Wednesday, June 16, 2010

North Korea, Iran and Bulgogi Leftovers

North Korea qualified for the World Cup this year? Really?

Source: BBC Sport

Does anyone detect the sweet irony of this situation? The only reason North Korea squeaked by was because Iran failed to beat South Korea, meaning that North Korea only needed a draw with Saudi Arabia. But WHY Iran failed to beat South Korea is amazing, in my book at least. Six of the Iranian players (including the Captain) chose that game to protest Iranian presidential election results. They wore green arm bands, a very visible protest and reminder to the Iranian audience that was watching it telecast at home on state television that they supported the opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

They came out for the second half without the armbands. Apparently they'd been told to remove them. So, let me get this straight. These men chose to defy what can only be called a rogue regime, and chose very publicly to do so on television worldwide, and then someone tells them during halftime that they really should take them off (if they know what's good for them, that is). And then they come out for the second half and go on to draw 1-1, failing to win one of the four automatic qualification spots for Asia. Are you kidding me? They must have been so damn scared, knowing that they were going to have to go home after that match, that I'm surprised it was 5-1--and not in their favor. Seriously, watch the video in this report--scroll down and please ignore the inane commentary about 'detecting protest.' Those are terrified men on that field.

South Korea got really lucky in that match. It's not like they were really preoccupied with a terrifying regime at home. After all, it's not like they're North Korea, right? Some of that luck ended up wearing off on North Korea too though, which is the irony. Players who bravely protested a terrifying regime ended up pushing through players from another terrifying regime. North Korea and Iran--now that would be a match.

And I'll bet that when you saw it was a post about North Korea, you thought I was going to talk about the Chinese individuals who were paid money to appear as North Korean fans.

In all fairness, since I like to use World Cup games as inspiration for meals, I now have double the reason, with both North and South Korea qualifying, to make bulgogi. I think I stumbled upon a very satisfying recipe the other day, and it was delicious. And because my very considerate mother knows how much I love bulgogi, she always picks up about 2 extra pounds of the thinly sliced ribeye when she shops at her local Korean grocer, since I can't seem to get anyone to cut it that thinly up here.

When you consider how much thinly sliced meat constitutes 2 pounds, you'll understand we had a lot of leftovers. After a couple of meals of bulgogi and brown rice, I decided to whip up something new, using the leftover meat. What came together was amazing--the bulgogi had soaked up juices over 2 days, and, what's more, the fresh cabbage, peppers and scallions over rice vermicelli made it taste refreshingly Vietnamese, and the peanut chili sauce reminded me of Thai noodles. All in all, a party in your mouth and definitely one I'd host again. Enjoy!

Bulgogi part 3: Peanut Chili Noodles

  • 3/4 pound of leftover bulgogi
  • 2 red peppers (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 head of purple cabbage (thinly shredded)
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 10 oz. rice vermicelli
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (if using regular peanut butter, just omit 1tbsp sugar)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup-1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Submerge vermicelli in boiling water for 6-7 minutes. Then flush the noodles with cold water for one minute. Drain and keep aside. Add vegetable oil to a pan and saute the garlic until fagrant. Saute the red peppers and cabbage in this oil for 3-4 minutes and then add green onions and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and red chili flakes in a saucepan. Slowly add chicken brother, making sure to continue stirring so it doesn't congeal. Stir for 10 minutes, allowing it to simmer, but continuing to add broth so it doesn't become too thick. Toss the vermicelli with the sauce.

Serve topped with peppers and cabbage mixture, and top that with some heated leftover bulgogi. Serves 6.


Raj Ajinkya said...

Yet another great article.The pics are so appetizing.Maybe I should let you write the cookbook and get it printed.Do you remember the kit you had gifted me?

jaimie said...

Great post and this recipe looks awesome! Gonna have to try it!

NM said...
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