Monday, January 18, 2010

Jan 18th - Yellow Korean Curry with Eggplant and Zuccini

Growing up my mom used to call this Yellow-bap or yellow rice/food. I don't really know why mom didn't always use the Korean name for the foods we ate. She did sometimes, the staples. But for alot of stuff like Fish Stew or Sweet Rice w Figs or Shredded Marinated Beef. Funny. The Korean Yellow curry is very similar to the Japanese Katsu but better. It has a similar curry base as an indian curry but slightly sweeter and saucy. I've seen the Japanese variety being served as just that, the sauce. The yellow sauce served over rice or a breaded cutlet. Not my thing at all. Probably mainly because I grew up eating this as a stew full of potatoes, carrots, onions, beef, garlic. When I gave up meat, my mom started putting chick peas in it at my request. She of course felt it needed protein, so she adds big shrimp.

The curry base it self comes in cube bouillons. Unless you're crazy hardcore...and mom is hardcore. You use these cubes. You needn't feel bad that you're not making it from scratch. Mom makes her own soy sauce and fish sauce but she uses these cubes.

Today, I'm using the veg that is going off in the fridge because we over bought last weekend: Eggplant, Zucchini, potato, cannellini beans (because I've runout). Actually, I used to make this alot on my own with just eggplant and chickpeas and if done properly is very similar if not dead on to the Indian Baigan curry dish. MMMMM one of my faves. Just use less water. I often add a bit of indian curry powder if I'm doing that.

Eggplant and Zucchini Yellow Korean Curry

1 eggplant
1 small onion
1 small zucchini
3-4 small chilies chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger fresh
1/2 pack of curry cubes (75-100g)
3 c water
1 tin of chick peas (optional)
5 shrimp sauteed on the side (optional)
salt and pepper

I do the eggplant separately. You don't have to. You can sautee the eggplant with the potato but stew a bit longer before eating. I was making this on a work day so I wanted to eat before 9pm. So this is like the rapid development version. I'm always thinking of cooking a dish like a project where I look for activities that can happen in parallel.

Start the rice. I'm making brown jasmin and it takes 25-40 minutes. It's best to start it first.

Turn the oven on to 425 while chopping the eggplant in 3/4 inch cubes. Toss with olive oil. Salt. Place in oven while you do the rest. 30 minutes.

In a large dutch oven, or big skillet like mom would use. Heat some olive oil and butter on medium heat. Chop the onion and potato. Toss in as you go. Season with salt and pepper. Don't burn the onion. Keep it moving. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Chop the zucchini in coins, 1 cm thick cut in half.

Put a bowl of water in the microwave to boil or boil some water. Break the cubes up and place in the bowl and let melt. Stir with a spoon. Chop the chilies, ginger and garlic.

Add the zucchini and keep it moving. When the zucchini starts to brown. 3- 5 minutes. Add more oil if it starts to stick. Don't worry if t bottom browns a bit. Brown is good. Burn is bad. Add the aromatics. Stir for a couple of minutes.

Stir the bowl with the water and curry and quickly dump into the pot before it settles. Add more water to the bowl and whisk up the rest of the curry and dump in. ~3 cups. Add more or less to taste. The cubes will thicken when the stew comes to a boil with more or less water, it will thicken and it will just mean more or less intense curry flavour. So carefully taste before you over water.

Toss in the eggplant. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Let sit for at least 15-20 minutes or more. Add the beans in at the last 5 minutes to heat through. Or earlier if you want not to fuss.

You could toss any number of shrimp or whatever in but since I didn't want to have a whole pot of shrimp curry, I sauteed them briefly onthe side and served them on the rice then ladled some curry on top.

MMMM tastes like childhood but with more veg. Moms would have just been potato, carrots, and peas with protein.

Oh the best brand, in my opinion is 'Golden'. I've tried a few like Glico, Kokomu and others but Golden is the least candy like and less filler. Yummo.

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