Mom-of-Flossie came for a visit last week while Mr. Flossie was out of town, and I got to witness some REAL domestic-goddess skillz. It was a taste of what it must have been like for Ward Cleaver: I came home from work to a house full of delicious smells, enjoyed a hot dinner, and looked out the window to contemplate my weeded and manicured backyard. I need a wife, pronto!
Don't get me wrong, Mr. Flossie does cook dinner too, as do I, but we're usually both rushing around trying to get work done until about 7 pm, at which point we throw something together hurriedly. Coming home to a hot meal...now I understand why the patriarchy was/is so popular.
Mom and I delivered some mandu (Korean dumplings) to M and H, who promptly demanded the recipe. I tried to get her to dictate it to me, but she always cooks by memory and according to what's in the fridge. Hence, this less-than-totally-precise recipe for mandu:
1 block firm tofu
a lot of shredded cabbage
some minced garlic
won ton wrappers
diced carrots or other veggies (optional)
ground beef or fake ground beef (optional)
dried mushrooms, soaked in water and cut up (optional)
a little salt, pepper, and sugar
Fry up your garlic and cabbage, adding salt and pepper. Smoosh water out of the tofu, drain, crumble, and mix together with fried cabbage. Mix in eggs and sugar and whatever else you are including. Place a little dollop of mix in the center of a won ton wrapper. Beat another egg and brush it around the perimeter of the wrapper to use as paste when you bring the wrappers' corners together and seal the edges. Dip each mandu in flour. Then either pan-fry in oil so hot that a drop of water jumps out, or cook them in boiling water. If you go the boiling route, some will fall apart, but that's OK because then you have a tasty soup.
Oh yes, the most important part (in my opinion), the dipping sauce: Whisk together a bit of soy sauce, water, and vinegar. Add garlic, sesame oil, salt and pepper, sugar, and/or chopped green onions as you like.
Next up: Mom's chap chae.