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Farm dishes, Korean style

By Staff | Jun 12, 2009

-Farm News photos by Lindsey Ory Jina Rasmussen was born and reared in Seoul, South Korea. While she didn't learn an array of authentic Korean recipes as a child, Rasmussen does cook special dishes, like this Korean Bergogy, when she yearns for a taste of home.

GOLDFIELD – Jina Rasmussen was born and reared in Seoul, South Korea, where her culinary tastes were accustomed to authentic Korean cuisine, like rice and seafood.

Then in 1971, Jina’s life, and taste buds, turned to the West. She had met an American serviceman Larry Rasmussen and fell in love.

“I never thought I’d marry a farmer,” Rasmussen said. “My father told me I would, but I never believed him.”

Well, Rasmussen’s father was right. Jina and Larry Rasmussen, an Iowa farmer, were soon married, and Jina immigrated to the U.S. Once the Rasmussens were on their farm outside of Goldfield, the new wife sewed for people throughout the area as extra revenue while she raised their four children – Jim, Tim, Kimberly and Kate.

“I got burned out,” Rasmussen said of sewing. “I sewed a lot in Korea. I needed change of pace.”

Rasmussen said she always wanted to run her own business, but she never knew what she wanted to be.

She loved her family and enjoyed cooking for them. Moving to Iowa changed Rasmussen’s daily menu. Fish and rice were replaced by beef and potatoes filling their plates.

“I always make traditional American dishes for holidays,” Rasmussen said. “Turkey, ham and we grill out steak during special times.”

Part of the reason Rasmussen converted to American cuisine so easily is because she never had much time to cook in her home country.

“I worked all the time,” Rasmussen said. “My big sister cooked a lot. I didn’t learn alot of cooking in my country.”

But, Rasmussen did pick up some popular recipes, like Korean Bergogy, that she cooks occasionally when she gets a hankering for a taste of home.

“I think my family really enjoys it when I make this dish,” Rasmussen said of the bergogy. “I think it’s because I don’t make it much and the leftover beef makes a great sandwich.”

While cooking Korean dishes pleased Rasmussen, the sewing business she brought over with her weighed on her.

“When my baby was in kindergarten, I knew I needed something to keep me busy,” Rasmussen said. “A friend suggested I get into the baking business.”

Twenty-three years later the fledgling idea is a solid business, Jina’s Cakes. Rasmussen’s specialty is homemade angel food cakes with butter cream frosting. She bakes for weddings and all occasions.

“The most surprising thing about business is when people get hooked on cake they don’t mind driving two hours and 40 minutes to pick up a birthday cake,” Rasmussen said. “The biggest compliment is when a family asked me to bake a wedding cake for each of their three children’s weddings. Not many times does that happen. When I got the phone call for third wedding, I was very pleased.”

Rasmussen said the secret to her cakes is in her homemade mixes and types of frosting. She’s not letting anyone learn her magical cake making skills, but she did give up a delicious sweet recipe, peanut butter finger bar and her Korean bergogy.

As a cook, Rasmussen is not one to follow a recipe to the letter. She adds a dash of this and a little of that.

For those interested in testing one of her famous cakes, they can call (515) 825-3603.

Korean bergogy

Marinade for beef

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil seed

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon of honey

3 pounds beef arm roast, thinly sliced

Mix the first six ingredients together. Place the thinly sliced beef steak in a bowl and pour mixture on top of beef. Let the beef marinade overnight.

5 green onions, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced

1 green pepper, sliced

1/2 onion, julienned

3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 egg

2 cups of 9-grain wild rice

5 tablespoon hot sauce

Cook 9-grain rice according to directions on package. Pour olive oil in a skillet and heat. When pan is hot, place marinated beef in pan and sear. Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes. Add chopped green onions for color when beef is cooked.

When the beef is cooked, take out of pan and place on a plate. Toss peppers and onion into the skillet and saute. When tender, take out of pan and place on plate.

Repeat step 3 with the mushrooms. Crack an egg in a bowl and whip. Pour the egg into the hot skillet and let it cover the entire pan. When egg is cooked, roll it up with a spatula and place on a cutting board. Slice the egg.

When rice is finished, dish up the beef alongside the saute vegetables and rice. Garnish dish with egg on top of the beef and hot sauce on top of the rice.

Peanut butter

finger bars

1/2 cup I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 1/3 cups flour

1/4 cup of water (makes bar chewy)

1 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2/3 cup chocolate chips

1/3 butterscotch chips

Cream the butter and sugar well. Then blend together the egg, peanut butter, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Then mix in the flour, oats and water. Place the mixture in a greased 9X13 pan and cook it at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes. When done, sprinkle the chocolate and butterscotch chips on top; let them sit for 5-10 minutes and spread the melted chips across the top. Let cool and serve.

Contact Lindsey Ory by e-mail at lindsey.ory@hotmail.com.

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