I just spent 6 days in Seoul with one objective in mind. Eat my way through the city! The dreadful sticky hot summer is gone and I was welcomed by a beautiful autumn breeze when I landed. What a difference…. It was so pleasant to walk around and enjoy the change of the season.
I must have taken at least 500 photos of all the food but I will start with my favorite street food that you can too enjoy when you visit Korea next time.
Top left hand box: An old time favourite – chilli rice cakes (dduk bok yi -떡복이) was on every street corner. You can buy USD$1 worth and eat as you stand right in front of the stall. There were a few other sticks in chilli sauce but everyone seemed to enjoying the chilli rice cakes.
Top right hand box: you can only find these in autumn and winter – roasted chestnuts! The silver device you see in the background is the roasting machine. Personally, I prefer the old fashion style using a roasting pan over hot charcoal.
Bottom box: these sticks were new and were everywhere in Myungdong(명동). There were ladies on the side of the stall just peeling potato skins and putting potatoes through an unusual device that turned them into long spiral potatoes. Inside the potato, there is a sausage. These get dunked into hot oil and deep fried. Nice and crunchy potatoes with a bit of protein!
For those of you who have attended some of my cooking classes you will recognise one of the photos above. Hodduck (호떡) is a great snack while you are wondering the streets of busy Seoul. Even better when the weather is nice and cool…
The white fluffy buns above are the best thing I have found in Seoul. I will write more on these buns in a later blog but for now all you need to know is that these buns are called hobbang (호빵). They are filled with either red bean paste or sweet potato or a mixture of minced pork with vegetables. The buns with two green chives on top are the meat/vegetable filling ones. Each bun was as big as my face. Seriously…..
You didn’t believe me, did you??
If you are visiting Korea soon, pack warm clothes. It dropped to 6 degrees one evening and it was so cold I thought my ears and nose were going to fall off.
Besides cooking Korean food, I love making dessert! I used to make many different kinds of desserts but my husband started to complained that his waistline was expanding, so I only indulge now and then.
I had a dinner party over the weekend and decided to try a new recipe from one of my favourite dessert cookbook “Bourke Street Bakery“. The bakery is a tiny shop in Surry Hills, Sydney that has become very famous. They now have queues of people down the road waiting in line to buy their cakes and bread.
Attempting to make sweet short crust pastry in this Singapore weather was a big challenge as the dough just kept melting as I rolling it out but I managed to pull it all together at the end. As soon as it started to fall apart, I put the dough back in the fridge. I kept doing this several times. It took much longer than normal, but the pastry turned out perfect.
Surprisingly, I have had a lot of requests from people asking for this fried anchovy recipe (Myulchi bokum-멸치볶음). It’s one of the easiest dish to make and most Koreans will normally have this as one of the side dishes with a meal.
I grew up with this dish. I was told it has a lot calcium which is good for growing bones. There are many different sizes of anchovies. Small ones are used for frying and served as a side dish and big ones can be fried in chilli but generally it is used for making stocks.
I strongly recommend that you buy the anchovies from one your nearest Korean supermarkets. The local ones you buy in Singapore are much more salty and not as fresh.
How to make fried anchovy:
150g small dried anchovies
1 tbsp soy sauce or tuna extract sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
1 long green chilly, sliced thinly (optional)
Pour 2 tbsp of oil on to a frypan on a medium heat
Once the oil is heated up, add the anchovies and fry them until they are light brown
Add a tbsp of soy sauce and 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar and mix until they are combined. I use tuna extract for a better flavour
If you want to include the chilli, stir fry it with the anchovy.
Add the 2 tbsp of corn syrup and mix until it is all dissolved. The corn syrup will make the anchovy crispy. If you don’t like it crispy, you can skip this step and just season with soy sauce and brown sugar
Sprinkle some of the sesame seeds and its ready to be served!
Before the anchovies becomes too crispy, put them in a container. Once it is cooled down. Keep it in the fridge.
Time to taste the dish! Yum yum…..
Next Friday, I am off to visit friends and family in Korea. I will try to get various size of anchovies so I can show a few other fried anchovy recipes.