Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Chant's Very First Recipe Post...

So I recall promising y'all a recipe. Well...

Seems that the recipe is a closely guarded secret, handed down from generation to generation and...

No, not really. Those guys in the opening photo are not guarding the secret recipe of the way my wife makes bulgogi (불고기). Which literally translates to "fire meat," no, really, it does. The usual translation is "roast meat" or just bulgogi. It's what it's called in Korean, everyone I know calls it that in English.


It seems that my wife, much like my paternal grandmother, doesn't write recipes down. She just does it. The following exchange took place the other day -

Moi: "Yeobo (여보)*, how do you make bulgogi?"

TMH: "I don't know."

Moi: "Come on, you must have a general idea."

TMH: "Not really, I just make it."

Moi: "Well, you must measure stuff. My grandmother used the palm of her hand as a measuring..."

TMH: "I don't do that."

Moi: "Well, how do you know..."

TMH: "I just do. Why do you want to know? You never cook."

Moi: "Well, it's for the blog, a lot of my readers want to know..."

TMH: "Look it up on line."

Moi: "But..."

TMH: "I don't know. All bulgogi recipes are the same. Tell them to look it up on line..."

Realizing the futility of further inquiry, I decided that I would look on line and find the recipe that seemed closest to the way she cooks it. I mean I do pay attention. It's not like I wolf everything down without tasting it.

Though I've been accused of doing exactly that.

This recipe is very close to how my wife makes it. Though she does it up in a wok (though she has been known to do it on the grill) and mixes in regular onions (green onions or scallions are also used at times). For most of the family she uses sesame seeds, but not for me (if you remember the picture here). I'm not allergic to sesame or anything, I just can't eat little seeds, nuts, popcorn, or stuff like that. I've told that story before and I don't like rolling the dice with my intestinal health!

As to pickling the pig potatoes, I have no idea and was honestly afraid to ask. I did Google that and, well, let's just not go into that...

The rice is easy enough if you have a rice cooker, which can be quite pricey, but if you eat a lot of Asian-style rice, having one is a must! (So The Missus Herself tells me. Ours talks to us, in Korean. It seems very polite but I only understand half, if that much, of what it's saying.)

So there you go, a recipe for bulgogi, not The Missus Herself's super-secret-ultra-classified recipe, but damned close.

Speaking of Top Secret...

Heh. I like that movie...

Oh look, a squirrel!

* Essentially, honey, or darling in Korean.


  1. No worries, Mate! My pork carnitas "recipe" is much the same as your Wife's Bulgogi. A little of this, a little of that, cook it til it's done and voila'.

    1. I had hoped it was all written down with steps to follow and the like. But The Missus Herself isn't an engineer, she doesn't feel the need to write all that down.

      Yes, I'm disappointed, but the recipe in that link looks pretty good. And close to how she does it.

  2. My grandma was an extraordinary cook and kept a yuge recipe repository. The only problem is that her "recipes" were, and remain, quite cryptic. Mostly just tips about technique, with less than complete ingredient lists and so forth. I imagine she started cooking at age 7 or so, and eventually she just knew.

    My instant pot is billed as an excellent rice cooker, I'm going to give it a whirl when I try this recipe.

    1. Any pressure cooker should work, let me know how your instant pot works on rice.

  3. I didn't have time to watch the Video earlier. Never heard of "Top Secret" before that. Guess I'm going to have something to do this evening.

  4. Be careful about posting recipes, Sarge.
    Before you know it you'll be known for a cooking blog.

    1. Aircraft blog, history blog, cooking blog, yeah, I know.

  5. Is that movie clip any better with the sound on? Just watched it with the sound off and it was further evidence of why I don't watch many movies. Not that I'm a cranky old man or somesuch, but I prefer the older movies. Mel Brooks did a much better job of satire ( IMHO ).

    Paul L. Quandt

    1. That movie is from the 80s (I think) and of course Mel Brooks did it better. Man is a genius!

  6. We actually use gochujang here. Can't do recipes like this much justice though as we can't have an open flame in the condo or on our decks. Note to self: How does a 98% concrete building catch on fire?

    1. Yum, gochujang.

      Yeah, open flames, condo, not good. It ain't the concrete, it's the furniture, the paint, the tile, the curtains, etc., etc.

      I never worried about me catching the building on fire, it was the other yahoos in the building that always scared me!

  7. OldAFSarge,

    What do the pickled potatoes taste like? Do you have any idea of what ingredients The Missus puts in them? I would suspect vinegar (rice vinegar?), salt, and garlic at a minimum plus something else that gives them the brownish color (soy sauce?).

    1. I think you have the ingredients down pat. As to what they taste like, rather like pickled daikon radish (takuan) but with a potato flavor. They are very firm and I find the texture very nice!


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.