kathy's yachae twigim birds nests {fried vegetable nests}

 
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hello!!! how is the world doing today on this dandy friday? or dare i say, fryyyyYAY >:]

i arrived in new york last night and all i have to say is…WHY IS IT SO COLD?! apparently the temperature dropped to some record lows yesterday, and all my inner cali girl craves in this very moment is some warm sunshine. i don’t know about you, but i am so over winter. i fantasize about the days i can slip on a summer dress, take a pleasant stroll outside, and take a nap under a tree on the glades of prospect park. who wants to start a countdown to summer with me?

in the meantime, i have thoroughly transformed into a human sloth and am completely ok with it. this afternoon, i giddily laughed like a maniac for a few minutes straight because who wouldn’t, especially when knowing that the rest of the afternoon would be spent bundled up in soft fluffy blankets and sweats with the heater blasting on high in the background?

another upside to winter (i guess) is that it’s the season to enjoy root vegetables like potatoes, onions, and carrots which are all of the ingredients needed to make my mom’s favorite food in the world: yachae twigim birdnests! yachae means vegetables and twigim or tweeeghiim in korean means fried thing. when you add them together, it translates to vegetable fried things, which is exactly what it is!

my mom loves fried crispy things, so naturally, we grew up chowing on these battered and fried julienned vegetable birds nests as afterschool snacks that lasted all the way through dinnertime. this is my mom’s, aka kathy, recipe - and here are a few helpful tips straight from her that will help you achieve crispy and completely cooked through vegetable fried things:

  • make sure that the carrots are cut thinner than potatoes since carrots take longer to cook than potatoes

  • dry your vegetables before dusting them in flour and starch before dressing them in the batter

  • use ice cold water for the batter because it slows down the gluten proteins from forming in the flour. if you use warm or room temp water, you could turn out with a soggy rubbery batter which isn’t, well, ideal for a good twigim.

kathy says to enjoy!

xo, christine

yachae twigim birdsnest

ingredients

vegetables

4 medium starchy potatoes julienned

3 carrots julienned half as thick as potatoes

3 stalks green onions julienned

1 bell pepper julienned

coating

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup corn starch

twigim batter

2 cups flour

1/3 cup corn starch

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups ice cold water

for frying

5 1/2 cups frying oil (peanut, vegetable, safflower)

dipping sauce (optional)

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

a dash of gochugaru (red pepper flakes)

notes

  1. julienne vegetables and pat dry with a dry kitchen towel

  2. in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour and starch for coating. toss in vegetables and coat the exterior of vegetables with a thin layer of the flour mixture

  3. in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, salt, and ice water together. the consistency of the batter should be pretty runny

  4. bring a large shallow pot with frying oil up to a high heat (about 360 degrees)

  5. take flour/starch coated vegetables and toss into the batter bowl

  6. test the oil with a drop of batter, if the oil immediately bubbles around the batter, the oil is ready for frying! using your hands, take a small handful of the mixture and carefully drop into the pot of frying oil. try to remove as much batter off the vegetables - the thinner the the batter coats the vegetables, the better. you can plop in 2-3 more handfuls in the pot, but be sure to not overcrowd the pot!

  7. if flipping is required, do flip! remove the birdsnests once golden brown onto paper towels to soak in any excess oil. serve hot with dipping sauce!

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