Surprise bday party! Tea recipe too.

31 Jan

My really good friends from high school threw a surprise birthday party for Eugene and I since our birthdays are close. My cousin, Wendy, cooked some incredible Korean food. I managed to only get pics of some of the food so there was more but everything was delicious.

jap chae
Jap chae which is glass noodles with mixed veggies and beef.

kalbi
Kalbi – delicious marinated beef short ribs.

kimbap
A whole bunch of kimbap or Korean sushi from the store. There were beef, spicy tuna, california style with spinach and a veggie one.

korean tofu
Carol helped Wendy make this bean paste tofu dish which was really tasty.

cheesecake
Carol bought us a cheesecake with fruit.

We also had a whole bunch of traditional Korean appetizers and I brought a homemade Korean drink that’s sweet and spicy. I first had this drink at Kun Jip in Koreatown and fell in love with it ever since.

Chilled Cinnamon Ginger Tea (Soojong Gwa)
Serves around 8-10.

Ingredients:
1/2 gallon water (divided into 2 pots)
3 sticks cinnamon (about 3-4″ each), rinsed
2-3 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar + more to taste
1/3 cup white sugar + more to taste
pinenuts (optional garnish)

Directions:
1. Boil 1/2 the water (4 cups) divided into two pots.
2. Add the cinnamon sticks to one pot and sliced ginger to the other. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon sticks and ginger. Combine the two liquids and add sugars. Stir until sugars are dissolved. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
4. Chill until cold, preferably overnight. Serve cold garnished with pinenuts.

Note: You can boil the cinnamon and ginger in one pot but I’ve read that it’s better to do it in two.

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