I think I’m starting to get back into cooking.
Yesterday I pulled off an awesome pasta salad complete with seasoned feta and real penne pasta and fresh veggies. I was impressed by how authentic it tasted, given that it can be difficult to find authentic Mediterranean ingredients of any kind in Korea.
Today’s winner was a curry egg and potato salad sandwich.
It goes great with ramen and ketchup! That’s my Korean twist on the classic.
My step mom used to make egg salad sandwiches and they were bomb and I saw a YouTube video of some girl making egg salad sandwiches the other day and I thought her recipe sounded lousy (who rinses and drains chopped onions to “reduce the flavor?” Why are you using onions if you want to reduce their flavor? Ridiculous.) but I was inspired to make my own version, for nostalgic purposes.
It’s vegetarian and packed with protein and flavor. I piled it onto some corn bread, but it wasn’t the corn bread you may be thinking of. It’s not the corn bread your mom made on Sunday nights in a thick, black baking tin, served with chili. This bread came from my favorite little bakery in Korea, just down the road from the Sinmae exit on the greenline. It’s also gifted with a name that my inner-pervert can’t help but giggle at: Korean Master Bakers. There’s actually several locations throughout Daegu. Anyway, they sell a sliced bread that looks and tastes just like a fresh, sliced french roll. Super soft and white, but much more flavorful, satisfying, and textured than the other white breads found in Korean supermarkets. It’s 3,000 KWN. It looks like this (well, this is only about 1/4 of what’s left of the loaf but you get the idea):
Anywho, you should make this sandwich if you’re hungry. I bought all of these ingredients in Korea, so don’t go whining about not being able to buy them here. I don’t measure or count or anything and neither should you. Just follow the steps vaguely and use your intuition and taste buds:
1. Boil some eggs.
You should consider boiling organic, free-range eggs. If you’ve ever accidentally wandered into the chicken-coop area in Seomun Market, you’ll know why. Think of the chickens, for god’s sake!
If your mom never taught you how, just put some eggs (I used 6 because that’s how many I had) in a smallish pot and put in enough water so that they are just covered. Salt the water, cover the pot, and light the stove. When the water gets to a rolling boil, turn off the stove. If you do not have a gas range, move the pot to a cool burner and then go cry about it because electric stoves suck. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for ten minutes before putting them into a bowl full of cold water and refrigerating until you get impatient (I managed to wait 1 hour and the eggs were at room temperature).
2. Peel the eggs and then chop them into a mixing bowl.
3. Add these things (and whatever else sounds good):
Salt, pepper, turmeric, mayo, honey mustard, one small diced onion, some chives, some curry spices.
Add enough mayo and/or honey mustard to make the mixture wet. I know this last sentence sounds sort of gross, but I can’t think of a better word to describe the texture other than “moist,” which is a much grosser word than “wet.”
4. K, now boil some potatoes.
I boiled five smallish, yellowish organic potatoes. I only used three of them. In theory, you should boil the potatoes at the same time as the eggs but whatever. Do what you want. Boil them until they are cooked, but still firm enough to dice cleanly with a knife. You’re not making mashed potatoes so don’t overcook them. Or you can over cook them and then just make mashed potatoes…and maybe eat those with the egg salad sandwich. But I wouldn’t recommend it because that sorta ruins the point. But again, you should do what you want. I’m not the boss of you.
5. Cool the hot potatoes.
Run cold water over the potatoes, in a bowl. Then immerse the potatoes in cold water and put them in the fridge for a minute or whatever.
6. Chop the room temperature potatoes into the salad mixture and add whatever ingredients you want to add to make it taste how you want it to taste. Don’t go crazy with the mayo but make sure it is “wet” (oh god there’s that word again) enough to spread on the bread. Dry egg salad is disgusting and nobody wants to eat it.
Vegan note: If you’re vegan you can find a substitute for the mayo and just make a curried potato salad with similar flavors. Artificial mayos are hard to find in Korea but there’s plenty of yogurt products and whatnot. Anything you can think of that will taste good and make the egg mixture into something spreadable. Something saucy. (Withhold snide remarks). Be creative. After all, you’re vegan. You should be used to this kinda thing.
7. Mix it all up and spread it on the awesome corn bread and make sandwiches.
8. Stack the sandwiches on a plate and then get another plate and put the plate over the sandwiches, with a bowl or something on top of it. This is just so you can press the sandwiches down, making them more firm and easy to eat. You should try and be patient and let the sandwiches sit in this homemade press contraption for about 30 minutes.
9. Cut the sandwiches or don’t. I don’t care. Do what you want.
10. EAT THEM. It’s best to share, because you’re in Korea and people like sharing here. Sharing is an excellent concept especially when you’re eating food that is heavy in mayo. If you share your mayo-food you won’t be the only fatty in the room.
This recipe makes enough salad to cover about one and a half loaves of bread. Obviously, I didn’t intend it to be this way. But alas, it’s just how it worked out.