For a few years now, I’ve been hearing about the Hwe Dub Bap at A-Won Japanese Restaurant here in Los Angeles. This Korean dish, which is basically sashimi piled on top of lettuce and other veggies, has been thoroughly documented by the local media, blogs, and various Yelpers over the years. However, I’d never actually tried it before. I certainly had come close — going so far as to actually sitting down at the restaurant with every intention to order the dish. The thing is that A-Won also specializes in albap, a rich rice bowl topped with a beautiful assortment of caviar, and try as I may, I simply am not one who can ever resist a giant bowl of fish roe.
This weekend, however, I finally decided to MAN UP and go for the much-heralded Hwe Dub Bap. I had spent much of Saturday afternoon ambling about Disneyland (as one does), and while there had been a midday corn dog to stave off a wave of violent hunger pangs, the shocking truth is that it simply was not enough to sustain me. By the time dinner at A-Won rolled around, I knew a meager bowl of fish roe simply would not due. Delicious, yes. But enough to counter a ravenous post-Disneyland appetite? Hardly. And thus, the landmark decision by me to eschew my beloved albap for hwe dub bap was made.
It’s no secret that I absolutely adore Korean food. I eat it, I cook it, and I watch stupid videos about it on YouTube. So you can imagine my joy when I was invited to participate in a Make-Your-Own-Kimchi experience organized by Cham Korean Bistro, a modern Korean restaurant in Pasadena. Apparently I would get to learn how to make kimchi, and take home my very own batch. Plus, there’d be Korean tapas and bossam (my new favorite Korean dish) and cocktails. You had me at hello, Cham. You had me at hello.
Not too long ago, I received a slow cooker from CSN Stores (who have a lovely variety of table lamps, I should note), and I was quite excited to put it to use. Sadly though, I totally messed up my debut dish after attempting to execute a dutch oven recipe in my new device. The whole thing was a mess. In the wake of this disaster, I received many tips from friends and commenters, all of whom said I should a) use a recipe dedicated for a slow cooker; or b) just throw in whatever looked good and let ‘er rip.
For my second effort, I decided to go the latter route. I was going to do something I’d always wanted to try: adapt my standby Korean galbi marinade into a braise. Results after the jump…