As if my blue screen computer misadventures of yore weren’t enough, I had an even more RIDICULOUS day yesterday. When I go running, I take as little with me as possible – usually my iPod, an ID, and a key to the house. Here in NY we live on a corner and so our house has two entrances – a back entrance that leads into the yard, which we use most frequently, and a front entrance that we rarely ever use. The back entrance has both a wooden and a screen door that lock. I only wanted to take one key when I went running, so I locked the wooden door, left the screen door unlocked and went on my way.

I returned about an hour later. Stretched on the back steps, put my key in the door. Turned it. And turned it. And turned it. And turned it. We are talking 360 degree circles here. And then the cylinder that actually turns to unlock the door came off in my hand! Without unlocking the door no less. I tried picking the lock and re-inserting the cylinder to no avail.

At this point, I’m getting cranky and hungry and the dog is inside frantic because she wants me to come in (she hates being alone) – things are not looking good. So I did the only thing I could do…walked across the street to my grandmother’s house, called my mom at work and told her what had happened. She was afraid that someone had tampered with the lock while trying to break into the house and so she immediately came home with the key to the front door. The general consensus is now that the lock just sucked and that no one wanted to get into the house, but I swear there is never a dull moment. I can’t wait to see what awaits me today.

So I mentioned back when I did my summer cooking goals post that I wanted to enter Regional Recipes – Korea and while I am a few days late with the post, Wandering Chopsticks hasn’t posted the round-up and so is totally fine with me submitting it now (thankfully). The reason I am so late is that I couldnt’ decide what to make! The only Korean food I’ve ever had is Korean BBQ. And I LOVE Korean bbq. And so I toyed with the idea of making bulgogi but the more I thought about it the more I felt that bulgogi was kind of like the chicken teriyaki of the Korean world – if you’ve ever had Korean food, odds are that you ordered it. I wanted to do something a little more ethnic. Finally, last week after countless google searches I came across this recipe on for taktoritang or spicy braised chicken and potatoes. Knowing my meat-and-potatoes loving family as well as I do, I knew this was the recipe for us. says that this dish is a traditional Korean home-cooked meal – one that you won’t see in restaurants that but that is served up in homes throughout the country. Also, I had some kale that I picked up at the Farmer’s Market and decided to do a version of the seasoned spinach that is so often found as a side dish with Korean bbq. All of this was a huge hit with the family – my dad even took the leftovers for lunch the next day! I’m glad I proved to them that ethnic food is NOT the enemy.
Seasoned Kale/Spinach
Serves 6, adapted from

1 lb kale
2 tbsp and 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp sugar

1. Blanch the kale in boiling water for 30 seconds. Quickly rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze it to remove excess water.

2. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing. Stir into kale.
Spicy Braised Chicken with Potatoes
Serves 6, adapted from

2 1/4 lb thinly sliced chicken, chopped into small pieces
2 onions, chopped into large pieces
1 large carrot, chopped
2 large potatoes, cut into large chunks
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp Korean red pepper paste (or more but my dad can’t handle really spicy food)
1 tsp sugar

1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine chicken, onion, potato, and carrot.

2. Mix together the garlic, soy sauce, water, sugar and red pepper paste. Pour into the pot.

3. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice.

I am submitting this to Regional Recipes which is being hosted this month over at Wandering Chopsticks.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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13 Responses to Regional Recipes – Korea

  1. Marcia says:

    This looks REALLY good. I’ve had bulgogi (of course), but also some other good Korean food (my husband had Korean friends from grad school). I’ll have to give this a try.

  2. Reeni? says:

    This is one cuisine that I haven’t had yet. It looks delicious! Score for Dad liking it! I was looking for Kale recipes today and found one very similar to this I might try – it looks yummy!

    We never use our front door – we use the garage door or the back door. Glad everything worked out!

  3. ttfn300 says:

    Props to the fam 🙂 And both dishes look fantastic! Braising is something i don’t do that much of… i should learn more about it!

  4. Kim says:

    I haven’t had Korean food either. Looks like I’m missing out. Love the braised chicken dish, sounds great.

  5. Megan says:

    You certainly are leading an exciting life, aren’t you? Never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

    What an interesting looking dinner – and I mean that in the best way possible. Spicy, flavorful – definitely not boring!

  6. Jeff says:

    I have those types of weeks too. My worst of locking my truck and my house when it was 7 degrees outside. Thankfully my parents are close and ran over with the spare key.

    The dish is awesome and I agree most ethnic dishes I have found are the Americanized version. Wish I could find a good cookbook that was written solely by grandmas.

  7. sorry about the key looks great nice blog first time here rebecca

  8. zoe says:

    I love kale! I like to make kale chips in the oven.

  9. Oh my, I can imagine how frustrated you were trying to get in your house.

    Your a savory dish. You really recover quickly!

  10. Pam says:

    This sounds good! I missed doing a Korean entry, I wonder what the next one will be.

  11. ?peachkins? says:

    I am always on the lookout for new chicken recipe and this one looks yummy…

  12. Debinhawaii says:

    Looks delicious! I like Korean food but don’t cook it much. Esp. love the kale recipe–I am always looking for a good way to use it up.

  13. Ty'sMommy says:

    I love this! One of my best friends is Korean and sometimes I get to cook with her mom. I have learned quite a few things from her, but Bulgogi is still my favorite….or maybe Chap jae…

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