Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tangsuyuk (Korean style Sweet & Sour Pork or Beef)

I saw this recipe at:

Maangchi is a very talented Korean woman who as a hobby enjoys cooking and making videos. She is proffesional, has a sense of humour, and cute. Below her videos on her blog she includes the written recipe, I love watching her videos and they are very helpful (she's better than foodnetwork lol.) I love her taste in music, she always uses music in her videos as backround and intro's. Her cooking focuses on Korean Cuisine, she cooks very authentic home-style foods she learned from her family (I think grandmother) which I think is really cool.

I've tried several of her recipes before (her Kimchi and Kaktugi, Spicy Stir-fried Squid, Kimchi Fried Rice and Bulgogi, and Spinach Side dish are the recipe's I have tried so far not to forget the Tangsuyuk)

When I saw her video for Tangsuyuk it was very appealing, and then sometime last week a Korean online foodie buddy (can't think of another expression at the time) she told me that she loves Tangsuyuk and that I should try it because it's very delicious, I showed her Maangchi's video she gave it a thumbs up and urged me to try it and so I decided to make it today and she wanted pictorials lol. it was a hit in my house, my parents and little sister loved it.

So I decided to post it here how I made it with pictures I made it almost identical to Maangchi with very little differences.

Her recipe for Tangsuyuk uses ingredients that are available to anybody in the USA you don't need any special hard to find ingredients (except the wood ear mushrooms I can get them easily but decided to use cremini mushrooms because I had some in the fridge) I am lucky to have a Korean store really close as well as a Chinese store, Vietnamese, and Filipino store (so I have a lot of Asian stuff available and as you can probably tell by looking at my favorite blog list on my blog I enjoy a lot if different types of Asian food and cooking it at home very much, except I usually don't blog about it because well you can go check their blogs, but this one I did blog about because someone asked me to put a pictorial of Tangsuyuk in addition to them seeing the Tangsuyuk on Maangchi's page, plus this is a good way to send some traffic to Maangchi and express how much I like her blog)

Main Ingredients:
-1 1/2 lbs pork or beef thinly sliced and cut into strips
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for batter

-2 cups cornstarch and 3-4 cups water (mix together, let sit 1-2 hours, drain, you will have a thick batter add 1 egg white and stir well incorporate)

For Sweet and Sour Sauce:
-1/2 a cucumber thinly sliced
-1/2 onion julienned
-2 small carrots cut into rounds
-1 red apple wedged (I think a sour pungent green apple would be tasty to)
-1 can pinapple in chunks drained
-1 small pack fresh button mushrooms
-2 cups water
-1 teaspoon soy sauce
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 cup dark brown sugar (you can use turbinado, white, or brown, whatever I used dark brown because I like the taste)
-4 tablespoon applecider vinegar (she used 3 but I like more acidity)
-2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoon water

Ingredients for dipping sauce:
-Equal soy sauce to apple cider vinegar (she uses 3 tablespoon soy sauce 2 of vinegar but again I like pungent flavors so I use equal amounts)

(1)So before you start make sure to soak the 2 cups cornstarch in generous amount of water in a bowl for 1-2 hours this will make the starch settle at bottom and be moist and thick, drain water, add egg white mix well. While batter is resting prepare the rest and do all your chopping, etc. prepare for what's ahead haha.

(2)Okay so now assuming you have the batter ready, etc. get the meat sliced into strips and season with salt and pepper, mix well, add to the batter and mix really well it should be gloppy.

(3)Heat oil in a wok or skillet on really high heat, add each strip of meat one by one and fry in batches 5 minutes each. Set aside.

(4)While meat is frying, etc. you can multi-task start making sauce, heat a little oil in a pan on high heat, add onions, carrot, and mushrooms sautee 1 minute, add 2 cups water bring to a boil add soy sauce, salt, and sugar, stir well, bring back to boil add pinapple, apple, and cucumber and cornstarch mixture slide gently with a big spoon until thickened, set aside.

(5)Now you may think this is crazy but it makes really crispy meat, before serving (you can do everything of the above in advance) you can deep-fry meat again for about 2 minutes in several batches, transfer to serving bowl, reheat sauce, pour over the meat and then serve with dipping sauce for the meat and I served it with rice and since I didn't have Kimchi I served it with a type of Mexican pickled Jalapeños with onion, cauliflower, carrot and garlic that is spicy and pickled. (I will show the recipe for those pickled veggies some other time) My mother made a delicious healthy papaya fruit drink very good for digestion and soothing on the stomach.

Yuca Con Mojo (Boiled Cassava Root with Garlic Citrus Sauce)

I am posting this recipe for Nuria from Spanish recipes, she told me she enjoyed having Yuca when she visited Cuba years ago but doesn't remember what she exactly had. My guess is she either had "Yuca Con Mojo"(boiled Cassava root in Garlic citrus sauce) or "Yuca Frita" (boiled then fried Cassava root) maybe served with "Chicharrones" (meaty fried pork rinds) or "Masitas de Puerco" (fried pork chunks)

Not sure what she had but I am posting the boiled Cassava with garlic citrus sauce and then later with the leftovers of this I'm posting "Yuca Frita" (fried cassava) I actually made this yesterday but didn't get to making Yuca Frita (I cooked other stuff so I guess I'll make it tomorrow)

I was really thinking about posting this or not because it is a super simple humble dish that is loved but is really easy since I've posted the recipe for the sauce which is the only thing you really need to know how to make, but I'm sure some will appreciate having a little explanation and pictorial for this :)

So without further delay this is how my grandmother taught me to make "Yuca Con Mojo"

Main Ingredients:
-2-4 lbs. Yuca (Cassava root) you can buy fresh or frozen, frozen gaurantee's you good looking Yuca, but I like fresh, but if you are lucky enough to live in a Cuban area with Cuban stores you may be able to find already cooked "canned Yuca" by the brand "Badia"
-water (enough to cover Yuca maybe 1 1/2 inches)
-salt (salt the water and taste it until you think it's right)

For the sauce:
-Mojo de Ajo (click on it and see the pictorial I posted in my blog previously on how to make it)
(1)Again I used fresh Yuca, so I had to cut it into large rounds, peel it with a knife, cut it in half, wash it, and then add it to salted water to boil. If you have frozen Yuca just dump it in the salted water and bring to a boil on high boil it until tender about 20-30 minutes on medium heat. To check for doness stab it with a fork.

(2)You don't want to cut your Yuca in small pieces just long big chunks (because you can cut the leftovers into big long strips to fry them if you have leftovers)

(3)Now while the Yuca is cooking prepare "Mojo de Ajo"

(4)After Yuca is cooked drain and spoon over Mojo sauce, that's all it takes serve hot as a side.

(5)If you are not serving this immediately leave the Yuca in the pot of water or else it will cool quicly and turn hard, but if serving soon just drain it, put it in a nice dish, spoon over a little mojo, bring it to the table and let everyone grab some and have more mojo on the side for those that want to add more to theirs.


This goes very well with Congri or Moros or even a non-traditional "Congri Con Coco", a salads (our favorite is "Ensalada de Aguacate" or a salad dressed like this "Simple Salad", and any Cuban meat dish. Fried plantains or tostones on the side wouldn't hurt but would be a little excessive.

Potaje de Lentejas de Mi Tata(My Grandmother's Lentil Stew)

I have a couple Lentil Stew recipes in my blog but I hadn't put my grandmother's recipe for lentil stew. My grandmother's Cuban bean based stews are usually very easy straight forward and typical flavors she almost ALWAYS adds orange fleshed winter squash and potatoes and sometimes cabbage (depends what type of legumes she is preparing)

Cuban lentil stews seem to vary a lot among Cubans when it comes to preparation but the common theme I've seen is that there is always garlic, bell pepper, and onions and type of meat the rest varies.

My grandmother's (whom I call "Tata") version of the Lentil stew is either pork or beef stew meat cooked with lentils with a Cuban "sofrito" (garlic, onion, bell pepper) and seasoned with cumin and salt and a couple bay leaves with potatoes and calabaza (orange winter squash in Cuban cooking "Carribean/ Jamaican Squash" is used but if you can't find it you can use Banana Squash or Kabucha or Butternut Squash, you need a meaty starchy squash.

Usually heavy Cuban bean based stews are served as a 1 pot meal with rice and if one wishes a salad on the side or some vegetable side (fried plantains or boiled cassava root with garlic lime sauce, etc. though it is very heavy to serve with boiled cassava root aka Yuca, I did though)

Not before I write the recipe down, this makes a really large pot so maybe you want to cut it in half, in my house we can eat this stuff for like 2-3 days happily or even more the more it sits the stronger the taste and the more we love it. Of course we don't like it spoiled shouldn't last more than 1 week in the fridge.

-1 1/2 lbs. beef or pork stew meat cut into small 1 inch cubes and cleaned (I mean small, you'll regret it if you don't when ur lentils are cooked through and your meat is still tough so please cut it small)

-2 cups uncooked Lentils
-water (enough to cover lentils 2 inches in water)
-1/4- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 onion finely minced
-1 green bell pepper finely minced
-6 cloves of garlic finely minced preferably mashed to a paste or through a garlic press
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce (for color, I forgot to add it but you should)
-salt to taste
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-2 regular sized bay leaves or 4 small ones
-3 small potatoes peeled and cut into 1 -2 inch chunks
-1/2 a calabaza cut into 1-2 inch chunks (banana squash, kabucha/ Japanese, butternut, or Jamaican/ Carribean squash)

(1) Throw lentils in a pot, rinse them and drain, now add water and put it on the stove on high heat covered until it comes to a boil.

(2)While you are waiting for the water and lentils to boil cut meat, clean it and throw it in the pot with the lentils.

(3) While still waiting for the stuff to boil prepare the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and tomato sauce. Heat a pan with olive oil then sautee onions and bell pepper until translucent about 5-7 minutes, add garlic sautee 2 minutes, add tomato sauce stir 1 minute, then throw into the pot of meat and lentils. Season with cumin, and salt add a couple bay leaves and when it is boiling cover and simmer on medium low for about 40-45 minutes.
(4)Meanwhile peel potatoes and cut them into medium pieces and do the same to the squash, set them aside in a bowl with water (so the potatoes don't brown) when 30 minutes have passed uncover lentils stir and add potatoes and squash stir well, taste for salt if it needs more, and then bring back to a boil on high and simmer for another 15 minutes until potatoes and squash are ready.

(5)Serve over rice or in a bowl and eat with bread, if you wish a nice salad on the side. If eating with rice you can wash and clean your rice and put it in the rice cooker while the sofrito is frying so when the lentils are done so is your rice, and you can make the salad or whatever while the lentils cook so you'll be out of the kitchen in 1 hour if you rush and have a complete meal. That's how my grandma taught me :)