Easter is probably the most significant holiday in our family, and yet, we have never formally gathered together to celebrate the occasion over a meal. I think it's more of a Western tradition and it's not one either of our families adopted along the 30-plus-years of assimilation in the U.S. Well, we wanted to change that this year. So we gathered with good friends after church to celebrate the risen Savior over a simple Korean feast (it also happened to be my wedding anniversary).
These beauties, a Korean dish known as galbi (marinated beef short ribs), served as the main entree.
I'm actually not a big red meat eater (in fact, I abstained from it all throughout college and then for some period afterwards). It wasn't until I started dating my husband (who could probably eat a whole cow straight from the slaughterhouse) that I started eating red meat again. But only galbi and bulgogi - both marinated in a special sauce consisting of soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and garlic. I don't know what it is about that sauce, but it's the only way I can eat and appreciate red meat. I still cannot bring myself to eat steak or burgers (much to my husband's dismay).
My husband marinated and baked the galbi to perfection. The secret is in the sauce, which I'll save for a future post.
If you saw the way I devoured these short ribs, you'd never guess red meat and I are not the best of friends.
Complementing the galbi was a host of popular Korean side dishes.
Here we have the seafood pancake ("haemul pajeon").
I wanted to keep it very simple, so I used the prepared pancake mix and added a few, basic ingredients: scallions, spicy Korean red peppers, and seafood medley (which consisted of squid, shrimp, and clam).
I used the same pancake mix to make fried battered sweet potato (goguma twigim). I simply sliced the sweet potato into thin pieces, steamed it until tender, poured it into the mix, and then fried it with vegetable oil.
And then lastly, we had vegetable and meat dumplings (mandoo). I wish I could claim I made these from scratch, but I didn't have the time. These are of the store bought, packaged variety, nevertheless, very good.
Then we finished off with dessert. A trio of Junior's cheesecake samples (lemon coconut, red velvet, and devil's food chocolate). Chocolate was my favorite.
Food coma slowly started to set in, so we thought it would be a good idea to get some exercise and let the kids out for the Easter egg hunt.
Nate ran as fast as his little legs could take him.
The boys loved every minute of it.
And when all was said and done, everyone had a fabulous time and we relished this gift of life - now and forever - graciously given to us through a great act of love. This is the first of many Easter gatherings to come for our family.