how to make handmade noodle soup -kalguksu-칼국수

how to make handmade noodle soup -kalguksu-칼국수

Another exciting class at Korean Tourism in Singapore last Friday! I was very ambitious and decided to prepare some dough for my students to hand cut noodles. We are making kal-guk-su(칼국수 – handmade noodle soup).

 

img_3968

 

img_3970

 

Guess what happened when I took them to the class?

making Korean handmade noodle soup1
rolling the dough

 

All stuck together!!! 🙁

making Korean handmade noodle soup2

 

We didn’t have any rolling pins so we were creative with our noodles and it was so much fun~

making Korean handmade noodle soup3

 

making Korean handmade noodle soup4

 

At the end of the class, we had delicious noodle soup and everyone was happy!! handmade Korean noodle soup1

 

handmade Korean noodle soup2

 

handmade Korean noodle soup4

Korean handmade noodle soup
boiling…. waiting…

 

Korean handmade noodle soup
Finally!

 

This is actually one of my favourite dish to eat in Korea. Check out my previous post on kalguksu

Happy cooking everyone!

 

Korean Tourism classes

Korean Tourism classes

Oh my, time really flys… It’s been too long since my last post.  Here are some class photos from Korean Tourism Singapore. I promise to be back sooner next time!

  • Japche (잡채) class in February

 

Our creation in the class
Our creation in the class

 

Great to see a male student in the class for a change
Great to see a male student in the class for a change

 

Very happy students

 

japche3

 

  • Last year’s Pollak soup class
I think they are twins! 🙂

 

pollak soup2

 

Besides Korean cooking, I love baking…. My mother in law and I took a 3 day basic French Pastry course a few months ago. Oh my goodness…. I was in heaven!

Pastry class
I am in heaven!

 

Bangkok Balcony update July

Bangkok Balcony update July

It has been very very hot here in Bangkok. However occasional rain is cooling the city down. A nice cool breeze in the evenings makes it pleasant to have dinner on our balcony once in a while. Meanwhile, my veggies are having heat strokes.

My tomato plants were more than 2 meters tall with not many tomatoes and my eggplants refuse to produce any fruit so I finally decide to let go of them today. No matter how much I read about growing eggplants and try different experiments, the eggplants were just getting taller and bushier but there were no eggplants in sight. It’s just too hot and humid. My tomatoes produced only a handful of cherry tomatoes, again it was just too hot. However, the thai basil, Italian basil, rosemary, cucumbers, melons and beans all seem to be doing well.

I’ve had a quite few cucumbers. Enough to add to my salads and despite the heat, they seem to be resistant to any pests or diseases so far.

IMG_8419

 

IMG_8427

 

 

My favorite fruit to grow is melon. They are just so sweet. The best thing about is you can keep all the seeds and grow them again straight away! The fruit itself is very small (about the size of my little hand) but when you bite into the flesh, it’s just heavenly.

IMG_7906

IMG_7992

 

IMG_8001

I have scooped out the seeds from the melon and washed the pulp and dried the seeds to sow for more Melon plants. I now have 3 more plants growing.

One of my readers  sent me some Perilla seeds from Japan. They are growing really well!!!! I didn’t have much luck in Singapore but it seems to be doing okay so far here. These are not as flavorsome as the ones you find in Korea but certainly good enough to wrap around BBQ meat for dinner.

 

IMG_8448

 

IMG_9121

 

IMG_9123

 

IMG_9124

 

I just asked a friend visiting Bangkok for some Kale seeds from Sydney. If I can grow that, I will be over the moon. Happy gardening!

 

 

 

 

 

Recent articles on Epoch Times

Recent articles on Epoch Times

We had a stream of friends visiting in Bangkok. April and May must be the traveling season.  Could this be my excuse for not writing as often as I should??? As I promised, my recipe on Korean chilli squid  and more garden update should be on the way.

In the mean while, Here are some of the articles which were featured in Epoch Times last few months.

 

 

 

 

February article (click here)

Feb Article_Epoch Times

 

 

 

March article (click here)

March article_Epoch Times

 

April article (page 1-click here) (page 2-click here)

April Article 1_Epoch Times

 

April Article 2_Epoch Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bangkok Balcony update

Bangkok Balcony update

Okay, I admit it, I am greedy. Especially when it comes to my veggie garden. I am running out of space on my balcony and might take up my girlfriend’s offer to move some of my veggies over to her balcony.

For now, it’s bye bye to nice, cool, breezy Bangkok and hello to…it’s freaking hot hot hot!!  Since we returned from Sydney on 29 December, we had  only had one day of rain. How is this possible???

This season, I am a little adventurous with my veggies. Beside my usual herbs and tomatoes, I now have zucchinis, cucumbers, rockmelons, eggplants, capsicums and my most favourite of all, lettuce!! Normally they melt away in Singapore but since it was unusually cool in January (It was almost cold one stage – 16’c!!),  I decided to give it ago.

The highlight though of this post is my cucumber harvest. One of my readers sent me some Japanese cucumber seeds and they are growing wild. So far I have picked two cucumbers to add to my salad. Do you know what it is like to pick a cucumber off the vine and put it straight to your mouth? It’s heavenly and just what cucumber should taste like…

 

Before I show off my veggie garden, here are some of the photos from one of my readers who also had a great success in growing cucumbers. Apparently the secret for this amazing cucumbers was chicken manure. I need to get some of that!!

cucumber for harvest-HC

cucumber climbing1HC

Another photo from the reader, I have never had a great success with eggplants in Singapore, so well done!

Eggplant-HC

So back to my garden – it all started on 3 January this year. I used toilet rolls with soil in them to plant my seeds. The paper will disintegrate when you transfer it to a bigger pot.

seeds raising bed

rockmelons

The seedlings above have now taken over my balcony as seen below! The cucumber pots are on the left hand corner and the Melon plants are on the right hand side with nice little flowers.

 

cucumber on the vine

Finally, I had my first cucumber !! Look at how big this is? It took me about two months from seeds to this. I am never been so patient in my life.

cucumber and hand

 

 

My beautiful zucchinis… I picked some of these flowers and added them into my stir fries. There was no signs of any female flowers for at least for a month. I was starting to worry and then the other day, I  spotted a baby female flower. You know what that means?? Zucchini!!! I am sure these plants know that I am waiting by the pots so I can eat their precious vegetables… Muahahah!! (evil laugh)

 

zuchini flower

 

Female zucchini flowers have a little bulge at the back of the flower and a male flower has just a stem. Since I am up on the 29th floor, there is no way there will be any bees so I will have to pollinate them when they open up. You do this by taking a small soft paint brush and brush first over the male flower in the stem in the centre and then use the same brush over the female flower. Alternatively,  pick the male flower and remove the flower petals and gently dab the stamens to the stigma inside the female flowers to transfer the pollen. Now you wait and hope this flower will grow to be a delicious vegetable in a week or so.

 

zucchini with female flower-close up

 

Well, my hope for the zucchini didn’t last too long. All the female zucchini flowers have just turned yellow. I have been doing some research and I think it’s too humid here, but I refuse to give up!!

 

 

My Eggplant is looking really luscious. I have just transferred this to  a big pot so hoping for huge eggplants soon.

 

eggplant

 

 

Lettuce!  My seed packet instructions says it needs be in the full sun but I think Bangkok sun was just melting them so they have been in the shade for the last few weeks.

 

lettuce

 

My mini garden salad with the lettuce and the cucumber that I harvested last week.

salad

 

They are looking great but slowly getting attacked by little insects.

cos lettuce

 

 

Unfortunately, I had to harvest majority of them before it got eaten by insects. It all went to my big salad.

lettuce harvest

 

 

The last time I grew a melon plant, I had a honeydew melon the size of my palm. Before I even had a chance to take photos, we swallowed it up in seconds. It was the sweetest thing I have ever tasted. Having had this experience, I am now so excited to try organic Rockmelon.

Initially there was no sign of female flowers, only male flowers. The more I researched online, the more it said to just wait…. Well, waiting has finally paid off. There have been female flowers every corner of the vines  and I made sure every female flower was pollinated. Like cucumbers and zucchini, melon flowers should be also pollinated.

 

melon female flower

melon vine

Within a month, the flowers have transformed into palm size melons. Not one, but three of them!

Melon-palmsize

 

I’m counting downs the days for when we can pick and eat these melons. Happy gardening!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February & March Korean Cooking Classes

February & March Korean Cooking Classes

The last two months I’ve had great fun teaching at the Korean Tourism Organisation in Singapore. Here are some snap shots of the classes and a link to the recipe.

 

One of the February classes was a lesson in cooking a black bean rice dish called Jjajangbap.   Check out the recipe!

 

 

  • Happy students!! These are some of my regular students….

students cooking2

 

 

  •  Everyone looks so serious, don’t they? They needed to concentrate so they didn’t burn the sauce!

students cooking1

 

 

  • But the results was worth it…

Jja jang bap

 

 

 

One of the March classes was making Hodduck (Cinnamon sugar pancakes). This class always brings lots of smile while we are cooking!

 

  • This group  made the perfect shaped hodduk!

group1

 

student 4

 

student2

 

  • Melted sugar and cinnamon in the pancake is just scrumptious!

IMG_7349

 

I will be back in Singapore in May for more classes. Please contact Korean Tourism  on +65-6533-0441 to register for your spot -its FREE to attend!

As for classes in Bangkok, I am hoping to have the first class at end of April. Contact me for if you are interested in attending – spots will be limited!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February Bangkok Farmers Market

February Bangkok Farmers Market

Yes, I finally started back at Bangkok Farmers Market in February. Unfortunately, my husband was away to help with the heavy lifting so it was hard work and I ended up with a minor back injury!!  Thank goodness for my friends who came to help out over the weekend and those that visited my stall. I don’t know what I would do without them…Hope my husband is reading this!! hint hint!!

Back in Sydney, I used to make necklaces and sell them at a market in Mosman. It was never about selling though, it was all about catching up with friends, eating and shopping. Except for the Thailand heat, it feels almost like that here at Bangkok Farmers market. Ah, the good old days…!

Busy packing before the market.

DSC_1462 2

 

 

I had a new item to sell at the February market and it was really exciting to hear all the great feedback! My new “Green papaya” kimchi! It’s a mix of the crunchiness of green papaya together with Kimchi sauce! A great combination!!

 

IMG_2796

 

My organic kimchi!

IMG_2797

 

My bibimbap stand which comes with organic brown rice! Very healthy…

bibimbap

 

 

Making hodduk(cinnamon pancake) – a lot of people are often surprised to know that this is a popular Korean street snack food!

photo

 

 

The cooking classes are getting a lot of interest, especially Kimchi making class. I love meeting people who have the same passion as I do about cooking or are just curious about Korean food. I’ll be starting regular monthly classes soon so get in early to avoid disappointment!

IMG_2795

 

I will be back at the March Bangkok Farmer market (15th & 29th). If I have time, I will take my friends suggestion and try making green mango kimchi as well this time. That should be an interesting flavor mix. Be sure to come and visit if you are in Bangkok!

 

 

 

 

Gujung celebration

Gujung celebration

Hope everyone had a fantastic Chinese New Year celebration!

This year, I threw a big dinner party introducing  Gujung (Korean New Year) to friends  in Bangkok. I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be serving rice cake soup (dduk guk-click for the recipe) but most people seemed to enjoy it.

Here are some of the photos from the Gujung night…

 

ddukguk3

 

 

I have never made this much ddukguk in my life!!

ddukguk

 

Some of the essential dishes for Gujung!

  • Fried fish

photo

 

  • Fried Zucchinis

zucchinis

 

  • Japche

japche1

 

If you want to read more about Korean Gujung, check out the The Epoch Times Newspaper.  I am a regular contributor now.  It’s fun writing about Korean food and culture. Check out my first article, my best friend’s daughter’s my cute model here!

January article (click the link to open the file)

 

Screen shot 2014-01-19 at 6.07.55 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s already half way through January and I guess everyone has either kick started strong with the new year resolutions or is still struggling with hangover from NYE. My husband and I had a great Christmas in Sydney with the family and then zipped back to spend New Year in Bangkok.

xmas in Sydney

strawberries1

xmas feast-Salmon

After gaining a few kilos over the festive season, we have decided to do a complete detox following Martha Steward’s website. We went through this relatively easy last year so we thought why not!  Well, this time was I wrong… Just cooking and eating vegetable for someone who loves preparing different dishes is painful!! I kicked and moaned and threatened my husband that I was going to quit but here I am in week three of the detox and now starting to enjoy it a lot more as we can eat  fish, grains and beans now.  Hallelujah!

detox

Anyway, enough of my detox. After spending 4 weeks in Sydney, most of my babies in the balcony, especially tomatoes, have dried up but I was happy to see the parsley, basil and mint are still going strong.

The weather is very cool(almost cold!) 23°C in the Bangkok mornings at the moment so it’s an ideal temperature to plant seeds. So here we go…. I have planted Italian zucchini, cucumbers, rockmelon, a few variety of tomatoes, eggplants and lettuce.

seedlings1

  • Heirloom Rockmelons

rockmelon

  • Japanese cucumbers sent by my reader from Singapore (Thank you!)

Japanese cucumber seedling

  • Italian zucchinis seed that I bought from my last trip to Italy

Italian zuchinni

The second project is to start growing micro plants. I hope to harvest these within 7 days and add them to my salads. After day 6 though, there’s not much happening. Perhaps the seeds are too old or kitchen paper towel as a base was not a good idea.

seeds

pink cabbage1

As far as cooking classes are concerned, I am back teaching at Korean Tourism in Singapore from February. Classes will be on 14th and 17th February and I will be teaching Jjapjang bap and pollack soup. If you would like to register for the class, please contact Korean Tourism direct (+65 65330441).

I hope everyone has a very exciting 2014 and Happy New Year once again!

 

 

 

 

 

My not so recent trip to Seoul update

My not so recent trip to Seoul update

I wonder how the year has passed by right in front of my eyes so quickly. 2013 has been filled with mostly happy memories. My husband and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary, 10 years since we first met and our first complete year in Bangkok. I am still traveling back to Singapore whenever I can to conduct group classes and private events. Hopefully, there are  lots of interesting adventures in store for us 2014.

 

A late update of my not so recent trip to Seoul….

If you are planning a trip to Korea, I think Autumn is the best time to travel. I was almost shocked  at how clear the sky was and how refreshing the air was.  You could mistake this picture with a postcard. No photoshop, a quick snap of Seoul with my iphone from the subway.

 

view from the train

 

I like trying new dishes whenever I visit Seoul. Italian cuisine is the latest trend in Korea. It’s not quite my scene as I always look forward to authentic Korean food whenever I am there. Oh well, I can’t try Italian food in Korea, can I, so I resisted and stuck to me beloved Korean food!!

First stop, Gwangjang market for some authentic street food! This time I thought I will be a little more adventurous…

I have tried Chicken feet before and the sight of it has never convinced me to try it again but these ones at the market were rather delicious – especially washed down with a nice cold rice wine.

chicken feet

 

rice wine

 

Pork three ways – Pork belly, blood sausage and pigs ear. We used to feed  dried pig’s ear to our pet dog, but now it is a delicacy! How can I describe it… chewy??  At least I can proudly say I have tried them for the first time.

 

Pork three ways

 

Next, freshly made mung bean pancake.  There were so many stalls cooking mung bean pancakes but they all seemed to be deep frying. We finally found one that used a fry pan. Between three people, we could barely finish half of the pancake. Doggy bag!  The chilli rice cake thought was a little disappointing and quite tasteless… I think I can make this better!!

 

mung bean pancake

 

chilli rice cake

 

On the second last day of my trip to Seoul, one of my relatives invited me to a neighbourhood restaurant that specialises in oysters. I have always considered oysters as potentially dangerous if you don’t eat them fresh. I have had friends get very ill eating oysters in Asia, so I normally only eat them when I go back to Australia.

Apparently oysters are in season from October in Korea. This particular restaurant specialises in Octopus most of the year but from October they only sell oysters.

To start with we had oysters steamed…  After it was steamed for 15 minute or so, we were given gloves and knives to shuck our own oysters. Each oyster was as big as my hand and so sweet!

oysters steamed 1

 

In addition to the steamed oysters, we had a big plate of fresh oysters to wrap with pork belly. I was speechless. It was just amazing. The saltiness of oysters married with boiled pork belly wrapped with chilli radish in Chinese cabbage leaves was just heavenly.

 

oysters2

 

To finish off, we had oyster pancake. I was so full already but I was on a mission to stuff down as much as I can. I wasn’t sure when I was going to have this much oysters in one go again!! What was most surprising was the total bill  was only S$100 including alcohol. What a bargain!!

 

For my last night in Seoul, my parents decided to pamper me with my favourite food which is also in season.  Crabs!! My parents bought live crabs from the seafood market and steamed them straight away for dinner!  Can you tell which ones are male and female crabs? Females have lots of eggs but less meat and male crabs are very meaty.

crab steamed

 

The two top ones are females and the bottom one is male. Can you see the difference in shape of their tummy? Female ones have inverted U shape and males ones are shaped like a tip of a rocket.

 

Dinner time!!

dinner

 

 

When you open the female crab, you get the orange eggs and it’s juice. I prefer female crabs so I can mix the eggs with steamed rice! I wouldn’t indulge too often, they are high in cholesterol.

 

female crab

 

We just demolished them….

empty shells

 

I have so many photos and stories to share about this trip but it will have to wait until 2014. We are back in Sydney visiting family and friends and enjoying beautiful Sydney. It’s been a while since we had our Christmas back home, I am ready for Christmas ham and Christmas cake cooked by someone else!

Have a fantastic Christmas and see you all back in New Year!

IMG_6340