After reading through weeks of their facebook posts, I couldn’t help myself but to subscribe to their munching box. A 4kg box full of organic vegetables and fruits gets delivered to your door step every week. The exciting thing is that it’s contents is based on what’s produced seasonally and locally in Thailand. Apparently, you are supposed to consume vegetables and fruits 4 hours after it’s been picked in order to enjoy the optimal taste and nutrients. I think this box is as close I am going to get unless I have my little farm growing vegetables and fruit myself.
I was like a kid opening my first box of goodies when our first box arrived. Who wouldn’t you when you see them…?? They were so fresh and crisp!
My favourite of all were the fresh carrots. We munched away on them raw and they were delicious! We then moved on to passion fruit and rose apples. So sweet!
Since the box’s arrival, our meals have been based on all the vegetables from the box. Last night’s dinner was radish done two ways in Korean style. Koreans use a lot of radish in our dishes, mostly stews and soups! I prepared dried Pollack soup and hair tail fish with radish in soy sauce to help cure my cold. I will post the recipes in the next few weeks, I promise!
The box included Amaranth which I have never used before. Luckily the CSA guys provided a recipe and my first attempt trying these colourful leaves was a success.
There have been a lot of activities in the balcony garden last two weeks. More seeds arrived from Korea and I have been busy planting. Now I have baby chicory, broccoli, kale, Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, and raddish. It should only take 2-3weeks to grow and I can add them to my salad.
They are really simple to grow. All you need is a piece of kitchen towel, a bowl and some water. In the instruction packet, it said to water them 2-3 times a day with water spray. I started off with baby radish first. Only a few more days to go and these little baby sprouts are going into my salad!
Next one is baby Chinese cabbage, like the ones used in kimchi. Instead of growing in a bowl, I am growing them in soil to see how big they get. I am curious to see how they will look in 3 weeks.
Now some updates on the ones I planted in the beginning of February.
My Thai cucumbers are growing really well. It’s ready to be transplanted to bigger pots. I just need to find some space on my balcony.
The Korean perilla plants are looking really healthy. The outer leaves are almost ready to be picked but I am going to resist and wait for them to grow a little taller. A little creepy crawly got to one of my leaves already which taught me to check the back of the leaves more frequently. I thought I was only one eying the perilla leaves…
The most exciting result this week is my cucumber. I harvested one cucumber already a few days ago. When I cut it in half, the skin looked and felt really thick but they were sweet and refreshing. According to my research, you need to pick the first vegetable early, so there will be many more. The name tags keep falling off so I not sure which cucumber this is exactly but from memory I think it’s the seeds I bought from Malaysia.
My information appears to be correct because after I picked my first cucumber, a few more started to appear. In the past, I haven’t had a lot of success with cucumbers in Singapore. I thought it was just the weather but now I think I found the secret. Cucumbers need lots water and calcium. I learnt that crushed egg shells are a great source of calcium. All you need to do wash and dry them and put them through a spice grinder to turn them into powders.
Cucumbers have both male and female flowers. The cucumbers grow from the female flowers. To help them along, I have artificially hand pollinated the female flowers by cutting back the surrounding petals of male flowers and dabbing it inside female flower. The picture above is two days after the female flower has been hand pollinated. Today I had a look at the cucumber and it’s now half the size of my hand.
Finally, I have been picking lots of cherry tomatoes from my garden. It’s not enough to have a salad with but it keep us smiling everytime we get to taste a real tomato straight off the vine. 🙂
Apologies for posting this one so late. My husband’s birthday was in November and I am only now posting photos of his birthday dinner.
I decided to cook only traditional Korean birthday dishes for my husband, without even asking him what he wanted for his party. We invited a group of our friends and it was interesting to see the different responses from all the dishes I cooked.
The first dish is called “hwang-te gui” (황태 구이). I tried to find an English name for this dish but no luck. Hwang-te is a dried fish and is normally cooked in a chilli sauce with garlic. Koreans eat this on special occasions and it’s also served with beers at pubs.
The second dish which turned out great is sweet and sour chicken (kkan-pung-gi-깐풍기). It’s a chinese dish but its also very popular in Korea. It’s fried crispy and mixed with sweet and sour sauce.
The next photo has 3 different types of dishes in one. The first one on the left is mung bean pancake(빈대떡). The one in the middle is fried fish(생선전) and the last one on the right is fried zucchinis(호박전). You will find these at a birthday dinner all the time. I remember cooking these whenever it was my father’s birthday or some other festive occasion (New Year, Thanksgiving, etc).
The most important dish out of all for a birthday is seaweed soup – mi yek guk (미역국). This soup can be cooked with beef or mussels although personally I prefer it with mussels. The shop is normally given to new mother for about a month after giving birth. It is supposed to aid with breast feeding. So to symbolise your birth and your mother’s hard work, it’s a must dish that you eat it on your birthday.
The other dishes I cooked were sweet poato glass noodles(jap che -잡채) and acorn jelly salad (도토리묵). Out of all the dishes I cooked, sweet and sour chicken was the most popular dish then followed by the noodles. It’s always great to see my friends enjoying my food!