Everything I Love About Food is Right Here in This Bowl.
I eat some type of rice bowl regularly. The varieties are practically endless, but for me, they always include some type of protein, something crunchy, and something spicy. I went with a Korean flavored dipping sauce and marinade this time, using gochujang, gochugaru, and doenjang as some of my flavorings. If this is new to you, gochujang is a sweet/savory/spicy red chili paste, which is regularly used in Korean dishes, and can be bought in both mild and hot versions. Gochugaru is a blend of red pepper flakes and doenjang is a fermented soybean paste. Many grocery stores carry these products now, as well as Korean markets. But they can also easily be found online.
I used both gochujang and doenjang for the sweet and spicy dipping sauce, along with some garlic, rice vinegar and honey. Nothing complicated here. I just stirred together the ingredients and put it aside while I got on with the rest of the meal.
Ever since getting the meat grinding attachment for my Kitchenaid stand mixer, I’ve been grinding my own pork because it is so much better than what I can buy. I use pork shoulder (Boston Butt) and grind it coarsely. I usually grind 4 or 5 pounds, use what I need and stash the rest in the freezer for future meals. In this case, I combined the pork with gochujang, gochugaru, mirin, soy sauce and a little brown sugar. I put it to the side while I put my rice on to cook and prepped the rest of the ingredients.
After mincing, grating, and slicing the onions, garlic, ginger and scallions, I used my kitchen torch to lightly toast a couple sheets of nori and crumbled them up. Now it was simply a matter of cooking it up in the wok and dinner was served. Kimchi was essential for this and some toasted sesame seeds added a nice little crunch.
Everything I love about food is all there in that bowl. Deep umami, bright and spicy sauce, funky kimchi, crunchy romaine, smokey nori, and soothing rice. I like to pick and choose each individual bite, balancing out the flavors as I eat. As I said, I eat these regularly. Simply because I love them.