Many protect their recipes like they were precious secrets-I understand the instinct to protect them but doing what I do, I'm always one to share a recipe, after all what would the blog be if I had left out the secret ingredients that turn a pale recipe into a blockbuster? And I'm always so delighted when I meet people that are generous with a recipe or a secret cooking tip too. When I met Mrs Kim through her daughter in law Rochelle who is engaged to one of Mr NQN's friends, Mrs Kim's son Kevin (long story) I asked Mrs Kim if she had a recipe for bulgogi beef. My entire family, and including my "Cantonese only food" father love the perfectly seasoned, umami flavours of the bulgogi beef marinade and the tender beef and had only seen marinade mixes in bottles at the store.
"Oh that's easy!" Mrs Kim said to me laughing and I took out my notebook and a pencil and happily took down her recipe. It was fabulously easy and could not wait to go to the store to buy the ingredients. As my parents are newly converted lovers to bulgogi beef traipsing off to the south western suburbs to buy the meat and cook it at home, my mother was curious to see what it was like.
Using a pre sliced beef the process for creating the marinade took all of five minutes (it would take about 10-15 minutes if you were slicing the beef yourself tops). The aroma of the meat was fantastic and the frying was literally a matter of a few minutes as the beef was sliced so paper thin that it didn't require much time. In fact cooking the rice took the longest time.
We dipped our chopsticks into the rice with the beef. By George Mrs Kim had done it, she had given us a fantastic bulgogi beef recipe. The beef was richly flavoured, the sauce divine and the plain steamed rice was the perfect foil for the tender meat. Even my father who loathes new things came back for third helpings-something rare enough for my mother to notice and comment on.
"I gave her the recipe" the woman sitting in front me at the movies said to her friend.
"You shared your recipe? I've been asking you for the recipe for over a year!" the other woman exclaimed, hand to her décolletage in an outraged and offended manner.
"Well I had to, she was the Graham's boss's wife" she said grudgingly and then sniffed and turned away. She turned back to her friend a few seconds later and said "but I left out two of the most important ingredients!" They both giggled conspiratorially and I hid a little smile.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a recipe sharer or keeper?