Had a craving for Korean food, decided to do it at home.
Gejang 게장 Marinated Raw Crab
OK, there’s no cooking involved, but I really missed these delicacies. Gejang 게장 is a variety of jeotgal or salted fermented seafood in Korean cuisine, which is made by marinating fresh raw crabs either in ganjang (soy sauce) or in a sauce based on chili pepper powder. Although gejang originally referred only to crabs marinated in soy sauce, it has begun to be called Ganjang-Gejang 간장게장 (crab marinated in soy sauce) these days to differentiate it from Yangnyeom-Gejang 양념게장 (crab marinated with chilli pepper powder).
The soy sauce had that familiar and satisfying flavours of Teochew-style marinated crabs, only much sweeter from the Korean pear used in the marinade. The crabs were lean and did not have any roe. The tomalley was blacked from the marinade. They came frozen, and you need to defrost in the fridge and then cut to size.
The chilli powder marinade was really tasty. The crab was plump but there wasn’t much roe or tomalley (crab fat) to make that difference from the ones I used to pack from Korea. But given the travel ban, these would do to satisfy the cravings.
Doenjang Jjigae 된장찌개 Korean Soybean Paste Stew
Doenjang jjigae 된장찌개 is a staple Korean stew made with doenjang 된장, fermented soybean paste. It is one of the most representative dishes of everyday home-cooked Korean meals.
Depending on the other ingredients added, you can make endless variations of the stew. I added clams for that additional umami. Here’s my recipe.
OK, I did not use the earthen casserole and I was really greedy with the ingredients, but the result was really tasty with the introduction of clams.
Korean barbecue is all about balance and contrast between flavors and textures. It’s completely customizable so that everyone at the table can eat exactly what they want.
What’s missing was the banchan or the tiny plates of appetisers at the typical Korean BBQ restaurants. The house got really smoky with the BBQ grill creating magic with the Milliard effects, so make sure the family members are OK with the smell for the next week.
Where to Get the Supplies
Lots of local supermarkets have started selling Korean imported products such as Cheongyang chilli peppers – a commonly seen banchan (side dish) at Korean BBQs. Make sure to get the essential side dishes for your Korean BBQ experience at home, such as kimchi, ssamjang sauce and perilla leaves.
Chorok Market is branded as Singapore’s No.1 Premium Korean supermarket – not sure about that, but it is definitely in a Premium location in Orchard. They get their fruits and vegetables directly from Korea and place a lot of emphasis on freshness. And they have a butcher offering hanwoo and other favourite cuts.
277 Orchard Rd, #B1-05 Orchardgateway, Singapore 238858