Updated: Jan 6, 2022
One of the things I miss the most since moving to Fairfield, CT from Brooklyn, NY is being able to order my favorite Korean comfort dish, Kimchi stew (Kimchi-jjigae). But with every inconvenience comes an opportunity to learn a new skill so here I am learning how to cook new Korean dishes, source hard to find ingredients, and hoping it all results in making food that my family will actually eat.
The Groceries First thing's fist, rice is life. I usually buy jasmine rice as it works with a variety of dishes and it's an easy grain to find in just about any grocery store.
For online groceries FreshGoGo has just about everything you need to cook a complete meal but if you're looking to buy ingredients and you're up for the drive, head over to Milford, CT and check out Asian food market, G Mart (155 Cherry St, Milford, CT 06460) for all your Korean (and Asian) cooking needs. Lin Asian Food Market (532 Boston Post Rd, Milford, CT 06460) is also located in Milford, CT but has a smaller selection.
At G Mart you'll find everything from cookware, to produce & meats, sauces, frozen foods, niche snack items, and more. Of all the local grocers, I find G Mart to be the most reliable and well stocked. If you don't have time to make an online order or a special trip to Milford head to Westport for a Hail Mary at The Fresh Market or Stiles Market. They both carry some very niche Korean cooking ingredients from time to time. For additional CT based Asian grocery stores check out this list from Korean chef, Maangchi.
Specialty Cookware As far as cookware goes anything specific to Asian cooking I usually order online. G Mart carries a pretty big variety of cook and serve ware so it's definitely worth the drive if you need it same day. Locally, you can randomly find a wok or steam basket sometimes at the Westport Homegoods, Williams-Sonoma, or Fairfield Bed Bath & Beyond - but it depends on your luck and the day. My first online stop is usually Pearl River Market, a family owned business, located in New York City. In addition to dish wares you can also find a variety of foods, snacks, textiles, and objects. For more online options also check out Muji or Harumio.
If you're a beginner, you may want to start with a couple easy recipes to build up your confidence. I find the following recipes adapted by American writers to be an accessible entry point to Korean cooking as the process has been simplified and the ingredients are easier to procure.
Banchan, the collection of smallside dishes is a staple for Korean eating and I find this overview from Pioneer Woman to be a great one for beginners.
The Korean pork dish, Bo Ssäm is the perfect dish for sharing and it's a go-to for special family dinners as well as intimate dinner parties.
Kimchi stew, or Kimchi-jjigae 김치찌개 is my all time favorite dish and comfort food. For this I turn to Korean home cooking expert, Maangchi.
Lastly, these trio of We Rub You sauces & marinades are permanent fixtures in our fridge for those last minute weekday nights dinners.
Inspirations & Restaurants My favorite source for all things Asian food in CT is Chubby Chinese Girl Eats. Her Instagram and website are both wonderful sources for finding, making, and eating Asian food in the CT area.
For online recipes, I usually bounce between Bon Apétite & Maangchi and when all else fails it never hurts to be flexible and call in a professional. In addition to the few Korean spots in the area, here are a few of my favorite Asian food restaurants in the Fairfield area. (*indicates favorite of the favorites :)
Gyeranjjim (계란찜) Korean Steamed Eggs Side Dish
It's a new year and time for a new egg dish! It doesn't get much easier, cheaper, or more delicious than this savory Korean egg custard dish, Gyeranjjim (계란찜). Gyeran means eggs, and jjim refers to a steamed dish. Sometimes we mix in sausage, ham, chicken and serve over rice with a side of steamed edamame for a complete meal!
Serving size 3 | Prep time: 10min | Cook time: 20min
1 cup chicken broth
¾ tsp sesame oil
¾ tsp fish sauce
sliced scallions, green parts only (optional)
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
hot sauce (optional)
Fill a pot with water and place steamer insert in pot. heat water over medium low heat. You don't want the water to boil or to heat too fast.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Make sure to whisk the eggs thoroughly until a bit frothy
Add chicken broth, sesame oil, & fish sauce to the bowl with eggs and continue to whisk thoroughly
Pour egg mixture into the ramekins, place in steamer pot, and cover
4. Slowly and gradually steam the eggs to the consistency of a custard or flan. Approx 15-20min. Increase heat up to medium if needed but not high. You don't want the eggs to bubble and heat too quickly or they will be dry.
5. Remove ramekins from the heat and top with scallions, sesame oil, hot sauce and enjoy!