How to cook rice without a rice cooker

My rice cooker is broken.  I don’t want to talk about the details of how it came to be so broken because it was just stupid.  But here is the sad state of my rice cooker:

broken top

broken top


the hinge is messed up

the hinge is messed up


so it doesn't close anymore

so it doesn't close anymore


unless I put a big book on top

unless I put a big book on top

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Mom’s Korean BBQ Marinade

restaurant version
attack of chopsticks: restaurant version

You’ve probably had Korean BBQ ribs like the ones above at a restaurant before with your friends, right?  If not, you are missing out and you should immediately gather some friends and go.  If you already have, it should be nice to know that the dish is very easy to make at home.

Kalbi was the first proper Korean dish I made.  It’s super easy to make, super easy to play around and change it around to make your own, super easy to incorporate into another dish.  Kalbi and soju (cheap Korean liquor) makes for good times, guys.  Even for some eclectic, awkward mix of people like these:

cheers!

cheers!

I’ve seen many variations on this but the below is the easiest and easily the best (it’s my mom’s recipe).

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Persimmons

Persimmons have always been a staple autumn and winter fruit for me. There are two kinds, a more opaque colored one with a shape of mochi and a flat bottom and  a more translucent, deeper colored one with long oval shape and pointed bottom.  New York Times and other blogs are calling them by their Japanese names, the first Fuyu and the second Hachiya.  I know them as the one my mother loved, more readily available and therefore cheaper, referred to as regular persimmons; the other one my mother never purchased for me, the one we called yeon shi, meaning the soft persimmon.  She purchased it only one at a time, reserved for the baby cousin visiting us for Korean Thanksgiving.

NY Times picture of Fuyu persimmon

NY Times picture of Fuyu persimmon

Tea and Cookies blog picture of Hachiya

Tea and Cookies blog picture of Hachiya

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Mom’s Kimchi Dumplings

Every New Year my whole extended family gathers around and makes dumplings. Everyone–uncles, aunts, cousins, kids–helps out to make hundreds of dumplings. I kid you not, hundreds of dumplings for days. Rows and rows of dumplings cover every flat surface we have in the house and there are jokes, laughter, little fights, family drama and good times. It makes for fond memories.

…or it did until I moved to this country.  I just feel like I don’t have much cultural roots here at least as far as holidays go.  I hate going to New Year’s Eve parties where people get drunk and I try to faint interest and small talk, watch the ball drop or whatever. I don’t like watching the parade (or is that Thanksgiving Day?) and I sure don’t watch Rose Bowl despite the fact that I am a former wolverine. The first and only time I saw the inside of the football stadium was on my graduation day.

I wanted my dumplings. And the rice cake soup. I called my mother for her recipe and she responded with her usual, “I will make them myself and send them to you! Oh, better yet, why don’t I go visit you and make the dumplings right there? I can move in with you too so you can have my dumplings any time your heart desires!” thing. I politely and graciously said thanks, but no thanks. And I got her recipe instead. Here it is:

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