Fried Anchovy recipe

Fried Anchovy recipe

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)

Direction:

  • 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.
Have a great weekend!

 

Trip to Korea – Korean breakfast

Trip to Korea – Korean breakfast

While I was in Korea last week, I ate as if it was my last meal and my family fed me like I was never going to eat again. Here are some of the pictures of my breakfast prepared for me.

So you can see what real Koreans usually eat for breakfast. Rice, Korean miso soup, lotus root in soy sauce, stir fried oyster mushroom, stir fried eggplant, steamed broccoli and pickled green chillis. Some of the side dishes you will see in every Korean household. Yes, I forgot to mention the centre plate is chilli crab. Yes, chilli crab for breakfast!! I must admit I love crab a lot so I could eat it everyday for dinner but not for breakfast at 8am.  There is a dish missing in this picture. Can you guess?  KIMCHI!    I just couldn’t bring myself to eat kimchi for breakfast.

Yes, you are looking at blue swimmer crab cooked in chilli sauce. I had this for two days in a row for breakfast because there was so much of it. I thought I was going to get sick eating such heavy food but I was fine, just very uncomfortable….  I had sleepless nights from too much food in my stomach! Seriously…

Korean miso soup (den jang jji ge). Commonly served for  breakfast or lunch or dinner.

Lotus roots cooked in soy sauce

Stir fried eggplants

Stir fried oyster mushroom

You might wonder how these Korean family have this type of meals every day. Well, the trick is to make a lot on the weekend and eat during the week.  By cooking one or tw0 dishes only for the meal, it still feels like you have an amazing meal.

This breakfast table is not as heavy as previous one. After much complaining, my family started preparing smaller breakfasts. Check out the two fish – both of which I had to finish!! 🙁

Despite all my complaints about the breakfast, it was great to have a hot meal prepared by my mum. Thank you!!!  ❤

Dear readers, what do you usually have for breakfast? I know some readers in Singapore  eat noodles or pork buns for breakfast but still not as heavy a meal like Koreans.  Do you also have breakfast as interesting as this?  I would love to hear from you! 🙂

Korean cooking class – teaching 45 ladies!

Korean cooking class – teaching 45 ladies!

For the second year in a row, I shared a joy of Korean cooking with 45 Singaporean ladies. Due to the size of the class, there was lots and lots of preparation required beforehand. Trying to buy ingredients for 45 students is not easy!

I taught two dishes – Seafood pancake (해물 파전) and Japche (잡채). Seafood pancake is an all time favorite for any Korean food lover. Jap che is considered a special dish in Korea as it is mostly served only on a special occasion, eg: birthday parties, house warming, etc.

I’m not sure what I would have done without my staff who organised everything behind the scenes. Special thanks to Christina!

Registration for the class starting…

 

Waiting for the class to start.

I always share how I became a teacher of Korean cooking with my students. Also, it’s all about having fun!

Today’s menu- Seafood pancake(해물 파전) & Jap che (잡채). I am holding  a bottle of Korean sesame seeds by CJ Korea. It’s really top quality. Luckily these are all available throughout Singapore Fairprice supermarkets and it’s really good stuff!

Time to show everyone how it is done. With a big class like this, I always start with a demo first then assist everyone with the hands on.

One of the most exciting section for the students – lucky door prize. Thanks to my sponsors, Luminarc and CJ Korea!

First, Korean ingredients as lucky door prizes by CK Korea.

Winners are….

. . . .

. . .

. .

.

.

Then, glassware and dinner sets by Luminarc. Second lot of winners are….

Time for the real fun – first dish, seafood pancake!

To make a nice thin and round pancake – you have to press it down!

How beautiful is this pancake!!

Next dish is japche – Korean sweet potato noodles with various vegetables.

Finally….

It was a big day for me but seeing all the students smiling and enjoying their food they cooked make me forget how tired I was!

Thank you everyone for having a great time!  As my staff described the day, it wasn’t working, it was pure fun!

Check out the July schedule for regular classes and if you are interested in a team building or cooking party, drop me an email!

Korea town in Kuala Lumpur

Korea town in Kuala Lumpur

I really enjoy  discovering “Korea towns” in different cities when I travel and sharing my little discoveries with everyone through my blog. As I travel quite frequently, I am starting to see a big difference in various cities.

My last exploration was in Kuala Lumpur(KL), Malaysia. I used to live in KL 7 years ago and never noticed how many Korean restaurants or grocery store there were. According to my research, there are more than 20,000 Koreans living in KL so its only natural that a “Korea town” would pop up.

My adventure started with a 20 minute taxi ride from KL city  to an area called “Sri Hartamas”. If you only spoke Korean then you could survive in this suburb :-). There were at least two Korean supermarkets in the area, many Korean restaurants and countless hair dressers (Why are there so many hairdressers?? – Are we that vain that we need to look our best when we are grocery shopping?!).

My first pit stop was Seoul Mart. What I really liked about this Korean supermarket was that they had fresh vegetables and fruit directly from Korea.

You can see Korean zucchinis, mandarins and apples as well as Korean squid and frozen fish .

I was curious to find out what else this supermarket had so I tested them by asking if they had a cold medicine called “contact 600”. (This is a famous brand and works wonders  for a cold) To my surprise,  the grocer had some for sale on the counter. So with only a 1 hour flight or 5 hour coach ride from Singapore I can now get my Korea fix! They had everything except the Korean weather…..

I was getting a little hungry so the owner of the Seoul Mart pointed me to a restaurant upstairs from the grocery store called Daore. The name of the restaurant in Korean means “Come everyone”. Strange name for a restaurant but I guess it makes sense, right? 🙂

I ordered a hot stone bowl bibimbap (dol sot bibimbap – 돌솥 비빔밥) which is a perfect lunch dish when you need a lot of energy for exploring a city. Koreans usually have dol sot bibimbap in winter,. It’s normally too hot to have in Malaysia or Singapore but the aircon in the restaurant was strong enough to make me wish I had brought a scarf.

The meal was served with many delicious side dishes. I had to resist not to eat too much of these before the dol sot bibimbap arrived. The kimchi tasted and looked authentic, and the cabbage salad was amazingly refreshing.

After a nice lunch, I went further down the street and found a Korean rice cake shop. Yum – My favourite! But unfortunately they  had moved and no matter what  way I looked at the directions , I couldn’t find the new shop. Later I found out they have not yet opened at the new address.. 🙁  If you ever around the area and find it, drop by to check it out and let me know.

Around the block from the Seoul Mart, is another grocery stored called “Lotte Mart” and a number of other Korean run stores.

I will be back in KL again soon to do more shopping. I am also organising Korean cooking class in KL soon, so I will keep you posted. Hope to see you there soon! ^_^

Kids love vegetables!

Kids love vegetables!

When I received an email from the girlscouts leader at North View High School about conducting a cooking lesson, I was over the moon. Firstly, I was surprised the school was so creative on offering different activities and secondly, a chance to teach at a local Singapore school for the first time.

When I arrived, I was amazed at how well equipped the school was and how great they were in helping me to set up.

Most of the students had never tried Korean food and I was curious to see if they were going to eat any of the food they cooked.  The majority of the students admitted that they eat McDonald 2-3 times a week so I squeezed some healthy eating tips into my lesson as well.

We cooked two dishes. First we started off with soybean sprout salad and then we cooked bibimbap. The objective of the session was for the students to learn stir frying and boiling. I also stressed the importance of food presentation  as this was going to be one of the key points for picking a winner. I was surprised to learn that some of the students had never seen soybean sprouts or tasted them before.

Check out the soybean sprout salad that the students made – they were so proud!

Next was bibimbap with lots of cutting and stir frying of vegetables!!


Then came the time to pick the winner! The judges were the home economics teacher, the girls scout teacher and myself. As we couldn’t try all their food, we based the winner on presentation. It was so hard to choose just one so we ended up picking two instead!


First winner: We chose this plate as they showed initiative in creativity and colours.

2nd winner: This winner was picked as it had the best cut and plated vegetables and was very clean.

Seeing all the students eating what they cooked was the most enjoyable part for me. Thanks to North View Secondary School for an opportunity to spread healthy eating life style to the kids! 🙂

Chu seok (추석) – Korean Thanksgiving Day!

Chu seok (추석) – Korean Thanksgiving Day!

Chu seok is the second biggest festival after Chinese New Year in Korea. It is celebrated on the 15th day of  August by the Chinese calendar which means it falls on the 22nd of September this year. In days gone by, it was to celebrate the great autumn harvest and thank the ancestors by offering newly harvested rice and fruits. Nowadays, as most people are living in the big cities, the tradition is to visit your family where ever they may be.

As Chu seok is approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to conduct a class based on the food that we cook and eat during this festival. Rice cakes called song pyeon (송편) are essential for the celebrations. It is a half moon shaped rice cake made from either bean paste or sesame seeds with honey.

Another type of food also we enjoy eating is mung bean pancake (녹두 빈대떡). First you need to soak the organic mung beans  over night  and then peel the shells by rubbing them between your hands. Boy, I must have spent at least half an hour peeling the mung bean shells and my hands were tired at the end of it. There must be a better way. I wonder if they sell pre-made mung bean pancake powder? 🙂

I put the mung beans through the blender with a bit of water until they were liquefied. Then I added some cooked bean sprouts and chopped kimchi mixed together with a few scoops of glutinous flour.

Finally I pan fried them in in medium heat with vegetable oil cooking for a few minutes on each side.

There is even a comedy song about mung bean pancakes. It’s about a gentlemen who went to  a fine dining restaurant and had his meal but didn’t have any money so he gets beaten up by the restaurant.  The moral of the song is to go and  buy mung bean pancakes at a pub rather than an up-scale restaurant.  Check out the song by clicking here!

If you want to learn about Korean Thanksgiving and cook some traditional Korean dishes, I have devised a special Thanksgiving class scheduled on the 18th September. Don’t forget to register early, seats are filling up already!

Korean BBQ class

Korean BBQ class

Korean BBQ must be one of the most loved dishes of visitors going to Korea. Korean BBQ dishes were high on the list of  food to eat everytime I went to Korea with work colleagues. Those a little more daring tried the live octopus. I will leave this topic for next time. 🙂

Last Saturday was Korean BBQ class. We cooked bul go gi (불고기 -beef marinated in soy sauce), spring onion salad and fried anchovies. I thought spring onion salad would be a suitable dish to learn as most of Korean BBQ restaurants will serve it with the BBQ in Korea.

  • Fried anchovies were extra crispy and crunchy like biscuits. Koreans have this side dish with every meal as our parents always told us the anchovies are full of calcium.
  • Spring onion salad to accompany bul go gi

I prepared some steamed rice, lettuce to wrap the beef and the spring onion salad with,. I also brought out some kimchi I made a few weeks ago. I guess everyone enjoyed all the dishes as there were no leftovers to take away.

Next Korean BBQ class is on 30th October. Don’t forget to register early!

Korean restaurant review #2 – Gaia (가야)

Korean restaurant review #2 – Gaia (가야)

I heard about a Korean restaurant called Gaia from a well known chef in Singapore. Apparently the owner is Korean and she is in the process of writing a Korean cook book. I though this might be the authentic Korean restaurant I have been looking for.  Previously, it was Dae Jang Keum in Shenton Way, but they have changed management and it’s no longer as authentic as it used to be.

Gaia is located at Suntec. There were some events on when we were there and it was very noisy outside. So we chose to sit inside.  Some of the wait staff were Korean, so that got my hopes up. We ordered yuk ge jang (육계장 – spicy chilli beef soup) and the sun du bu lunch sets. (순두부 – sun du bu + chilli chicken) There were six different side dishes which kept us very happy until the main dishes arrived. My favourite side dish was muk (acorn jelly in soy sauce) and my girlfriend’s was Lotus roots in soy sauce.

The main dishes arrived and the sun du bu was excellent. It was almost like having it back in Korea. However, my  yuk ge jang was different to what I remembered. So my girlfriend tried it as well and we weren’t quite sure what it was but it almost tasted like it was about to go off. We asked the waitress if we can change. The owner  came out and explained that they make a new batch every day and they add special wine to get rid of the beef smell but we weren’t convinced. She recommended another dish and was very apologetic. I ended up ordering grilled mackrel and finished the lunch with complementary watermelon slice.

Overall, I would give the food 7 out of 10 and 8 out of 10 for the service. Drop by the restaurant for lunch rather than dinner as it is a bit pricey. Lunch was around $15 per person.

  • Gaia restaurant – 3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-10/12, Suntech City Mall, Singapore. Tel: Tel: 65 6339 3313

All time favourite – gol beng yi muchim!

All time favourite – gol beng yi muchim!

Has anyone tried gol beng yi muchim (골뱅이 무침)? It’s a dish Koreans love eating when we are out at a pub drinking beer or soju.  It’s very spicy and sour and quite a heavy dish when you are drinking but you soon get used to it.

Other dishes we like eating when are drinking at the pubs include seafood pancake, dried squid with roasted peanuts and fried spicy chicken.  I should do a blog on the drinking culture next time I am in Korea, but suffice to say Koreans love their alcohol!!.

Main ingredients are top shells, chilli sauce and vinegar:

As for vegetables, slice cucumbers diagonally and chop some spring onions. Usually, you also add sliced onions, but I am not a big fan of eating them raw so I skipped it. The additional ingredient I added was dried squid which I soaked in the top shell liquid for about 20minutes to soften it up.

Sauce:

  • Mixing the sauce : 2 tbsp of chili sauce, 2 tbsp of chilli powder, 3 tbsp of vinegar(I used concentrated apple vinegar), 1 tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic, some minced ginger, sesame oil and sesame seeds.
  • Add the sauce mix to the vegetables, top shells and dried squid

 

You can add noodles (somyun that I used in my previous blog) to make it a complete meal, but this time I used it as a side dish for dinner. Give it a try and let me know!

Korean restaurant review – Kim’s family restaurant

Korean restaurant review – Kim’s family restaurant

I don’t usually eat out to have Korean food as I can cook most of the dishes myself. I also found Korean food in Singapore is mostly modified to suit the locals so it is generally sweeter. There are  a few dishes though that it’s difficult to replicate in my kitchen such as gam ja tang (aka potato stew) so when I saw a Razor TV episode showing a Korean restaurant specialising in gam ja tang, I was on a mission to try it out.

  • Kim’s Family Restaurant – 17 Lorong Kilat Singapore 598139. Tel: 65-6465 0535

I think due to the publicity on Razor TV, Kim’s Family restaurant has attracted a lot of customers. When we arrived on Sunday evening around 7pm, there were many customers waiting. It took us about 15mintues to get a table. I didn’t see any Korean customers dining so I thought  we weren’t off to a good start.

We specifically went to Kim’s Family restaurant to try gam ja tang but we were told  that it needs to be ordered one day in advance. What a disappointment! We ended up ordering sun du bu (my girlfriend’s favourite dish-chilli silken tofu soup), seafood pancake, chilli pork with rice, chilli octopus with rice and my favourite, yuk ge jang(chilli beef soup). We were dining with another couple so don’t worry, it wasn’t just the two of us ordering all that food……

Firstly, there were lots of side dishes but they were not very tasty. The sun du bu was  too oily ( you can see in the picture) as was the pancake. However the chilli pork and chilli octupus were both really, really good. The restaurant forgot about my yuk ge jang so we never got to try it. So, would I go back to this restaurant? perhaps not.

When you are looking for an authentic Korean restaurant (outside Korea of course), the first rule of thumb is to check out if there are a lot of Koreans dining there. It is usually a good indication of the food and service level. We Koreans are very very fussy with our food!! ^_^

Let me know what your favorite Korean restaurant is.