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Cookbook Challenge - Day 1

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

It's in the books now folks! My enthusiasm is always bigger than my reality. I spent the weekend dreaming, thinking and shopping and getting super excited. I woke up this morning ready to start but I failed in 2, to remember that I actually am a mom first and have people I am responsible for and two, failure to read the recipes thoroughly and had to wait on 2 of the side dishes I was planning on making because I needed to soak them overnight. Oh well, bellflower roots and fernbrake will be on the sides menu for tomorrow!

Today I made kimbap/gimbap (sadly I forgot to take a picture of the final product), a soybean paste soup with tofu, veggie hoedoepbap (mixed rice with tofu today for Meatless Monday but I'll make the full version with raw fish on Fish Friday!) and sides of braised black beans, pan fried spicy tofu. There are pictures of kimchi but I didn't make those. I will though soon!

Gimbap is the Korean version of a "sushi" roll. The one I made from the cookbook was filled with yellow pickled radish, ground beef, marinated spinach, imitation crab, and egg. Hoedeopbap is mixed rice salad if you had to describe it. Full of fresh greens, cucumbers, avocado, herbs like perilla leaves, onions and spicy peppers. Usually topped with raw fish, fish eggs and a delicious gochujang based spicy sauce but I made today's with tofu and asparagus instead. Mix it all up and YUM!

So my lesson to myself today is to read the recipe thoroughly and to pace myself. There are a lot of side dishes in the cookbook and I will get to most of them. I just think that side dishes are SO important in the Korean meal and I want a variety just like I remember eating at my in-law's.

Sides are wonderful. They can be the meal with a bowl of rice. I want my refrigerator to always have some sides ready to pull out.

Oh, I had another thought for today. The dishes I made were not hard to make. Yes, lots of prep but not hard. My thought was that I have a lot of appreciation for Korean moms and grandmas and anyone who cooks, especially these sides! So many kinds and all different in their prep, taste, and texture. I have not prepared many of these myself before. I remember eating some of them when my mother-in-law made them. Lots of credit to their love and dedication to feeding their families and it shows in the product. I look forward to learning how to make these delicious treasures!

Tomorrow will be soybean sprout rice, probably a soup and sides!

I'm getting a jump on tomorrow's. The recipe didn't say I had to do this but I did it anyway from my Chinese upbringing. We usually pick off the root end off sprouts. It makes them look a ton cleaner and mentally probably makes them taste better. No small task but it will be worth it!

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