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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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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.

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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!!

 

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My organic kimchi!

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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!

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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!

 

 

 

 

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!

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Korean food at Bangkok Farmers Market

Korean food at Bangkok Farmers Market

We finally did it. Two days of pure excitement, fun and most of all, hearing all the great comments from the customers who came to visit my stall. It made me forget how tired I was. Without my friends, this wouldn’t have happened(you know who you are – thanks you!!) and also to my husband for his encouragement.  Thank you all lovely people!

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If you were wondering what I was cooking and selling, here is our menu.

menu

 

 

First, Hot Cinnamon Pancake (aka. Hodduk). I must have tested this recipe 10 times until I was finally satisfied. My aunt in Los Angeles has a shop selling hodduk and she shared her secret recipe. I thought mine was actually better though. We also played around with fillings including jam and nutella  to see if we could sell other flavours. In the end we stayed with the traditional sugar and cinnamon filling. It was a great success!

photo 2

 

Next, Organic Kimchi – this was my best seller. I have never had  much success with Kimchi in Singapore but I found using fresh organic cabbage  in Bangkok made so much difference. Check out the labels that my creative friend designed!!  I sold out the whole batch I made on the first day of the market and stayed up all night making more for the next day.

photo 2

 

 

Seafood pancake and bibimbap.

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My dear friends who helped out both on Saturday and Sunday. Once again, thank you!!!

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sandra and Nicky

 

Enough about my stall, let me share some photos of the rest of the market. There were interesting and fun activities throughout the two days and even a live band to keep us bouncing.

 

My favourite bread stall – Urban Pantry, fantastic sourdough breads.

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Organic veggies!! I love these baby carrots. Check out the colours of the lettuce…

veggies

 

lettuce

 

 

I finally feel like I am being part of the community in Bangkok. I met some really interesting people who are working towards building a great community  here and I am proud to say that I am a part of it. Until next time….

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Hodduck class at Korean Tourism Singapore

Hodduck class at Korean Tourism Singapore

I was back in Singapore last week teaching at Korean tourism. It was really good to be back there meeting enthusiastic Korean food lovers.  This class was  all bout teaching Hodduk (호떡)! Check out my  previous blog on how to cook this.

 

about to start the class

 

KakaoTalk_Erica Pak_2 August, 2013

 

KakaoTalk_Erica Pak_2 August, 2013

 

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Next class back in Singapore is on 11 September  and I will teaching chilli rice cake (aka dduk bok yi -떡뽁이).   Contact Korean tourism to register!

Eating my way through the streets of Seoul III

Eating my way through the streets of Seoul III

You may remember my giant steam bun(hobbang) from my previous blog. The bun which was as big as my face?

 

hobbang

 

We arrived to have hobbang for lunch at this famous cafe near Gwanghwamun area in Seoul but realised they were only available from 2pm.  While we waited, we decided to try another famous dish, Chilli rice cake (dduk bok yi -떡뽁이).  The best part was that we get to cook it on our  table. This is called instant dduk bok yi(즉석 떡볶이). You can also add extra ingredients such as instant noodles, vermicelli, fish cake or chewy noodles . Instead of ordering our usual ddukbokyi, my friends suggested pizza dduk bok yi. What the??

menu

 

 

As you can see below, we ordered the extra chewy noodle on top, only S$1.70!

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Doesn’t this look spicy and delicious?   It was starting to get chilli outside and this was just perfect dish to warm us up. And then final ingredient arrived…

rice cake cooking

 

 

Mozzarella cheese was sprinkled on top as our final step.  We now have pizza dduk bok yi!

cheese piza

 

 

Cheese on top of  dduk bok yi wasn’t my thing. It just didn’t seemed to go together, but my friends loved it. I picked around the cheese as you can see below.

rice cake

 

 

As I am writing this I have a sudden craving for dduk bok yi right now… I might have to head out to Korea Town to see if I can find decent cafe or restaurant.  Hungry!!! 🙁   I tend to gain 2-3 kg while I am in Seoul for a week. The reason is there is breakfast, morning tea, lunch, snack and then dinner and supper and repeat for a week!

 

While we were waiting for hobbang to be ready, we stopped by a Coco Bruni cafe nearby and had some lovely cakes and teas… The cafe is a chain so you will be able to find it in many locations in Seoul.

Coco Bruni

 

 

The cakes were so delicately made and melted in our mouth so smoothly. Such a different texture and taste to what we just had…

cakes

 

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Now back to hobbang. This is the man behind this wonderful hobbang. He was making them earlier and waiting for them to rise and now he is steaming them.

 

hobbang man

 

 

Finally, they are ready. I have been waiting for these for 3 hours!!

hobbang

 

 

We ordered 3 buns with 3 different fillings. I think the owner thought we were 3 little piggies….  The first one is with red bean paste filling. This is my favourite but today it seemed too much red bean paste. The second one is with cooked sweet potato filling and this was new, not bad at all. The third one is mixed vegetable with pork. A bit like Chinese dumpling except it’s a giant bun. Out of 3, the one with vegetables and pork was the best. I noticed a lot of people of taking them back to the office or home.

red bean hobbang

 

hobbang with sweet potatoe

 

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This cafe is not hard to find but if you are not familiar with the area, it might not be easy. I would recommend your hotel to call the cafe and write down the direction.  Remember, the buns are not ready before  2-3pm in the afternoon. Have ddukbokyi as your main and hobbang to take away to your hotel. One side of the cafe is called Bbang Hana palgu and the other side is called Sanhane cafe. Strange…

 

Cafe name: Bbang Hana pal gu  (translation –  selling one bun)  Tel: +82-2-756-0189

빵하나 팔구

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating my way through the streets of Seoul.

Eating my way through the streets of Seoul.

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.

Have a great week everyone!  😉