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Xmas Dinner

Our family christmas feast seemed like a near carbon copy of our thanksgiving feast.
We had the kalbi stew, again.
We had chicken wings, again. But this time, they were a tiny bit burnt. Thanks toaster oven!
Yep, here’s the japchae, again. We’re like a broken record, right?
Kimchi, because no korean meal is ever complete without it.
Oh wait! Something different! Tempura shrimp! We did not have this at thanksgiving.
And more! Ddukpokki, which is one of my favorite korean foods, ever! My aunt’s friend A made it, and she makes some of the best darn ddukpokki this side of the east china sea.
And christmas cookies, courtesy of my cousin’s girl. We certainly did not have christmas cookies at thanksgiving. Hope everyone had a nice holiday season this year!

Steamed Korean Pork Belly – Bossam

For christmas eve dinner, my aunt made a korean pork belly dish. Did you know that koreans are crazy about pork belly? Well, they are. I really wasn’t into this at all, but I did document it all so that you can witness. In the end, it ended up as little pork belly cabbage wraps.
Take some pork belly and cut it up into hunks that will fit into your steamer.
You can throw some of the onion skin into the water for the steamer. Then on top of the pork belly, you can throw in some sliced onions and sliced ginger. Then you steam this for awhile.
While that’s steaming, you can make some of the accompaniments. Oh, and also, get some napa cabbage already. You should try to use the inner leaves. And make up some fresh julienned radish kimchi. This has daikon, scallions, garlic, kochukaru, salt, and raw oysters.
There was also fish sauce in it. Let this sit for awhile to soak in all the salty flavors.
They also concocted another condiment. This stuff had little teeny salted shrimp, chopped jalapenos, and kochukaru.
And here are the final components. You take a leaf of the cabbage and stick a piece or two of the pork belly on it. Then you add some of the fresh daikon kimchi and a bit of that shrimp condiment. Wrap it up, then eat it. Everybody loved it, but it’s not really something that I was into. The pork is really porky, if you know what I mean by that, and I would have much preferred it to be grilled. Also, the pork belly had little bones in it. My mom said the bones would be mushy. She lied! They’re proper bones and they’re crunchy. Don’t worry, I didn’t starve, I ate some leftover tofu dish that my aunt had made the other day, and then later on that night, guests came over and the party snacks came out!

Another Trip To Gaya

We went to Gaya to celebrate my uncle’s birthday. Man, are we boring, or what? We always go here! They got fancy new menus. Unless they’ve always been like this. But I swear these are fairly new.
As you know, they really do have an excellent variety and high quality banchan.
And they had my favorite spicy and sweet marinated raw blue crab banchan that day. Best. Banchan. Ever.
For any of you who complain about the fact that you have to cook korean bbq yourself, go here! You can cook it yourself if you want, but they are more than willing to help you out and do pretty much all the cooking for you. So you can kick back and just watch them do it. It’s totally good meat too.
I’ve eaten here several times and everything has been good. It truly is one of the better korean restaurants in the Philadelphia area. But, I have discovered that it is definitely not without its flaws. Take this yukgaejang here. This thing wasn’t that good. It was pretty darn bland and the meat was super blah. This is so not the dish to get here. So now you know!
Some tofu stew. This is good. I would venture a guess that most of their stews are good.
But the thing that was absolutely beyond amazing was the grilled spanish mackerel. And of course my picture is going to be crap and blurry. Oops. But it is amazing. It’s a beyond huge piece of fish and it’s perfectly grilled and it’s slightly crunchy on the outside and just freakin delicious. Damn I can’t stop thinking about it. It was a particularly slow night there so service was extra attentive. You need to get this fish dish!

Gaya on Urbanspoon

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