Trip to Korea – Chilli Octopus

Trip to Korea – Chilli Octopus

As soon as I booked my ticket to Korea yesterday, I put together a list of Korean food I have been craving and emailed  my girlfriend in Korea to do some research. Yes, finally I am going to Korea again!!!

My food wishlist went like this:

  1. BBQ Chilli Octopus (Nak ji bok eum – 낙지볶음)
  2. Cold noodle (Neng myun – 냉면)
  3. Black bean noodle (Jja jang myn – 짜장면)
  4. Chilli rice cake (dduk bok yi – 떡뽁이)
  5. Braised Chicken (Jjim dak – 찜닭)
  6. BBQ chilli Pork (돼지 불고기)
  7. Handmade noodle (Kal guk su – 칼국수)
  8. Potatoes stew (gam ja ttang – 감자탕)

My craving was so bad, I decided to make Chilli octopus. I am salivating again just watching this photo, it must be the chilli…

 

 

Since it’s impossible to get live Octopus in Singapore, I bought frozen ones from a Korean store. They were actually not bad. Usually if you get poor quality ones, the octopus will be as tough as rubber.

 

Ingredients: 1/2 kg Octopus chopped  into 4cm length, 1/2 onion, 1/2 green & 1/2 red capsicums, a handful of white cabbage thinly sliced, 1/2 zucchini, some spring onion, 1 tsp vegetable oil

Sauce: 2 tbsp Korean chilli sauce (go chu jang), 2 tbsp Korean chilli powder, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp minced ginger, some sesame oil and sesame seeds

 

  • I mixed the sauce first(without the sesame oil and seeds) and set it aside while I was preparing the vegetables. Very spicy!!

 

 

 

 

  • To make sure you don’t over cook the octopus, I added some vegetable oil in the pan and cooked the vegetable first. Then I mixed in the octopus and the sauce with the vegetables and cooked it a few more minutes. It’s amazingly a quick dish.

 

 

  • I can’t believe how red it looks….

  • There are many ways of serving Chilli Octopus but tonight will be Chilli Octopus on rice for dinner.  Some sesame seeds on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Korean restaurants, Chilli Octopus is commonly served on a hot plate. They will cook the octopus in chilli sauce for you first. As you eat the octopus, they add rice or noodles with more chilli sauce for you to eat. Every time I go to Seoul, this dish is the first thing I must have. One of my best friend in Korea couldn’t eat this dish as she had allergies to Octopus but somehow her allergy is gone! So, we are off to Myung dong(명동) as soon as I arrive, where there is a street full of Chilli Octopus restaurants. Yum Yum!!

So, it’s been a while since I visited Korea. I am leaving next Monday for a week to catch up with some friends and family, lots of shopping(mainly food), stock up some Korean ingredients and eat until I drop. I promise to take lots and lots of photos of food and cool people in Seoul. Count down! 🙂

Korean miso soup – den jang jjige

Korean miso soup – den jang jjige

Due to the recent bad weather in Korea its been difficult getting fresh Korean vegetables in Singapore. In Sydney there is a big Korean community and a lot of vegetables are freshly grown locally. I have been taking it for granted thinking that I could get fresh vegetables anytime.

In order to overcome my frustrations, I decided to grow one of the vegetables that has been hard to come by lately – Korean young zucchini. After a month of babysitting, I had my first harvest!

To celebrate, I decided to cook Korean miso soup (den jan jji ge – 된장 찌게) as it is one of the vital ingredients. Denjang jji ge is one of the most common dishes you find on the Korean dinner table. (with Kimchi jji ge being the first, of course!)

To cook Seafood den jang jji ge, you need:

Ingredients

3 cups of anchovies stock, 1 potato, 1 Korean zuchini, 1 onion, 1 red & 1 green chillies, 1 & 1/2 tbsp soy bean paste, 1/2 tbsp Korean chilli sauce, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, spring onion, and any  type of seafood  you like (except fish).

  • Put the anchovy stock in a pot and add the soy bean paste, chilli sauce and garlic and boil for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the potato, onion, zucchini and clams, mussels and cook until potato is almost done.
  • Add prawns, tofu, red & green chilli, spring onion and cook another 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the soup into a bowl and serve with a bowl of rice.

I made some soybean sprout salad the other day  so I served it with the soup along with multi grain rice… Very healthy dinner!

Ginseng chicken soup

Ginseng chicken soup

A quick one tonight…

I prepared Ginseng Chicken soup (aka sam ge tang 삼계탕) for dinner to test out my recipe for this Saturday’s class. It’s been a while since I made this but it still tasted really good. My husband loved it especially because it was a perfect meal for his flu.

The white cloth you see in the pot above is cotton bag containing glutinous rice. I was cooking extra rice this way so I could make chicken porridge with the left over broth once we finished eating the chicken. Amazingly the ginseng was  not over powering the soup. My husband hates ginseng and was really worried that he have to skip dinner. Phew….

So far the chickens I have seen in the supermarket here in Singapore are too big for the ginseng chicken soup. Normally the chicken has to fit in a small clay pot to serve. I think I might have to wander down to Tekka market in search for  a kampong chicken.

My husband got to the chicken before I got a chance to take some photos, so the top of the chicken was gone. 🙂