Trip to Korea – Korean breakfast

Trip to Korea – Korean breakfast

While I was in Korea last week, I ate as if it was my last meal and my family fed me like I was never going to eat again. Here are some of the pictures of my breakfast prepared for me.

So you can see what real Koreans usually eat for breakfast. Rice, Korean miso soup, lotus root in soy sauce, stir fried oyster mushroom, stir fried eggplant, steamed broccoli and pickled green chillis. Some of the side dishes you will see in every Korean household. Yes, I forgot to mention the centre plate is chilli crab. Yes, chilli crab for breakfast!! I must admit I love crab a lot so I could eat it everyday for dinner but not for breakfast at 8am.  There is a dish missing in this picture. Can you guess?  KIMCHI!    I just couldn’t bring myself to eat kimchi for breakfast.

Yes, you are looking at blue swimmer crab cooked in chilli sauce. I had this for two days in a row for breakfast because there was so much of it. I thought I was going to get sick eating such heavy food but I was fine, just very uncomfortable….  I had sleepless nights from too much food in my stomach! Seriously…

Korean miso soup (den jang jji ge). Commonly served for  breakfast or lunch or dinner.

Lotus roots cooked in soy sauce

Stir fried eggplants

Stir fried oyster mushroom

You might wonder how these Korean family have this type of meals every day. Well, the trick is to make a lot on the weekend and eat during the week.  By cooking one or tw0 dishes only for the meal, it still feels like you have an amazing meal.

This breakfast table is not as heavy as previous one. After much complaining, my family started preparing smaller breakfasts. Check out the two fish – both of which I had to finish!! 🙁

Despite all my complaints about the breakfast, it was great to have a hot meal prepared by my mum. Thank you!!!  ❤

Dear readers, what do you usually have for breakfast? I know some readers in Singapore  eat noodles or pork buns for breakfast but still not as heavy a meal like Koreans.  Do you also have breakfast as interesting as this?  I would love to hear from you! 🙂

Korean cooking class – teaching 45 ladies!

Korean cooking class – teaching 45 ladies!

For the second year in a row, I shared a joy of Korean cooking with 45 Singaporean ladies. Due to the size of the class, there was lots and lots of preparation required beforehand. Trying to buy ingredients for 45 students is not easy!

I taught two dishes – Seafood pancake (해물 파전) and Japche (잡채). Seafood pancake is an all time favorite for any Korean food lover. Jap che is considered a special dish in Korea as it is mostly served only on a special occasion, eg: birthday parties, house warming, etc.

I’m not sure what I would have done without my staff who organised everything behind the scenes. Special thanks to Christina!

Registration for the class starting…

 

Waiting for the class to start.

I always share how I became a teacher of Korean cooking with my students. Also, it’s all about having fun!

Today’s menu- Seafood pancake(해물 파전) & Jap che (잡채). I am holding  a bottle of Korean sesame seeds by CJ Korea. It’s really top quality. Luckily these are all available throughout Singapore Fairprice supermarkets and it’s really good stuff!

Time to show everyone how it is done. With a big class like this, I always start with a demo first then assist everyone with the hands on.

One of the most exciting section for the students – lucky door prize. Thanks to my sponsors, Luminarc and CJ Korea!

First, Korean ingredients as lucky door prizes by CK Korea.

Winners are….

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Then, glassware and dinner sets by Luminarc. Second lot of winners are….

Time for the real fun – first dish, seafood pancake!

To make a nice thin and round pancake – you have to press it down!

How beautiful is this pancake!!

Next dish is japche – Korean sweet potato noodles with various vegetables.

Finally….

It was a big day for me but seeing all the students smiling and enjoying their food they cooked make me forget how tired I was!

Thank you everyone for having a great time!  As my staff described the day, it wasn’t working, it was pure fun!

Check out the July schedule for regular classes and if you are interested in a team building or cooking party, drop me an email!

Trip to Korea – Chilli Octopus

Trip to Korea – Chilli Octopus

As soon as I booked my ticket to Korea yesterday, I put together a list of Korean food I have been craving and emailed  my girlfriend in Korea to do some research. Yes, finally I am going to Korea again!!!

My food wishlist went like this:

  1. BBQ Chilli Octopus (Nak ji bok eum – 낙지볶음)
  2. Cold noodle (Neng myun – 냉면)
  3. Black bean noodle (Jja jang myn – 짜장면)
  4. Chilli rice cake (dduk bok yi – 떡뽁이)
  5. Braised Chicken (Jjim dak – 찜닭)
  6. BBQ chilli Pork (돼지 불고기)
  7. Handmade noodle (Kal guk su – 칼국수)
  8. Potatoes stew (gam ja ttang – 감자탕)

My craving was so bad, I decided to make Chilli octopus. I am salivating again just watching this photo, it must be the chilli…

 

 

Since it’s impossible to get live Octopus in Singapore, I bought frozen ones from a Korean store. They were actually not bad. Usually if you get poor quality ones, the octopus will be as tough as rubber.

 

Ingredients: 1/2 kg Octopus chopped  into 4cm length, 1/2 onion, 1/2 green & 1/2 red capsicums, a handful of white cabbage thinly sliced, 1/2 zucchini, some spring onion, 1 tsp vegetable oil

Sauce: 2 tbsp Korean chilli sauce (go chu jang), 2 tbsp Korean chilli powder, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp minced ginger, some sesame oil and sesame seeds

 

  • I mixed the sauce first(without the sesame oil and seeds) and set it aside while I was preparing the vegetables. Very spicy!!

 

 

 

 

  • To make sure you don’t over cook the octopus, I added some vegetable oil in the pan and cooked the vegetable first. Then I mixed in the octopus and the sauce with the vegetables and cooked it a few more minutes. It’s amazingly a quick dish.

 

 

  • I can’t believe how red it looks….

  • There are many ways of serving Chilli Octopus but tonight will be Chilli Octopus on rice for dinner.  Some sesame seeds on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Korean restaurants, Chilli Octopus is commonly served on a hot plate. They will cook the octopus in chilli sauce for you first. As you eat the octopus, they add rice or noodles with more chilli sauce for you to eat. Every time I go to Seoul, this dish is the first thing I must have. One of my best friend in Korea couldn’t eat this dish as she had allergies to Octopus but somehow her allergy is gone! So, we are off to Myung dong(명동) as soon as I arrive, where there is a street full of Chilli Octopus restaurants. Yum Yum!!

So, it’s been a while since I visited Korea. I am leaving next Monday for a week to catch up with some friends and family, lots of shopping(mainly food), stock up some Korean ingredients and eat until I drop. I promise to take lots and lots of photos of food and cool people in Seoul. Count down! 🙂

Balcony garden journal 3 – harvest time!

Balcony garden journal 3 – harvest time!

It’s been so hot recently, so when I woke up to the rain this morning I felt really happy for my vegetables.  The last few weeks have been so hot and humid here and it’s not really the right temperature to grow anything. Luckily I have harvested most of my baby vegetables before I went to Italy. Here are some pictures.

They were just so fresh and delicious. My favorites were the lettuce but my husband loved the radish as they reminded him of little red radish  he used to have when he was a child.

Here are pictures of Korean Zucchinis I planted before I left to Italy.

When I returned from my trip, the two zucchinis have grown so much. Some of the leaves were bigger than my hand.

It must be the heat and humidity. There are lots of flower buds but none of them are opening up! I might have to put them in an air-con room. 😉

While I was in Italy, I bought lots of tomato and zucchini seeds so this is my first attempt to grow the Italian zucchinis. These are for zucchini flowers more than the vegetables themselves. Have you tried fried zucchini flowers with stuffing? They are really hard to find in Singapore so I am going to be growing them myself. Wish me luck!

I am using  plastic containers that I recycle from the groceries. They are great for my seedlings. Once the third or fourth leaves are growing, I will transplant them to a bigger pot.

The next new members of the garden are different tomato seeds I bought from Tuscany. They are growing really well.

 

Florentine ribbed tomato seedlings – they are supposed to be big and ribbed around tomatoes. I have never tasted them before so I am really looking forward to it.

Italian Roma tomato seedlings– we bought some Roma tomatoes from a fruit shop when we were in Sienna and they were just heaven. I am hoping I can have some of those for myself. Very juicy and sweet!

At our friends wedding in Italy, they handed out sweet basil seeds and I am hoping to grow them and give a few plants back to our friends as a present. Basil seem to be the only plants that really don’t mind Singapore’s heat and humidiy. I have basil bushes all over my balcony garden. I used empty milk carton for the seedlings. Just wash the bottle and cut in half and there is your pot!

Lastly, I adopted a Korean chilli seedling when I visited a Korean farm in March and finally I have a chilli growing.This Korean chilli is known to be deadly so this one will be incredibly spicy.

I forgot to pick the chilli last week. Look how big it has grown over 5 days. The chilli was so heavy that it was leaning like the leaning tower of Pisa we saw in Italy.   I am going to use this chilli in Den jang jji ge (Korean miso soup -된장찌게) tonight.

I just received two photos from my mother-in-law in Australia showing off their veggie garden. As you can see, it looks luscious!  My in-laws are waiting for  the delivery of about 60 fruit  trees, camellias and gardenias as well as 40 + roses. I can’t wait to visit their farm soon.   🙂   Happy gardening!

Korean cooking class – bibimbap

Korean cooking class – bibimbap

I really enjoy cooking and eating like all food bloggers but most of all  I really enjoy teaching cooking. Every time I see my students enjoying their creation at the end of the class, it makes me even happier.

Here is short clip of  my Korean cooking class at Korean Tourism Singapore yesterday teaching bibimbap (비빔밥). Enjoy!