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….??

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….

. . . .

. . .

. .

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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!

Balcony garden journal 3 – harvest time!

Balcony garden journal 3 – harvest time!

It’s been so hot recently, so when I woke up to the rain this morning I felt really happy for my vegetables.  The last few weeks have been so hot and humid here and it’s not really the right temperature to grow anything. Luckily I have harvested most of my baby vegetables before I went to Italy. Here are some pictures.

They were just so fresh and delicious. My favorites were the lettuce but my husband loved the radish as they reminded him of little red radish  he used to have when he was a child.

Here are pictures of Korean Zucchinis I planted before I left to Italy.

When I returned from my trip, the two zucchinis have grown so much. Some of the leaves were bigger than my hand.

It must be the heat and humidity. There are lots of flower buds but none of them are opening up! I might have to put them in an air-con room. 😉

While I was in Italy, I bought lots of tomato and zucchini seeds so this is my first attempt to grow the Italian zucchinis. These are for zucchini flowers more than the vegetables themselves. Have you tried fried zucchini flowers with stuffing? They are really hard to find in Singapore so I am going to be growing them myself. Wish me luck!

I am using  plastic containers that I recycle from the groceries. They are great for my seedlings. Once the third or fourth leaves are growing, I will transplant them to a bigger pot.

The next new members of the garden are different tomato seeds I bought from Tuscany. They are growing really well.

 

Florentine ribbed tomato seedlings – they are supposed to be big and ribbed around tomatoes. I have never tasted them before so I am really looking forward to it.

Italian Roma tomato seedlings– we bought some Roma tomatoes from a fruit shop when we were in Sienna and they were just heaven. I am hoping I can have some of those for myself. Very juicy and sweet!

At our friends wedding in Italy, they handed out sweet basil seeds and I am hoping to grow them and give a few plants back to our friends as a present. Basil seem to be the only plants that really don’t mind Singapore’s heat and humidiy. I have basil bushes all over my balcony garden. I used empty milk carton for the seedlings. Just wash the bottle and cut in half and there is your pot!

Lastly, I adopted a Korean chilli seedling when I visited a Korean farm in March and finally I have a chilli growing.This Korean chilli is known to be deadly so this one will be incredibly spicy.

I forgot to pick the chilli last week. Look how big it has grown over 5 days. The chilli was so heavy that it was leaning like the leaning tower of Pisa we saw in Italy.   I am going to use this chilli in Den jang jji ge (Korean miso soup -된장찌게) tonight.

I just received two photos from my mother-in-law in Australia showing off their veggie garden. As you can see, it looks luscious!  My in-laws are waiting for  the delivery of about 60 fruit  trees, camellias and gardenias as well as 40 + roses. I can’t wait to visit their farm soon.   🙂   Happy gardening!

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! 🙂