Thursday, November 4, 2010
Up until this year I wasn't a big fan of asian cooking, sure I'd eat fried rice and noodles every now and then or ramen when I was lazy and I've always been fond of sushi, but I wouldn't touch anything spicy with a 10-foot pole and I was a very picky eater, so anything 'odd' looking scared me off immediately. You know how kids can be, once they've made up their mind about something there is no changing it. But then, earlier this year, I got into the whole Korean Wave thing, oh boy did that change things. Going crazy over Korean films, dramas and eventually music I started to become interested in Korean cooking and decided to try out some dishes. Let me tell you this: when you have 2 pounds of home made hot kimchi in your fridge you better pray you'll develop a love for it or you'll be screwed. And fall in love I did! By now I've made my fourth batch of kimchi and it's stored in a large, especially bought container that is unfortunately taking up half of the fruit & veg compartment in my fridge. Kimchi and I are friends, big time. After falling in love with Korean food I am now slowly starting to discover foods from other Asian countries like Japan for example. Japanese curry is one of my favourite new discoveries and the recipe I'm posting today also happens to contain one of my favourite Korean ingredients: gochujang! Gochujang is a dark red and thick hot pepper paste that is used a lot in Korean cooking. Together with the Japanese curry mix and silken tofu it makes for an amazingly rich and creamy curry that will warm you right up!
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 cup zucchini, sliced
1 cup carrot, sliced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 S&B mild golden curry brick
1 generous tbs of gochujang
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 cup silken tofu, pureed
10 lentil balls
1/2 cup peas
dash of pepper (optional)
1) Pour 2 tbs of oil into a pan and heat it up on medium-high heat.
2) Add onions and sauté for a minute. Add squash, zucchini and carrots and continue to sauté for about three minutes.
3) Add just enough water to the pan so that the veggies are barely covered and cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes or until all the veggies are done, stir every now and then and add a little (!) more water if needed.
4) Stir in gochujang, garlic, soy sauce, curry brick and sesame oil. It takes a while for the brick to dissolve completely, but the sauce will soon start to thicken up. Continue to stir and add the silken tofu.
5) Lastly, add the lentil balls and peas. Stir, then turn off the heat - peas don't need a whole lot of cooking so the remaining heat should do the job just fine.
Done, serve with some freshly cooked rice and enjoy!
here over at Veggie Num Num. (The Dal Kofta recipe looks awesome btw.)
• Gochujang looks pretty scary for first time users, so adding a table spoon of it will seem insane to you, but korean hot peppers are actually rather mild. You can leave it out if you don't like hot food or use a smaller amount if you want to use a different hot sauce.
• Silken tofu is what makes this curry sooo creamy, so I urge you to use it if you have access to it. If you don't or simply don't like the taste of it (though I personally can't detect it in this dish) you can use a vegan creamer that is suitable for cooking and try your luck. You may have to use less water to archive the same level of creaminess, but it should work.