My brother and I are lucky to have had both our paternal and maternal grandparents around for the majority of our childhood. Our paternal grandfather would pick us up from school in his blue pickup truck everyday. Our paternal grandmother would make my favorite Korean afterschool snacks like toasted rice cakes in sesame oil or rice cakes with kimchi stew. We spent a lot of time at our grandparents’ house, as they lived only 10 minutes away from our home, while mom and dad were away at work.
There was also a time when my maternal grandparents lived with us for a couple of years. The Korean food that my maternal grandmother cooked was always amazing. It became a breakfast ritual to have a full Korean meal consisting of rice and soup with many side dishes before heading off to school. Thus when my grandparents moved back to Seoul, the first thing I missed was my maternal grandmother’s cooking when the breakfast options turned into cereal, toast, or Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.
Last weekend, I had a horrible migraine that didn’t subside until the late evening. By the time it stopped, I was extremely hungry and was on the hunt for some delivery options. I went to www.vietnammm.com to see which places were still open for delivery. A friend mentioned a month ago that Seoul House, a Korean restaurant, started delivering in HCMC. Seeing the restaurant still open for business on the website, I just had to try it out. Seoul House has a 300,000VND minimum order so I went to town to reach it. I ordered beef soup, fried yellow croaker, and kimchi stew. We only ate the beef soup in the evening so the leftovers became the next day’s amazing breakfast. The breakfast was an instant reminder of my childhood, especially since Seoul House had a home cooked flavor to its dishes that is hard to replicate by any restaurant.
Yes the majority of the meal was ordered, but I did make the gyeran jjim (steamed egg)! Steamed egg is a ban chan (side dish) that is a common staple in every Korean household. Whether plain topped with green onions or with salted shrimp inside, this ban chan is a family favorite for all ages. The rendition I made has dried scallops layered on the bottom of the bowl and topped with nori furikake. Si’s mom got us a couple of jars of the Yixiang brand dried scallops that are lightly coated with oil. With the steamed egg and the rest of the ban chan, Si and I had an excellent start to our Saturday.
3 tbsp. of water
1 tbsp. Yixiang Dried Scallop Delicacy
Pinch of salt
Nori Furikake for topping
In a heat-safe bowl, beat 2 eggs and 3 tbs. of water until completely combined. Mix in 1 tbsp. of scallops (most of the scallop pieces will settle to the bottom) and a pinch of salt. Place steamer in a large pot filled with 1-2 inches of water. Turned on the stove to high. Before the water starts to boil, put the bowl with the egg mixture in the steamer. Place the lid of the pot on top and set the stove to med-high. Steam the gyeran jjim for 10 to 15 minutes. The gyeran jjim is ready when the center is just set. Carefully take the bowl out and serve immediately. It is extra yummy with a little bit of soy sauce.
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