After several weeks of drinking copious amounts of booze and testing (and eating) a bunch of desserts, I’m doing my best to get South Korea off on a healthy start. I chose these beansprouts as the opening recipe for several reasons. First, because just about everybody can enjoy them since they’re gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc. Second, because some of my later recipes will use these as a topping. Third, and most importantly, because they’re pretty awesome.
I’m not the kind of girl who would normally get excited over something like bean sprouts (usually it’s chocolate, cheese, etc.) but I can definitely see myself adding these to a frequent rotation around here. They’re crunchy, spicy, fresh and complex. Most importantly, they’re easy to prepare and quick to come together. Next time I’m definitely making a double batch.
Seasoned Bean Sprouts
* 1 pound soybean sprouts
* 2 cups water
* 2 green onions, thinly sliced
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, crushed
* 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
* 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
* 2 teaspoons Korean chili powder
* black pepper
* 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper threads, for garnish
Wash the bean sprouts in cold water. Place them in a saucepan and add two cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil the sprouts for 7-8 minutes and do not lift the lid during this time. Remove from heat and rinse the sprouts under cold water and drain.
Add the green onions, garlic, toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, salt, chili powder and stir to mix. Grind a little black pepper over the top and add the red pepper threads to garnish.
Note #1: For toasted, crushed sesame seeds, toast whole sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat until the begin to turn golden. Let cool slightly. Place in a coffee grinder or a food processor and pulse several times.
Note #2: Both the Korean chili powder and the red chili pepper threads can be purchased at an Asian or Korean grocery.
Oh dear. I don’t know if hello in Korean (in English) is Annyong, Anyang, or Ahn-young. My beloved Internet won’t give me a straight answer. Regardless, I’m happy to be in South Korea, although I do hope the food gives fewer problems than the language.
Another two weeks, another country. Jamaica is such a quintessential vacation spot that I think I tricked myself into thinking I was on vacation, meaning a little overindulgence in terms of frozen boozy drinks- like this frozen calypso coffee
and this gorgeous coconut rum drink
. Thankfully there were also plenty of non-alcoholic drink winners, like this awesome (and healthy!) carrot ginger lime juice
and this spicy ginger beer
There was one disaster, the gizzada (chewy coconut tartlettes), which I already discussed a couple days ago. But I didn’t feel too badly because there were plenty of other yummy coconut desserts, like these bars
and this pudding
Finally, there was a cassava pudding that I really wanted to get just right… I was envisioning Jamaica’s version of sticky toffee pudding. I got close, but no cigar. I’ll keep at it…
A true Type A personality, I tend to get pretty disappointed when a recipe doesn’t turn out. But sometimes it leads to something even better. Case in point: the gizzadas (Jamaican chewy coconut tartlettes) I attempted were a total failure. The filling was too watery and the pinched dough of the crust didn’t hold up. The good part is that I only tested half a batch, leaving a good amount of frozen young coconut left over and so back to the drawing board, i.e., my stack of Jamaican cookbooks, I went.
I kept coming back to a super simple drink recipe… coconut water with rum. The cookbook author kept referring to it as the “man’s drink” of Jamaica. Well fellas, thanks for the idea but we ladies like to do it up a little bit. And so this simple pairing of rum and coconut morphed into a gorgeous, pure and dazzling white frozen drink. Sweetened with condensed milk, the coconut shreds and ice give the drink body while the rum gives it just a little kick. I’m seriously wondering how these things aren’t a staple at tropical beachside bars around the world.
The only thing in its way? The lack of snazzy name. Perhaps the Coconut Rum Blizzard? Or the Whiteout?
Frozen Coconut Rum Drink
* 1 cup frozen young coconut, partially thawed
* 3 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
* 2 Tablespoons rum, your choice of white, gold, or coconut
* 2 cups ice
* Toasted coconut, for garnish (optional)
In a blender, combine the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum and ice and blend until smooth. Top with toasted coconut, if desired.
Note: frozen young coconut can be found at many Asian grocery stores.