Many of us have read through the NYTimes article entitled “No. 37: Big Wedding or Small” with varying degrees of amusement, excitement, annoyance, and thoughtfulness. As a classic (and perhaps insufferable) ENFJ (one of sixteen personalities delineated by the Myers-Briggs personality test), I went on a spree of asking close friends and relatives some of the questions in the article, favoring one particular question:
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
My answer is always the same: I would like to wake up with more courage.
I’ve never felt like a brave person. After binge-watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, American Horror Story, or even something like Damages, I sometimes make Nico check behind the shower curtain of the bathroom before I tinkle. Much like my insanely skiddish dog, I jump and yelp when surprised, which is all the time. Though I do have a strange streak of breaking up fights between strangers on the B44 or the subway, I generally feel like a namby-pamby. Also, I don’t think my perceived cowardice is unrelated to my obsession with over-preparedness. Apparently, I didn’t start walking until I was over two years of age. I would slowly get up, and just as slowly sit down, without taking one darn step. Basically, I didn’t start walking until I could run. Typical Yejin. I always want to know that I have the potential to do something decently before I actually do it for fear of being mediocre or crap – to me, this is a lower form of cowardice.
In any case, it’s occurred to me that no quality or trait is a package deal. To be sure, I am unlikely to survive a zombie apocalypse; I would never make it into the Gryffindor House; I may sooner want to die than to fight, depending on the nemesis; I would categorically hate running my own tech startup company with a billionaire antagonist trying to destroy me (boy, I need to stop watching TV and movies). But here are things I do for which I should give myself some credit:
- I have no reservations about holding colleagues, family members, or friends accountable;
- As much as I make a fuss about over-preparing for success, I handle ‘failure’ pretty well, and make sure to try again, and to try smarter;
- I strongly believe that people deserve better, and work hard to be an integral part of making that happen (whether in work, love, or life).
- Even though I torment myself an unhealthy amount over making a new dish/meal, I make a new dish/meal, anyway.
Yea, yea, this is a pretty mild list. But it’s a start in taking the road less traveled (where the beaten path = practices of self deprecation). I start my new job tomorrow as Director of Development, where I’ll be a supervisor for the first time, so I need to believe that I have a little bit of courage!
At the very least, my attempt (however arduous and painful) to make new meals has resulted in something quite delicious! Here is the recipe for my very first homemade miso ramen w/ kimchi and other fixins:
Miso and Kimchi Ramen Recipe
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
6 cups of chicken stock (homemade is best!)
1 cup of kimchi, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons of red miso paste
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
1 scallion, sliced diagonally
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
2 bunches of baby spinach, rinsed thoroughly
12 oz of authentic Chinese noodles (these are good)
Salt, as needed
4 soft boiled eggs, peeled, and cut in half
1/2 cup of kimchi
1 scallion, sliced diagonally
4 marinated and broiled chicken thighs, coarsely chopped (recipe below)
- Bring your chicken stock to a gentle boil.
- Prepare your toppings. Take your soft boiled eggs and cut them in half; slice the second scallion diagonally; put 1/2 a cup of kimchi in a bowl; and cut up your recently broiled chicken thighs.
- Once the stock is up to a rolling boil, add the miso paste and mix thoroughly, making sure to break up the chunks. Once incorporated, add the coarsely chopped kimchi, soy sauce, scallions, and red pepper flakes.
- After boiling gently for 10 minutes, add baby spinach. Taste the broth and add salt, as needed.
- As you wait for the flavors to incorporate into the ramen broth, bring a separate pot to a boil. Make your noodles per package instructions and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- Once everything is ready, put the noodles into the pot with with boiling broth and cook for an additional minute. Carefully place noodles into a bowl, then the broth. Add toppings, and enjoy!
Marinated and Broiled Chicken Thighs Recipe
4 chicken thighs
3 tablespoons of gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl, and pour into a freezer bag.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry, and place them into bag with marinade, making sure every part is covered.
- Let the chicken marinade in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Take chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
- Turn on the broiler. Take the chicken out of the bag and place onto a lined baking tray with the skin side down. Place tray into broiler for 10 minutes. Carefully take the tray out, flip over the chicken, add some additional marinade. Put the tray back into the broiler for another 10-15 minutes. Keep watch to make sure nothing is burning – every broiler is different.