4.069 Kroppkakor in Zucchini-Picada Cream Sauce

Cycle 4 – Item 69

15 (Fri) March 2013

Kroppkakor in Zucchini-Picada Cream Sauce

2.5

by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ

Korean-Swedish Culinary Exchange (5) (see also KSCX)

BY ME

Kroppkaka (plural: kroppkakor) is a Swedish dish.  Mashed potato dumplings filled with pork/bacon and boiled in water.  Simple enough, but the recipes available in English on the internet called for vastly different ratios of flour : potato (some as little as 1 cup flour : 1 kg potato).

The problem – and this is always the case when I am cooking Swedish food – is that I’ve never tasted a kroppkaka in person, so I have no personal frames of reference to guide me.  Going on feel, I added flour to the potato a couple tablespoons at a time until the dough had become workable (about 2 cups : 750 g).  For the filling, I used a locally produced thick-cut bacon, mincing it then sautéeing the bits in canola oil with onions and a dash of ground allspice.  In lieu of butter and/or cream and/or lingonberry jam, I prepared a cream sauce with zucchini and picada.  Point by point, while I wouldn’t claim authenticity, I did the best that I could.

Overall, the dish turned out nicely.  The dumplings were dense, maybe too firm, maybe on account of too much flour.  Also, because I added only a teaspoon of filling per dumpling, each bite was more doughy than meaty.  The bacon, which was milder/blander than European/American bacon, seemed appropriate in this context; indeed, some kroppkaka recipes call for cured ham or salted pork.  The sauce worked well, the cream pairing nicely with the bacon and the zucchini providing a light touch to an otherwise heavy construct.  Good stuff, I hope.

BY GK

[All italicized comments below are in GK’s own words, with minor typographical edits.]

Here are the pictures from my kimchi jjigae dinner.  Additional dishes included steamed rice, zucchini jeon (애호박전), gyeran mari (계란말이), and kimchi (김치), homemade by me.

The gyeran mari turned out pretty good. The first “roll” turned out a little bit burned, because I was doing other stuff simultaneously and forgot to start to roll it. I don’t think you can see it in the picture though. The other, small, piece of rolled egg is what was left after I had done the egg coating for the jeon.

The kimchi, finally, had by then fermented enough (over two weeks) and tasted really “authentic,” and tasty.

The main dish turned out really well.  Instead of “normal” pork, I used the Swedish sausage falukorv. The spiciness of the kimchi paired well with the mildness of the falukorv.  I started with frying the sausage, then the kimchi, and then added water, leeks, tofu and some sugar, white pepper and salt.  

I normally don’t care that much about the flavour of broths, but this broth was really nice: you could feel the kimchi flavours and the sausage flavours at the same time. I ate the leftovers of the stew as dinner today, and it tasted just as good.

CONCLUSIONS

As usual, GK wins again with his magnificent feast.

In my defense, he has a huge advantage, having once lived in Korea for an extended period of time, experiencing the food directly and daily, so he knows the dishes, which ones work together, and how each should taste and look.  Me, I’m looking at thumbnail images on the internet and wondering when I’ll ever get to try goddamn lingonberry jam.

Comments on GK’s dishes:

  • The kimchi jjigae broth looks a bit mild/clear, making me wonder if he used any/enough of his own proprietary kimchi juice.
  • Gyeran mari is my all-time favorite side dish, so I’m happy to see that GK likes it, too.
  • The egg coating of the jeon looks to be somewhat thin or uneven, starting with the cooking stage above;  tip: spoon a little of the egg wash on top of each piece after they’re in the pan, if necessary.
  • I can appreciate the use of falukorv in the kimchi jjigae, which reminds me of using SPAM when I lived in the States; same with the leeks substituting for daepa; given my current preference for fish in kimchi jjigae (e.g., canned mackerel), rather than pork, and given the renowned Swedish affinity for fish (e.g., Swedish Fish), I’d love to see GK make kimchi jjigae with a fish substitution.
  • Whereas GK’s jeon is made with zucchini, the traditional squash for jeon is ae hobak, when is yellower, firmer, sweeter – I should do a taste test to see how they compare.

(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)

(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)

These are screen-shot comments from the prior site. If you wish to leave a new comment, please do so in the live comment section below.

Leave a Reply