Charleston Eats: 843 Korean BBQ & Sushi House

843 Korean BBQ & Sushi House has been open for a little bit under a year now, and today we got around to trying it out.

There was a bit of a wait to get into the Korean BBQ side of the restaurant, but not too long.

This was the first Korean restaurant I’ve seen in the Charleston area with grills in the table since Kim’s in West Ashley (although by the time I had started going there in the early-mid 2000s, they weren’t being used anymore).

Having a grill in the table and cooking your own food there is definitely an experience.

Grill surface
Grill surface in the middle of the table

They offer an all-you-can-eat option which comes out just marginally less expensive than ordering off the menu. Everyone at the table has to order it though and there ends up being a whole lot of food. Something to consider if you’re in a group with big appetites.

The japchae came out first, Delicious combination of rice noodles, zucchini, carrots, green onions flavoured nicely with sesame oil. Very tasty.

Japchae
Japchae

Then the Korean BBQ came out all at once: bulgogi, chicken, pork belly, and the banchan

Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ

The waiter fired up the grill for us, and we placed the meat onto the hot surface. Everything is thinly sliced, so the cooking only takes a couple of minutes on each side. You can make lettuce wraps with everything if you choose, or just eat. The bulgogi was the winner for both of us.

Banchan was yummy, with several different kinds of kimchi and this odd dish of peanuts and small fish.

Peanuts and fish
Peanuts and fish

Wasn’t a big fan of this one.

Overall, 843 Korean is definitely worth a visit. Can be a bit on the spendy side, but very delicious and fun. Definitely will be going back again.

Trying out Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

During the stop at Falmouth, Jamaica on our cruise last month, I picked up a couple pounds of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. It has a reputation for being one of the best coffees in the world, and also pretty pricey. At $88.10/kg ($40/lb), it’s probably the most expensive coffee I’ve purchased so far. Not sure how much it would be purchased in the US though. Next time I’m out wandering around, I’ll have to look for some.

A bag of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans
A bag of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans

Inside the burlap bag, the coffee beans were encased in a sealed gold foil pouch. The beans themselves don’t look too unusual, and have a nice roasted coffee aroma to them.

Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans

Put a few scoops into my grinder (a Hario hand grinder) set to a medium-ish grind.

Ground Jamaica Blue Mountain beans
Ground Jamaica Blue Mountain beans

First thing I noticed was that these beans had quite a bit less chaff than other beans I’ve ground. Nice aroma of freshly ground beans. Into the Aeropress they went.

Ready to brew in the Aeropress
Ready to brew in the Aeropress

My regular Aeropress method is inverted, add water (just off the boil) to the top, stir, 60-90s brew time, press.

Brewed coffee
Brewed coffee

Normally I press into a mug that has a bit of chocolate milk in it (heated up in the microwave first). For this first brew, I went straight up black, so I just topped off the mug with hot water.

Brewed coffee ready for drinking
Brewed coffee ready for drinking

I’m far from a coffee snob and my coffee palate isn’t very refined so I can’t offer any tasting notes or anything like that. I can say that I ended up with a very nice, mild and tasty mug of coffee without much of the bitterness or strange after taste I get with some other coffees.

Maybe later I’ll try some taste testing to compare with some other coffees that I usually drink.

Quickie breakfast: Breakfast burrito

The inspiration for this came from a post on Imgur for a breakfast burrito.  Make a bunch of burritos, individually wrap them in parchment paper and freeze.

I thought it was a pretty good idea, so I experimented with a small batch this evening. With most burritos you see in restaurants, the idea seems to be “wrap a tortilla around as much stuff as possible”, but since the eventual goal is for something that’s quick to heat and eat in the morning, I made mine smaller.

  • 4 eggs, scrambled
  • 3 sausage links (mild Italian was all I had on hand, so I used those)
  • cheddar cheese, grated
  • ~12″ tortillas (slightly smaller ones would work just as well)

I let the burrito fillings cool down in the fridge for about 15 minutes. I figured the tortilla would probably end up getting soggy and mushy after being wrapped around hot steamy filling.

Place a few spoonfuls of each item on the lower part of the tortilla. Fold the left and right sides in, and roll up from the bottom (you can head over to Chipotle or somewhere like that to watch how they stuff/fold/roll burritos).

This was enough to make about 6 small hand sized burritos each large enough to fit into a sandwich bag. 30 seconds in the microwave was enough to warm these burritos up and get the cheese melty. I didn’t wrap or freeze any of these. Next iteration I’ll make a larger batch of everything and wrap/freeze those.

Simple, not a lot of ingredients to prepare. Future versions will be different, using whatever I happen to have on hand. Once we’re settled in the new house, I could see myself making a batch of a couple dozen of these at a time and stashing them in the freezer to eat whenever we need.

Fries and Gravy

Poutine (fries and cheese curds covered with hot brown gravy) wasn’t something I grew up with in Edmonton. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever heard of poutine until I was in grad school. Maybe I didn’t get out enough to see it on menus, but poutine was never a thing at any of the places I did go to.

Now when I go back to Edmonton, it’s everywhere. Even Pizza Hut.

Fries and gravy, on the other hand, was everywhere. A plate of hot fries covered with a generous ladle or two of thick brown peppery gravy, or maybe on the side for dipping.

IMG_20150921_124130.jpgAhh, comfort food.

Bulgogi marinade

This is a recipe for a Korean bulgogi marinade that comes from Korean Cooking: Explore One of the Orient’s Greatest Culinary Secrets by Hilaire Walden. It’s a cookbook that’s been on my shelf for quite a while now, and has several dishes that I’ve enjoyed making. Not sure how easy it is to get now, but you might get lucky and find one at your favourite used book store. It’s got some great recipes that don’t require special or hard to get ingredients.

  • 4 scallions coarsely chopped (I usually leave these out…not a big fan of onion-y things)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (fresh is best, but the pre-chopped stuff in a jar will do in a pinch)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed toasted sesame seeds (mortar and pestle are great for the crushing part)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (I usually use the low salt version…turns out fine)
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine/dry sherry (I never have any on hand so usually leave it out)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (if you can find toasted sesame seed oil, go with that)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I like to use brown sugar)
  • freshly ground pepper (I always forget this)

This should make enough to marinate about a pound or so of your preferred meat/protein product.