Nothing Says Party Like a Big Bowl of Meat

 

Happy Memorial Day!  Take a moment away from your grills and coolers to remember those who sacrificed so much for this country.  My husband's great grandmother was a Korean immigrant to Hawaii, and her success is a testament to her hard work and the great opportunities offered by this land of the free.  Celebrations mean Korean BBQ in our family.  After having the great privilege of living in Seoul for two years, I wanted to make this BBQ extra Korean and rounded up some supplies at the local Korean grocery.  It was like coming home--hearing Hangeul spoken, the huge aisle of just rice and another of gochu (red pepper powder), and the crazy grain teas that I love.  There is an excellent resource for recipes at this website.  I made my mother-in-law's kalbi marinade and started the ribs about 8 hours before we planned to grill them. 

The Korean Holy Trinity

Still not willing to part with the kalbi marinade recipe online but it does involve substantial portions of the trinity.....

On the menu tonight--Kalbi, Japchae, Musaengchae, Kimchi, Hobak Jeon, Rice.  We also planned to serve the meat as kalbi ssam--wrapped in sesame leaves or lettuce leaves with ssamjang--a garlicky spicy sauce that is the savory version of Korean Nutella.  Korean meals involve a lot of chopping and preparation, and I was lucky to have a couple of guest chefs...

Maddy helped with musaengchae and japchae preparation.  Ian had experience in frying up the hobak jeon....

Musaengchae is one of those "simple" dishes that actually require multiple steps--the salting makes a huge difference.  The radish goes from stiff...

 To flexible, yet still crispy...

Adding the spices.  Despite the deep red color of the red pepper powder, it is not too spicy.

Here is Sophie next to a batch of red peppers drying in the sun, not an uncommon sight in Korea...

It was a great party with old and new friends...celebrating an American holiday, Korean style.