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Dinner Banchans 3
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Dinner Banchans III - Classic Miso Soup, Crispy Eggplant Tots, Oiji Korean Pickles

A well-balanced meal combining classic Japanese miso soup and Korean Banchans. Enjoy!
Course: Medium
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

Classic Japanese Miso Soup (Dashi Broth)

  • Water - 4 cups
  • Kombu Dried Kelp - iPhone-sized piece
  • Katsuobushi Dried Bonito Flakes - 3 cups

Miso Soup Ingredients

  • Dashi broth - 2 cups look above for recipe
  • Miso paste - 2 Tablespoons
  • Dried Seaweed or use Wakame - a handful 
  • Tofu - ½ a block
  • Green onions - few handful

Korean Oiji Banchan

  • Oiji Cucumbers Brined - 3 whole
  • Gochugaru - 1 Tablespoon
  • Soy Sauce - 1 Tablespoon
  • Minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
  • Sesame oil - ½ Tablespoon
  • Sugar - 1 teaspoon
  • Green onions - few shakes garnish
  • Sesame seeds - few shakes garnish

Fried Eggplant Tots

  • Eggplant - 2 whole each, size of your forearm
  • Egg - 2 whole
  • Flour - 1 cup
  • Breadcrumbs panko works well - 1 cup
  • Salt - few shakes 

Dipping Sauce for Eggplants

  • Soy Sauce - 1 Tablespoon
  • Vinegar - 1 Tablespoon
  • Gochugaru - ½ Tablespoon
  • Sugar - few pinches

Instructions

Classic Japanese Miso Soup

  • Make dashi broth: Take out a large pot. Put water into the pot. Place kombu pieces in. Put heat on a medium heat - not high heat! A medium heat provides enough time for the Kombu to release its umami into the water. Once the water comes to a boil, take out the Kombu pieces and discard.
  • Then place the dried bonito flakes into the pot. Let it simmer for 1 minute. Then turn off the heat and let it sit in the residual heat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, strain out the bonito flakes. You are left with  your dashi stock.
  • Cut tofu into small bite-size pieces. Put dried seaweed pieces into water. Once the seaweed pieces hydrate, cut into small bite-sized pieces. Cut green onion into small pieces as well.
  • Take out a small pot. Place-in 2 cups of the dashi broth. Put pot on medium-high heat and bring up to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, melt the miso paste in with a strainer. Reduce the heat to a medium.
  • Place tofu and seaweed pieces in. Then let it all boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Garnish with green onions. Put into a bowl and serve.

Korean Oiji Banchan

  • Cut Oiji cucumbers into very thin slices. 
  • Take out a large mixing bowl and fill with water. Place oiji slices in. Let it sit in there for 30 minutes. This will reduce the saltiness/briny taste.
  • After 30 minutes, strain the water. Then call your younger brother into the kitchen. Ask him to squeeze the water out of the oiji slices. Tell him to squeeze hard! 
  • Place squeezed slices in a mixing bowl. Then mix-in gochugaru, soy sauce, minced garlic, sesame oil and sugar. Use your hands to mix and evenly coat the pieces. Next, place in the green onions and sesame seeds. Give a final mix. 

Fried Eggplant Tots

  • Give the eggplant a good wash. Pat it down dry with a paper towel.
  • Cut off the ends and split in half. 
  • Then cut into moon pieces (use your pointing finger to measure width)
  • Make sure each piece is facing up and then sprinkle some salt over them. 
  • Let the pieces rest for 10 minutes - to soak-in the salt and sweat 
  • While you wait, make the dipping sauce. Combine all of the listed ingredients under Dipping Sauce.
  • Then take out three mixing bowls or large plates. Place flour in one. Then crack two eggs into the next bowl and whisk them together. Finally, add breadcrumbs to the last bowl. 
  • First, coat in flour. Then coat in the egg mixture. And then finally in the breadcrumbs. Repeat for all the pieces. 
  • Take out a small frying pan. Add in oil. Once it gets hot, fry the eggplant until it gets golden brown on both sides. 
  • Dip in the marinade sauce and enjoy!

Notes

  • The dashi stock is enough to make 2 servings of the Miso Soup.
  • If you are vegan, you can skip the Katsuobushi. Just put twice as much Kombu pieces. 
  • See video below for more details