24 (Sat) September 2011
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Not to lionize corn per se, but I can’t overstate the importance of canned/frozen corn in my kitchen. DJ will eat anything that contains corn, kinda like bait, which explains the presence of corn in so many of my home-cooked dishes. He doesn’t enjoy corn by itself – say, corn-on-the-cob or a bowl filled just with corn – only when it’s mixed with other ingredients, allowing him to dig through the food and find the individual kernels and yell “corn!” (Personally, I only like corn when it’s mashed and distilled and aged and bottled into bourbon).
I mention corn within the context of my first attempt at jumeokbab. I followed our nanny’s basic technique of making a fried rice, waiting for the rice to cool, then forming the balls with crushed/shredded laver. Unlike her version, I made them full size, about the size of a fist – literally, “jumeok.” I used bits of leftover oxtail from a soup that I’d made a couple days earlier, the characteristically soft-yet-stringy meat providing an interesting texture contrast to the rice. I added corn as a matter of course but discovered that it prevented the other ingredients from coming tightly together and resulted in the balls crumbling at first bite. Lack of integrity aside, they were good.
(for more details about the food(s), see WHAT)