Korean cooking forum topics:
I have cooked so many dishes – Kimchi, kimchi jjigae, Sundubu-jjigae, “spicy” Doenjang-jjigae , and many others, and none of them have been spicy.
I have tried both the red pepper flakes (course), and the fine powder that the people at the Korean market told me were a little more spicy than the flakes. But still, none of them are spicy at all! What am I doing wrong? Am I missing something? I LOVE spicy food, and am sad that I can’t cook any.
What level of spicy (or heat) are you used to? In some cases I also think the heat level could be increased. It’s not always ‘blow your head off’ hot but I’ve had some ddeokbokki, gochu japchae and kimchi jjigae that have set my mouth on fire!
When I want to heat it up, I will do one or more of the following: add extra pepper flakes or pepper paste, add fresh jalapenos, Serrano or Thai chili peppers (leave in seeds for hotter) or add sirraccha (sp?) or other type of hot sauce. You can do these without significantly changing the taste of the dish.
I hope thish helps!
Some of the peppers powders do have different heat levels. If you really want it to become hotter do as my mother does once in awhile. Grind fresh peppers with the rest of the kimchi sauce, in her case she used Serrano and Habaneros. It is especially delicious with radish kimchi. The color of the kimchi is deceiving when you do grind fresh peppers, it will be much lighter in color. My Korean grandmother also mixed fresh and dried peppers together.
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