Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kimchi Fried Rice 김치볶음밥

Another recipe today :D I told you that I would be back more because I'm on holidays at the moment. I have decided that I will blog about kimchi fried rice or kimchi bokkeumbop (김치볶음밥)You might be thinking "kimchi fried rice? how does that work?" Am I right? Well it was made by housewives who did not want to waste the bits of kimchi left and, you still get the spiciness with delicious fried rice.

Kimchi Bokumbop is a popular restaurant or home prepared dish that is very simple but yet delicious in taste. It can consist of various choices in meat and chopped kimchi, which is then sautéed together along with other vegetables such as onions, garlic and green onions. A dash or more of soy sauce as well as sesame oil are added for seasoning, in addition to kimchi "juice” leftover in the jar. Lastly, an egg is cooked sunny side up and placed on top of this rice dish for taste as well as for decoration.

Usually at home, it's a way to use up kimchi before it gets too ripe to eat, in which case, it can also be used to prepare kimchi chigae. In Korean, bokum means sautéed or fried and bop translates into steamed rice. So essentially, kimchi bokumbop is fried rice with kimchi, and yes, all those stories about Asian restaurants - today's leftover rice is tomorrow's fried rice - is true and totally applies here. There can be infinite variations of this bokumbop dish where beef can be substituted with little bits of galbi, bacon, spam, or even tofu.

Anyways, now that you have got the background, I'll give you guys the recipe too. It really is a simple recipe.

2 cups cooked rice
½ cup kimchi with liquid
½ cup minced pork or ground beef
2 roots green onion
1 tbsp soy sauce
¼ onion
1 clove garlic
1 egg
Vegetable or olive oil
Salt & pepper

1. Cook rice as directed in a rice cooker or in a pot.
2. Chop kimchi into small pieces. Save kimchi liquid to add to rice, if desired.
3. Dice and mince green onions, onions, and garlic.
4. Season the minced pork or beef with soy sauce, minced garlic and powdered pepper.
5. Sauté the pork (or other substitutes) with vegetable or olive oil in frying pan.
6. When the pork is cooked, add chopped onions, kimchi and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add minced garlic and green onion. Cook a little more and turn off the heat.
8. Add cooked rice and mix all ingredients well.
9. Add 1-2 tbsp of sesame oil and re-heat again.
10. Add salt and pepper to meet taste.
11. Cook egg sunny side up
12. Put rice on a dish and place a fried egg sunny side up on top.

And there you have it, a delicious lunch or dinner that is simple to make and sure to tickle your taste buds.

Anyways, that is all from me today. I'll try and come back with another recipe in a couple of days. ^^

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pajeon 파전

It is raining today so I was thinking of introducing you guys to dish that is perfect to eat on a rainy day. This is a food that is liked by many Koreans on rainy days, they would often enjoy this with beer or mokkolli. Now it is not like that I can really endorse drinking because I'm not even of the legal age yet...

Anyways, back to the dish. Pajeon is a traditional Korean-style pancake which is a very popular appetiser or snack. It is made with flour batter, eggs, and green onions/scallions, served with a mixture of soy sauce & vinegar for dipping. In translation, jeon (pronounced jun) is the actual battered ingredients and pa means scallions in Korean. The basic type of this dish consists of just scallions along with flour and eggs but endless variation of this dish can exists by simply adding other ingredients such as seafood, kimchi, or vegetables.

To cook, the batter is poured into an oiled pan and fried to a golden crisp on a frying pan. Just like a pancake and one of the key to this dish is the egg which contributed to the crispness in texture. The most popular pajeon dish is the seafood hae-mul pajeon (해물파전), which usually consists of little bits of oysters, fresh baby clams, shrimps and even squids.

Another variety is dongnae pajeon (동내파전) is named after Dongnaesung , a former fortress in the Joseon Dynasty and now a district in the city of Busan. Dongnae was a prominent battleground during the Imjin War and legend says the people of Dongrae threw green onions while defeating the invading Japanese soldiers. Dongnae pajeon was made in honor of the victory.

The dish was also presented at the king's table and became popular when the Dongnae market flourished in the Joseon era. Dongnae pajeon is usually made from a batter of rice flour, glutinous rice flour, eggs, and gochujang. Soft spring onions, beef, clams, mussels, oysters, shrimp and other seafood are also added.

The dish itself is quite simple, is like Japanese dish okonomiyaki. OR you can look at it as a savoury pancake with some filling added to the batter. Thinking if it like that means that the pajeon batter is just normal pancake batter with some vegetable mixed in.

Now for the recipe to haemul pajeon(해물파전)

¼ cup soy sauce
½ tbsp vinegar (distilled white)
1 stalk scallion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp Korean dried hot chili pepper flakes (optional)
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil

2 cups flour (all purpose)
2 cups water
2 eggs
1 bunch scallions
Vegetable oil
Salt & pepper to taste
To make Hae-Mul Pajeon also add:
1 cup oysters
1 cup chopped clams, fresh
1 cup baby shrimps

1. In a large bowl, mix flours, water and egg till smooth. Add more flour or water if needed to get the consistency of a thin pancake batter.
2. Stir in half the chopped scallions and season with salt and pepper. Let set for about 10-15 minutes.
3. Heat a pan over medium flame and a little oil.
4. Pour about ¾ cup batter into the skillet, tilting the pan to cover the bottom.
5. Sprinkle over a few of the scallions and let cook for 6-8 minutes until the bottom is lightly browned.
6. For Hae-Mul Pajeon (seafood & scallion pancake): Sprinkle about ¼ cup of clams, oysters, chopped squid, shrimp or other seafood over the batter as you make each pancake.
7. Flip and brown the other side and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Make sure all surfaces contact the skillet with a spatula.
8. Wipe the skillet with the oily paper towel and repeat with the rest of the batter.
9. When ready to serve, cut the pancake into 8 pieces resembling a pizza pie.
10. For its dipping sauce, mix the sauce ingredients together.
Serve pancakes warm.

Doesn't that look delicious? Have a try of it on a rainy day...I'm thinking of having it for lunch myself today.

I'm on holidays at the moment so for two weeks I hope that I can introduce you to more and more Korean recipes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mandu 만두

Kekeke, as I said yesterday here is another blog post today. I'm relishing the amount of free time I have at the moment after exams. Anyways...I've been thinking about what to blog about today and I figured that it was about time that I had introduced a staple in Korean Cuisine. Mandus (만두) , if you like or enjoy Chinese food then you are likely to have encountered the Chinese equivalent of this before, dumplings.

Now for a bit of a history lesson: Mandu (만두) are believed to have been first brought to Korea by Mongolians in the 14th century during the Goryeo Dynasty. The state religion of Goryeo was Buddhism, which discouraged consumption of meat. Mongolian invasion of Goryeo relaxed the religious prohibition against consuming meat, and mandu was among the newly imported Mongolian dishes that included meat.

Another possibility is that mandu (만두) came to Korea at a much earlier period from the Middle East through the Silk Road. Historians point out many cuisines based on wheat, such as dumplings and noodles originated from Mesopotamia and gradually spread from there. It also spread east along the Silk Road, leaving many versions of mandu throughout Central and East Asia.

But it doesn't really matter how you look at the history, all you need to know is that these things are delicious. They can be eaten a number of different ways, they can be boiled, steamed or fried. They are really versatile and the fillings are up to you, there are probably 100 different ways to eat them. This is also a popular street food that is eaten by Koreans in winter.

I'm going to show you how to make a simple mandu with a pork and beef filling. The recipe is a bit long and it is split into parts, but I'm going to tell you a short cut at the end of it. OK? Let's go


1 cup of ground pork
2 cups of ground beef
2 cups of chopped boo chu (Asian chives)
4-5 soaked Shiitake mushrooms
half onion
half package of tofu
3 cloves of minced garlic
sesame oil
vegetable oil
fish sauce
green onion
mandu skins (60 discs) <-- dumpling skins from the Asian grocer will go

Make filling:

1. Place 1 cup of ground pork and 2 cups of ground beef into a big bowl.
2. Add 1 ts of salt, 1 tbs of sesame oil, ½ ts of ground pepper and mix it by hand and push the mixture of meat on the side of the bowl.
3. Wash asian chives (bu chu), dry well with paper towel or cotton cloth and then chop them to make 2 cups. Add 1 tbs of oil and mix it up. Place it in the big bowl next to the ground meat.
tip: oil will coat vegetables so that liquid would not come out from it
4. Chop 4-5 soaked shiitake mushrooms and half an onion and put it into a small bowl.
5. Add 1 ts of soy sauce, 1 ts of sugar, and 2 ts of sesame oil the small bowl in the last step. Mix it by hand and then transfer it to the big bowl.
6. Squeeze half a package of tofu using cotton cloth or paper towel and put it into a small bowl. Then add a pinch of salt, 1 ts of sesame oil and mix it and put it next to chopped chives.
7. In the big bowl, add 3 cloves of minced garlic and mix all ingredients by hand.

Make Mandu:

1. Place one mandu skin on your left hand and put some filling mixture on the center of the skin.
2. On the half of the edge of the skin, put a little cold water with your fingertips.
3. Fold skin in half over filling and press edges together to make ripple shape.

To Fry
1. Place some vegetable oil on heated pan and add mandu.
2. Lower the heat over low medium and cover the lid of the pan to cook.
3. A few minutes later, open the lid and turn over each mandu. Place 2-3 tbs of water and cover the lid. Cook a few minutes more over low heat.
4. When the mandu is golden brown, transfer it to a plate.
5. Serve hot with dipping sauce (equal parts vinegar and soy sauce).

To Steam
1. Place the mandu in the freezer to harden for an hour or so.
2. Just place a steamer or metal colander over a boiling pot of water.
3. When water starts to boil, place frozen mandu like so. Don't overlap them. They'll stick to each other.
4. Cook about 5-8minutes or until the wrapper has turned a more transparent colour. Tip: If you are unsure you can check the inside and see if the meat is cooked.
5. Serve with soy sauce.

To Boil
1. Bring to the boil a pot of water, enough for the number of mandus you are cooking
2. Carefully place the mandu's in so that you do not scold yourself
3. Cook till the mandu's rise to the surface of the water.
4. Scoop out and serve with soy sauce.

And there you have it, three different ways to eat the same thing. As I had said before to make the dish is actually a bit tedious and long. The cheats way is that you can always go and but frozen mandu from the grocer and just cook them yourself, but isn't it nicer too eat food that you have made by hand?

Anyways, maybe spend this week making a supply of mandu and I'll be back with another recipe next week ^^

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sundae Bokkeum 순대볶음

I'm bacccccckkkkk :D:D

So happy that exams are over and that I get to return to blogging about the things I love, food and especially Korean food. Gosh, there has been so much that I wanted to blog about in the past month but I couldn't blog because I had to study...Now I can blog as much as I like.

Hmm, for my first dish since returning to blogging...I'm going to teach you guys how to cook Sundae Bokkeum 순대볶음.

Sundae Bokkeum is a Korean Noodle dish. It makes use of the famous korean sausage ( Korean dish made generally by boiling or steaming cow or pig's intestines that are stuffed with various ingredients)and serves it with sweet potato noodles known as dangmun in a spicy sauce.It is usually a stir fry of the sundae, noodles, vegetables and gochujang. You may substitute for other noodles if you are unable to get hold of this type, such as starch noodle, but you should be able to fine it in an asian market.

You may have trouble finding sundae because it is a korean food that may not been exported, but if you really can't fine it then I guess a similar type of blood sausage will be ok, but try to stick to the original.

Anyways, for the recipe.

500g of Korean Sundae
1/4 Cabbage
1 Carrot
1 handful of sweet potato noodles
1 handful of rice cakes
1 tablespoon of gochujang
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon of red pepper powder
1 tablespoon of sugar

1. Begin the dish by boiling the noodles and rice cake in a saucepan.
2. Slice the cabbage and cut the carrot in to chunks and fry in a frying pan, carrots in first until well cooked.
3. In a bowl mix gochujang, soy sauce, red pepper powder and sugar with about 1/2 a cup of water to make a sauce.
4. Cut the Korean Sundae in to slices and add this and the sauce to the frying pan and cook for a few minutes, and then reduce the heat. When the noodles are cooked drain and add to the frying pan and mix well and cook for a final few minutes.

Serve on a plate and enjoy straight away!

So that is that. It really isn't hard to make, I think the most difficult part will actually be finding the sundae.

Until tomorrow...another past tomorrow ^^