When I look back at all the recipes I’ve cooked from Momofuku, there are definitely some standouts: momofuku ramen (with store bought noodles), kimchi stew, cherry tomato salad, most of the ssäms, and the pan-roasted dry-aged rib eye. It’s not surprising to me that all of my favourites are recipes from Noodle Bar and Ssäm bar because truly, I’m just a down home kind of girl.
For me, much of the appeal of cooking at home is just that: cooking at home. I can eat fancy pants dishes in my pajamas and most of the times the food I make tastes just as good as going out.
Yes, most of Chang’s dishes take a lot of planning and pre-cooking, but I really feel like they’re worth it.
What I would totally make again:
Ramen Broth, Pork Belly and Pork Shoulder
The ramen broth takes over 10 hours, but if you’re Chinese like me and grew up with your mom stirring a steaming pot of soup for days on end, you know 10 hours is nothing for delicious, deep, complex broth. If you can’t be bothered to sit at the stove for 10 hours, break the cooking time down.
Cooking the broth over two days will take longer, but it means less time in your house, skimming and watching a pot boil. Flavour-wise, I found that breaking down the cooking time didn’t affect the flavour at all.
The pork belly and pork shoulder that go with the ramen are ridiculously easy to make, so go ahead and make them already! They taste great in the ramen, but you can use them for so many other things: pork buns, on rice, with noodles, in kimchi stew, the possibilities are endless.
Before Momofuku and making my own kimchi, I swore I thought kimchi was evil. Even small pieces were intolerable. The flavours were too aggressive, too vinegary, too much. Even so, something changed though when I made Chang’s kimchi. I still don’t like eating it out of the jar (Mike does!), but when you cook it, something crazy delicious occurs. It was because of kimchi stew that I have a new found love for kimchi. Kimchi fried rice, kimchi devilled eggs, kimchi udon, I love it all!
Cherry Tomato Salad
Chang’s tomato salad is a riff off a traditional caprese salad. I love the way tomatoes taste when they’re peeled; they’re less acidic and somehow more tomatoey. The creaminess of the tofu sits in perfectly for mozzarella and the shiso adds a touch of exotic. This happens to be one of the easiest recipes in the book and subsequently, it’s one of the recipes that I’ve already made more than once.
Lemongrass Pork Sausage Ssäm
I love lemongrass and in this ssäm the lemongrass really shines. It’s a great dish: easy to make, tasty and fun. Food assembly at the table is one of my fetishes; if you’re coming over to dinner, expect to put together your own dinner 3 times out of 5.
Pan-Roasted Dry-Aged Rib Eye
Mike is the person that usually cooks the steaks around here, but after having the pan-roasted rib eye, I think that butter basting is the way to go when cooking steak. I’ll be making more steaks drowned in buttery, thyme, garlic and shallot goodness very soon.
Tomorrow, recipes I would have been better off not making.