Cycle 12 – Cycle 190
14 (Wed) July 2021
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
Korean-Swedish Culinary Exchange (16) (see also KSCX)
During the migration of posts from the former GMTD platform (Blogger) to this current platform (WordPress), I was reminded of our 4th collaboration, when I made raggmunk (4.007 Raggmunk with Köttbullar). It didn’t turn out that well, but I learned about other Swedish potato dishes that I promised myself to make someday, such as rårakor.
Previously, I’d made an ersatz rårakor from a frozen pancake kit produced by IKEA (see 12.023 Rösti à la Gustaf), but I did it from scratch this time.
Rårakor is a Swedish dish. It’s a hashed potato pancake, typically fried in butter.
Seemingly so simple to execute, finesse was required in (a) getting the shredded potato pieces to stick together (solution: patience); while (b) preventing them from sticking to the pan (solution: pan-jiggling); and (c) keeping the pancake from falling apart in flipping it over (solution: big spatula).
The rårakor turned out great. Crispy on the outside – extra crispy at the edges! – tender on the inside. The simplicity of the dish – sprinkled with sea salt and cracked black pepper, topped with a dollop of sour cream and chives – allowed the flavor of the potatoes to shine, enhanced with a touch of smokiness from the bacon fat. The pancakes comprised the entirety of our dinner, and we were left very full and happy.
So versatile, I envision rårakor pairing with a wide range of dishes, not just Swedish dishes.
[The comments below are GK’s own words, with minor typographical edits from me.]
I made the dubu jorim (see 10.211 Dubu Jorim), and it turned out pretty well!
I’m not sure if it shows in the photos, but the consistency of the thickness of the slabs was a little off. On the other hand, it made it possible for me to feel the difference in softness of the middle parts of the dubu for the different thickness.
I decreased the amount of soy sauce in the recipe because the soy sauce I had on hand was pretty salty to begin with. It turned out just salty enough. I didn’t let it wait to cool down as suggested in the recipe because I was really hungry.
I have some leftovers in the fridge, which I will have for dinner tonight though. It’s gonna be interesting to see the difference in taste and texture of them.
I will definitely try this recipe again, since it’s really easy, and it will serve as a good banchan for bigger meal spreads. I might increase the amount of gochugaru though.
The spread shown in the photo includes (clockwise, from left): steamed rice, perilla kimchi, pickled perilla, oi namul, spicy stuffed steamed eggplant*, dubu jorim.
*I got the idea to make this dish since I randomly found my local grocery store was selling “japanese eggplant” (i.e., not the huge ones they normally sell). So I bought a couple and tried making the “North Korean eggplant” dish that I had failed at before. This time I used a recipe from Maangchi (https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/gochujang-gaji-jjim), since her recipe doesn’t require the eggplant to be pickled for several days before serving.
I’m also including a photo of my bottle of rapeseed oil, alluding to your discovery that “canola oil” is a product only available in North American and possibly Korea (see 12.073 Yuchae Namul), while the rest of the world uses “rapeseed oil.”
A few comments on GK’s dish:
- So very pleased that a reader has tried the recipe, relieved that it worked.
- The pan-fried dubu, before the braise, look perfect as is. Just sprinkle some salt and pepper, and it’s a great dish on its own.
- Post-braise, the dish looks very dark, perhaps because the sauce was cooked for too long or at too high heat, and thus maybe it turned out too salty or intense?
- I hope the dubu was also good in subsequent servings – I prefer it the next day, when the flavors have had time to mingle.
For my next dish, I’m looking to make a stew (see for example 12.151 Vildsvinsgryta), but something that can be made with basic local ingredients (e.g., pork or chicken or beef). Suggestions?
On your end, how about a Korean stew?
(See also BOOZE)
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)