Yoo Family Soup

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<Ta-Daa- Let me introduce to you, the “Yoo” soup>

This soup goes way back when I was 12 years old. My family and I just immigrated to Canada and just moved to a new house at Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and is pretty big town however, there was no Asian market nor restaurant so we had hard time to settle in.

My parents and I had to go out for meal since the first day because our luggage sent from Korea had not arrived for a long time. When we were living in Korea, the basic meal contains rice, soup and other side dishes. However, in Canada, meals contain a lot of flour and meat and we were quite tired of those.

After few days, we found a small convenience store run by Chinese and there were limited number of ingredients we could’ve use to make a soup to eat with rice.

As soon as we came back to home, my mother made this soup with carrot, onion, penne, chicken broth and leftover grilled chicken breast from Swiss Chalet.
It does not look like gourmet nor taste like one however, it has our memory when my family came to Canada.

Last year was my family’s 10th anniversary in Canada and I made the soup to my parents to celebrate ourselves. We named it the “Yoo family soup”.

Ingredients for the “Yoo” soup:

  • 1/2 diced carrot
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 cup of pasta (I used farfalle but my mother used penne)
  • 750 mL of chicken broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tsp of soy sauce
  • 1 Tsp of mirin
  • Any topping you would like: I used the fish cakes but chicken breast or beef is fine. (my mother used chicken breast)

Real simple recipe:

  1. Dice onion and carrot
  2. Wash spinach with cold water
  3. Roughly chop or crush two cloves of garlic
  4. Pour 750 mL of chicken broth to a pot and bring it up to boi
  5. When it boils, add onion, carrot, spinach and a cup of pasta
  6. Add soy sauce, mirin, and the fish cake
  7. When the pasta is cooked, simmer for about 10 min and add seasoning if needed.
  8. Enjoy while its hot

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<I used fish cakes instead of chicken breast because I like the flavour of fish cake that absorbed warm soup and when you bite it, the soup bursts >

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<750 mL of chicken broth + 2 Tsp of Soy sauce + 1 Tsp of mirin >

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<my mother added some mushroom but I omitted it because I do not like the texture of mushroom>

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<add all the ingredients and boil>

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<When the pasta is cooked, it is ready to eat>

 

Sensory Evaluation:

Sweetness from diced carrot and onion absorbed to the chicken broth on entry.
Saltiness from the soy sauce and little bit of salt from seasoning kicks in.
Bitterness, sourness nor umami was found while consuming the soup.

The soup taste like udon noodle soup little bit; if I included mushroom, it would taste much like it.
I liked how tender vegetables and bow-tie pasta worked well together with the mouthful of fish cake.

The soup mainly smells like the chicken broth and small amount of soy sauce.

The texture of vegetables are tender soft yet not mushy, soft fish cakes and pasta was cooked al dente.

I did enjoy the soup but I would not have another bowl in same seating because I can eat once with all those memories but second serving is just too much; there are a lot of better foods to eat.

In my opinion, there were no challenges while making the soup because it is so easy to make. The soup was quite close to what my mother made first time and when I made it last year. However if I was to cook this soup again, I will definitely try with the chicken breast or other protein because it will have more dense flavour in the soup rather than pre-cooked fish cake that does not have much of flavour than the texture.

Other than the Yoo family, no one else tried the soup because I would not really make this soup to other guests; they would not have the memory nor I believe the soup does not fit in the table full of guests.

Throughout making this “documentary” of Yoo soup, I realized food can be meaningful to people. Not just eating a dish but one dish can have a memory of something special like this soup to me is the hard settlement in Canada. I believe by working on this, I will be able to apply this to cook with heart; rather than cooking for money and to show off with beautiful decorations, but one simple dish can attract with the memory and a meaning to someone.

 

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No More Coleslaw (for now that is)

Being a culinary student at George Brown College, I have always felt I am behind fellow students.
Before coming here and cooking in my home, I thought I was pretty good with the cuts and cooking, man I was dumb.
Each and every week ever since I came to Toronto, I have been buying a cabbage when I go grocery shopping to practice cuts. After the practice, leftover cuts becomes a problem for me and usually I make a jar of coleslaw.

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As I get tired of making and eating coleslaw, this assignment came up.
I turned on the internet right away to search what can I do with the cabbage fermentation and the sauerkraut came up.
Personally, I do not like the hot dog bun and have not eaten much of it. However, I did remember the pickled cabbage on the bins next to the hot dog carts.
Right now for me, anything made with the cabbage except the coleslaw is good thus I researched the recipe for the sauerkraut and tried making it.

Method:

Wash and drain the water from the cabbage. Make sure the jar is washed as well.
Cut off the core of the cabbage and discard the outer leaves and wilted leaves out of the way.
Slice the whole cabbage into quarters and slice into thin julienne.

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Transfer the cabbage to a big stainless bowl and sprinkle the kosher salt over the top.
Massage the salt into the cabbage. I did it twice just to cover all the cabbage.

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Transfer the salted cabbage into the jar and tamp down the cabbage in the jar with fist or heavy jar often. Also, pour any liquid released while cabbage was massaged with the kosher salt.

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Cover the jar and tamp down the cabbage every few hours. (I did it around each 6 hours)
Ferment the cabbage at a cool room temperature and check it daily for about 5 ~ 10 days.

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Fermentation:

As the cabbage begins its fermentation, I checked daily to tamp down the cabbage and tried eating one piece of the cabbage. The recipe also said to add fluid if it was needed but mine released quite a lot of fluid so I did not.

On the fourth day, when I tried the piece of cabbage, it still had hard texture so I moved the jars near the window. However, the recipe stated it should not see the sunlight which I forgot and I believe that is the reason why my result ended terrible.

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Sensory Evaluation:

After the tenth day of the fermentation, I opened up the jar and tasted few pieces of the cabbage.
It was really salty; I did the salt massage twice and I believe that is the reason why it was too salty.
Not as sweet as I thought; I thought the sweet taste of cabbage itself would elevate after the fermentation but did not change much.
A bit sour however did not taste bitterness nor umami.

In my opinion, my sauerkraut did not taste similar to the market-sold products as it was too salty and some pieces were still hard parts.
Maybe it was not preserved long enough although I tried to not open more than once per day to tamp down the cabbage.
The smell from the jar was like the mixture of vinegar and grass smell when you step over the mowed lawn.
My finished product looked too yellow rather than white like it was sold in the market.

After eating my fermented cabbage, thick cut pieces tasted like a rubber glove with vinegar poured over. The thin cut pieces were too salty and I had to spit out.

However, I thought if the sauerkraut was finished right, the relatable flavor would be the white-kimchi which is a Korean dish that looks like kimchi but without the red chili flakes.

I tasted few more times however there were too much difference in taste and texture between the thick cut and thin cut. I would not eat it again however, i would try next time with more time to ferment and without showing it the sunlight.

Some of the recipe suggested try the sauerkraut with the mixture of cabbage and apple, also some added herbs and seasonings which sounded interesting.

References:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/fermenting/homemade-sauerkraut-zmaz06aszraw.aspx

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-193124