Sunday, March 1, 2015

Salmon and Tomato Ceviche... and a Korean Food Party!

Last weekend, the big family had a blast at our parents' house for Chinese New Year with incredible home-cooked food and karaoke, we thought we'd extend the fun with another soirée at mine- and this time, it was all about Korean food! What better recipe to make than a big pot of soul-warming Gamjatang (Spicy Korean Pork Bone Soup) in this chilly weather? Korean feasting is never short of an array of colourful textural dishes and little appie plates (panchan), so of course there was more in store... I was in the kitchen preparing since early noon, and happily relied on a few prepared foods to help me out and to round out the soup.

To start, salmon and tomato ceviche, a recipe I had adapted from TO Star food writer Corey Mintz, who uses tuna instead. I was intrigued by his combination of Korea's pantry staple- Korean pepper paste, gochujang and lime juice as the curing agents to cook the fish. In South America, where ceviche originated, citrus juice with chopped chilies are typical to cure the seafood. Gochujang's pungent fermented chili soybean paste was a unique twist! Served topped on real Thai shrimp chips, it was out of this world. Pretty as it was delicious, it was a perfect start to satiate the senses for more to come...

NOTE: Haha, @coreymintz just tweeted to me: SALMON!? You'll be hearing from my lawyers.

Salmon and Tomato Ceviche
Makes 6 servings

1 Tbsp. gochujang
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 limes, juiced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or grape tomatoes, quartered
1 lb. sashimi-grade salmon or tuna, cubed same size as tomato halves/quarters
1 or 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Shrimp chips or rice crackers

The best REAL uncooked Thai shrimp chips I picked up at a restaurant
food supplier shop. A big bag for a mere $5.00! Lasted me many rounds!

Whisk the gochujang with olive oil, sesame oil and lime juice until mixed well. Add the tomatoes, salmon, green onions and half the cilantro. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining cilantro. Serve with shrimp chips or rice crackers.

Deep-fried crispy aromatic shrimpy goodness!

Soft salmon, and sweet tomatoes intermingled with Asian herbs and sweet, spicy tangy sesame sauce topped on black pepper flecked crunchy Thai chips create a mini party in your mouth!

Kids enjoying the ceviche along with frozen deep-fried spring rolls I made previously. Great to have things like these ready on a whim when you need it, especially for a crowd!

Now onto the main attraction, my pork bone soup.. you can read all about how to make it in my previous post- Gamjatang. I was so excited to finally cook in this big bad beautiful baby I bought for making big batch soups and stews for my big family!

Near 10 pounds of hunky pork neck bones I picked up at Galleria Supermarket.

 I wasn't kidding when I said BIG!

Deliciously flavourful and spicy with tender hunky pork meat and a bunch of vegetables to make it a hearty meal! 
Serve with Korean rice.

Another dish for the night- one of my family favourite's Kimchi Pancakes. Crispy with caramelized bits on the outside, mildly spicy, slightly crunchy and chewy on the inside!

Flipping the pancake....

 And losing a corner... Not too shabby :)

The rest of my meal- Chinese Five-Spiced Chicken Wings, ok, I lied there is one Chinese dish :), Kimchi Pancakes, Store-prepared marinated beef bulgogi I cooked up, Seasoned Sesame Spinach, Chestnut-Baked Rice cooked and brought over by my sis-in-law Yoko and my sister Trai's seasoned beansprouts.

Store-bought panchan- seasoned bell flower roots, crunchy seasoned mini crabs and seasoned raw squid.

Digging in... 

Finishing the night with fruit and karaoke entertainment... Culture Club anyone?

If you love Korean cuisine like my family, check my post with a list of our Korean family favourites, and come back on Tuesday when I celebrate Korean Pork Belly Day with some pork belly dishes... Sam in Korean is "three" and it's also the first part of the word for pork Samgyeopsal... pay homage to it on the third month, third day sounds brilliant to me!

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