Happy Chu Seok everyone!

Happy Chu Seok everyone!

Days like today makes you really miss your family.  A friend in Korea shared these photos of her family celebrating Chu Seok. They remind me of when I was living in Korea. When my grand parents were alive, the entire family (my dad has 5 brothers and 1 sister) got together to celebrate Chu seok.

For those who don’t know what Chu seok is, it’s Korean Thanksgiving. We buy the best season produce and serve it on a table like in below picture to show respects to our ancestors. Looks a bit like a ghost month, right?

 

 

 

We also serve Korean rice wine to the ancestors.

 

 

Then we bow on the floors to the ancestors. The two kids in the middle are wearing hangbok (Korean traditional costume). So cute!

 

Now time to eat…  I can see various kimchi, stir fried vegetables and Korean soy bean paste soup. The most important dish for Chu seok is Song pyun rice cake.

 

 

This table is an indication of the hard work by the Korean house wives. Grandmothers, Aunts, daughters and daughter-in-laws would have slaved away over the last few days to put all this food together. Hmmm, now I have a big craving for all this food…. ^_^

Happy Chu seok everyone!

 

**Photos provided by Erin Kim in Korea**

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for a face lift

Time for a face lift

I am excited to announce that the Nicky’s Kitchen blog site has received a new face lift. It’s been two and half years since I started blogging and having my home page decorated with all the beautiful photos I have taken during that time makes me proud.

Lots has happened since my last blog.  The year has been filled with classes, corporate events and being asked to judge the first Korean cooking competition in Singapore sponsored by Korean Tourism Oraganisation.

There is also another big change coming up in the next few months and I will be making an announcement soon!

In the mean time, check out some photos from my latest event at  Annyeong Seoul Festival two weeks ago. I demonstrate cooking seafood pancakes, chilli rice cakes, japche and bulgogi over two day. At the end the food was shared with the entire audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking competition

Cooking competition

I was asked by Korean Tourism to be a judge for a Korean cooking competition earlier in the year. The first prize was two return tickets to Korea!!  I wish I could enter.. 😉

The two day event involved a lot of preparation. There were many terms and conditions we had to consider and lots of questions from contestants regarding ingredients they could use. The first preliminary round involved making Korean pancake(파전) and Korean BBQ beef (불고기).

Despite all the hard preparation, it was really fun event. It was great watching all the contestants working so hard to cook delicious dishes. The best part was having to taste all the dishes!!

 

 

The aim of this competition was not only to cook authentic Korean dishes but also to be creative. I was proud to see a few male participants who were showing off their culinary skills.  Another competency that was judged was the cleanliness of each participants’ workstation.  Here is a photo of the judges walking around and assessing each workstation.

 

 

Each dish had to be created in one hour. It sounds like a lot of time, but when you are cooking in an unfamiliar environment, this can be quite scary and stressful.

 

  • 1st round – pancakes (파전)

 

 

 

  • 2nd round: Korean BBQ beef (불고기)

This contestant was one of my favourites. He was a young University student who had the creativity as well as culinary skills.

 

This contestant made chilli bulgogi. Not quite what the judges were expecting but tasty nonetheless.

 

Bulgogi in  wraps – very original!!

 

Nicely decorated… Bulgogi in capsicum cups

 

This contestant definitely knew what she was doing.

 

And the four finalists were….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The final round was any dish that included kimchi. And the winner is….

This winner went to a Korean restaurant the night before the final competition and tasted all the Korean kimchi dishes and came up with her own Korean pork dish.

Well done everyone!!