|Left to Right: Chile Morita, 3 Chile Pulla, Chile Negro, Chile Guajillo|
KoMex! Korean Mexican Fusion Cuisine!
Now you see what the recent Korean and Mexican recipes in my blog have been leading up to! KoMex cuisine is one of the latest popular food trends in Las Vegas. The Komex Express fusion specialty restaurant in Las Vegas that has gotten some nice reviews. They offer a menu of Korean Mexican Fusion food with Soul Food, Chinese and American food influences. Nice idea!
Ever since chile peppers, corn, peanuts, potatoes and tomatoes all originally came to the old world from the Americas, the cuisines of the old world have changed. Koreans really took a liking to hot chile peppers. Many Korean recipes are loaded with red chile pepper powder or chile pepper paste. Mexican cuisine makes use of a wide variety of chile peppers. It was a natural for the two most respected chile pepper cuisines to merge as one and to become the new KoMex cuisine!
Not all Korean food is spicy. Bulgogi is a 2,000 year old traditional Korean recipe and chile peppers were not available when bulgogi was created. Only modern bulgogi has chile peppers in the recipe. I chose to use an older traditional bulgogi marinade recipe for this KoMex entree. Traditional bulgogi is marinated with common Korean ingredients, not chile peppers. Soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar and onion are the flavors of this recipe's bulgogi. Nearly any kind of meat can be used to make bulgogi. Pork and beef are the most popular. Shrimp is an option too!
Korean or Chinese cut noodles are made by stacking sheets of noodle dough and then slicing the noodle dough sheets into thin noodles. Flavored noodles have become popular in asia and dried powdered prickly pear cactus fruit is popular for flavoring noodles. Prickly pear cactus is native to the Americas.
Koreans have a method for making noodles chewy. The boiled fresh noodles are removed from the hot water and then they are shocked in ice cold water. The noodles are stirred in the ice water by hand, till they become the correct texture. Then the noodles are removed from the ice water and set aside, till they are used in a recipe.
When Italian pasta is properly cooked, it is not shocked or rinsed. Italian pasta goes straight from the hot water to the sauce or onto a plate. That is the only way to cook true al dente Italian pasta. Many asian noodle recipes use this same method. Only when a chewy texture is needed, is the only reason to shock noodles. The cut prickly pear cactus fruit noodles were shocked for this recipe. That is an extra step, but it does produce a nice traditional Korean textured noodle for this KoMex fusion entree!
A sofrito is a base sauce or a sauce that is the base flavor for an entree. There are a few different kinds of sofrito. This KoMex recipe's sofrito vegetables are sauteed, till they become tender, then the tomatoes are added. This sofrito is lightly seasoned.
Chile colorado sauce is always made with dried red chiles. It is the chef's choice as to which Mexican chile peppers are used. I chose a combination of dried chile peppers that have complex fruity, tobacco, licorice and classic robust chile flavors. Chile pulla, chile negro and chile guajillo created that flavor combination. Chile negro is a prized Oaxacan chile pepper! I also chose the robust classic smoky chile flavor of chile morita. Chile morita is a special Chihuahua red jalapeno that is smoked over burning jalapeno bushes. This chile colorado sauce has a nice rich interesting flavor and it blends nicely with the tomato sofrito base sauce!
The spicy heat level of this entree is on the lower end of the mild to medium range. If you prefer a spicier sauce for the pasta, then do not add Korean hot chile powder or paste! That has the wrong flavor profile for this Mexican sauce. Add one chile arbol or add one chile habanero if you prefer spicy hot KoMex food!
Shrimp Bulgogi Marinade:
Peel and devein 10 medium size shrimp. Leave the tails on the shrimp.
Pick out 2 nice looking whole medium size shrimp that have the heads attached for garnishing. (Trim the thin long antenna feelers off of the 2 whole shrimp.
Place all of the shrimp into a mixing bowl.
Add 1 small handful of thin julienne sliced onion strips.
Add 1/2 of a chopped green onion.
Add 1 teaspoon of garlic paste.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
Add 1 tablespoon of thin soy sauce.
Add 3/4 tablespoon of sugar.
Add 1 tablespoon of ground sesame seed. (Use a spice grinder or a food processor if you have one. I ground and chopped sesame seeds by hand with a chef knife the old fashioned way for this recipe.)
Add 2 teaspoons tablespoon of sesame oil.
Add 2 pinches of white pepper.
Gently toss the ingredients together.
Refrigerate for 1 hour, so the ingredients marinate. (Shrimp does not take as much time to marinate!)
Remove the stems and seeds from these dried chile peppers:
- 1 chile morita
- 3 chile pulla
- 1 chile negro
- 1 medium size chile guajillo
Crush the dried chile peppers.
Place the crushed chile peppers into a sauce pot.
Add 2 cups of water.
Simmer the chiles over low heat, till they become soft.
Puree the chiles in the chile broth liquid. (Use a food processor or blender.)
Place the thin chile pure into a sauce pot over medium heat.
Add 2 pinches of cumin.
Add 2 pinches of coriander.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 2 pinches of ground achiote.
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a thin medium thin sauce consistency.
Set the chile colorado aside.
Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add 3 tablespoons of these small chopped vegetables:
- green bell pepper
Saute till the vegetables become tender.
Add 1 minced garlic clove.
Add 4 canned plum tomatoes that are diced.
Add 1/4 cup of tomato puree.
Add 1/2 cup of water.
Add 1 pinch of Mexican oregano.
Add 1 pinch of epazote.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Gently simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a medium thin tomato sauce consistency.
Chile Colorado Sofrito:
Add the chile colorado sauce to the warm sofrito sauce in the sauce pot.
Stir the ingredients together.
Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Cut Noodles:
Boil a pot of water over high heat.
Add 1 portion of prickly pear cactus fruit flavored fresh cut noodles.
Stir the noodles occasionally, till they become fully cooked.
Drain the hot water off of the noodles.
Add cold water and a few handfuls of ice cubes to the hot noodles in a pot.
Stir the noodles by hand, till they feel stiff, chewy and rubbery.
Drain the ice water off of the noodles. Set the noodles aside, till the bulgogi shrimp is cooked!
Shrimp Bulgogi Topping:
The shrimp bulgogi can be made and then kept warm on a stove top, till the noodles are sauced and set on the plate. Be sure that the noodles and sauce are ready, before starting the shrimp bulgogi. Wait till the bulgogi is cooked, before adding the sauce to the noodles. The shrimp bulgogi only takes a few minute to cook!
Note: For the next step, you will have to work quickly!
Heat a seasoned cast iron griddle or a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium/medium high heat.
Brush the skillet or griddle lightly with vegetable oil.
Remove the shrimp from the marinade and grill them on the pan.
Cook the shrimp, till brown highlights appear.
Remove the cooked shrimp and set them aside.
Add the marinade to the pan and cook the onions in the sizzling marinade.
Allow the marinade to reduce to a glaze consistency.
Return the cooked shrimp to the onions on the pan.
Toss the onions, shrimp and marinade glaze together.
Turn off the heat on the pan.
Keep the shrimp bulgogi warm on a stove top.
Get ready to quickly assemble this Komex entree!
KoMex Korean Shrimp Bulgogi and Mexican Chile Colorado Sofrito on Cactus Fruit Cut Noodles:
Place the cooked cold prickly pear cactus fruit cut noodles into a saute pan.
Add just enough of the warm chile colorado sofrito sauce to generously coat the noodles.
Place the pan over medium heat.
Toss the ingredients in the saute pan together, till they become hot.
Mound the sauced noodles on a plate.
Sprinkle a few pinches of chopped cilantro over the noodles.
Place the warm shrimp bulgogi on top of the noodles.
Set the 2 whole shrimp from the bulgogi on top as a garnish.
Sprinkle some thin slices green onion on the plate around the noodles.
Viola! KoMex Fusion Cuisine! If you like Korean food and if you like Mexican food, then you will really like KoMex food! The flavors go nicely together. Yum! ... Shawna