The other Saturday it was my turn to host Dinner Club. This is where a group of 8 of us (plus 2 host guests) gather for dinner and it is all about a specific country of choice (the host picks a country). The food is mostly prepared by the host and each guest brings a bottle of something to drink from that area (or surrounding area) and we each give a 2-3 minute presentation on a different topic. These topics range from economics, government, culture, arts and literature, customs etc. It’s always a fun evening and we all go away learning something about that country.
Last night was my turn to host and I chose Korea as the country for the evening. I must say by the end of the evening I learned a great deal about a country I knew very little about. It was great and kudos to the guests for all their input!
Now for the food (which is pretty much what this blog is all about!)
The menu was as follows:
Salad with sesame dressing
Side dishes included – Kimchee (spicy pickled cabbage), edamame, pickled carrots and radish and sesame spinach. (Most of these items I bought – edamame is just steamed and recipe for spinach follows)
Main course – Seared miso salmon on a bed of grilled corn and steamed baby pea sprouts, Korean sizzling beef, jab chae – a sweet potato noodle with spinach and carrots in a soy marinade (a real favourite)
Dessert was fresh fruit – peaches and blueberries, green tea cookies and sesame cookies.
Recipes to follow after the photos.
Seared Miso Salmon with Corn and pea sprouts (you can use anything as a base veg for this)
Serves: 4 (I doubled this recipe but had extra left over)
4 skinless, boneless salmon filets (I didn’t double this portion as I was serving small pieces along with the other food)
1 cup white miso
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup sake (I didn’t have this so left it out)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil plus a few extra drops for sautéing sprouts and corn)
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
3 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (I grilled the cobs on the BBQ and then sliced the kernels off (yes I am Type A 😉 )
Toasted sesame seeds to sprinkled over before serving (I also crumbled some roasted nori on top)
Place salmon in a shallow dish and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together miso, mirin, sake, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Reserve 5 tablespoons of the mixture, cover, and refrigerate. Pour remaining mixture over salmon, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
In a large nonstick pan, add ½ cup of water and a drop or two of sesame oil. Steam pea sprouts till wilted, about 2 minutes. Take sprouts out and pat dry. Add canola oil and a few drops of sesame oil to the pan. Add corn and pea sprouts and sauté another 4 minutes until flavoured. Toss in scallions and reserved miso sauce. Mix gently to warm through and set aside, keeping warm.
Heat some canola oil in the same pan. Remove salmon from marinade and shake off any excess. Place filets in a single layer in pan and sear until centre is no longer raw. Divide corn and sprout mixture among four plates and top each with a piece of salmon. Garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
1 lb. spinach, stemmed and washed (16 cups)
2 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
1 Tbs. soy sauce
Toasted white sesame seeds for garnish
1 tsp. plain rice vinegar
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Mix (whisk) all ingredients (except spinach) in a medium bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the spinach in the boiling water, stirring, just until bright green and wilted (this doesn’t take long). Transfer the spinach to a colander. Drain well and squeeze or press out excess water. Using your fingers, loosen the spinach slightly as you transfer it to a medium bowl.
Mix the spinach with the ingredients in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors meld. Return to cool room temperature before serving. (The spinach is best served on the day it’s made). Photo is a bit blurry – my apologies but had to shoot fast as people were going to dig in!
Korean sizzling beef
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 -2 1/2 pound beef flank steak, cut across the grain into narrow 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 scallions thinly sliced on an angle
Steamed rice, for serving
Using a Ziplock bag, add all ingredients without the beef. Mix ingredients in the bag then add the thin slices of beef. Seal bag and marinate overnight turning the bag on occasion to ensure the mixture saturates the beef.
Set the BBQ to med high heat (about 300 F) and grill the beef slices (this sounds tedious but they only take about a minute per side).
Serve beef with some rice on a plate and scatter scallions over top.
Last image is the Jab Chae which I purchased as I really wasn’t sure I could make it.