My food journey this week started with buying a new product I had not previously cooked with: Gochujang! This fermented Korean chili paste is actually quite mild in spice having a Scoville rating of only 1,000. To put that into context jalapenos average from 2,500 – 8,000 Scoville, so if you like more spice, like I do, then just add a fresh jalapeno or serrano or whatever your favorite pepper might be. Personally, I love fresh jalapenos and I usually keep them stocked in the fridge when they’re in season.
Originally I purchased Gochujang to make some traditional Korean dishes using recipes from Maangchi. She is a wonderful home chef with over six million YouTube subscribers. I’ve watched dozens of her recipes but only recently decided to follow along and make my own at home. The spicy braised chicken, or Dakbokkeumtang, is a delicious homestyle dish that really hits the spot. It has complex spice from the Korean chilis, fresh ginger and pepper which isn’t overwhelming, but it does seem to warm you all the way to your soul.
The recipe that I really want to talk about today has been inspired by Maangchi as well as countless street food videos I’ve watched from places like Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and many others. I love the way street food is prepared where you can watch every step of the cooking process. A lot of the popular Asian street food trends make their way to the USA as well. The recipe I ended up making is actually similar to one of these popular trends, called Gilgeori Toast. It’s a Korean street toast with cabbage and egg. Since I’ve been watching my carbs, mine doesn’t have toast and I also added a lot extra flavor.
Spicy Cabbage and Egg is what I’m calling it, and here’s how it is made. Start with thinly slicing about ¼ cup of an onion, as well as thinly slicing about 1 cup or more of cabbage. I used white onion and green cabbage, but these can be swapped with your preferred type. Preheat a frying pan on medium low, and when the pan is warm add about a tablespoon of olive oil and add your garlic and chili. If the aromatics are sizzling a lot, lower the heat. Just be sure to keep stirring your pan since they can brown easily if the heat is too high. I often move the pan completely off and back onto the heat to help control the temperature of the pan. After about 30 seconds add your onions and cabbage and a pinch of kosher salt. While your vegetables cook, combine in a bowl 1 Tbsp of gochujang, 1 tsp of gochugaru flakes, 2 Tbsp of a high-quality Soy Sauce (I’m using Kikkoman less sodium), 1 Tbsp of mirin and ½ tsp of minced ginger. After a few minutes when the vegetables have softened to your likeness, if your vegetables seems too dry and aren't tender enough add 1 Tbsp of water to help steam everything, raise the heat to medium high and throw that sauce into the pan. After everything is bubbling hot and cooked for a minute you can now take 2-3 beaten eggs and pour them into the pan. Mix everything together in the pan with a spatula and then let the eggs sit and cook for about 30 seconds before stirring the pan occasionally. I like to see a little browning because I think this dish is best with well done eggs. After you plated your food just drizzle some toasted sesame oil, this is such a crucial step, and sprinkle some white sesame seeds for extra nutty goodness and enjoy!
This is a dish I instantly fell in love with, and I have eaten almost everyday for the past week because it is so filling. Combined with intermittent fasting, this has been a great dish for weight loss. I find having food that is very flavorful helps immensely when you’re trying to eat less. Olive oil is a bit out of place in this recipe, but I’ve been trying to use the healthiest fats lately. Normally I would recommend lard or beef tallow, or even a different vegetable oil but I’m trying to reduce ‘bad cholesterol’. Also, this dish is easy to tweak the recipe with other ingredients. Once I left out the chili flakes and garlic but added shiitake mushrooms and fish sauce. Other great options would be addition of carrots or scallions. You could make it a more substantial dish by adding tofu or meat. And of course, it would be great with a side of rice or Oi-Muchim (fresh Korean cucumber salad).
Spicy Cabbage and Eggs
- 1 ½ cups Cabbage
- ¼ cup White Onion
- ½ Jalapeno or another fresh chili
- 1 clove minced Garlic
- ½ tsp minced Ginger
- 1 Tbsp Gochujang
- 1 tsp Gochugaru
- 1 Tbsp Mirin (Rice wine vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil or preferred cooking oil/fat
- 1-2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1-2 tsp White Sesame Seeds
- 1. Thinly slice your onion, cabbage and chili and mince the garlic and ginger
- 2. Heat frying pan on medium-low, add about 2 Tbsp of cooking oil once the pan is hot
- 3. Add the chili and garlic in the pan flavoring the oil for about 30 sec
- 4. Add the onion, cabbage and a dash of kosher salt then continuously stir for a few minutes until tender, if it seems dry add 1 Tbsp or 2 of water and let steam for a while longer
- 5. Combine gochujang, gochugaru, ginger, soy sauce and mirin in a bowl and whisk until smooth
- 6. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the sauce to the pan
- 7. Beat 3 eggs in the empty sauce bowl and then pour into pan after sauce has cooked for a minute
- 8. Incorporate the eggs thoroughly and then let it sit for about 30 sec to get some browning, then stir until cooked
- 9. Plate the food and then drizzle toasted sesame oil and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top