Since my young radish kimchi neng myun (refer to 2 August blog) was such a success, I was determined to try other dishes that Koreans enjoy eating in summer to cool down. I spoke to my best friend in Seoul today and she told me it’s over 30’c, sounds not that much different to Singapore (other than the humidity, of course). If you have experienced a Korean summer, you know what I mean. It’s suffocating!
I tried out a noodle dish called kong guk su (cold soybeen noodle soup) today. I cheated a bit by using soybean powder instead of soaking some beans overnight and boiling them. Blame my stomach for the short cut!! I promise I will do the whole nine yards next time. I came across the powder in the Korean grocery store when I was in Sydney. There was no instruction on the package on how to use this powder so I had figure it out on my own.
I thought “how hard can this be?” so I just added the soybean powder to some cold water in a blender and mixed with lots of ice. Success! – another cold noodle soup! I couldn’t believe how easy it was. It tasted like the real deal once I threw in a pinch of salt. Then, I boiled the noodles called “Somyun” (thin noodle made of flour) in hot water for 4 minutes and rinsed in cold water 3 times. I tried these Japanese noodles to see the difference to the Korean noodles. It was exactly the same!
For the final step, add the noodles to the soup, chop some cucumbers and it’s ready to eat! I must admit it was almost too easy to make with this soybean powder so I think I am going to have to force myself to use the proper way next time. Anyway, I would give this pre-made soybean noodle powder 8 out of 10 for the taste!
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.
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.