This is my definition of a Happy Meal: Chinese Egg Fried Rice, Mini Sausage Stir-Fry, Crispy Mandu Pancake & Spicy Cucumber Salad.
Let me walk you through my favorite dishes that I have been cooking over and over again for decades.
We’ll start with Egg-Fried Rice.
There’s something very comforting about plain Chinese Egg Fried Rice.
I mean sure – you can add-in lots of ingredients. But when you have a variety of tasty banchans on the table, you don’t want to fill yourself up too quickly.
A key ingredient for Chinese Egg Fried Rice is letting the rice cool down and dry out.
That’s because we want the other ingredients to mix but not necessarily stick to the rice grains.
If you’re using rice from a rice-cooker, pan it out in a bowl and place in the refrigerator before cooking.
If you’re using hetban – instant rice (햇반) – don’t cook it the microwave! Add it straight into your frying pan or wok
Another key flavor variable: We will season our recipe with a few pinches of salt! But if you want to get that restaurant flavor, add-in a few pinches of MSG.
MSG really makes it taste like restaurant take-out – heh! But I’ll leave that up to you.
(Original recipe by Chef Baek Jong Won)
Next, we have our Mini Sausage Stir-Fry.
I absolutely love mini vienna sausages! Full of flavor, quick-to-cook and delicious.
If you have a Korean mart nearby, try out the Korean Vienna Sausages. Since it is a popular food, Korean brands compete with each other and place an emphasis on using high-quality meats.
(In the US, they also sell “Vienna sausages” in cans… avoid at all costs! Those taste horrible… 🥵).
If you can’t find mini-sized sausages, simply cut up your sausage of choice into thin small circles.
Key flavor variable: Pan-fry those bad boys until the skin blisters and bursts open!
A fun twist on dumplings: Crispy Mandu Skirt
One of my favorite things to eat in Japan was gyoza (Japanese for dumplings) at Ramen Shops.
I enjoyed watching them make it.
They would start by cooking the gyoza in a thin layer of oil. Few minutes in, they would add in a starchy, flour-water mixture. It would create a violent steam, which they would capture with a lid.
A few minutes later, out came a beautifully cooked gyoza! Egg-shell crispy layer on the bottom. Soft and chewy on the top.
It was very fun to break through that crispy layer with your chopstick – tremendous texture!
Cooking tip: When we make our version at home, the trick is to be patient! Don’t take it out of the frying pan until the batter has turned crispy and slightly brown (reference image below)
Also make sure to use a non-stick frying pan for this recipe!
Finally, my favorite Spicy Cucumber Salad.
This is the perfect palate cleanser! Spicy, Tangy, Refreshing.
Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad pairs beautifully with just about any BBQ. Drop this banchan in the middle of the table and watch it disappear – faster than the meat!
This recipe is straightforward – so not much to add.
But if you store leftovers in the refrigerator, the cucumbers will release water. The following day, expect the cucumbers to be in a small pool of liquid sauce.
That’s completely fine to eat! Tastes amazing.
Try anyone of the dishes out – and tag us on IG if you do!
-Daniel out 🕺
- 1/2 Cup Diced Spring Onion
- 3 Whole Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Diced Carrot
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 Cups Rice
- 2-3 pinches Salt (or substitute with MSG)
- 1-2 cracks of Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon (!) Sesame Oil
- Cut Spring Onion stalk into thin circles (use the white part of the stalk - it has all of the flavor). Measure out 1/2 cup's worth. Then finely dice a piece of Carrot (Measure out 2 Tablespoons).
- Now place a wok or frying pan on high heat. Add in vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, place in the diced spring onions.
- After 15 seconds - once the spring onion is sizzling in the oil - move it to one side of the pan. On the other side, crack in 3 eggs. Scramble the eggs as it cooks. Then place the Diced Carrots (2 Tablespoons) on top of the sizzling spring onion.
- Once the egg is cooked through, mix everything in the pan together. Next, let's season with Soy Sauce (1 Tablespoon). Add it around the walls of the pan (this helps slightly cook the soy sauce before it mixes with the ingredients). Give it all ... one more mix together!
- Now add in the Rice (2 cup). Here, you can use a soup ladle to get it evenly mixed with the ingredients. Once its evenly mixed in, lay the rice out against the bottom and sides of the frying pan. This will help crisp the rice up.
- Season with Salt (2-3 pinches). (NOTE: You can substitute here with MSG for true Chinese restaurant flavor). Crack-in a little bit of Black Pepper (1 or 2 cracks)
- Now turn off heat. Scoop the rice off the walls and gently group it into a small mound. Give it a taste - add more salt if needed.
- Finish with just a slight drizzle of Sesame Oil (1 teaspoon!)
- Bon Appetit!
Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad
- Cucumbers - 3 whole
- Vinegar - 3 Tablespoons
- Korean red chili flakes - 2.5 Tablespoons
- Sugar - 2.5 Tablespoons
- Soy Sauce - 1 Tablespoon
- Minced Garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame oil - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame seeds - Few shakes garnish
- Wash all three cucumbers and skin each cucumber with a peeler. Do not peel-off all of the skin, rather make uneven peels
- Chop cucumbers into half inch circles
- Pour salt onto the cucumbers and give them a good mix with your hands to coat thoroughly. Set the cucumbers aside for 30 minutes and they will slowly release water. Rinse them off and get rid of excess water
- For the marinade: Thoroughly mix vinegar, Korean red chili powder, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and minced garlic in a bowl
- Dress the cucumbers with the marinade. Get in there with you hands and coat all of it!
- Refrigerate – taste better when served chilled
- The cucumbers taste best when eaten within 1-2 days
- When placed in refrigerator, the cucumbers will release water. This is normal - no worries.
- Watch video below for detailed walk-through
- 1/3 Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Flour
Mandu Pancake Ingredients
- 8 Mandu (Korean Dumplings)
- 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Green Onions
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Gochugaru (optional)
- Pour Flour (1 Tablespoon) into a 1/3 cup of Water. Give it a mix - we'll use this later.
- Cut green onion into small pieces - save it for garnish.
- Make Dipping Sauce: Mix Soy Sauce (1 Tablespoon), Vinegar (1 Tablespoon) and Gochugaru (1 teaspoon)
Cook Mandu Pancake
- Place a NON-STICK frying pan on a medium heat. Add in roughly 1.5 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil.
- Dip the bottoms of each Mandu into the oil first, then arrange neatly into the frying pan.
- After 1-2 minutes - once you hear the mandu start to sizzle in the oil - give the flour mixture another stir. Carefully pour the mixture into the frying pan, around the dumplings. Add in the Green Onions (1 Tablespoon) as well. Then close the lid.
- Cooking time will vary - but we want to cook it until almost all of the wet mixture has evaporated. You'll see a crispy webbing form. It should take roughly 13-15 minutes (but keep an eye on it!)
- Afterwards, if its ready, gently slide it off onto a plate. Then cover it with another equal-sized plate and give it a flip. Serve it with dipping sauce. Enjoy!
- 8-10 Mini Sausages
- 2-3 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 Whole Onion
- 1-2 Shiitake Mushrooms (Or substitute with any mushroom)
- Few pinches Salt
- Few pinches Black Pepper
- Slice 2-3 cloves of Garlic into thin slices. Cut Onion (1/2 a whole) into thin slices as well. Cut Shiitake Mushroom into thin slices as well.
- Place some oil into the frying pan. Place on medium-high heat. Once its hot, add in garlic slices. After about 10 seconds, add in the sausage pieces.
- Then add in the sliced onion and mushrooms. Season with a few pinches of salt.
- Stir-fry until onions and mushrooms start to get a slight browning. Then pile them to one side.
- Now, place the sausages near the middle of the frying pan. Let them cook until their casing starts to pop and burst open.
- Then bring everything back together and stir-fry. Turn off heat. Finish with a few cracks of black pepper.
- Bon Appetit!