military stew & brownies

Our apartment hosted a bit of a very late housewarming party (집들이) yesterday, and we were conflicted about what to cook since none of us really go into the kitchen except to microwave something, make rice, or eat cereal.

After worrying about the dinner menu for a bit, we decided to make 부대찌개, 유부초밥, and 계란말이.

부대찌개 (boo-dae-jji-gae) is a type of stew that Koreans used to eat during the Korean war when they didn’t have food. It was made using sausage, ground beef, and spam that American soldiers brought over to Korea during the war, and usually anything and everything they could find was thrown in. Nowadays, you can get it in restaurants and it usually includes kimchi, ramen, spam, sausage, scallions, and onions. Or whatever vegetables you feel like throwing in.

We also opted for another easy way out by making 유부초밥, or inari sushi. We just bought the packaged inari that comes with seasonings for the rice and made two plates of sushi thirty minutes before everyone came to eat.

Basically, we started making the stew at about 4 p.m. And there is no set recipe for this since I kind of made it up as I went along. Haha.

We were cooking for five big guys who eat a lot so we made about three stew pots worth of jjigae.

We cut up two cans of Spam and two packages of sausage.

Then, we cut up one whole large onion and two scallions.

We divided up everything evenly into three pots along with two big handfuls of kimchi per pot, kimchi 국물 or stock, water, sesame oil, and red pepper paste (고추장). The amount of the red pepper paste and sesame oil is about one tablespoon or more depending on your personal preference.

Bring it all to a boil, throw in a slab of American cheese, and your spicy stew is all ready! Feel free to put in a ramen at this point. No instant and no soup base though. Just the noodles.

As for the inari sushi, all you need is a big bowl of rice and follow the directions on the packaging! The seasoning for the rice usually includes sesame seeds, black and regular, and also vinegar. You can add small diced pieces of ham and carrot, too, if you have the time and feel like giving it some extra flavor.

Today, though, my roommate, Mia, was craving chocolate so I decided to try making brownies again after the epic failure attempt that resulted in a waste of perfectly good ingredients over winter break.

Modified a couple recipes and came up with this to make in my Baker’s Edge pan.

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Brownies

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 13-by-9 inch pan (I used my Baker’s Edge). Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and then stir in the sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the remaining ingredients until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix or you will end up cakey brownies (as I did actually….)

Pour mixture into greased pan and bake in pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

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I think I may need to work with the recipe a little more though to get the fudgey brownies I’m looking for…. These were slightly cakier than I wanted.

I think next time I’ll try David Lebovitz’s Supernatural Brownie.

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