After a long day at work or a tiring day outside, there is nothing like a homemade meal to comfort and heal you. The bad news is you open the fridge only to find nothing to eat. The good news is staples like eggs and frozen dumplings can save you. Using minimal ingredients sometimes prove that whipping up a delicious, filling meal doesn't need to be difficult.
The Korea Herald spoke to some Koreans about their favorite quick meals to make, accompanied by recipes from YouTube channel One meal a day.
Mandu bokkeumbab (Dumpling rice)
Kim Se-jung, 31, who has lived alone since her college days, always has a bag of frozen dumplings in her small fridge. From fried, steamed to boiled, Kim has tried cooking the juicy meat-filled parcels in a variety of ways. Her favorite is "dumpling rice," in which the dumplings are chopped into pieces and cooked like a fried rice dish.
“It’s very easy to cook and feels much more filling than just eating dumplings with a separate bowl of rice,” Kim said.
1. Steam or boil four to five dumplings in hot water.
2. Cut the dumplings into pieces.
3. Place them in a frying pan and stir-fry in oil.
4. Put into a bowl of rice and mix well together.
5. Add salt to taste or add oyster sauce for a savory flavor.
6. Place the dumpling and rice mix aside in the pan and make scrambled eggs to be eaten together.
Maneul butter ganjang pasta (Garlic butter soy sauce pasta)
For office workers, a Friday night alone at home could be relaxing, but that does not have to mean eating leftovers or ordering in. Why don’t you treat yourself to a bit fancier meal made with ingredients that are not fancy at all?
1. Peel and chop five to six cloves of garlic into slices.
2. Heat a frying pan and stir-fry the garlic slices in olive oil until they turn dark yellow to brown. Place them in a separate bowl to cool.
3. While frying garlic slices, boil a pot of water, adding a pinch of salt to cook pasta. Cook till al dente, about five minutes.
4. When the pasta is ready, place it in a frying pan, add five to six spoons of pasta water from the pot. The pasta will be filled with starchy, salty goodness.
5. Add 40 grams of unsalted butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce and a pinch of salt.
6. When the pasta water boils down in the pan, turn off the heat, and sprinkle garlic slices on top.
Ganjang dalgyal bab (Soy sauce egg rice)
This dish has been 24-year-old Yoo Hyo-rim’s all-time-favorite meal ever since she began to live by herself in the US five years ago.
“The ingredients (needed for this meal) are just universal and also transcend time. I learned this recipe from my mother, who taught it to me to make sure that I don’t starve while studying abroad. Ganjang dalgyal bab helps to relieve homesickness,” said Yoo.
1. Brush the inside of a bowl with sesame oil, to avoid egg sticking to it.
2. Crack an egg and gently place it inside the bowl. Add two spoons of water and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
3. Microwave for three to four minutes or until the egg is cooked to a runny consistency.
4. Put the egg in a bowl of hot rice. Add a spoon of soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well before eating.