Thursday, November 23, 2006

Nak Ji bo Kum

"AhnYoOng-ha-sa-yoO"~ spoken Korean has been improving *proud grin*I took a brief break from cramming my lecture notes for a small dinner party last night. I put 3 willing+eager UNSW students to the true "Malaysian test" -- "How spicy do you like it?" Us Malaysian youngsters have a relationship with spicy food; from the usual spicy red chilies, curries, sambals and our favorite killer-hot birdseye chilies; but Koreans;......they take spicy to a whole different level.You can tell it's heaps of 'fun' when the tissue box is pulled out and the sound of giggles, sniffles and slurps fill the table. Suffering with joy...I would say. *laughs* I don't mean to torture my guests...but COme-On~ just look how much they're enjoying themselves! *grin* I didn't want to be the party-pooper holding back on the chilli powder. *wink*. Qimyi + the 2 housemates of very Indian roots (Pinky+ Amrit) were 'A-o-kay'. Pretty lil Amanda, "Viking" and I had a slight struggle with the sniffles...but I would do it all again just for another scoop of that fiery-hot broth. *MmmmMmm*...
I remember the question "What are we having?" being continuously repeated through the evening. I was consistently replying; "Nak ji Bo Kum" but I guess it was hard for everyone to register/comprehend what those four strange sounding syllables were. I finally gave up with a lazy answer I made up in English: "Spicy octopus-thing". I honestly didn't have a clue what Nak ji bo kum meant myself... well..not until I checked it out online this morning *grin*

Nakji Bokum is a very spicy octopus dish enjoyed by many Koreans. Octopus tentacles are cut into bite-sized pieces then pan stir-fried with spicy kochujang paste along with chili powder, sesame oil, red or green chili peppers, green onions, carrots and onions. Different variation of this dish do exist as the octopus can be substituted with squid for less chewy texture and taste. Non-Koreans may find this dish too spicy even diluted with rice that accompanies this dish. (

Here's the recipe for those interested in having a go at this devilishly hot dish. Having it with a bunch of friends is so much more enjoyable...reminds me of noisy Chinese hot-pot nights. I do however feel a need to add a tiny warning to those who share bunks/roommates ... digestion of excessive spicy food often creates an unwanted amount of gas during the night *blush* :P
1lb octopus defrosted
1/2 lb frozen tiger prawns
2 onions chopped into thin rings
1 carrot sliced into thin strips (Use a grater for beautiful carrot curls)
1 large pack Golden enoki mushrooms
1 bowl sugar snap peas
1 pack korean rice cake (sticks)
3 stalks mint leaves plucked
2 stalks coriander leaves roughly chopped
1 slab asian fish-cake diced into fairly thin pieces
1-2 tbsp sesame oil for stir-frying

Sauce: 3 tbsp Go chu jang (Korean chilli-paste), 2 large cloves garlic diced fine, 2 heaped tbsps honey, 4 tsp fine chilli powder(less if you like), 2 tbsp sesame powder, salt to taste(about 2 tsp).

Mix all ingredients and combine with washed octopus. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
The cooking process is fairly simple. Heat the oil in a electric multi-cooker on medium heat, add onions, fish cake and vegetables. Saute till fragrant and fairly softened. Dump in the octopus mixture and give it a good stir. Pop the lid onto the cooker and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the prawns in and cook till the seafood is fairly cooked. The sauce should have increased by 1/2. The octopus releases moisture when cooked. When the prawns are pink, add in the rice cake sticks and the green herbs. stir well and replace the lid for another 1-2 minutes. Serve with lots of white steamed Japanese rice/Korean sweet rice or "somen" noodles if you like.I gently blanched and cooked the noodles in boiling anchovies+ garlic stock earlier that evening; ran the strands through cold water and made small noodle servings to go with the spicy octopus broth. I personally prefer having it with noodles...but the boys seemed to like the rice with it too. This dish eaten with Rice is refered to in Korean as "Nak Ji Bo Kum Bop"
Thanks everyone for coming over for was a lots of fun, for me at least; I bet it was too for those who've already finished their exams~ *grrr*...I still have that last paper in the morning tomorrow; and it's off to Melbourne for me~~ CANt WAit!! *excitedly skips around the room*


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1 comment:

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