Friday, September 24, 2010

Love of Food and Food of Love

My parents drove up from Texas to visit family in Virginia, Jersey and Philly. Their stop here was well spent as we drove out to do some crabbing and enjoy the great weather! Crabbing is something my parents taught my brother and I to do and took us to the beach to do so when we were young. It was always followed by some amazing cooking with the catch. How fun to go with them even after getting married! Some things never change. It's a curious thing to find oneself in the footsteps of the parents as we get older. :)

We were able to catch just enough for some of my mom's keh jiggae (Korean crab stew) and no one makes better keh jiggae in this whole world than my mom! To give us some energy, we stopped by at Gammeok for some Sullung tang, which are beef bones simmered for along time, resulting in a whitish and nutritional soup.

Then onto crabbing. We weren't sure there'd be crabs because it's the end of crabbing season, but there still were some crabs left! There were some mean crabs left in that bunch too. Rude!

There was a sheepish crab. He was purple with a missing limb. We threw him back since it isnt' really edible...and caught him again! Doesn't he look sheepish?

What great weather for crabbing. :)

Aftewards, we came home with our bounty and my mom started keh jiggae prep with the fixings for the soup. We went shopping at HMart and my mom told us that we have great produce available to us and to be sure to take full advantage of it. So we picked some fresh produce and seafood and she produced this mis-en-place.

Prounounced [MEEZ ahn plahs], it means to wash, peel, cut, measure your ingredients before you start cooking. This ends up saving a lot of time in most cases because you don't have to stop to prepare each ingredient along the way. It can also help in cases such as  making sauce that's time sensitive and simply eliminates the time to stop and prep inbetween procedures.

And simultaneously, my dad prepared the LIVE crab to put in the soup. Their claws are NOT clipped. This comes with many years of helping my mom to prepare live crabs and a third degree black belt!

After the soup was left on the stove for some time to simmer, it was done. Food that is caught with your own hands is so sweet.


We also had a chance to go out and eat some Korean style sushi my friend, Jenny, told us about. Japanese style sushi is fresh, but nothing compares to Korean style sushi where the seafood is prepared fresh, where minutes before the seafood was alive. The dinner started off with different small dishes including pumpkin salad, tofu, corn casserole, fresh oysters and clams, mussel soup, shrimp, a whole fish, conch, salad with salmon sushi and a whole lot more that I missed. The table was seriously topped end to end! Hard to believe, but it got more packed than this before the main course came:

My favorite was these little things:

They were simple fried little fish and you can pretty much eat the whole thing. Unless you're a fanatic for fish heads, don't eat the head. There's still plenty to eat on each fish, especially since there was a little suprise inside. Fish caviar. Yum. I wish I knew what kind of fish these were....

And then the main course. The platter really was a piece of art painted with different colored and textured seafood. Fluke, sea cucumbers, crab eggs, eel, lobster etc. The star of the platter was the lobster, which was prepared with the meat in the tail cut to eat and the head used for decoration.  We looked closely and the head was still moving!!  That's when you know it's fresh.

Post the meal, the chef took the head and cooked up a stew with it and served it with some seasoned rice with caviar which is called ahl bap. Directly translated, it's "Egg rice". We were full and it was an extremely satisfying dinner to remember.

Thought of the day: 

How many eggs did we actually eat this day???

Bon Appetite!

Foodie Yoodie

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