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David Chang Momofuku pork recipes

Chicharrones (Fried Pork Rinds)

Chicharrones

In my world, there is no finer snack than some chicharrones, a.k.a. fried pork rinds. It’s something I’ve been eating since I was a kid, and Filipinos love it with sukang sili (chili vinegar) and beer.

Over the past year, chicharrones have been embraced by the “mainstream” through the efforts of chefs like Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats, whose chicharrones, despite my initial apprehensions, are other worldly. They’re incredibly light and when they’re fresh, they snap, crackle, and pop in your mouth like porky Rice Krispies.

4505 Chicharrones

Because they’re so cheap and readily available near me, I’d never considered making chicharrones at home until a couple weeks ago. I had some pork skin left over after removing it to making the Momofuku Pork Belly, and it would be a shame to waste such a nice piece of pork skin. There’s also a recipe in the Momofuku cookbook since they serve a piece of chicharron to every guest as an amuse bouche at Momofuku Ko.

The process is pretty simple. First, put the pig skin in a pot of water and boil it for about an hour a half, then chill it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Boiled and Dried Pig SkinPig skin after chillin’ out overnight.

Use a spoon to scrape off any excess fat left on the skin and put it in a food dehydrator for 12 hours. It should look like a brown piece of plastic.

Dehydrated Pig SkinBreak this into small pieces and fry them up.

Next, break the dehydrated pig skin into 1×2-inch pieces. This doesn’t have to be exact, as the small pieces make nice chicharrones, too. Heat some oil (preferably one with a high smoke point) to between 390-400F in a deep pot. Drop a piece of pig skin into the oil and agitate it a bit until it puffs up. This should take about 10 seconds. Fry each piece one at a time, so they don’t stick together. Here’s a short iPhone video I shot to give you an idea of how long it takes.

After frying, season the hot chicharrones with a mixture of equal parts togarashi (Japanese 7-spice powder), sugar, and kosher salt. Serve them hot or at room temperature. You should eat them within a few days when they’re still crunchy, but I doubt these will last more than a few minutes. :)

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cookbooks David Chang Momofuku recipes

Cook the Book: Momofuku – Roasted Rice Cakes

Momofuku Week ends with this recipe for Roasted Rice Cakes, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting more recipes from the book very soon.

Roasted Rice CakesRoasted Rice Cakes

I had little interest in Korean food until a few years ago. My experience had been limited to the plethora of grilled meats that most people associate with Korean cuisine, and other standards like bibimbap, soondubu, and even banchan were never on my radar. It wasn’t until I ordered the roasted rice cakes at Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2007 that I started get more interested in non-barbecued Korean dishes.

I remember ordering the roasted rice cakes as an appetizer without having any idea what it was. When they arrived at the table, I marveled at the bright red sauce that coated the crunchy-yet-chewy rice cakes. My friend Soo Jin told me that this dish was called dok boki (dok means rice cake), and it soon became a regular order when I was at Korean restaurants.

Roasted Rice Cakes Roasted Rice Cakes at Noodle Bar circa 2007

Momofuku’s roasted rice cakes deviate from traditional dok boki by pan roasting the rice cakes instead of boiling them so that they’re crispy on the outside but still chewy on the inside. According to David Chang, pan roasting is something he only saw in Japan, and to me, the texture contrasts make the dish a lot more delectable.

In the book, Chang says:

“I equate the difference between boiled dok and grilled, griddled or fried rice cakes to the difference between boiled and grilled hot dogs. Each has its place, but that char, that extra bit of flavor and texture you get from the direct heat does a lot for the dok, just as it does for hot dogs.”

Like hot dog carts in New York, dok boki vendors are ubiquitous in Seoul, and this recipe is Chang’s interpretation of classic Korean street food. It features pan-roasted rice cakes tossed in Korean Red Dragon Sauce (recipe below) and garnished with green onions and sesame seeds. The Red Dragon sauce includes roasted onions, which I overcooked slightly but still added a nice smoky flavor. I was able to pick up fresh rice cakes and other ingredients from a great little Korean market near my house.

RECIPE
Roasted Rice Cakes
Note: The recipe calls for ramen broth, but I didn’t have any on hand so I substituted it with bacon dashi. They’re two totally different things, but the end result was still really good.

¼ cup mirin
¼ cup bacon dashi
½ cup Korean Red Dragon Sauce
¼ cup of roasted onions
2 tablespoons canola oil
12 rice cakes (about 3-inch-long pieces.)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (for garnish)
½ cup sliced green onions (greens and whites, for garnish)

Combine mirin and bacon dashi in a saucepan big enough to hold the rice cakes later. Boil to reduce until lightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Korean Red Dragon Sauce, turn the heat down to medium and reduce the sauce to a glossy consistency, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the roasted onions. Cover and keep warm until rice cakes are ready.

While the sauce is reducing, heat a very clean cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the oil to the pan and when it just starts to smoke, add the rice cakes. Sear the rice cakes for about 3 minutes per side until they’re light golden brown.

Bring the sauce back up to a a boil and toss the rice cakes in for a few seconds until they’re evenly coated. Add sesame seeds and toss again. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with green onions.

Korean Red Dragon Sauce
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
¾ cup ssamjang (fermented bean and chile paste)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
(or mix ½ teaspoon rice vinegar and ½ teaspoon sherry wine)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes, then stir in the ssamjang to dissolve it. Stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Taste the sauce; no one flavor should stand out, but all should be present and accounted for. Adjust as necessary.

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David Chang fried chicken Momofuku recipes

Cook the Book: Momofuku – Fried Chicken

Momofuku Week trudges on with a fried chicken recipe that’s my new favorite because it’s super easy and—as David Chang might say—fucking awesome. :)

Momofuku Fried Chicken

You might assume that this would be a recipe for Korean fried chicken (KFC), especially since Noodle Bar offers a bountiful platter of both Korean and American fried chicken for up to 8 people for $100. (If you think that’s expensive, it breaks down to $12.50 for 8 people, and in our ravenous group of 8, we had leftovers.) The fried chicken recipe from the Momofuku cookbook is quickly becoming an all-time favorite. It’s up there with the Ad Hoc fried chicken, but the two are so different that they live on their own perfect little islands.

Momofuku Fried Chicken PlatterNoodle Bar’s Fried Chicken Platter

The main reason this fried chicken hits home for me is the Octo Vinaigrette that’s used to dress the chicken before serving. The Octo Vin was originally designed as an accompaniment for a grilled octopus dish, but it works wonders on the fried chicken, as well. It’s not an ordinary vinaigrette because the oil/vinegar ratios are reversed, and it’s loaded with fresh garlic and ginger. The smell is enough to get me excited about eating this fried chicken.

Fried Chicken WingsWorks great on chicken wings, too!

Chang employs a three-step process for this fried chicken: brine, steam, and fry. This is similar to my modification of the Ad Hoc Fried Chicken Recipe where I brine, sous vide, and fry the bird. The brine is a simple salt, sugar and water mixture and the brining time is anywhere between one and six hours. The chicken is then steamed for 45 minutes for so and then cooled for a couple hours. I took the steamed chicken and let it sit on a cooling rack in the fridge overnight. This helps dry out the chicken skin and helps it crisp up really nicely when it’s in the oil.

Take the chicken out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you want to cook them. Then fry the chicken in 350F oil for about 6-8 minutes. Since the chicken is already cooked, you really only need to fry until the skin reaches your desired level of crispiness. Remove the chicken from the oil and drain them on a rack or paper towels. Before serving toss the chicken in the Octo Vin and garnish with sliced green onions.

RECIPES

Fried Chicken Brine
Good for 3–3½ pounds of chicken. I prefer legs and thighs, but wings work, too.
4 cups lukewarm water
½ cup sugar
½ cup kosher salt

Octo Vinaigrette
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 small fresh jalapeno seeded and chopped, or 1 tbsp Sriracha
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup usukuchi (light soy sauce)
2 tbsp grapeseed or other neutral oil
¼ tsp Asian sesame oil
1½ tbsp sugar
Freshly ground black pepper

Download PDF excerpts of these recipes (courtesy of Time Out New York):

Tomorrow: Roasted Rice Cakes

Categories
cookbooks David Chang Momofuku recipes

Cook the Book: Momofuku – Ginger Scallion Noodles

Day 3 of Inuyaki’s Momofuku Week lightens things up with a dish that has absolutely no meat in it.

Momofuku Ginger Scallion NoodlesGinger Scallion Noodles

One of the book’s easiest recipes the Ginger Scallion Noodles. David Chang says that ginger scallion sauce is “one of the great sauces or condiments ever,” and it’s one of Momofuku’s mother sauces. The ginger scallion sauce is a simple combination of finely minced ginger, thinly sliced scallions, light soy sauce, oil, kosher salt and sherry vinegar. I couldn’t find any sherry vinegar locally so I substituted it with rice vinegar, which worked nicely.

Chang says you can use this sauce on anything and encourages improvising, but I liked his suggestion of topping ramen noodles with the sauce, quick-pickled cucumbers and pan-roasted cauliflower. There’s a bunch of pickle recipes in the book, but my wife did her own version with sugar, salt, and rice vinegar to taste.

You can eat this on its own or as part of a larger meal. Either way, it’s a delicious and healthy option to offset the book’s meat-centric focus.

GINGER SCALLION SAUCE
Makes about 3 cups

2½ cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches)
½ cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
¼ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1½ tsp usukuchi (light soy sauce)
¾ tsp sherry vinegar
¾ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and let sit for 15-20 minutes before using. It’ll keep in the fridge for about a week…if it lasts that long. :)

Tomorrow: Fried Chicken

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cookbooks David Chang Momofuku pork recipes

Cook the Book: Momofuku – Pork Belly Buns

It’s Day 2 of Momofuku Week at Inuyaki and today’s post on Pork Belly Buns is a great way to use the Pork Belly I wrote about yesterday.

Momufuku Pork Belly BunsMomofuku Pork Belly Buns

The Momofuku pork buns quickly (and inadvertently) became one of Noodle Bar’s signature items, and it’s nice to be able to recreate them at home. It’s basically a steamed bun with slices of pork belly, quick-pickled cucumbers, hoisin sauce, and green onions. My wife decided to pickle both cucumbers and carrots, and she julienned both instead of slicing them because it would be prettier.

The recipe for the steamed buns is in the book (link below), but I didn’t have time to make them, so I picked some up in the freezer section of a local Asian supermarket. They’re a little too thick and not as good as fresh, but they did the job. The second time I made this, I found a different style of buns in the refrigerated section of the market that were bigger and rounder and accommodated 2 slices of pork belly easily.

Momofuku Pork Belly Bun

Steam the buns for a couple minutes until they’re heated through. While the buns are steaming, cut 1/2-inch slices of belly across the grain and warm them up before using—I grilled them in a cast iron skillet for about a minute a side. Depending on how big your buns are, you may have to cut the belly slices in half to get them to fit on the bun.

To assemble the pork belly buns, open up a bun and brush some hoisin sauce on top and bottom halves. Put the pork belly slices on the bottom half and pickled cucumbers and carrots on the top half. Garnish with a little green onion and eat immediately.

For reference, here’s what the pork belly buns look like when the restaurant serves them up (from our trip to Noodle Bar in September).

Pork BunsThe “real” Momofuku Pork Belly Buns

Download PDF excerpts of these recipes (via Time Out New York):

Tomorrow: Ginger Scallion Noodles

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cookbooks David Chang Momofuku pork recipes

Cook the Book: Momofuku – Pork Belly

Momofuku Week is a new series I made up yesterday after realizing an epic post I was writing about cooking from the Momofuku book was going to be too long. I decided to break up the posts over the next week since I’ve made enough dishes from the book to cover about a week’s worth of posts already.

Momofuku Pork BellyPork belly fresh out of the oven.

Momofuku’s pork belly is really easy to make, which is good because it’s used in a lot of other recipes in the book, including the famous pork buns, ramen, and sam gyup sal ssam. This was the only the second time I’ve ever made pork belly, and it’s safe to say that it was rousing success. (My first attempt at cooking pork belly was a sous vide version that was good, but I didn’t know what the hell I was doing at the time either.) I also have a piece of pork skin in the freezer waiting to become chicharrones. If I’m lucky, that might be the end of this week. :)

A skinless three-pound slab of pork belly sits in a simple 1:1 salt/sugar cure for between 6 to 24 hours. After discarding any excess liquid, put it roasting or baking dish and roast it fat side up in a 450F oven for an hour, basting it with rendered fat halfway through. Then reduce the oven temperature to 250F and cook it for another hour or so until the pork belly is tender and has—as the book says—”a down pillow-like yield to a firm finger poke.”

After cooking, save the rendered fat and cool the belly till you can handle it. Wrap it in plastic or foil and refrigerate until needed—the belly is easier to cut into uniform pieces when it’s cold. When you’re ready to use the pork belly, cut 1/2-inch slices from the short end of the belly (against the grain) and warm it up. I like to use a cast iron skillet over medium heat to lightly char each piece of pork belly on both sides.

Download a PDF excerpt of this recipe (via Time Out New York):

Tomorrow: Momofuku Pork Belly Buns.

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cookbooks David Chang Momofuku

Cook the Book: Momofuku Week

momofuku_coverI’ve had Momofuku on my mind and in my stomach the last couple of weeks, so I’m declaring this week Momofuku Week at Inuyaki. It’s kinda like Shark Week, only tastier (unless you’re really into shark meat).

After getting my feet wet making the bacon dashi that inspired my Bacon Agedashi Tofu post, I went to a book signing with Chef David Chang and author Peter Meehan at Sur La Table in the San Francisco Ferry Building a few days later and got to show them my creation in person. (Chang’s response: Oh, cool!) We also had a brief discussion about the simplicity and goodness of bacon dashi.

Note: The actual signing wasn’t as boring as this sounds. Chang and Meehan had a lot of fun with everyone and engaged in a bit of scrapbooking for every book they signed. Here’s some pictures, including this gem:

Momofuku Book SigningI’m so cheesy. And why do we look so bloody happy?

The recipes in Momofuku range in difficulty from dead simple to fairly complicated. Chang even apologizes for some of the more complicated ones like his chicken wing recipe, which he says “…is the world’s longest recipe for chicken wings. Sorry. But they’re very, very good chicken wings.”

I chose to focus on some of the simpler recipes to start, but as with all cooking, simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy and often depends on your whether or not your willing to do some prep work.

That said, Momofuku Week officially starts tomorrow. First up: Momofuku Pork Belly!

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bacon David Chang Japanese Momofuku

Bacon Agedashi Tofu

David Chang will be the first to admit that both he and his Momofuku restaurants (Noodle Bar, Ssam, Ko) are overhyped and overexposed. The release of the Momofuku cookbook last month isn’t helping matters much since he’s making the rounds promoting the book around the country, and he’s actually doing book signings in the Bay Area through the weekend. I received the Momofuku cookbook a few days after Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, and both books are the only things I’ve been reading since—aside from the Internet, of course. :)

(See EatMeDaily.com for great reviews of both books: Momofuku | Ad Hoc at Home)

Bacon Agedashi TofuBacon Agedashi Tofu, inspired by the Momofuku cookbook.

The first recipe in the Momofuku book that really got my attention was the bacon dashi. In the book, Chang says that when Noodle Bar first opened, he had a hard time finding good katsuobushi (smoked bonito) to make traditional dashi, the seaweed and fish broth that’s the foundation of Japanese cuisine. Chang started looking at other options to replicate the katsuoboshi’s smoky flavor, and good ol’ American bacon was the natural choice. Making the bacon dashi is pretty easy, and the final product looks and tastes like regular dashi but with a hint of smoky bacon flavor. It can be used in any application that calls for a regular dashi, and the first thing I thought of was one of my favorite dishes, agedashi tofu (fried tofu in broth).

For the broth, a.k.a. tentsuyu, I started by warming one cup of bacon dashi in a small sauce pan and added about three tablespoons each of shoyu (soy sauce) and mirin (sweetened rice wine). I did this to taste, but it should be salty and smoky with a hint of sweetness.

Butterfly a block of firm tofu and separate the two halves. Cut the tofu into rectangles and dry them for about 10 minutes on paper towels. Gently dredge the dried tofu in potato starch or cornstarch and fry them in 350F oil until they’re light golden brown. In a separate pan, fry up some finely chopped bacon until crispy. Chop up a stalk or two of green onions and grate some brown onions. Normally, you’d finish off agedashi tofu with grated daikon, but I didn’t have any on hand. Using onions did keep the dish a bit more on the American side and provided a similar texture to what grated daikon would have provided.

To serve, place three pieces of fried tofu in small bowl. Ladle enough sauce into the bowl so that half of the tofu is still exposed. Top with grated onion, chopped green onion and crispy bacon.

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beef Best of Inuyaki David Chang Momofuku recipes Thomas Keller

Braised Beef Short Ribs

A couple weeks ago, I bought some short ribs but was at a loss at how I was going to prepare them. Normally I prepare them sous vide, but I wanted to do a traditional braise this time. I contemplated doing the Beef Bourgignon recipe in Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook, but I didn’t really have the time to do such a meticulous recipe.

I was reminded of the soy/sake short ribs I had at Maru and set out to find something similar, eventually stumbling upon an easy recipe by Momofuku’s David Chang on the New York Times Web site. I’m a big fan of Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, where I had the perfect bowl of noodles on our New York trip last May, so I was pretty excited to give this recipe a try.


braised beef short ribs

Overall, the dish turned out great. The meat was fork tender and delicious, and we even had fun with the plating. It was a bit on the sweet side, so next time, I think I’m going to cut the sugar since there’s already a lot sweetness from the apple juice and mirin.

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Best of Inuyaki David Chang Japanese Korean Momofuku New York noodles pork reviews

Momofuku Noodle Bar

I had been on a quest to find the perfect bowl of ramen in the San Francisco Bay Area for awhile, but I think I’ve found perfection at Momofuku. It was seriously the best bowl of noodles I’ve ever had.

This is not traditional ramen, but I don’t care. Instead of slices of chashu (roast pork), Momofuku’s ramen features an incredibly delicious helping of shredded Berkshire Pork. The broth is incredibly porky (exactly what I’ve been looking for) and contains peas and a poached egg (instead of hard boiled), which helps thicken the broth and give it some more flavor. There are no bean sprouts in this ramen either, but I don’t care for them anyway, so that wasn’t a big deal.

We started with an appetizer of Roasted Rice Cakes, which were served with a roasted onion/spicy chili sauce. This looked like a fusion version of the Korean duk bok kee, and it was a delicious way to start the meal.


Roasted Rice Cakes

I ordered the Momofuku Ramen, which also contained pork belly, a welcome surprise. I wanted to order an appetizer of fried pork belly, but that was vetoed by my wife (probably for the better considering how much we’ve been eating this trip). My wife ordered the special pork neck ramen, which featured braised neck meat and a thicker, flat Chinese noodle. My friend had the standard pork ramen, which was like mine but sans pork belly.


Momofuku Ramen

Momofuku is a bit overpriced for a bowl of ramen, but considering the quality of the ingredients and how good it is, I’m not complaining. And as I raised the bowl to my lips to finish off the last of the broth, the chorus for “The Search is Over” by Survivor starting playing in my head:


I was looking for ramen
Looking for the best
I went to New York
Unsure of what I’d find
Now I look into my bowl
The broth is gone forever
The search is over
Momo’s the best one in my mind…

INFORMATION
Momofuku Noodle Bar
163 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003 map
212.475.7899
Web site