Since i don't watch TV, I have not followed Kimchi Chronicles series on Public TV.
Thankfully Marja Vongerichten created a companion book to the show The Kimchi Chronicles (Rodale Press, August 2011).
With 100 recipes it offers 'Korean cooking for an American Kitchen'.
Marja Vongerichten life story explains her thirst for her Korean roots:
"Born to an American army serviceman father and a Korean mother, then adopted at the age of 3 by an American family and taken to the United States. When she was 20 years old, Vongerichten discovered that her biological mother was living in New York City-just blocks from where she resided. Since that time, Vongerichten has been on a mission to reconnect with her Korean roots."
I open a window on her world with her Tangpyeongchae Recipe, in plain English, Jelly Noodles with Vegetables.
Tangpyeongchae (Mung Bean Jelly Noodles with Vegetables)
Sang-Ok Choi is the 73-year-old founder of Yongsusan, the famed restaurant that’s expanded to eight branches in Korea, and a ninth in Los Angeles. Her success is truly remarkable given she was 53 when her first restaurant opened. With its North Korean influence, Choi’s food is milder and lighter than most of the Korean food Americans are familiar with. This doesn’t mean her food is boring; in fact, the meal Jean-Georges and I had at Yongsusan in Seoul was one of our favorites; her tangpyeongchae (mung bean jelly noodles) were particularly impressive. The noodles themselves are all about texture—they are virtually flavorless. When combined with beautiful, fresh vegetables and a nicely balanced dressing, they make for a transcendent dish.
1⁄2 cup mung bean powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, caps only, thinly sliced
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons gochugaru (red pepper powder)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cucumber, cut into strips
1/2 cup white radish (moo or daikon) matchsticks
5 red radishes, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons slivered fresh ginger
1 handful of mung bean sprouts
In a saucepan, stir 3 cups cold water into the mung bean powder.
Set the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and becomes nearly translucent, 3 or 4 minutes. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan. Let cool at room temperature until completely solidified, about 1 hour.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the egg, tilting the pan so the egg covers the surface in as thin a layer as possible. Cook until it’s just set, about 1 minute, then carefully flip the omelet over and cook for another minute. Slip the omelet onto a plate and let it cool.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring now and then, until browned and softened, about 6 minutes. Set aside. Slice the cooled egg omelet into thin ribbons and set aside.
Turn the mung bean jelly out of the loaf pan onto a cutting board. Cut the jelly crosswise into thin slices as if it were a loaf of bread, then cut each slice lengthwise into noodles. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper powder, scallions, and garlic. Add the mung bean noodles, cucumber, radishes, ginger, and sprouts to the bowl and toss gently to combine. Garnish the noodles with the reserved egg ribbons and shiitakes.
(* Reprinted from: The Kimchi Chronicles © 2011 by Marja Vongerichten. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc. Photo by Andre Baranowski)