As we get close to saying so long to summer, it’s not too late to have a little end of the season party. So when my friend and amazing cook Selina Lee (have you checked out her kimchi recipe yet?!) offered to help me create some amuse bouche recipes with her signature Korean touch, I jumped at the chance. I’m always looking to add new skills to my cooking repertoire and making these little bites will definitely leave you feeling like a pro. And since Selina and I whipped them up together, in my own kitchen, I can attest that these recipes are in fact easy to make and can all be completed in a couple of hours. Oh and they taste ah-mazing.
So invite some friends over and be ready to impress!
CUCUMBER CRAB CANAPÉ
2 english cucumbers, ½ lb fresh crab meat, 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, 2 tbsp mayo, 1/2 lemon, salt & pepper.
Cut cucumbers into 2-3 inch trunks first to peel the skin in round-about way. NOTE: try not to peel too deep into the cucumber so you can show that nice green ombre! Cut peeled cucumbers in 1-inch height then using a small t-spoon to scoop out the seeded part into one-bite size cucumber cups. Sprinkle salt evenly then set it aside. Make crab salad with mayo, chopped red onion, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Fill cucumber cups with crab salad in one-bite portions. Serve with finely chopped red onion on top.
ROASTED CHICKPEA WITH KOREAN SPICES
2 (850g) canned or bagged chickpea in water, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili pepper powder), 1 tsp garlic powder
Wash and soak chickpeas in cold water for at least 15 min to remove skin then drained. NOTE: You can just remove the loose skins not having to go through each one. In a mixing bowl, combine the spice mix by adding salt, paprika, gochugaru and garlic powder, add 1 tbsp of olive oil with chickpeas then toss it to coat evenly. Spread it out on a baking sheet, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil. Roast in 475 F oven for 20-25 min. For crunchier texture, leave it in the oven with heat off for few more minutes.
BEEF WRAPPED ENOKI MUSHROOM IN YUZU SAUCE
2 pkg (300g) enoki mushrooms, 300g thin-cut brisket beef, 2 jalapeño peppers, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, Sauce: ¼ cup yuzu sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil, ½ tsp grounded sesame seeds.
Wash enoki mushrooms in running water to remove dirt then dry with kitchen towel. Cut about 1-inch off on the bottom. Cut jalapeño peppers in thin slices then remove the seeds to make tiny rings. Soak them in water for at least 10 min. TIP: soaking the peppers in water will remove some of the heat. Cut about 1-inch wide, 4-inch long strips of beef and lay it out on a cutting board. Wrap the enoki mushrooms with the beef in the middle, slide the jalapeño pepper ring to hold them together. NOTE: beef and mushroom will still cook well without the pepper rings so it’s an option to use. Over medium-high heat skillet, add extra virgin olive oil then cook beef wrapped mushrooms for 2 mins on each side. Add the sauce around the edges of the pan as well as on top of the beef by adding the sauce using a spoon. You may need to cook them in 2-3 batches. Serve with grounded sesame seeds on top.
Summer Amuse Bouche & Watermelon Soju Cocktail (여름철 아뮤즈 부셰 & 수박 소주 칵테일) – 4 servings
WATERMELON SOJU COCKTAIL
4 cups watermelon chunks (about half mini watermelon), 2 cups pineapple chunks (about half pineapple), 1 cup of soju, 1/3 cup sweetened lime juice (or sweet & sour cocktail mix), ice, mint, lime
Cut both watermelon and pineapple in small cube chunks ready to make juice. In a blender, add watermelon and pineapple to blend it until it’s thinner than smoothie consistency. Add more watermelon if it’s too thick. Using the metal sifter or hemp cloth to filter the juice. If you have a juice-maker, even better! In a large carafe, add juice, soju, lime juice (or cocktail mix), ice then stir. Pour onto individual cocktail glasses or flutes, garnish with sliced lime and mint.
If all these pics don’t convince – we even made a little video for you. Watch closely for some good knife skills tricks!
All of these dishes are unique, creative and seriously so good. I strongly encourage you to give them a try. If you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to sign up for Selina’s latest Korean cooking workshop (they’re stunning!) RIGHT HERE.
photography by sarah mirapark, recipes by selina lee