Danhobakbap: Got an extra pumpkin?

Pumpkins everywhere! I’m always looking for new ways to cook great super-local foods, and right now Seminole pumpkins are everywhere and cheap in the aftermath of Halloween. I came across this great new pumpkin recipe on maangchi.com, my favorite Korean cooking blog. So yesterday my daughter and I went to the 441 farmer’s market and then went a little crazy at Dae Han grocery store.

Jujubes, canned chestnuts, California-grown organic sweet mixed rice, and a beautiful Seminole pumpkin

I made a few changes to the recipe, here’s my version.

Danhobakbap

3 lb Seminole pumpkin
1 c California mixed sweet rice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c water
1 can of chestnuts
2 tbl raisins
8 dried jujubes, pitted

The instructions on maangchi’s site are fantastic, and I suggest you follow them closely. I didn’t, and look what happened!

I did not wrap the pumpkin in cheesecloth, and so when I tried to lift the darn steamed pumpkin out of the pot it fell apart.

With a dish this complex, I of course wanted to make a whole meal out of it. I thawed a rack of baby back ribs from the last pig and braised them all afternoon in soy sauce, raw sugar, orange peel and ginger. I love red cooking and the marinade can be saved from each batch to make a Master Sauce. After the ribs were falling off the bone, I carefully lifted them out of the braising liquid, laid them on a rack and broiled them until beautiful and caramelized.

Red cooked wild hog ribs, braised until falling apart and about to be broiled until caramelized. This technique can also be done in a crockpot!

I also made a stir-fry of fish cakes, California lap xiong sausages, and fresh tat soi and green onions from the farmer’s market using the same sauce from this recipe, and served it all with fresh radish kimchi.

Beautiful dark green tatsoi steaming down. Tatsoi is probably my favorite of the Chinese greens, and just came back into season!

The warm, slightly sweet and soothing steamed pumpkin and sweet rice made an excellent foil for the spicy chili sauce and the sharp and sour kimchi balanced out the rich porky ribs. Even though the pumpkin fell apart, it all still tasted delicious. This was the best meal I’ve made in a while.

Delicious dinner.

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