Generic Korean Dinner, and Cat Party

Cucumbers were $1 each or 3 for $2 at the farmers market yesterday, so I got three. But considering I already had half of one at home, that was far more than I needed for tossed salads this week, so I made a cucumber salad. Instead of my regular cucumber salad, however, I made a Korean cucumber salad. When I didn’t know what to make for dinner tonight, I decided to make something that went with the Korean cucumber salad. So basically this dish has nothing to do with cucumbers but happened because I had excess of cucumbers. It’s a “generic” Korean dinner because you can use whatever protein and vegetables you have on hand.

Generic Korean Dinner

1/4 cup gojujang (fermented chili paste; from an Asian grocery store)
3 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp ginger, peeled (sloppily is okay) and chopped
2 Tbsp (not packed) brown sugar
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups chopped protein, like tofu, seitan, or tempeh (I used a couple of Gardein chick’n cutlets and 1/2 block of tofu)
3 cups chopped or sliced vegetables (I used broccoli, banana pepper, and edamame)
2 scallions, sliced

Chop the ginger and smash the garlic.

Combine the gojujang, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, and sesame oil in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Thin with water if necessary.

Stir fry the vegetables and proteins in a wok over high heat, adding them in order of descending necessary cooking times.

Reduce the heat a bit and add the sauce, stirring to coat everything. Cook for a minute or so.

Top with scallions and serve with sushi rice.

So, yesterday, June 12, was the one-year anniversary of the day I brought Gomez and Torticia home. Mark and I have been re-watching old episodes of The Office lately and in (I think) the first episode, Pam says she has something important to ask Jim, which turns out to be “are you going to Angela’s cat party on Sunday?” Ever since then I’ve been wanting to go to a cat party but no one ever invites me to any. Until yesterday when Mark announced he was leaving the house to procure party supplies and upon his return mysteriously began preparing something behind closed doors. Eventually he announced it was time for the cat party to begin and he herded me and the cats into the basement, where we were met with:

There was also music playing: cats meowing Christmas carols, which was the only cat music Mark could find. So please add that to your mental picture of the cat party. There were also noise makers and party mix:

After a brief mingling session, Mark announced it was time for prizes and began his awards ceremony. Gomez took first place in the category of Perfection.

Torticia took home the Outstanding award in the category of “Being Cuddly and Awesome”.

Unfortunately, during the formal portrait session part of the awards ceremony …

… while Gomez was being photographed …

… Torticia decided she found cat party terrifying and fled.

I’m not really sure what was up with that, because I’ve never seen Torticia scared of anything. I take this cat along to the vet with Gomez even when she doesn’t need to go herself because she likes it. Gomez is the one who is highly-strung and flees from loud or sudden noises. However, Gomez LOVED cat party. He was strutting around, showing off his perfection …

… and eating so much party mix I was worried he was going to spoil his appetite for dinner and/or get sick.

Fatty did resurface when I served dinner …

… until Mark accidentally touched a balloon and she was off again. Gomez, on the other hand, didn’t even care about the noise makers – as long as I used it silently.

All in all, three of us had a grand time at the cat party.


  1. Allysia Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 12:24 am

    Wow. I pretty much love this cat party. Thanks for providing this piece of entertainment. 🙂 Also, gochujang is the best ever, that food looks wonderful.

  2. FoodFeud Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    This is great! I would love to host a cat party! My friend and I always wanted to until we realized how skittish and territiorial our cats are. But it still remains in my mind as a dream.
    Mark, also, is hilarious. So awesome that he got theme music!

  3. Catofstripes Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 2:50 am

    I wish we’d had an invitation. The cats love parties!

  4. lou Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 5:20 am

    That last picture of Gomez is beyond adorable. As I put it to Benny (t’other half) after sending him the link ‘I was wracked with spasms of adorablity’. I want a cat party now too! Happy Anniversary to all, x

  5. kibbles Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 7:01 am

    Cat party!!! I love it! Your stories coupled with the photos never fail to make me laugh so hard I get tears in my eyes! And that meal looks delicious too, of course 🙂

  6. Amy Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    That was so cool!

  7. Lisa Goldstein Kieda Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    How much fun! Although I loved the food & kitty pics I was entranced by the Guinness wall plaque. We have Guinness mugs, t-shirts, pajamas bottoms, key chains and magnets but nary a wall hanging.

    My husband and I went to the Himalyan Kitchen last night for dinner. When/if you and Mark come through Salt Lake City you’ll have your choice of there or Sage’s.

    Enjoy the week. xx Lisa

    PS. Any book recommends?

  8. Lily Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    This is quite possibly the cutest/most hilarious thing I’ve seen. Now I want to have a cat party!

  9. Amy Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

    This is the cutest thing ever!! I love this!!
    And I love love the office 🙂

  10. Jes Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

    Awww cat party awesomeness! Love it! Love that generic Korean dinner–mmm!

  11. susan Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

    You found a man that will actually host a cat party? SCORE! I had a cat party a few years ago. My mom whispered to someone she thought I was lonely for company….totally not the reason for a cat party.

    Food looks so so tasty.

  12. Josiane Said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

    That generic Korean dinner is something I need to add to my repertoire: it looks awesome! (And I have almost everything on hand already. Note to self: look for gojujang next time I’m at the surprisingly-well-stocked-considering-how-tiny-it-is local exotic grocery store.)

    How fun that Mark put together a cat party for you and the kitties! That’s really sweet. 🙂

  13. Ksenia Said,

    June 17, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    Awww, the last photo is adorable. I never heard about cat parties. It seems like Gomez liked it; maybe Torticia felt overwhelmed because of the award. Award ceremonies can be very emotional. You know, you don’t win in the “Being Cuddly and Awesome” category everyday!
    I desperately need to visit an Asian grocery store. I ran out of tofu, tamari, wheat gluten and even rice vinegar.

  14. Nettle Said,

    June 17, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    Directed here by my husband, a co-worker of Mark’s…I am almost, er, catatonic from adoreableness. Gomez is quite the photogenic boy. I love the looks on their faces of, “I don’t understand what the monkeys are doing, but whatever, especially if treats are involved.” Our two gremlins’ first cataversary with us is in a few weeks, and we might have to have a Cat Party too!

    I am also now craving Himalayan and Korean food. I don’t think we’ll serve that at the Cat Party, though. Too much garlic.

  15. radioactivegan Said,

    June 18, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    This is the greatest idea ever. Mark is a genius.

  16. jess Said,

    June 25, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    my kind of party!

  17. Kristina Said,

    July 4, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

    I found this blog while looking for vegan groundnut stew recipes and settled in for a good read. 🙂 Your cats are darling. Torticia makes me miss my old torbie girl. I have 5 boy cats now and adore them, but I miss having a little girl kitty.

  18. Basil Said,

    July 17, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    You are so creative… and great for a good laugh! Thanks for sharing the party…
    I also made a version of your stir fry, and that turned out to be a big hit too mith everyone who got a forkful. Great, easy recipe!

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