Korean food has recently been having a surge in popularity in the U.S., and I'm completely on board with this trend. It's become one of my favorite international foods.
I had my first authentic Korean food a few years ago when I was visiting my son T-Man (techie guy for The Yummy Life) in San Francisco. He and his girlfriend, Shelly, took me to a neighborhood Korean restaurant where we had Bibimbap. Oh man, was it amazing. I've been on a quest to master Korean cooking ever since.
Fast forward a couple of years, T-Man and Shelly had moved to St. Louis, and for my birthday they signed the 3 of us up for a Korean cooking class at our local Kitchen Conservatory. I learned to make this sauce then, along with a number of other Korean recipes that I'll be sharing in other posts.
The first thing we learned at that class was the ingredients that are common to most Korean recipes. You'll find all of them in this sauce. In particular, Korean recipes usually include in some form:
Our awesome instructor, Naam Pruitt, explained how the ingredients in various Asian foods differ. For example, cilantro is common in Thai cooking, but it's unlikely you'll find it in Korean recipes. (Ms. Pruitt is also a Thai cookbook author.) By the end of our hands-on class, I felt like I had a handle on the basics of Korean cooking as we made Korean Short Ribs, Spicy Pork, Quick Kimchi, and Glass Noodles with Vegetables. Check out the recipe I've posted for Korean Short Ribs; I'll be sharing my version of the other recipes in future posts.
A short-cut sauce for almost everything. I noticed as I experimented with making different Korean recipes that many of them include a sauce with the same basic ingredients, beginning with soy sauce with the addition of most of the ingredients in the bulleted list above. So, rather than assembling essentially the same ingredients for every recipe, I make up a batch of this basic sauce and use it as a short-cut for adding flavor as I make a variety of Korean dishes. That's why I call it an "everyday" sauce--it works in almost everything. When we have a Korean meal, I always have a bowl of this sauce on the table to be drizzled over rice or to add a flavor boost to other dishes I'm serving. It is SO tasty!
Gluten free? No problem, simply use gluten-free soy sauce. All of the other ingredients are naturally gluten free
Many uses for this sauce:
1. Assemble the ingredients:
2. Peel and grate the ginger. I use a spoon to easily scrape the peel off and a microplane to finely grate the ginger.
view on Amazon: Microplane grater
3. Chop the onions. Use both the white and green parts.
4. Mince the garlic. Use a knife or garlic press.
5. Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk. Keep whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Done! Easy, right?
Now all that's left is adding this flavorful sauce to other Korean recipes. And, remember to include it as a condiment on the table. My family loves it most simply drizzled over rice.
Any leftover sauce is freezable to use for future meals.
The awesome sauce is the marinade I use for Korean Short Ribs and Korean Beef Bulgogi. Both are amazingly delicious, yet so simple when using this marinade!
I also use this sauce to add flavor to this recipe:
Here's my family eating a Korean meal on our deck awhile back. This sauce is the first essential recipe; I'll be sharing recipes for everything else in future posts. Stay tuned for more.
Make it a Yummy day!