School's out and it's finally beginning to feel like summer! With summer comes all the great outdoor activities, and what can be more fun than a picnic! (Aside from great wine bars, of course...)
Whether you take a basket to the park or beach or grill out at home, outdoor cooking is a true sign of summer. To kick off the season, this weekend we will be dishing up some Korean BBQ picnic style - a bit of some classics and an introduction to some new treats commonly eaten as on-the-go and picnic foods in Korea. While some of the flavors may be new to you, many of the dishes are a fun take on some familiar foods like potato salad and lettuce wraps.
So what makes it different? Korean potato salad, or gamja salad, is a creamy salad with the addition of hard boiled eggs and crunchy vegetables such as cucumbers to give it additional flavor and texture. Potatoes, eggs and cucumbers are common ingredients in Korean food so it's no wonder they would be combined into a delicious side dish to compliment BBQ! Lettuce wraps are also a favorite way to eat BBQ, and in this case some crispy pork belly is the perfect filling for this popular handheld.
One distinct characteristic of Korean food is the large variety of small bites served with every meal, and some of our favorites are mandu and kimbap. Mandu, or dumplings, come in all sorts of flavors - whether it's beef bulgogi, pork, shrimp or vegetable - they're a delicious snack or appetizer served with dipping sauces like sesame and hot chili pepper. Kimbap (kim - seaweed, bap - rice) is often confused with Japanese sushi, but appearance is as far as the similarity goes! Unlike sushi, kimbap is made with cooked/pickled vegetables, meat and egg rather than raw fish. Also, the rice is not acidified as is the case with sushi.
And of course, everyone's favorite - bao! The perfect steamed handheld stuffed with savory bits of meat and vegetables, bao has been popularized around the world with its soft, fluffy exterior and delicious filling ranging from everything you could think of from land or sea. Believed to have originated in China sometime during the Three Kingdoms period, bao are like luscious little clouds filled with flavor. Known in Japan as mantou, and a classic Korean version filled with sweet red bean paste colloquially known as hoppang, bao can now be found throughout Asia in various forms. Such a fun and versatile food, with endless possibilities!
While this is just an introduction to the many dishes that make excellent picnic fare, they are some of our favorites and we love to share them with you in a family style dining event that embodies the essence of summer!
June 16/17, 2023 at Wilmington Wine's Creative Tastings
KBBQ Picnic Style!
Beef bulgogi dumplings
Scallion omelette, pickled radish, carrot, cucumber
Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps
Crispy pork belly served with rice
Dak bulgogi (chicken) bao served with Korean potato salad
Dasik and Dalgona Coffee
Chewy sesame tea cookies and whipped espresso over milk