Menu of the day: One sweet day for chicken

jjimdak-01-01272015The weather of Baguio is not so gloomy nowadays. Though the wintry air is still present, the sky has cleared to make way for the warmth of the sun. Basking in the sun has never felt more refreshing and invigorating, that is for sure.

To start the week right, Monol prepared a sweet dish that would lift everyone’s mood, which, in a way, is perfect during a bright, sunny day.

The main dish for lunch today is Korean steamed chicken, known as Jjimdak.

Did you know that…?

jjimdak-02-01272015Jjimdak originated from the city of Andong in South Korea. Some say that this dish was already popular during the Joseon period, which lasted from 14th to 17th century and was served as a special dish to the gentries.

It is a very simple dish to prepare with only a few ingredients needed and is usually cooked in high heat. The original recipe from Andong has a sweet and spicy flavor to it. It is also full of vegetables and is mixed with glass noodles. For some areas in South Korea, there would be modifications and/or additions to the vegetables mixed in the dish.

Andong Jjimdak literally means “steamed chicken of Andong”.  To some it is called “Braised chicken” or “Simmered chicken”. True enough, simmering the chicken in high heat with its flavorful sauce brings out the innate fat in chickens but makes it juicier and softer.

This is not the first time Monol prepared this dish for its students. However, today, our cooks had to modify the recipe a little bit.

The ingredients used were:
Soy sauce
A bit of brown sugar
Sesame oil
A bit of gin (Rice wine could have been the best option)
Garlic, ginger, black pepper
Sweet potatoes
Carrots
Onion leeks

There were no glass noodles in Monol’s jjimdak today but there were other side dishes offered. To balance the tastes and to deviate from the sweetness of the jjimdak, Kimchi tofu was prepared along with cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms in oyster sauce. Soy bean sprout soup, known as, Kongnamul was served, and the salad bar was proudly exuberant as always.

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