North Korea is located in the continent of Asia. It has China to the north, China and Russia to the northeast, the East Sea to the east, South Korea to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west.
The capital is P’youngYang.
The official language is Korean.
The climate is generally cool. The winters are from December to March with temperatures ranging from -10F ~ 20F. The summers are from June to September and the temperatures range from 54F ~ 77F. Of course, the further north, the more sever the weather and precipitation or snowfall.
The staple food are cold noodles, tofu, short-grain rice, porridge, poultry, duck, beef, seafood, veggies and many spices like bean paste, sesame oil, garlic, ginger red pepper flakes and so much more (https://traveltips.usatoday.com/common-food-north-korea-17403.html):
BULGOGI (Fired Meat) (https://damndelicious.net/2019/04/21/korean-beef-bulgogi/):
- 1-1/2 lbs. boneless rib eye steak
- ½ Asian pear, peeled and coarsely grated
- ¼ C reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 TBSP brown sugar
- 2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
- 1 TBSP gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 2 TBSP vegetable oil, divided
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Wrap steak in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Unwrap and slice across the grain into ¼-inch thick slices.
- In a medium bowl, combine pear, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and gochujang. In a gallon size Ziplock bag, combine soy sauce mixture and steak; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
- Heat 1 TBSP vegetable oil in a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat (if you do not have a cast iron grill pan, you can also use a large cast iron skillet).
- Working in batches, add steak to the grill pan in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until charred and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 1 TBSP vegetable oil and steak,
- Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
- Use the rice of your choosing, and either cook it on the stovetop, rice cooker, or an Instant Pot.
CUCUMBER KIMCH’I: (Book: The Food and Cooking of Korea by Song Young-Jin):
- 1-2 English cucumbers (depending on how much you want to make. This will make roughly 3-4 Mason pint size, or two mason quart size).
- 2 TBSP coarse sea salt (use as much salt as it takes to cover the cucumbers)
For the dressing:
- 2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed (I use also the garlic crushed paste)
- 1 tsp cider vinegar (or to taste)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp Korean Red Pepper Powder (Gochugalu) (depends on how hot you want it)
- toasted sesame seeds (to your taste or desire)
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ½ – 1 tsp Korean Red Pepper Paste (Gochujang) (depends on how hot you want it)
- 1 tsp sugar
- Cut the cucumber into thin slices and put into a colander, and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt, mix well and leave for 30 minutes.
- While the cucumbers are soaking in the colander, in a large bowl, cut the spring onions, mix in the garlic cloves, cider vinegar, red pepper powder, sesame oil, rep pepper paste, and sugar.
- Mix well and taste to ensure you have as much of the taste as you want. Then cover and put in the refrigerator until the cucumbers are done.
- Once the time is up for the cucumbers, rinse them well, then little by little put a small amount into a good cloth towel and squeeze the excess water out of the cucumbers.
- I have the bowl of the dressing nearby so that once I have gotten the excess water out of the cucumbers, I drop them into my dressing.
- Once you have all the cucumbers complete and, in the dressing, mix them all together well.
- Now you can put the completed fully mixed cucumbers into the mason jars. I use wide mouth so it makes it easier.
- Do NOT fill to the top because the fermentation will begin, and the moisture level will rise a little.
- I then place the jars in the fridge because I like mine cold, but you can also leave them at room temperature for about 1 week. If you place them in the fridge, they last about a month (mine do not last that long because I eat them too quickly).
PATBINGSU (Shaved Ice with Red Beans) (https://mykoreankitchen.com/patbingsu-korean-shaved-ice/):
- 0.9 lbs. ice cubes
- 2 TBSP sweet red bean paste (or more to taste)
- 2 TBSP sweetened condensed milk (or more to taste)
- 16 mini sweet rice cakes (mochi)
- 2.8 oz. strawberry, chopped
- 1.6 oz. kiwi, thinly sliced
- 1.6 oz. blueberry
- 1.6 oz. pineapple, chopped
- Put the ice blocks into a food processor (or shaved ice machine if you have one). Grind the ice (for about 20 seconds) until it has a smooth texture.
- Place the shaved ice into a chilled serving bowl.
- Top with your choice of fruit, red bean paste, and mochi.
- Garnish with sweetened condensed milk. (FYI: I like layering the sweetened condensed milk on top of the shaved ice as well as on top of the fruit).