Spicy Whelks with Cheese (매운 골뱅이 치즈)
I give you Spicy Whelks with Cheese (yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!)
When I first started this site, I put up any old thing that I made. Some of it good, some of it probably not. I always kind of waiver in my reasons for working on this project, between fame and fortune and doing it just fun. Ultimately, I usually land on fun, but secretly hope for the fame and fortune. Ultimately, this blog is for me, not you.
But this recipe is for you.
It's so good. I will eat almost anything, and I thought it was good. My opinion means little. But, when my FiL finished his serving, I knew it was legit. He is tough to please.
This recipe is rich, filling, and spicy. It's both comfort food and bar food. It falls somewhere between Korean Corn Cheese, and Buldak. It's not Korean in the truest sense, but it's also very Korean.
Sea snails are not something I grew up with, but its prevalence at my Korean grocery store tempted me to try it. It seems like whelks are always on sale, stacked on the shelves at the end of the canned food aisle at the Korean grocery store. The cans are so bright, and fun looking, I had to try it. To be honest, I didn't even know what they were when I bought them the first time. I thought I was buying canned abalone.
Whelk is not an ingredient that too many Korean dishes (that I know of) call for. Spicy whelk noodle salad is pretty popular, but I that's pretty much it. Pork belly I can cook 100 million different ways, but whelks... not so much.
This recipe is a little bit of heaven. It's cheesy, rich, and spicy. Cheese and gochujang are a lovely pair to say the least. The snails add a bit of protein and meatiness, while the vegetables add some crunch and sweetness. The tteok is a divine addition.
A perfect meal for these fall nights.
Finally, a big part of why I started this project was to learn more about Korean culture and cooking. Another part was to give me a reason to practice Korean. Korean cooking uses a whole set of vocabulary that I am mostly unfamiliar with. I'm working towards putting my recipes up in English and Korean, but right now I'm only in phase one: Korean ingredient lists. Again, this blog is like 90% for me, and 10% for you.
I attempted myself, but def. had some help!
This recipe serves 4
1 can Korean whelks (1 캔 골뱅이)
2.5 cups of circle tteok (2.5 컵 떡국용떡)
1 cup of sweet corn (1 컵 옥수수)
1 chili pepper, thinly sliced (고추 1개)
1 carrot cut into matchsticks and then chopped (다진 당근 1개)
1/4 white onion, sliced (썬 양파 1/4개)
1/4 cup green onion base (the white part), sliced (1/4 컵 썬 파, 흰부분)
1 teaspoon of sesame oil (1t 참기름)
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese or sliced mozzarella balls (2 컵 치즈)
2 cup of chicken stock (2 컵 닭육수)
(adjust measurements to taste - I actually add a little more gochujang and gochugaru than I list here)
1/2 cup of gochujang (1/2 컵 고추장)
1 tablespoon of gochugaru (1T 고추가루)
1 tablespoon of vinegar (1t 식초)
1 tablespoon of garlic (1T 마늘)
2 teaspoons of sugar (2t 설탕)
DIRECTIONS: (I make this in Korean clay bowls (ttukbaegi) and have written the recipe for that).
Fill a large bowl with water and soak defrosted tteok while you prepare other ingredients.
Make sauce by combining sauce ingredients in a bowl. Set aside for use later.
Turn on your oven broiler.
Empty the can of whelks into a colander. Rise thoroughly and chop into slightly smaller than bite sized.
In two clay bowls, or larger and similarly oven safe pot, heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil over med-low heat
Add chopped carrots, sliced onion, chili pepper, and green onion when oil is hot. Sauté until onions become slightly transparent and carrots begin to soften.
Add a 1/2 cup of yellow corn to each bowl and mix.
Add half of gochujang sauce to each bowl and stir fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 1 of a cup of chicken stock to each bowl - add 1/4 cup of water to each as well. Raise heat slightly and bring to a boil.
Drain the tteok and add 1 heaping cup to each serving. Bring to a boil again and stir frequently.
Finally, add in chopped whelks and let cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove bowls from heat and add cheese to the top and place under broiler. When cheese begins to bubble and turns brown, it's ready!
Serve with a bowl of rice and Kapow!