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Over the years Korean food has become one of my favorite cuisines. It all really started with a cooking class I took from Chef Jet Tila. In his class he covered many different Asian cuisines, but Korean was my favorite by far...with Thai at a close second!
Jet did a great job showing the class how to balance flavors and introduced us to so many new ingredients. His class was fantastic. I highly recommend taking any class he may hold in the future.
From there, I started looking up Korean recipes online and found this amazing website Maangchi that is all about Korean food and cooking. Maangchi shares her favorite Korean recipes and tons of information about Korean food on her website. I've cooked a bunch of her recipes and they all have tasted great!
Anyway, both Maangchi and Jet have inspired me to incorporate more Korean flavors and ingredients into my everyday cooking. One of the ingredients I often use is gochugaru (hot pepper flakes). Gochugaru is red chili peppers that are dried and then grounded into a coarse or fine powder and is used in kimchi and many other Korean dishes. Depending on where you shop, you can find either mild or hot flakes, but I always purchase the hot ones! If you decide to purchase gochugaru, you can usually find it at an Asian market or if not, through Amazon.
Since I always have hot pepper flakes on hand I end up tossing it together with a little toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, salt, and whatever other veggies I have laying around to make a tasty little salad. The other day I was given a gigantic ziplock full of snap peas and half a head of cabbage from a photo shoot I worked on and I ended up adding my hot pepper flake dressing to it, and it was fabulous!
The dressing has a nice spicy-ness from the hot pepper flakes and a great tang from the vinegar. This salad makes a great side dish, and it would be a filling main salad if you add some grilled shrimp to it!
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Korean hot pepper flakes gochugaru
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar lightly packed
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage about ¼ head
- 2 cups snap peas cut into thirds
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Place the minced garlic, rice vinegar, hot pepper flakes, brown sugar, sesame oil, and salt into a large bowl. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
- Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.