An-nyung Korea!

An-nyung Korea!

I received an email today from a Korean reporter who has published a story on the An-nyung Korea event in Singapore last August. I was working at this event demonstrating how to make bibimbap (비빔밥) and dduk bok yi (떡복이). I can’t believe I made to Korean TV!!!!  If you want a glimpse of the report, click here. It’s in Korean, but I am sure you can get the gist.

Here are some pictures of the event.

 

Getting ready for the cooking demonstration!

 

 Ingredients for bibimbap.

 

Beautiful colour and healthy dish….

 

Now, time for the next dish. Dduk bok yi!

 

It’s ready! Looks spicy… 🙂

 

Time for tasting!

Simply Her September issue

Simply Her September issue

I was very excited to be invited to contribute a recipe in the September issue of Simply Her magazine. My first magazine interview and photo session!  Now I know how the photo shoots are done in magazines.

 

Don’t move…

 

Let’s move this to here and then this over there….

>So now waiting begins….

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A month later, here are the photos and the recipe. They look fantastic, don’t they?

 

 

 

My recipe is in the Home and Kids Cooking class section (page 156).  5 minutes of fame!  ^_^

Food glorious Korean food!

Food glorious Korean food!

I have reached rock bottom this week.  It’s been a month since I came back from Korea and my craving for all the wonderful Korean food I had  in Seoul is uncontrollable. Maybe too much of a good thing in one week wasn’t such a good idea?

Here are some of the dishes that I enjoyed during my trip. I think I had about 4-5 meals a day so I could get through my wish list.

 

  • Seafood stew – literal translation is steamed seafood (hemul jjim-해물찜) but it seemed like everything is called steamed and followed by fried rice with the left overs. Looks spicy, right? Well, it was damn spicy!!  Believe it or not, I had this for lunch and a few shots of soju (Korean rice wine)… yes, drinking during lunch time.  Nap time!!

 

 

 

 

  • I had oyster omelets for supper… and more drinking! I caught up with my primary school teacher and had a feast of BBQ pork. That was followed by supper with my relatives at 11pm. Yet more soju… bring it on!!  This was the best oyster omelet I had in my life…. Lightly fried with egg batter and a soy sauce dip. Yummy!

 

 

 

 

  • The next two dishes were interesting. Pork belly and pork ribs on a hot plate. This was a tiny restaurant near my parents place and it was packed. It was a rainy and miserable evening and the BBQ was perfect for the night.  Check out the fat on this pork belly….

 

 

  • Yes we grill everything including kimchi!

 

  • These pork ribs were so lean and tender. Hardly any spice on them yet still a wonderful aroma.

 

 

 

  • The next dish was from a restaurant next door. My aunt loves this dish so much she always order it while eating the BBQ pork belly and ribs. Chicken feet in chilly sauce. All the bones are removed. They were very crunchy.

 

 

  • What I crave the most on a day like this (rainy and cool) is kal guk su (handmade noodle soup). This particular one was made with ox tail stock. Normally the stock is made with either anchovies or clams. I think what made this special was their homemade kimchi and the soy sauce they added to the noodle.

 

 

After looking at these photos again, I think I will have to do something about my cravings… What to cook, what to cook….??

Waiter! there is a bug in my food…

Waiter! there is a bug in my food…

When I was walking around Gwang jang market (refer to my last post here), I came across some Korean food I haven’t seen for many many years. Beondegi (번데기)!

Believe it or not, this used to be my favorite street snack when I was young. Nowadays, you just don’t see street vendors selling it any more.

 

 

So what are beondegi….? I didn’t even know until I looked up the translation in English. I was in horror. I always thought they looked a little suspicious and in the back of my mind I knew they were some sort of little creatures but I refused to admit it because they tasted so good. Now I know what they are I don’t think I can ever eat them again….   🙁

 

According to my research, beondegi are  silkworm pupae.  Yes, Silkworm!!!   I always thought Koreans didn’t eat insects but I guess I am wrong.

So what do they taste like? It’s hard to describe in one word… It’s nutty and neither soft nor crunchy. I can’t compare with any other food. The ones in the pictures are not cooked so you can either steam or boil with some salt and eat them as a snack. They are known to be high in protein and a lot of people eat them when they are drinking alcohol.

 

You can also buy these little creatures in a can already cooked and seasoned.

  • Stew style canned beondegi for 1900 won (approx S$2)

 

 

  • Seasoned beondegi 760won (less than S$1)

 

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen these in Singapore supermarkets so you can’t rush out and buy them to try. If you are heading to Korea or know someone going to Korea, you can always ask them to get you a can if you are brave enough to try!

 

 

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 – bibimbap

Korean cooking class – bibimbap

I really enjoy cooking and eating like all food bloggers but most of all  I really enjoy teaching cooking. Every time I see my students enjoying their creation at the end of the class, it makes me even happier.

Here is short clip of  my Korean cooking class at Korean Tourism Singapore yesterday teaching bibimbap (비빔밥). Enjoy!

 

 

 

Jjim dak – Korean braised chicken

Jjim dak – Korean braised chicken

When one of my students asked me if I can teach  Jjim dak (찜닭), I had a sudden craving for the dish. I quickly called around my family to find a recipe. Jjim dak became very popular in Korea to a point where you can almost find a Jjim dak restaurant on every corner and each one insisted that they were the original. Apparently this dish originated from a city called Andong, Korea and was made with very spicy Korean green chillis. I always wondered why it was called Jjim dak as it translates to steamed chicken but it is actually braised in soy sauce.

How to make Jjim dak (serves 3-4 people)

  • Ingredients: 10 chicken drumsticks & 10 wings, 1 potato, 1/2 carrot, 1 onion, 6 dates soaked in water, 10 dried chillies, 1 birds eye chilli, 1 leek, 1 handful of dangmyun (sweet potato noodle), 5 cups of water
  • Sauce: 8 tbsp Korean soy sauce, 1 tbs oyster sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp chopped garlic, 1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger, 1/2 tbsp sesame oil, 3 tbsp soju (Korean rice wine), 1/4 sesame seeds, some salt & pepper

  • Soak the dang myun in hot water to soften

  • Marinate the chicken in 2 tbsp of soju, some salt and pepper for 30 minutes

 

  • Add the marinated chicken, 5 cups of water, dried chillies and red dates in a pot and boil on a high heat for about 15 minutes. This is to cook the chicken. Mix all the sauce ingredients listed above and add to the chicken while it’s boiling

 

  • Add all the vegetables except the leek in to the pot and boil for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

  • As a final step, add the dang myun, leeks, and sesame seeds. My original recipe required only dried chillies but they were not spicy enough so I added the bird eye chilli to give that extra spiciness.

  • Unfortunately, my camera was playing up and I lost most of the photos I took when I was plating the dish. I managed to save a few only…   🙁

  • It was so spicy that I drank about a jug water with the chicken but my husband and I still managed to eat most of it. Instead of calling this dish Jjim dak, I think they should call it firey chicken.

 

 

Try the recipe and let me me know how you like this dish. Enjoy! 🙂

CJ Korea competition winner

CJ Korea competition winner

In February, I announced a little contest sponsored by CJ Korea. I asked my Korean food lovers to send in photos of their Korean cooking using CJ’s ingredients.

Thank you everyone for sending all your photos! It was difficult to pick just one winner as they all looked so good!. The winner is Evelyn Y who sent in a photo of Japche(잡채) using CJ’s noodle (dang myun- 당면). I will be in touch with Evelyn to follow up on the prize. Congratulations!

 

 

 

Sun du bu class

Sun du bu class

Yesterday’s seafood silken tofu stew (he mul sun du bu jji ge – 해물 순두부) class was all about perfecting Korean stock and home made chilli oil.

When the stock is made with fresh ingredients such as seafood, meat, vegetables or any combination, I find the food is  much more tastier than just using ready made stock cubes.

We also made radish salad to go with the stew. It’s a refreshing salad which is perfect for hot summer weather like Singapore. It requires great skills in cutting radish in julienne shape, so I provided a peeler which cuts in strips (a little bit of cheating I know but it saves a lot of time). The peelers are available at Daiso and its worth investing the princely sum of $2.00.

The best part is putting it all togeher and tasting what everyone cooked.  The jji ge was better than ones you taste in Korean restaurants in Singapore! We made so much that  there was enough left over to take home to the family.

Thanks everyone for joining me yesterday, I hope your families enjoyed the left overs! 🙂

PS: I love to read your comments/question on each post. Instead of sending me an individual email, please leave a comment so we can share with other readers. Thanks!

Win a bag of CJ goodies

Win a bag of CJ goodies

Last month, I was invited to an event organised by CJ Korea one of the largest food companies in Korea.  They found me through Google (how did we ever survive without the internet?!)  and at the time it sounded like some kind of some product promotion.   CJ  Korea is also known as Cheil Jedang. When I was growing up, Cheil Jedang (제일 제당) was known for selling sugar, however over time they expanded to other types of Korean food.

When I realised CJ Korea was Cheil Jedang, I was very excited and honored to be invited by a such a reputable Korean company and be a part of the event. Different food bloggers were invited to experience Singapore food  made with Korean ingredients. I was so excited that when I got home I called my parents to tell them all about it!  🙂

All Fairprice stores are now carrying a lot of CJ products and Cold Storage also carry their frozen dumplings. I find these days that it is getting easier to access Korean ingredients and  it is much cheaper than buying from Korean grocery stores.  I have tried most of their products and  I highly recommend them – especially the dumplings!

To celebrate Chinese New year, I am giving away $50 worth of  their products. All you have to do is email me a photo and short description (1 sentence) of a Korean dish you cooked using one of CJ’s ingredients.  Please email to info@nickyskitchen.com.sg by 20 March 2011. The most mouth watering and delicious sounding entery will win the goodie bag. This giveaway is only available to Singapore residents.