March 20, 2012

Dduk Bok-ki: A Recipe and an Interview With My Mom

I thought I would try something a little different today, and share something my mom cooked and then interview her about it.

Last night my mom made something quite a bit different from our standard middle-American fare.  She made Dduk Bok-ki.


Yes, Dduk Bok-ki.  It's a Korean dish made with thin sliced bulgogi marinated beef and rice dumplings in a spicy/sweet sauce.

Yeah... we're not exactly artsy fartsy food photographers.

You guys... it was so good.

First things first, the recipe:

Here's what you'll need (my mom found a Korean market in our area called Grace Market, but I'm guessing you can find these ingredients at most Asian markets).

The giant bag next to the carrots is the red pepper powder. Apparently
you can't buy a small package of this.  She used 1/2 tsp. for this recipe. Sheesh.

1 lb package of dduk (these are the rice dumplings... they're kind of like super thick rice noodles)
1/2 lb any thinly sliced beef (she marinated hers in bulgogi marinade overnight)
1/2 c. julienned carrots
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
2 T soy sauce
2 T gohchoojang (Korean red pepper paste)
1/2 - 1 tsp gohchoo garoo (Korean red chili pepper powder)
2 T sugar
2 T sesame oil
1 - 2 cloves garlic, super finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

Thaw dduk and soak in cold water for a couple of hours.  Drain the dduk and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces (if necessary... the dduk my mom bought was already cut into pieces this size). Toss into boiling water and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Drain.

Mix together the soy sauce, red pepper paste, red chili powder, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic to make the sauce. Set aside.

Stir fry the beef and vegetables in a small amount of oil until the beef is cooked through. Add the dduk and sauce and stir until everything is coated and heated through.  Dump out onto serving dish, add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy.

The dduk tasted like big squishy rice gnocchi dough balls.  So delish!

And, now, an interview with my mother (SPOILER ALERT! My father makes an appearance).

Me: Hi.
Mom: Hi.
Me: Please state your name:
Mom: Cheryl He..
Me: I'm not putting your last name. It's not safe.
Mom: Cheryl. With a 'C'.
Me: Are you Korean?
Mom: No. I'm carnie.

The working family theory is that our ancestors were carnival folk or gypsies.  Or both.
Me: Why are you cooking Korean food?
Mom: My ex-sister in law made this for me 30 years ago, and I liked it.
Me:  Remember that time you tried to kill a rat in the backyard with a baseball bat?
Mom: I think it was the front yard. Over in the old house?
Me: Yes.
Mom: Yeah, I remember.
Me: Did this turn out as well as you thought it would?
Mom: I think so. I think it turned out better than I thought it would.
Me: Which celebrity do you most resemble?
Mom: (confused look)
Dad: Moe, Larry, or Curley? (laughs at his own joke and leaves the room)
Mom: I'm afraid of what you are putting from this interview.
Me: I'm just putting whatever you say.
Mom: I know, but you are asking me about the rat at the old house. Roseanne Barr... I don't know!
Me: Which celebrity do you think I should marry?
Mom: George Clooney. Or Prince Harry.
Me: Okay.


  1. Best. Interview. Ever.

    And that dish looks devine. Lord knows I love my beef. I might have to print this one out, yo.

  2. Great format for a post! Hi Cheryl!


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