Thursday, September 3, 2009

Korean Food on the Cheap!!

For those who love Korean food, but can't seem to stomach the high prices at the restaurants -- I've got the alternative "inexpensive" option... go to the Korean supermarket and pick up a few items you usually love to order! For me, I love kalbi (or any other type of marinated meat like bulgolgi) and crabmeat pancakes... yum! With $15, I bought an entire meal that could last, well, more than one night... And if you've been to a Korean Restaurant on 32nd street between 5th and Broadway, then you'll know, you won't be able to walk out of a restaurant without spending less than $20 and that is if you're sharing with two other friends! Yes, that one order of Kalbi can run as much as $20 a plate!)

With preparation and cooking, the entire meal took less than 30 minutes from start to finish (and I cleaned and prepped as well!) -- this definitely falls into the 30 minutes or less food network category (um, it took less time to cook this than to write this blog!).

So what is the time commitment per dish?

It takes about 7-10 minutes to cook the pre-marinated rib-eye meat and about 30 seconds to 1 minute to warm up the pre-made crabmeat pancakes... I also love vegetables, so I bought a bag of vegetables for about $2. Washing and cooking the vegetables took less than 7 minutes (cook it with some ginger and oyster sauce). The order of cooking was -- cook the vegetables in one pan and use the same pan for your rib eye (saves cleaning time!).. and while the rib-eye is cooking, microwave the crabmeat pancakes! Then you're done!

Note: If you like rice, I pre-made the rice before I went to the gym (washed rice - less than 1 minute; cooking about 30 to 40 minutes depending on your cooker -- so it was all done by the time I got home). If you didn't pre-make the rice, you're not SOL, there is Uncle Ben's Instant Rice that cooks in 90 seconds or less.

So it took me less than 30 minutes to cook this meal and the entire meal costs just under $15! AND, it will last about 3-4 meals! woahh! Of course eating alone is no fun, so add that experience back in and invite your friends -- I shared this meal with a friend and I still had leftovers for the next day!

btw, IF YOU'RE LAZIER THAN THIS (I know I have been!) and don't want to cook and clean for 30 minutes, you can visit WOORIJIP and get your Korean fix for less than $10 per entree. It isn't the best Korean food that I've had, BUT it satisfies the Korean food craving. They have an assortment of Korean food -- from a Korean food buffet during lunch hours ($6.50/lb) to individually packaged BIG and small items in the refrigerator. Small items range from $1.00 to $3.50 (they even have fried chicken in a cup!) to large entrees from $5.00 to $8.50 (i.e. spicy chicken or bulgogi over rice were $5.50 per entree). In addition to pre-packaged foods, there is mini kitchen in the back that has a small selection of foods that can be made to order. There is plenty of seating in the front and the back. p.s. I bought the Korean crabmeat pancakes here.

Local Korean Super Market: Han Ah Reum Supermarket is located on 25 W. 32nd Street (between 5th avenue and Broadway); There are other ones in New Jersey, but if you don't have a car, I'd suggest this one.

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