Korean Ox Tail Stew

My wife came up with this variation on an Ox Tail Stew. The sauce for me was very reminiscent of a “spicy Korean chicken” dish I had made before. I find that even though the name says it’s spicy, it’s more of a mild warmth in the mouth as opposed to really being spicy.

Korean Ox Tail

Still, it was very tasty and a nice change of pace from our usual go-to, classic Ox Tail Stew.

Take a look at the recipe. Like many home style dishes, measurements are very flexible, cooking times are rough, and feel free to vary everything to suit your tastes. This should be enough to get you close enough ๐Ÿ™‚

Korean Ox Tail Stew
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Korean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Tasty Korean inspired ox tail stew.
Ingredients
  • 2 - 3 lbs Ox Tail
  • Carrots
  • Your choice of other stew vegetables (celery, potatoes, turnip, etc...)
  • 2 cups beef broth made from beef powder and water
  • 1 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 3 TB cooking wine
  • 3 TB sugar
  • 3 TB honey or honey powder (we substituted Agave)
  • 1 TB red pepper powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 slice of ginger, chopped and smashed
Instructions
  1. Soak ox tail in water for 30 minutes to release any excess blood in the meat.
  2. Boil the ox tail for 20 minutes at a low boil in order to release elements that rise and float to the top of the water.
  3. Once done, skim the scum off the top of the water and then drain the ox tail.
  4. Mix ingredients together, except stew vegetables and coat the ox tail.
  5. Then put it in a pot with a lid and add the sauce to it.
  6. Bring to a boil, the switch to low.
  7. Braise, covered, for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until tender to your tastes.
  8. Add carrots and/or other hard vegetables the last half hour.
  9. Add potatoes and other faster cooking vegetables at about 15-20 minutes before serving.
  10. Serve with rice.

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Awesome ravioli, and a tip.

 

 

We’re still making pasta by hand in the kitchen and we’ve pretty much got it down pat now. One thing I learned the last time I made the ravioli was that it’s actually better to make the filling ahead of time and refrigerating it. It stays cold throughout the process and is easier to handle. In fact, it stays together so nicely, that you can get fuller and much nicer looking ravioli.

Here’s the tip. Make the stuffing ahead of time and refrigerate. Then when you fill the ravioli, instead of spooning it in or throwing it in, roll them into neat balls. It’s so much neater and makes the ravioli turn out so much nicer.

As you seal the ravioli, keep one end open enough to allow air to escape. If you can keep the ravioli relatively free of air bubbles and filled uniformly, you should end up with a product which looks like this when cut.

The secret to incredible Vietnamese beef broth.

 

 

I was loosely following a recipe for Vietnamese Pho broth and it really came out fantastic. There were two things I learned as I was making this.

One, don’t skimp on the onions. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like onions, if you like the dark rich broth you’d get in a Vietnamese restaurants, you’ll need the onions. You will end up straining them all out later, so don’t worry and just go for it.

Two, and this I consider the big ‘secret’ I learned by the experience is to roast your bones. For me, I used a couple pounds of large bones and a couple pounds of beef back ribs for soup. That way I had a good portion of bones and a good portion of meat too. You could go all beef back rib, but 50% cheap stuff works too ๐Ÿ™‚ Put it all in a pan with a couple halved onions on the bottom and roast it all. If you want, put a little water in the bottom of the pan so the onions don’t burn too much, then cook atย  350 degrees for 2 hours. The difference in flavor compared to boiling is phenomenal.

What was even more impressive, is after I was all done boiling the broth for most of the night, is that the meat is still delicious and the connecting tissue rendered perfectly.

The next time I make any kind of beef soup – minestrone, beef and been, vegetable beef… I’m going to try roasting the bones first and see if the intense flavor works too (I suspect it will!)

Happy cooking! ๐Ÿ™‚

That special moment when you say to yourself “ah…THIS is what I travelled here for!”

 

I’ve been on holiday in Thailand. So far, theย  food has been good. I haven’t had any regrettable meals. Everything has been fresh, well prepared, and tasty. But today was one of those, pause and roll the flavor around in the mouth days.

I have had an urge for Pla Rad Prik, Fish in Chili sauce for a while now and decided that even if I’m eating alone, to just go for it and eat what I can. I found a restaurant that looked pretty good (no yelp here, so you’re rolling the dice much of the time). I went in and ordered the Pla Rad Prik. On the side, I had an order of Shrimp Fried Rice – Khao Pad Goong.

Pla Rad Prik (c) wildchopsticks.com 2012

As with most Thai recipes, there are all the elements of taste in there. Fish sauce for salty, palm sugar and tamarind paste for sweet, fiery peppers for hot, and lime on the side for sour. The fish was fried perfectly and the sauce was delicious. So good, in fact, I’m really tempted to go back again. A pound or more of fish for 250 baht, or about 8 dollars.

The rice was good, nothing to complain about at all, and had plenty of shrimp. The only thing that kept it from being memorable was that I was so into the fish that even white rice would have been just fine.

Khao Pad Goong - Shrimp fried rice

I managed to eat the best parts of one side of the fish and half the other as well as all the rice, but eventually had to stop. I hate to waste food. I mean I really, really hate to waste it, but it was either eat what I could or (if I didn’t order it) miss the chance entirely today.

 

Wood Ear or Cloud Mushrooms – Asian Ingredients

Wood Ear (sometimes known as Cloud or Black Fungus) mushrooms are a common, yet interesting, ingredient in Asian cooking. Used more for it’s texture, than it’s mild flavor, the mushroom still adds a substantive quality to the dish. You can buy them dried, or you can buy them fresh. Around the San Francisco Bay Area, they are easily found in Asian markets. If you don’t have access to an Asian market, or one that carries the fresh variety, the dried are just as good. You can find them online here:

Melissa’s Dried Woodear Mushrooms, 0.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)

In my video, you can get an idea as to the texture and appearance of the mushroom.

If you have never seen or tried cooking with this ingredient, don’t fear! It’s really hard to go wrong with this in savory dishes. Just slice or chop up and add it. The taste is mild, as is the gentle crunchiness of it. It’s excellent to add a little texture to a silken tofu dish or even scrambled eggs.

One of the things I like to do with it is cook it and serve in Vietnamese spring roll rice paper or in leaves of Romaine lettuce hearts. Costco seems to have the Romaine lettuce nearly all the time.

Meat Filling with Wood Ear Mushrooms
Recipe type: Asian, Entree, Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 6
 
A nice savory filling for use in lettuce or rice crepes.
Ingredients
  • (caveat with the ingredients, it's ALL to taste. I usually don't measure a thing when cooking Asian foods. The measurements below are my best guesstimate, having cooked this just a half hour before writing).
  • 1-2 lb. Ground Beef (ground pork or chicken would work too)
  • 1 tsp. Soy Sauce, or to taste
  • ½ tsp Lee Kum Kee chicken powder (opt.) http://bit.ly/LKKChickenBouillonPowder
  • ½ tsp Beef powder (opt.) http://bit.ly/BeefStockPowder
  • 1 TBS Tamarind paste ( http://bit.ly/Tamarind_Paste )
  • 2 TBS Oyster Sauce http://bit.ly/LKK_OysterSauce
  • ¼ cup Wood Ear Mushroom, chopped ⅛" squares or so
  • ¼ cup Water Chestnuts, chopped ⅛" squares or so
  • 2 Thai Bird's Eye Chili Peppers, chopped very fine (to taste)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
  • 3 Tbs Corn Starch
  • ¼ cup Cold water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the cold water.
  2. Add the cold water a little at a time, until you have a soft, wet meat mixture, but not so much that it's puddling.
  3. Preheat a wok with a few tablespoons of oil to med-high.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the meat and leave for 3 minutes.
  5. Stir, breaking up any lumps to a medium fine ground texture.
  6. Strain excess oil and service in a bowl.
Notes
This works well with Romain lettuce "tacos", butter lettuce cups, or Vietnamese spring roll wrappers. http://bit.ly/SpringRollWrapper Serving suggestions. Have a bowl of cooked rice noodles or bean thread noodles. You can serve it with Hoisin sauce as a condiment to be spread inside as well. If you're using spring roll wrappers, have cucumber shreds and lettuce or spring mix to put inside and add a nice fresh, healthy crunch to it. A small bowl of lemon or lime wedges will put a contrasting sour to complement the salty, savory, and spicy taste of the meat.

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Corned beef potato pancakes

Corned Beef Potato Pancake

If you were to ask me what my favorite breakfast is, it wouldn’t even take me a second to come up with the answer. Far and away my favorite breakfast is a cross of corned beef hash and shredded potato pancakes that I make as often as my calorie conscience allows.

Corned Beef Potato Pancakes

To make it, you shred a potato, mix with corn beef (and, if you like, onion), and then pan fry it. I prefer it to corn beef hash, which I also enjoy, as I like the texture of the potato pancake better.

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The day after tacos: Mexi-lasagna rolls

In the grand tradition of encharitos and all things not-really-Mexican, I bring you this yummy treat.

The day after we have a “Taco Night” we’re always left with a variety of taco fillings, beef, cheese, salsa, pico de gallo, olives (just because we love olives), and more. As I was looking at the crowded refrigerator I came up with a pretty simple and straightforward way to use it up. Roll it and sauce it! ๐Ÿ™‚

The first thing I did was to get the sauce simmering. For that I added the following ingredients to a medium saucepan and put it on low.

1 can tomato sauce
about 1 to 1 1/2 cup leftover salsa and pico de gallo
chili powder
ground cumin
paprika
sea salt
(alternatively you can use powdered chili seasoning or taco seasoning. start light and work up slowly to taste)
about 1/4 cup of water

I usually put in the water first, then the sauce ingredients to minimize the chance of burning.

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Pepper Jack Cheese Dogs

What better way to celebrate the all-American goodness of the Fourth of July than to make something as American as hot dogs with bacon? Hot Dogs? Bacon? Surrender, we’ve already won. It’s been said that you can’t go wrong with bacon. In this case, it’s true. Something that everyone from my youngest nephew to our uncle visiting from out of the country could get excited about! It’s very simple to make and the results are very tasty.

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Thai Pork Shanks with Preserved Mustard Greens (Khao Kha Moo)

My last trip in Thailand I fell in love with a dish commonly found at food stands and in food courts. It’s made of a pork shank, slowly braised and served simply with rice, some of the cooking liquid for gravy, and a serving of preserved mustard greens on the side.
I tried making it myself today and it came out pretty well. First I put an inch and a half of oil in the wok and heated it, then gave 3 lbs. of shank a quick fry. Continue reading

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