Corner Shop Chowder

Sliced string cheese makes for a chic presentation.

I am lazy.  Especially when it comes to going to the grocery store.  Having been coddled for most of my life with a supermarket always within a block, I don’t appreciate my current situation.  Yes, we’re talking about a bike commute that amounts to maaaaybe five minutes, but there’re at least two intersection crossings.  Those can tack on minutes while simultaneously shaving them from your life expectancy.  Also – have you ever ridden your bike with a watermelon on your back? It tests your balance.  Mine is not so hot.

Suffice it to say, when I’m able to make do with what’s available from my corner shops, I’m a happy camper.  Between the family run joint with fresh vegetables, the butcher down the street, and the franchised CU mart, there’s a fair amount to work with.

Not so long ago, one of my favorite blogs ( posted a recipe for Cheesy Green Chile Potato Chowder. It was doable with a minimal commute, and I was in.  Samgyeopsal (pig belly) substituted for the bacon and sliced string cheese sufficed as “mexican blend.”  When the entire batch was consumed amongst two people in under 30 minutes, I knew it was a keeper. It’s just the thing to warm the crisp autumn air! 

Cheesy Green Chile and Potato Chowder

Modified from for those of us in the far East

Serves 4-6


3 green chili peppers (I used ones on the large side because they’re less spicy)

1 green bell pepper, small diced

1 large yellow onion, small diced

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 slices samgyeopsal, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in 4 cups water

2 tsp salt

2 cups milk

1/4 cup flour

3 twist string cheeses, sliced {plus 1 additional for serving}

thinly sliced green onions


First, fire roast the peppers.

To do this, place poblano peppers right over the flame on your burner if you have a gas stove. Flip occasionally until every inch of the pepper is charred. If you don’t have a gas stove, place peppers underneath the broiler on a lined sheet tray {also flipping occasionally} until charred. Once charred all around, immediately remove peppers from heat and zip up in a plastic zip-loc bag. Let sit for 20 minutes then remove charred skin with the back of a knife and roughly chop up peppers.

While your peppers are cooling, fry the samgyeopsal in a large dutch oven or heavy  bottomed pot. Fry until crispy then remove from the pot and drain on pepper towels. Keep grease in the pot!

Add your onion and garlic to the hot grease. Saute for about six minutes over medium heat until just tender. Add cubed potatoes to the pot, as well as the peppers, and toss well so everything is combined.

Pour in bouillon mixture and add the salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 35 minutes until potatoes are very tender {be sure to “test” with a fork or knife…nothing worse than biting into an uncooked potato!}. Add milk and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together so that no flour clumps remain and bring back to a simmer. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Turn off heat completely and add cheese to the pot. Stir well so cheese melts. Serve immediately with crumbled samgyeopsal, sliced green onions and additional cheese.


1.25 hours

If coming from a location in sight of a supermarket, click here for the original recipe.

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