a box of cookies, haha)

    Love,

    Your Squishy Monster ^.~


  9. A Collection of 5 Minute Fixes

    October 23, 2012 by The Squishy Monster

    Banchan aka side dish, and to begin our collection, here are a few Korean side dishes, that along with this beautiful crunchy broccoli salad comes up in mere minutes.

    Squid Jerky

    Stir Fried Anchovies

    Whelk Salad

    Drinks that can be whipped up in 5 minutes:

    ‘Otai, Tropical Drink

    Blueberry Kale Smoothie, my favorite!

    Even Rice Cakes can be made in just 10 minutes.  {Not bad for something that used to take hours}!

    To make this beautifully crunchy and flavorful Broccoli Salad, you don’t even need 10 whole minutes.  You’re just 5 minutes away from a unique salad that can be eaten as is or tumbled into Bibimbap!

    Korean Broccoli Side Dish {Banchan}

    Broccoli Salad, A Korean Banchan
     
    Ingredients
    • 1 Head Broccoli, cut into Florets
    • 3 tb Gochujang (Korean Hot Pepper Paste)
    • 1 tb Sesame Oil
    • 1 tb Sesame Seeds
    • 2 ts Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 2 tb Brown Sugar
    • Black Pepper
    • Green Onion Garnish.

    Instructions
    1. Boil your water and salt it well.
    2. Toss in your florets and cook for no longer than 3 minutes.
    3. Immediately plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and retain their vibrant green color.
    4. Tumble in all of your ingredients and mix well. Garnish with green onions.
    5. Serve immediately, at room temperature, in bibimbap, or keep in the fridge.

     

    Cheers to eating your vggies!  {Mom would be so proud} ;)

    Love,

    {and 5 minute fixes},

    Your Squishy Monster ^.~


  10. A Little Bit of Fusion

    September 28, 2012 by The Squishy Monster

    When I was young, daddy used to submerge an entire 10 lb roasting chicken in bubbling hot water, proceed to shred it and squeeze a huge mountain of ketchup for us on the side with rice and Kimchi to eat as supper.

    There are things that stay with you from childhood that you carry with you well into your adult years that you tenderly reflect back on (no matter how weird it was).  This is one of them for me.  Mama used to do it with beef and to this day, I have a strange fondness for boiled meat + ketchup but that’s how we grew up back then.  In our household, spam was once legitimately viewed as a “protein” source.  Of course, we all laugh about it now but it’s that age of innocence and simplicity that we remember that encourages the laughter to continue.

    This is a dish that I came up with on the fly (much like how many of my personal dishes are born) on one of those days that me and my brothers were gabbing back and forth about the good ole’ days.  It can still be hailed as a simple dish with humble roots but with a slight makeover.  I hope you give it a try.

    Korean Food: Kimchi Braised Chicken

    Kimchi Braised Chicken
     
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    Author:

    Ingredients
    • 8 Pieces Bone-in Chicken
    • 1 ts finely minced Ginger
    • 2 ts finely minced Garlic
    • 1 tb Sesame Oil
    • 2 tb Brown Sugar
    • 1 tb Sesame Seed
    • 2 c Chopped Kimchi + its Liquid
    • 4 Chopped Potatoes
    • 2 Chopped Onions
    • S & P

    Instructions
    1. Rinse your chicken and set it down in a deep casserole dish.
    2. Sprinkle in the rest of your ingredients minus your potatoes and onions.
    3. Massage this mixture well into your chicken.
    4. Topple in the rest of your veggies, cover, and allow to marinade to penetrate for at least an hour or two in the fridge.
    5. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.
    6. Garnish with extra sesame seeds or green onions.

    Cheers to great memories!

    Love,

    Your Squishy Monster ^.~


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    Welcome to The Squishy Monster!

    Here, I'll share the stories of my on going love affair with food as well as step-by-step tutorials/cooking videos featuring original recipes. I'm a firm believer that despite our differences, our one commonality as humans? Food.
    I'm 100% Southern & 100% Korean. My name is Angela and my friends call me The Squishy Monster.

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