Tonight’s menu is Seafood Jjam bbong(해물 짬뽕)!

Tonight’s menu is Seafood Jjam bbong(해물 짬뽕)!

I think the last time I made this dish was when I was at high school in Sydney. This was one of my regular dishes for the family. Back then I used to crave it, especially during winter, but it was hard to find a good Korean Chinese restaurant that had it on the menu. So I took to making it myself.

Jjambbong(짬뽕) is a noodle soup that was modified by the Chinese population who were living in Korea. The Koreans have adopted it as one of their national dishes. It is as well known amongst locals as jja jang myun (black bean noodles – 짜장면). Koreans love both jjambbong and jja jang myun and always find it hard to choose between the two, so restaurants now have a bowl that is divided into half so you can enjoy both dishes. What a brilliant idea!

I haven’t cooked many Korean dishes since I finished my culinary school and when I feel lazy I usually go to Dong bang hong Korean Chinese restaurant to get my jjam bong fix. Tonight it’s time to see what my husband thinks of my homemade reciepe.


Seafood Jjambbong:

Ingredients: (Serves 4 people)

Vegetables: 1/2 carrot, 1/4 cabbage, 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 onion, 1/4 green capsicum, 1/4 red capsicum, 1 long red chilli, 2 cloves of garlic minced, some spring onions for garnish. (The cabbage brings out the sweetness to the soup so it’s essential ingredient.)

Seafood: 1 squid, 20 clams, 10 prawns peeled and de-veined, 8 mussels.

Chilli oil: 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil & 2 tablespoon of Korean chilli powder

Stock: 15 dried anchovies, a handful of dried prawns, 5 dried kelps, a handful of dried fish and prawn heads and shells, 2L of water

Seasoning: 1 tbsp of light soy sauce, 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 tbsp of Korean chilli powder, some salt and white peppers

One of the most important steps is making the stock. I added dried anchovies, prawns, kelps, and  the fish to a pot with cold water and brought it to boil for about 10minutes.

I read it somewhere that if you boil kelp too long, the stock becomes slightly bitter, so make sure to remove the kelp after 10 minutes. Then boil the stock minus the kelp for another 10 minutes.

I also added prawn heads and shells to improve the seafood flavour.  Now time to strain the stock.

While the stock is boiling, I prepared the seafood

Apologies for not having any photos for this next step. I was concentrating so hard that I forgot to take any pictures. Cooking and taking pictures at the same time is not easy!  In a pot, add 3 spoonfuls of vegetable oil and add 2 teaspoon of Korean chilli powder. Cook on a low heat to make chilli oil. Be careful not to burn the chilli oil. If you do, your soup will be bitter and you are better off starting a new batch.

Once you make the chilli oil,  add the vegetables and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Then add the light soy sauce, minced garlic, and oyster sauce. I added one more teaspoonful of Korean chilli powder because I like some zing!. If you want it even more spicy, I recommend to add those very small chillies that have extra heat. It will be deadly!  Now stir fry a little more and add all the seafood except the prawns. (If you cook prawns too long, they become chewy!) Add the stock and boil on high heat for about 10minutes to get a nice seafood flavour.

While the soup is boiling, I cooked some fresh handmade noodles that I buy at Fairprice supermarket. Finally, add the prawns and spring onions to the soup, keep boiling for a few minutes more and it’s ready.

Looking good!!

Season with salt and white pepper and finally add the noodles to the soup.

Mine could have been a little more spicy but it turned out fantastic for a dish that I haven’t cooked for such a long long time. If you have any left over, you can eat it again with a nice bowl of rice. I can’t wait to have some more for lunch.  Thumbs up from my husband!  🙂

15 minutes of fame

15 minutes of fame

I thought I had already had my 15 minutes of fame with an article published in U-Weekly(优1周) this week, so I was surprised to be contacted by another journalist interested in interviewing me. She was writing an article for a magazine which is distributed to high school students across Singapore.

To my surprise, when the journalist turned up, she brought along a 14 year old student to enjoy the experience of learning to cook with me. Since Korean movies and pop stars are very popular among students thesedays, it stands to reason that Korean food  has been riding a wave of popularity as well. We chose to make bibimbap which requires quite a bit of chopping and stir frying. My student confessed that he doesn’t normally cook at home but once I showed him some simple techniques he picked it up really quickly.

  • Ingredients for bibimbap prepared for the interview
  • Teaching how to cut a carrot in fine julienne style
  • Now showing off his mushroom cutting skill…
  • Tasting time!
  • I think he really liked it….
  • A photo with my new junior chef! What a star!

What was especially nice was he emailed me next day to find out where he can buy all the Korean sauces as he wanted to try out his new culinary skills on his family. That really put a big smile on my face!  🙂

Where is Nicky??

Where is Nicky??

Apologies for the radio silence. It has been a very, very busy 7 weeks. My culinary course that I have been attending has been very interesting but also very exhausting. I promise I will share a lot more stories soon once I get my life back!

Last Friday, we learnt all about fruit and fruit carving…. Check it out.

  • Watermelon cut in a way so it is easy to eat
  • Slight twist to the design
  • My new cheeky watermelon shark for the fruit platter