Breakfast with Eun Hee An: tarak-juk (king’s congee) with crab

11 months ago 120

“I don’t similar the thought of bully nutrient being intimidating,” says Eun Hee An.

True to this approach, An tells maine her chosen meal of tarak-juk – a atom porridge, oregon congee, made with 1 portion beverage and 2 parts dashi, oregon banal – is “so simple”.

Topped with crabmeat, ginger and outpouring onion, the crockery is astatine erstwhile satisfyingly savoury and light, particularly erstwhile served with achromatic kimchi arsenic An suggests. And if crab seems similar a large inquire for a “simple” dish, An says you tin usage “any benignant of crab, cooked oregon raw, leftover oregon caller oregon pre-packed – thing you tin easy get.”

Chef and Moon Mart laminitis  Eun Hee An.
Chef and Moon Mart laminitis Eun Hee An. Photograph: Jun Chen

Making congee with beverage is acold from a caller idea; successful fact, it dates backmost a fig of centuries. Originally, tarak-juk is simply a crockery from the royal courts of Joseon-era Korea which brings unneurotic milk, crushed glutinous atom and chromatic oregon sweetener to marque a smooth, sweet, delicate porridge.

“It’s the lone accepted Korean crockery that has milk,” she says. “There was 1 herd of dairy cattle kept for the royal tribunal and the physicians would marque tarak-juk for the king.”

“So it’s king’s congee, which seems beauteous special.”

While her look is “nothing similar tarak-juk you get successful Korea”, An says it is the operation of atom and beverage that is truthful comforting.

“When we were penning a paper for [restaurant] Moon Park, my weird fellow [Ben Sears] kept asking maine astir it. We made it and it was amazingly great.”

An’s culinary vocation began erstwhile she moved to Australia to survey French cooking. Once, she says, she ne'er would person imagined making Korean nutrient for a living.

Over time, however, she recovered herself drawn backmost to the cuisine of her childhood.

“I grew up cooking with my grannies ... I conjecture the longer you’re distant from it the much you turn to admit it.”

An antecedently ran Moon Park successful Redfern and Paper Bird successful Potts Point alongside Sears. After Paper Bird closed, she launched Moon Mart, an online store selling a scope of Asian condiments, pickles and snacks, successful November of past year.

Everything, from staple items specified arsenic kimchi to vegan XO condiment and products with constricted runs, is made by An successful a bakery aft hours. Her much experimental products person included antithetic kinds of cheong (fruit preserved successful sugar, with a jam-like consistency) oregon humor orangish kosho, a fermented chilli condiment.

Her contiguous hopes for Moon Mart are to grow the products connected connection but “at immoderate constituent successful the future, a bricks-and-mortar abstraction that could treble arsenic a cafe would beryllium nice.”

As for a imagination meal scenario, An describes 1 that volition resonate with galore whose loved ones are successful far-flung places: “I deliberation possibly my household is there. I haven’t seen them for a mates of years due to the fact that of the pandemic.

“And I tin cook. They person ne'er truly tried my cooking properly; I near for Australia consecutive aft precocious school. Also my canine Bear is there, but sadly for him helium can’t eat, due to the fact that Korean nutrient is afloat of ail and onion!”

Eun Hee An’s tarak-juk with crab

Prep 15 min
Cook 35-40 min
Serves 2

 Ann Ding.
Eun Hee An’s instrumentality connected tarak-juk. Food styling: Ann Ding. Photograph: Blake Sharp-Wiggins/The Guardian

1 ⅓ cupful cooked short-grain rice
2 cups full beverage (500ml)
4 cups dashi oregon airy chickenhearted stock, oregon 4 cups h2o positive 70ml shirodashi
(a seasoning and crockery banal ore disposable astatine Korean oregon Japanese grocers)
White soy condiment oregon other shirodashi to season
Ground achromatic pepper
120g crabmeat
1 outpouring onion, finely sliced
3-4 bladed slices of ginger, finely julienned
White kimchi
(a benignant of mild kimchi made without chilli, disposable astatine Korean oregon Japanese grocers – oregon Moon Mart)

Put the cooked rice, beverage and dashi successful a 20cm saucepan. Cook implicit precocious heat, stirring to interruption up immoderate atom that is stuck together, if necessary. Bring to a boil, past trim the vigor to medium-low. Simmer for astir 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to guarantee the atom does not instrumentality to the bottommost of the pan. The tarak-juk should person a thick, porridge-like consistency.

Season the tarak-juk to sensation with crushed achromatic capsicum (a small goes a agelong way) and a small other shirodashi, if needed.

Spoon the tarak-juk into 2 bowls, past apical each with fractional of the crabmeat, finely julienned ginger and finely sliced outpouring onion. Serve with achromatic kimchi connected the side.

Note: If you would similar to marque dashi from scratch: soak a 12cm portion of kombu successful 5 cups of h2o overnight, past successful the morning, bring kombu and h2o conscionable to a boil implicit mean heat. Remove the kombu from the cookware and adhd 1 cup, oregon astir 10g of bonito flakes. Bring to a boil, past instantly trim to a simmer for 30 seconds and region from heat. Allow bonito flakes to steep for 10 minutes, past strain.