Sunday, May 15, 2022|
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Thursday, May 5, is a day to celebrate not only Children’s Day but also Cinco de Mayo or the Battle of Puebla Day.
In South Korea and Japan, May 5 is a holiday and a reminder that children are the future of the country. They are treated with unconditional love and respect.
In Japan, May 5 was originally called “Tango no Sekku,” which translates to Boys’ Day. (Girls’ Day is celebrated on March 3, the third day of the third month.)
In 1948 the holiday was renamed to “Kodomo no Hi,” or Children’s Day to include both boys and girls in an official holiday.
Children’s Day in Japan is the finale of a string of holidays called Golden Week and it is when Japanese travel.
Koi or carp streamers are hung from bamboo poles as koi are believed to be strong and spirited fish that swim upstream.
It symbolizes the wish of Japanese parents for their sons to become brave and strong.
Kashiwa mochi, stuffed with sweet red bean paste and wrapped in oak leaves which symbolizes good fortune and prosperity is eaten on Children’s Day in Japan.
Children’s Day in Korea was celebrated in 1923, when there was a student movement to draw attention to their status and improve their situation.
Children’s book author, Dr. Bang Jung-Hwan said, “Children are the future of our nation.
Let’s show respect for children.
Children who grow up with ridicule and contempt from others will become people who disrespect others, while children who grow up with respect from others will become people who respect others in return.”
In 1970, Children’s Day was made an official holiday in Korea.
In Korea, parents take their children out and may pack lunch for a picnic. One easy item would be Korean chive pancakes (Buchujeon).
Korean Chive Pancakes or Buchujeon
Makes 5 pancakes
5 cups garlic chives
1-1/2 cups unbleached or gluten free flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Vegetable oil for frying
Clean chives and cut into 2-inch long pieces
Make batter by mixing flour, water, egg, salt and sugar. Whisk well until batter is smooth.
In a mixing bowl, add chives and then pour batter but do it in gradual amounts to make sure to don’t have too much batter. If chives are swimming in the batter, then you have too much batter.
Batter should just cover and coat the chives. (1/2 cup batter to 1 cup chives is a good amount) Heat the frying pan on medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil for a 10-inch pan. When the oil moves around freely like water, when swirled, pour chive pancake mixture and spread it out with a spatula on the pan.
A mistake you can make here is to make the pancake too thick.
Allow some empty spaces between the chives and spread it out as thin as possible.
Cook for about 2 minutes or until about 70 percent of the surface looks cooked. While the pancake is cooking, make a simple dipping soy sauce and serve with some sesame seeds or chopped green onions or chive flowers.
Turn it over and add another 1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil around the edges of the pan.
Cook for another 2 minutes or so until nicely browned.
Transfer pancake onto a cutting board and cut into squares or diamonds.
• • •
Korean Soy Sauce with Vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
Mix together and serve with cut up pancakes.
Cinco de Mayo means “Fifth of May” and is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla.
It is a holiday celebrated mainly in the United States and mostly in the state of Puebla, Mexico in honor of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces on Napoleon III. Six thousand French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez attacked Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico.
There were only 2,000 loyal Mexican men, under the leadership of Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza.
The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening and when the French retreated, nearly 500 French soldiers versus 100 Mexican soldiers were killed in the very short battle.
Here in the United States, Mexican culture and heritage is celebrated with food and drink.
Here is an easy nachos recipe for Cinco de Mayo:
Nachos with Blue Corn
For the chips, heat:
15 blue corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
Salt to taste
For the meat, saute:
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground meat, chuck, chicken or turkey
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can (15 ounces) drained pinto beans
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup sliced olives
For the chips, heat a pot filled halfway with vegetable oil to 360 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fry tortillas in batches until crisp, about 1 minute per batch; transfer to baking sleet and season with salt.
For the meat, saute onion in oil in a saute pan over medium high heat until onion begins to soften, 3-4 minutes.
Add meat and saute, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula, until cooked through; drain all but 1 tablespoon of drippings.
Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, and chili powder; cook meat 1 minute more.
Add beans and water to pan and simmer on low heat until warmed through; season with salt and pepper.
Assemble nachos by plain one-third of the chips on a platter; top with 1/3 each meat mixture, cheese, pico de gallo, and olives. Repeat layering.
Pico De Gallo
2 cups seeded and diced ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons seeded and minced jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Email Audrey Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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