H Mart

While I’ve noticed others in the blogosphere ushering in the Chinese New Year with recipes for potstickers, I had an entirely different reason for making some yesterday. That’s right: The USA vs. South Korea friendly in preparation for the World Cup. We invited some friends over for the viewing. On the menu? Some potstickers and Budweiser. Obviously, very holistic and fair representations of both sides’ culture.

The first step was to take my first trip to a Korean market. My boyfriend and I, from here on out referenced as TD&H (Tall, Dark, and Handsome, yes), were blown away by the variety and quality of fresh produce available (in winter no less!), the meats, and the entire aisle of soy sauces. There was light, dark, thick, thin, charcoal-filtered, and mushroom-infused varieties… quite a bit of decision-making required. I have lamented for years the apparent absence of persimmons where I now live (as opposed to sunny California, where I spent most of my life). Lo and behold, H Mart even had palettes of vibrant, delicious-looking persimmons. Needless to say, we will be returning.

{H Mart haul included: charcoal-filtered soy sauce, bok choy, some mysterious rice wine and red bean mochi}

We got to cooking right away. I’ve made potstickers in the past from a recipe by Molly Yeh that I highly recommend. You can find it here: http://mynameisyeh.com/mynameisyeh/2013/11/the-best-potstickers-ever. I also just love her blog. In the past, I’ve used her recipe for the wrappers as well as the filling. This time around though, pressed for time, I turned to already-made, frozen wrappers I found in the refrigerated aisle at the store.

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{yessss… finally getting the wrapping-part down}

Further inspired by all the great produce, TD&H was motivated to create a fantastic stir fry of sorts using bok choy, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, sesame seed and a sweet and succulent pork bulgogi.

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Pork bulgogi, bok choy stir fry and homemade potstickers

Friends arrived, and we sat down to some delicious food. With the Olympics and the World Cup on the horizon, I am looking forward to more gatherings like this. Maybe by then I’ll have refined my soy sauce palette enough to know what type I’m using.

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