Ask A Korean: Do You Cook Like An Immigrant?


My Old Pear

My Old Pear

What else?

Say you have a big bag of old pears?  And by old, I do mean brown and mushed in 50-80% of its pear body.  NO THANKS, you say?

peel, core, slice

peel, core, slice

Well, as a child of immigrants and an immigrant myself, I said YES, OKAY.  I can do something with those.

Ginger makes it

Ginger makes it

I made a pear chutney, adapting a recipe from Deborah Madison’s VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE.

Chutney liquid

Chutney liquid

Ever not have much to eat in your fridge except ketchup and white bread?  Then you know how to whip up something to eat.

Chutney ready!

Chutney ready!

Certainly, my parents were aces at making sure we always had something to eat, but sometimes that “something” didn’t start looking so great.  Or it wasn’t always my first choice.  So that’s when you have to use your noodle to make something good.  Use what you got, not what you wish you had.

Pear chutney

(adapted from Deborah Madison’s VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE)

The ingredients

4 pears

1 apple & 1 quince (optional, I didn’t use quince and you can use just pear)*

1 cup honey

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 3 inch cinnamon stick

5 cloves

10 peppercorns

several slices ginger

The steps

  1. Peel, core, and thinly slice fruits.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to boil.  *If using all three fruits, simmer each separately in the liquid for about 15 minutes, until transparent.
  3. Place fruit in a clean glass jar and pour liquid to cover.  The chutney will keep for a few months.

I had the chutney with blue cheese and crackers and thought it was a good combo.  Also, I think it would be a good topping for oatmeal and a nice complement for meats.



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