Korean celebrity chef-Edward Kwon

Korean celebrity chef-Edward Kwon

I have a confession to make. At home we don’t have a TV. Sometimes, I feel like I am living in isolation without it but then we manage by watching various programs and  the news online. I overload on TV programs when I am traveling as its the only time I get to watch it. I am just like a child in a candy store. 🙂

Last year I came across a Korean program(on Singapore airlines) called “Yes Chef!” and I got hooked on it. It’s Korean version of Master chef. The main chef is Edward Kwon and he has an extensive culinary experience all over the world including Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Watching him was very inspirational. He brings Korean food to a whole new level. When I stumbled across him conducting a cooking event in Singapore, I was over the moon!

The three dishes taught were:

  • Chilled sam ge tang (aka ginseng chicken)- Chicken balootine, white cabbage kimchi & apple, cripsy garlic sesame oil
  • Gal bi jjim (Korean short ribs)- soy braised wayu short rib, potato gnocchi, puffed rice, kimchi bacon ragout
  • Su jung gwa shooter – cinamon & ginger drink shooter

A Singapore culinary celebrity, Christopher Tan was our Master of Ceremonies.

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I was very impressed as well as a bit shocked by the first dish. Instead of boiling the whole chicken for 1 hour, he rolled the chicken and wrapped it in cling wrap. Then he boiled it for 10 minutes. Due to the limited time frame, we didn’t get to see the whole process but after boiling the chicken he was supposed to plunge it in an ice water bath for 30 minutes.

Now Edward is making ginseng foam to add a Korean kick to the dish. As ginseng could overpower the dish, he told us to use sparingly. Also, if you can’t find fresh ginseng, he advised us to use ginseng tea powder. What a great idea!!

The first dish was ready and it didn’t resemble the traditional ginseng chicken whatsoever! I really liked how Edward used different micro greens (baby vegetables) and red dates to style the dish.

The next dish is called “gal bi jjim” in Korean. It is usually cooked in soy sauce and braised short ribs for 3 hours. As you can see in the picture below, he used wagyu beef which didn’t require braising.

He cut carrots and onions in chunks and added a slice of Korean pear to soften the meat. A lot of people in the audience haven’t even tasted Korean pear before and didn’t realise Koreans use various fruits to soften meat before cooking it.

 

The second dish was ready! It is served with gnocchi and puffed rice. What you see on top of the beef is kimchi!

We ran out of time so he didn’t manage to demonstrate the third dish, su jung gwa. Normally su jung gwa is made of cinamon, ginger and sugar and is served as a dessert tea to finsh your meal.

Out of the three dishes, I loved the beef the best. It was so tender, it just melted in my mouth. The sujugwa shooter was great except it was hard to drink out of the glass. The least I liked was the chicken as I didn’t taste enough ginseng and it wasn’t Korean enough. As for the presentation though, the chicken dish was the prettiest.

Su jung gwa shooter


 

After the tasting, I waited around to meet Edward Kwon. When I explained about Nicky’s Kitchen and how I admire how he is changing Korean food, his advice was “to think simple”. The autograph says “be happy” in Korean.

I might frame this program booklet. 🙂

Say kimchi!

If you are ever in Seoul,  check out Edward Kwon’s restaurant, “Spice“.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I came across a hot cross bun recipe from the Sydney Morning Herald a few days ago and decided to give it ago.  I was rushing around to get myself ready for my cooking class and I foolishly didn’t let the dough rise enough. I should never bake in hurry! Anyway, my first attempt ended in disaster. 🙁

After researching a number of different magazines I bought in Sydney, I decided to use an Apricot & Almond Chelsea bun recipe and then modify it to make my own Hot Cross bun creations. You should have seen my husband’s face when he had his first mouthful. It was a Kodak moment… 🙂

Almost like the ones you buy from a bakery but better, don’t you think?

My version of Hot Cross Buns:

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 14g dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 50 mil warm water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g unsalted butter softened, 1 extra tbsp of melted butter to brush
  • a handful of sultanas
  • 1 tsp mixed spice

For piping crosses over the dough balls:

  • 50ml water
  • 50ml milk
  • 90g self raising flour

Let’s get started!

  • I put plain flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and mixed well. (If you have a bread machine or electric mixer/food processor, you can almost let the machine do all the work.) I used my bread machine.
  • I added the flour mix into my bread machine bowl and poured in warm milk, water, egg and butter and pressed the dough function on the machine and let it mix for 30 minutes.
  • Once the mixing was done, I left the dough in the machine for one hour (or until it doubles in size).
  • I set my oven to 200’C (or 180’C fan). I used one of  baking trays lined with baking paper.
  • I knocked back the dough and cut into 8 pieces. I rolled them into balls and placed the balls so they just touched. I let it to rise for another 30 minutes.

 

  • Now the final touch! I brushed melted butter over the dough. Then I mixed the water, milk, self raising flour and piped over the dough balls to form crosses except two balls which I made heart shaped for my husband. ♥

 

  • I baked it for 10 minutes and then reduced the oven temperature to 180’C(or 160’c fan) and then cooked for another 10 minutes (or until golden brown).

 

  • It looked like I didn’t brush the butter evenly so I put another coating and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.

 

Ready for steaming hot cross buns? My husband gave me an evil eye when I asked him to wait for a few more minutes while I was taking some photos. Sorry! 🙂

It was perfect for our Easter Friday afternoon snack. We cut the bun in half and spread a bit of butter while it was still hot and had it with our caffe latte! Happy Easter everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korea town – Sydney Australia

Korea town – Sydney Australia

I was back in Sydney visiting family and friends a few weeks ago and took some snap shots of an area that I grew up called Strathfield. My family moved to this area when we first moved from Korea. Strathfield has a lot of Koreans and therefore a lot of the shops cater to the Korean community. Sometimes, I felt I was in Korea rather than Australia.

I went to my favorite Korean restaurant at Strathfiled Plaza called Tomoya (Korean/Japanese) and had a lovely lunch with my family. The silken tofu soup wasn’t up to the usual standard according my father but my hot stone bibimbap with fish row was amazing!

While we were in Sydney, the weather was amazing. It was not too hot and we had an amazing clear blue sky every day except our final day. The weather turned completely and it was like being in winter so I was craving for a hot and spicy soup to warm me up. My brother recommended a restaurant tucked away in a sports club called “Red Pepper @ Strathfield”. They had an incredible kimchi jjige cooked with pork ribs and I also highly recommend the chilli fried chicken (yang nyum chicken). It was so crunch and spicy. I loved it…Drop by if you are around the area! 🙂

Red Pepper @ Strathfield restaurant

Address: 45 The Boulevard  Strathfield Sydney, Australia   Tel: +61-9746 7500

CJ Korea competition winner

CJ Korea competition winner

In February, I announced a little contest sponsored by CJ Korea. I asked my Korean food lovers to send in photos of their Korean cooking using CJ’s ingredients.

Thank you everyone for sending all your photos! It was difficult to pick just one winner as they all looked so good!. The winner is Evelyn Y who sent in a photo of Japche(잡채) using CJ’s noodle (dang myun- 당면). I will be in touch with Evelyn to follow up on the prize. Congratulations!

 

 

 

Fire Chicken – Kuala Lumpur Korean restaurant review

Fire Chicken – Kuala Lumpur Korean restaurant review

Sorry for the recent radio silence. I have been in Kuala Lumpur(KL) and then Sydney. Now my in-laws are in town!!

I was in KL to visit some friends and while I was there my Korean friend took me to a Korean restaurant she had been bragging about called Uncle Jang.  The  owner looks just like the logo! My Malaysian friends who are also big fans of Korean food decided to come along and help me with tasting.

Can you see a guy in green t-shirt in the picture below? That’s Uncle Jang!

Uncle Jang specialises in chilli chicken (bul dak -불닭).  Bul means fire and dak means chicken. You might have guessed that the name of the dish is related to the spiciness! The menu is posted on the wall and is easy to understand. There are plenty of pictures and its written in both English and Korean.

We ordered two servings of normal and one serving of spicy bul dak for 4 people as well as my favorite  brand of soju (Korean rice wine) called Cham yi sul. Just like the name- it is pure like the morning dew. I think we could have done with just the normal sauce as even one serving of spicy bul dak mixed with two servings of two normal was a little too spicy.

We started with side dishes as they were preparing the bul dak. Ice cold kimchi was served to prepare your palette for the spicy chicken.

Can you see the ice in the bowl? Extra cold! The kimchi is called water kimchi and has no chilli in it. It’s slightly sour and very cold. Perfect for hot weather and spicy food.

Every table was equipped with this hot plate. I think this may be the restaurant’s secret to their great food.

Check out the chilli sauce – looks scary! You can also see lots of cabbage with the chicken.

We also ordered some noodles as an extra dish as this was one of their specialties.

It was very addictive. The chicken was great but I just couldn’t stop eating the noodles that was mixed with the sauce. They are just like Japanese udon noodles – thick and chewy.

Once the chicken and the noodles  were finished, we asked for some rice. With the left over sauce, they made fried rice on the hot plate.

I think we ended up paying around RM20 per person. What a bargain!

The restaurant ran out of their business cards so I didn’t get their exact address but they have 2 branches in KL. You can also find them on their facebook page.  I think the one I went was at Mount Kiara but the original one is at Ampang. Give them a call for their exact address if you are visiting KL. Tel: +60-380512208  I hope you get to try this delicious dish when you are in KL.