Tag Archives: korean food

Vegan Kalbi with Mustard Salad

I miss Korean BBQ. A lot. So I veganized it using soy curls.

Traditional Kalbi uses short ribs. The meat is thinly sliced, quite fatty, and can take a lot of work to get “right” because the meat will need to be tenderized quite a bit lest it end up tough. Soy curls are a lot easier to prepare. Soak them in some water for ten minutes, drain, and… well, that’s it. As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about icky stuff like e. coli. For this batch, I used about 3/4 cup of dried soy curls.

Kalbi marinade

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely minced
sesame seeds
1 tsp turbinado sugar (optional)

I mixed everything but the sesame seeds in a plastic container and then added the soy curls. I mixed it around so the soy curls were covered. After I mixed it around, I sprinkled some sesame seeds on top.

Here are before and after shots of the soy curls. The photo on the right was taken about an hour after I added the curls to the marinade. My advice: don’t let them marinade for much longer than that. I baked the soy curls for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Okay, I totally burned them, but they still turned out yummy!

I had planned to go to the store to pick up veggies and seaweed salad to accompany the kalbi, but the store was CRAZY. If you’re in the Chicago area, I’m talking about Jerry’s. Oh, Jerry’s. Prices and product are so good, but I feel like I die a little every time I go there because it’s so crowded. Anyway, I asked my Dad to pick some fresh mustasa (mustard greens) from the garden for me and made it into a little side salad with lemon, olive oil, salt, and freshly ground pepper. The mustasa was in prime form and gave a serious mustard kick to the kalbi. It was delicious.

Here’s my niece, granting peace to all of you and posing with the food. She didn’t try the kalbi and opted to have cereal for dinner. I was glad I didn’t have to share.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and I’m spending it hanging out with family. I’ll be away from home most of the weekend, so I cooked the rest of my soy curls this morning so I would have something vegan to eat. I opted to cook them in a pan this time, mostly because I didn’t want to burn them again. It ended up looking more like¬†bulgogi than kalbi, but regardless — this wins out over meat versions because look at the lack of fat and oil on the plate! Soy curls have the perfect texture for this. This is also where I learned that marinading soy curls overnight in soy sauce is probably not the best idea. It’s still good, though, and I am still amazed by the soy curl.

I am so happy that I can still have Korean BBQ! All that’s missing is one of those little grills that I can put in the middle of my kitchen table… Have a lovely Saturday! –Melissa

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The Lazy (and lucky) Vegan: Gardein and Surprises

Have I mentioned yet that I love love love Gardein products? I had heard of them long before I turned veganese because one of my favorite hangouts, The Yard House, serves their products. They have a Thai Chicken (or rather, Gardein) Noodle Salad and I fell in love with the ‘chicken.’ It was almost unbelievable how much it seemed like real chicken. Also great is their Firecracker Gardein ‘wings,’ which could probably fool a lot of carnivores.

The best part about Gardein is that I can find a variety of their products in just about any grocery store. WIN! At any given moment, I am sure to have Gardein something or other in my freezer. It’s perfect to have on a day like today when I don’t have any leftovers, I’m too lazy too cook, I’m low on ingredients, and I am too exhausted to stop anywhere after work. Gardein to the rescue!

These crispy tenders are AWESOME. I had three left in the bag, so I threw them in my toaster oven to cook.

 

Meanwhile, I chopped some tomato, cucumber, and green onion to make a salad. To spice it up, I finely chopped a pickled chili pepper. I finished off the salad with about a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt.

Then, my bro showed up with some Korean food. The spiced up cucumber is my favorite, but it is unfortunately not pictured because it went right into my belly. But I still had oh-so-yummy soy bean sprouts, a spiced up pepper, brocolli, and shredded asparagus, all seasoned very deliciously. Thanks, bro! You made my pathetic dinner super duper awesome!

Here’s an closeup of the Gardein crispy tenders. It’s also a closeup of my bright orange fingernail. I am in dire need of a manicure. What do you think of that color? I was trying it on so it’s only on my thumb. I’m thinking it’s a little too crazy for me. Oh, wait. Wrong blog. Sorry. Ahem.

Gardein products contain soy and gluten, which really sucks because some of my favorite people won’t be able to tolerate it. It is such amazing stuff that has saved me a couple times when I almost cracked under the pressure of a chicken wing craving.

Happy Monday Evening! And remember… Turning Veganese loves you. –Melissa

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