Jindo Jipbap: Home Cooking

Jindo Jipbap: Home Cooking

Jipbap (literally “home rice” in Korean) is basically home cooking or comfort food made from basic ingredients that take you to that Ratatouille moment (for those who haven’t see the movie … http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382932/). Of course this tear-jerking nostalgic food looks (or rather tastes) different for everyone–depending on the region in which you were raised, your family influences and what you primarily ate through your growth spurt phases.

Jindo is a rural farming-fishing village, but having Hawaiian-Californian influences, my family has brought some unusual twists to traditional recipes as we re-migrated to Korea.  For example, I spiked some soy sauce in the spaghetti marinara sauce for my parent’s guests in Jindo (not pictured here). From our repertoire of family recipes, we also created a special poke with locally-caught Korean indigenous fish and played with other freshly-harvested produce for the palate. Enjoy!

{Pictured below: Ready-to-eat dishes made from bang-uh, a local fish that doesn’t seem to translate in my Korean-English dictionary*; we used half of it for sashimi (top), 1/3 for poke (bottom), and froze the rest for later use}

*Special thanks @foodietahk for the translation, bang-uh = “yellowtail”

{Pictured below: Papa prepares the raw fish fillets for the sashimi and poke}

{Pictured below: Momma slices onions and adds green onions to the chunks of raw fish for poke, before adding a marinade of soy sauce, brown rice vinegar, and Korean red chili pepper flakes}

{Pictured below: One of my seasonal spring faves~~wild chives dressed in soy sauce, sesame oil, red chili pepper flakes and sesame seeds (top); can also be served with cucumbers and carrots with a sweet, tangy variation of the dressing (bottom)}

{Pictured below: Lotus root and burdock (aka gobo in Japanese or ooh-ung in Korean) prepared in soy sauce, glucose, and sesame seeds}

Burdock roots and lotus root are natural healthy foods enjoyed in traditional homes and the temples of Korea. After removing the outer skin with a vegetable peeler, the burdock is cut into thin strips and lotus into about 1/4-inch width slices. Soak the lotus root in cold water for a few minutes and then blanch in hot water to prevent the sticky residue from burning on the pan and maintain a crispy texture. Both can then be stir fried separately in grape seed oil or any high heat cooking oil and seasoned with the aforementioned ingredients …

{Below: Burdock and lotus root being skinned and prepared for cooking}

For simpler takes that require less seasoning, I recently saw gobo fries featured in a Japanese restaurant and a friend of mine uses coconut oil to pan fry plain lotus circles which turned out deliciously.

{Pictured below: Pyeon-yuk is kind of like jello made from–brace yourself–hog head cartilage eaten with shrimp brine for seasoning. I’ve witnessed my aunt make this before and it is a time-grueling process, but will include a link below so you can visualize the process. This one, here, is bought from a local butcher known for their tasty pyeon-yuk}

{Pictured below: Tot (sounds like “tote”) is a textured sea kelp–similar to limu except it has tiny air pockets which adds an extra crunch–which can be flavored in a variety of ways. E.g. with miso or dwenjang, red chili pepper paste or (here) vinegar and sesame seeds with cucumber and onion}

{Pictured below: Hanwoo (Korean beef) is particularly more expensive than other beef imports, maybe because of the care taken or scarcity … whatever the case, you know what is fresh by when the local butcher here has the liver still available from the last slaughter; for all the vegetarians reading this, I refrain from posting pictures of the actual shop and apologize for any insensitivity displayed by my words}

{Pictured below: Our family grills pine mushrooms (top) with our meat, but pyo-go or better known as the shiitake  mushrooms are also popularly home-grown, by drilling holes and inserting fungi spawn into oak tree logs (bottom). 

{Pictured below: Eating fresh-picked cabbage from the garden as well as pickled gimjang kimchee (heavily seasoned kimchee made to last through the winter) is a staple (top 2); cabbage fields are abundant through this region and many heads are left even post-harvest (bottom)}

{Pictured below: Ending this series with basic banchan (side dish) recipes, of myulchi bokkum (dried anchovies sauteed with green peppers) and gaji (eggplant) namul; the dried anchovies are sloshed around in cooking oil in a pan with soy sauce, wrinkly (non-spicey) green peppers, glucose, sesame oil and sesame seeds (top); the eggplant is sliced steamed and mixed with a soy-vinegar sauce, with plum extract or other sucrose substitute, green onions, red chili pepper and sesame seeds (bottom)}

So, there is more I want to share, but might need to make them separate posts because I am flying tomorrow and running out of time to pack and prepare.

{Pictured below: Signs of spring in Jindo}

{Pictured below: Jindo town outdoor farmer’s market which occurs once every five days and is called o-il-jang (literally “5-day market”)}

{Pictured below: Closing with this picture to commemorate the lifting of the  sewol (ferry) shipwreck which killed over 300 people–most of whom were school children–near Paengmok Pier a few miles from my parents place in Jindo. Praying for closure for the families of those whose bodies are still missing}

Process of making pyeon-yuk:



Recent news on the Korean sewol ferry disaster:




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