Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fusion Chinese-Korean Daikon and Chickpea Stew

I planned on blogging about my newest breakfast bread recipe today, but I made this stew on a whim and loved it so much I had to come here and share the recipe with you guys. 

Now, this lovely meal never would have come to fruition without The Boyfriend's inspiration and ideas.  You see, he brought home this Braised Chinese Beef and Daikon Stew from a local market that he loved.  He raved and raved about the daikon, how it became so soft and delicious.  I obviously was not going to taste the stew, but I did smell it, and more importantly, felt it up.  I wanted to get as much information about that daikon, because it fascinated me.  I realized that part of the texture and coating was due to the slow cooking of the beef and release of gelatin.  I thought about ways I could create that; even thinking that I could use irish moss or agar, but felt that nothing would come close to the animal product, so I pretty much decided not to bother with substitutions for the texture, never mind the beef flavor.  I'm sure I could get somewhat close with seitan ,but frankly, neither of us are a big fan and I'd rather just create a dish that is inspired by the first dish than attempt a full replacement of a meat stew he loves.  

Fast forward to today.  I had a #10 can of chickpeas which equals 12 cups of cooked chickpeas. ($2.79 at Costco!)  I drained the liquid, which I saved because I PUT IT TO GOOD USE.  It naturally gels, kind of like chicken stock.. and I knew immediately, I would make the stew.  I bought a huge daikon the other day, along with potatoes and carrots.  

I am attempting to show some restraint with the amount of spices I use and get a feel for Korean and Japanese cooking, so this stew is pretty simple and allows the flavors I do use to really shine.  It does call for Gochujang, which can be found at at well stocked Asian markets.  I used the extra spicy, but you don't have to.  If you really can't find it, you can substitute 2 tablespoons miso and 1 tablespoon Sriacha, but the flavor won't be the same. 

This dish came together in 45 minutes.  I was amazed how fast it cooked. 

Fusion Korean-Chinese Daikon and Chickpea Stew
  • 1 tbsp each mustard and toasted sesame oil (you can use all sesame oil)
  • 1 extra large onion, cut into half moons
  • 1 tsp good quality 5 spice powder
  • 2 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large potato, cut into large chunks
  • 4 cups daikon, cut into large chunks
  • 10 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 -2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • pinch salt
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 3 cups chickpea cooking liquid or liquid from the can
  • 4 inch piece Kombu, cut into small pieces (I used scissors to cut it)
  • 2 tbsp Gochujang
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Soy Sauce to taste (start with 2 tbsp and add more. I think I used around 4 tbsp)
  • LOTS of freshly ground black pepper
Chop veggies and heat a large soup pot to medium heat.  Add oil and saute the onions and 5 spice powder for a couple minutes, then add the carrots, potato, daikon, garlic, ginger, jalapeno and salt. 

Add the chickpeas and gochujang

Now, add the chickpea liquid and kombu ( the kombu was not in the pot yet also, if you don't have 3 cups of the liquid, add vegetable broth)

Cover and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently.  When the veggies are tender and the chickpeas have fallen apart, add 1 cup of frozen peas; taste and adjust seasoning and enjoy! 

So, when I originally made the dish, I hadn't added the 5 spice.  I totally forgot that was a main component of the stew he loved.  He mentioned the next time I made it I should add some 5 spice, and I said I'm going to add some now.  He liked the stew before I added it, but LOVED it so much more after.  I admit, it is really fantastic!  I want to eat another bowl right now.  It is totally stick to your ribs, comfort food, but it is VERY good for you and pretty low in calories and fat considering how hearty it is.  The Boyfriend says that this a really good dish for winter and I agree. :-)  

I hope you guys make this stew and serve it to the people you care about! I wish my kids were here to enjoy a bowl with me tonight.  


  1. Anonymous3:27 PM

    I decided to make this recently because I had daikon from my CSA languishing in my fridge. I ended up having to make several substitutions based on my pantry(my own spice blend for the 5 spice, your miso/sriracha suggestion and great northern beans for chickpeas), but it came out delicious. I never realized daikon could be so mellow! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I'm so glad you liked it... it is amazing how the daikon changes when it's cooked.

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