Based on all the complaints on Facebook, winter has few fans. Maybe it’s the icy roads and stir craziness but most people want this season, one of the snowiest ever, to be done. As a runner I’ve started to enjoy cold weather runs. I had to adjust to multiple layers of clothes and occasionally a balaclava but now I don’t dread it (unless it gets to single digits).
The other upshot of the winter are the stews. I’ve come to love Korean food, and they are a stew crazy culture. This simple recipe uses gochujang, a hot pepper paste made from fermented soybeans, chilies peppers, rice, and sugar. In addition to spice, it imparts a tang from the soybeans, a touch of sweetness and a beautiful red hue. I purchased a small tub of it at Hmart for about $4.
This recipe is close to traditional. If you like additional spice, consider purchasing some gochujaru (chili flakes). To make it a one pot meal the rice was added directly into the stew. I’ll be ready when spring arrives with fresh produce and sunny days, but until then it’s stew and soup time.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
1 pd chicken thighs or legs
½ onion, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped in big pieces
2 medium potatoes, chopped in big pieces
1 oz spinach
1 cup of rice
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T ginger paste
2 T gochujang paste
2 T soy sauce
1 T sugar
salt to taste
green onions (optional – for garnish)
In a wok or deep pan, add a little oil and turn on to medium-low. Toss in onions, ginger and garlic. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Now toss in chicken. Let the chicken brown slightly (a couple minutes on each side, turning once. In a bowl, mix soya, gochujang, and sugar well. Pour the mixture into the pan along with rice, carrots, potatoes and spinach. Finally, add in enough water to mostly submerge the contents. Bring to a boil, then down to low. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Garnish with green onions if desired. Enjoy your one pot meal and don’t forget to toast Old Man Winter.