The Princess and the rebels made their way up into the mountains, forced to pass over a large, snow-covered range to reach the more temperate southern coast. As they led the horses between two steep mountain summits, the Princess shivered and looked up at the silent peaks towering over her. They were more imposing than any imperial building constructed by her father’s edicts. As if to demonstrate their might, the mountains sent down a mighty blizzard, right into their path. Caught in the blustery snowscape with their heavy furs and bulked out horses, the whole company resembled a horde of Mongol marauders.
On the fourth day, the relentless storm knocked a wall-sized block of snow down onto the pass. They were forced to backtrack to the nearest cave and camp out until the snow settled.
The Princess had grown used to the rebels, and the prospect of being trapped in a cave with twelve of them was not nearly as off-putting as it would have been a month ago. The rebels had likewise developed a grudging respect for the Princess’s willingness to learn and stubborn unwillingness to ever admit exhaustion. So instead of proselytizing each other, they all just relaxed and reminisced about their families as they huddled around the fire. Chewing on dried meat, the rebels spoke of wives and husbands, children and aging parents left behind in the villages, their hungry, desperate faces a constant reminder of why the rebels were fighting. As the grog flowed more freely, they switched to lighter stories of adventures on the road and happier times past. The young man was by far the best storyteller, keeping the Princess on tenterhooks with his tales of daring escapes from nobles’ guards after plundering the royal storehouses, or sailing the open oceans to the hermit kingdom and back. Bundled up in her peasant clothes, the Princess thought she could spend the rest of her life listening to his stories.
Their food supply, unfortunately, was not as unlimited as the rebels’ stories. After three days in the cave, they ran out of meat.
“I’ll go see what I can find,” said the young man, grabbing his crossbow.
“What is there in this weather?” asked the Princess.
“You’d be surprised,” he replied, and ducked out the entrance with one of the other men. They returned later that evening, carrying a large deer between them. The company cheered, and set about cleaning and preparing the meat.
Feeling useless, the Princess went up to the leader, who was busy skinning the animal.
“Could I…make dinner, this evening? For everyone?”
The young man looked up, surprised, and lay down his knife. “For everyone?” He smiled, suddenly. “Why certainly, Princess. We would be happy to sample any of your royal cooking.”
The Princess blushed and looked down. “No, it wouldn’t be like that. But my old nurse, she used to make a dish…I think I can make it, with what we have here.”
The young man gestured for the others to make way, and the Princess chose her cuts of meat, along with some onions and other vegetables from their dwindling stores at the back. A couple hours later, she was standing over a large cauldron, sipping the broth of her nurse’s recipe.
“Kalbi tang,” she said, to the leader. “Except with venison, not beef.” She held out a bowl to the young man.
“Tastes just as good,” he said, nodding his approval, and passing out bowls to the others. And thus, on that snowy wintery night, a Princess fed twelve rebels the favorite dish of her northern nurse’s making.
Click below for other episodes in the Princess & Rebel series!
- The Princess & the Rebel Part 1: Pajeon in the Cave
- The Princess & the Rebel Part 2: Mandoo at the Village
- The Princess & the Rebel Part 3: Mandooguk in the Woods
- The Princess & the Rebel Part 5: Deep Fried Beef Tendon in the South
- The Princess & the Rebel Part 6: Kimchi on the Coast
- 1.5 pounds short ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound beef tendon (optional)
- 2 cups grassfed beef bone broth (optional, helps to start off the stock but not essential)
- 8 cups water
- 1 medium-sized daikon radish, sliced in bite-sized pieces
- 1 tb sliced ginger
- good handful of japchae/sweet potato starch noodles
- 1 bunch scallions/spring onions, sliced
- 1 white/yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tsp coconut aminos
- 2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- If using beef tendon, boil for at least 2 hours on its own before adding to below (or use a pressure cooker).
- Add water and stock to large pot and bring to boil - add short ribs. Some people blanch the short ribs and then throw out the water and start again (for a clearer stock), but it's not essential.
- Lower heat and simmer meat (with tendons, if using), for 3 hours. (Using a pressure cooker will shorten all of this significantly...but I don't have one yet so if anybody tries it out, please comment below 😉
- Once beef has gotten tender, add ginger and radish. Cook for another 20 minutes.
- Add japchae noodles and cook for 5 minutes.
- Then add onion, scallions, garlic, and seasonings, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with kimchi or eat on its own! This is a hearty, filling soup...good for winter (or, you know, hungry time) 🙂
This recipe is featured in Phoenix Helix’s Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.