Thursday, April 19, 2012

Banchan 반찬

I had promised the other day that I would post up recipes after my food expedition to Korean BBQ. And true to my word, here is the post.

After looking through my previous posts and the food that I ate that night, I have to say that there is not really much that I can post on because it was a BBQ and I have already posted up recipes for the meats. I have also already posted up recipes for pancakes (jeon). Here are the links for pancakes (pajeon and gamja-jeon) and bulgogi.

However I have discovered that I am still yet to make a post about the different side dishes that come with Korean food. Today, that I what I will be posting about. I will be posting up the recipes of a few of the most popular banchans 반찬 (side dish).

The first banchan for today is Soy Potatoes or Potato Jorim (감자 조림). This is an easy and delicious non-spicy Korean side dish using potatoes. The flavor of soy sauce mixed with a little sweetness and the texture of potatoes gives you a great taste.

3 Medium Sized Potatoes (2 Cups)
½ Cup Water
2 Tbsp Oil
2½ Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1-1½ Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
⅛ tsp Fine Sea Salt
½ tsp Sesame Seeds

1. Cut 3 medium sized potatoes (2 cups) into ½-inch cubes.
2. In a heated pan, with 2 Tbsp of oil, add the chopped potatoes.
3. Fry the potatoes for 5 minutes on medium-high until they are about ⅓ cooked.
4. After 5 minutes, add ½ cup of water, 2½ Tbsp of soy sauce, 2 Tbsp of corn syrup, 1-1½ Tbsp of sugar, and 1 Tbsp of minced garlic.
5. Cook it for 5 more minutes on medium-high.
6. Taste it and if you need to, add up to ⅛ tsp of fine sea salt depending on your tastes.
7. Cook until the liquid is reduced to a paste, which should take about 5 minutes.
8. Reduce the temperature to medium and fry 5 to 7 more minutes until the potatoes are completely cooked. Then add ½ tsp of sesame seeds.

The second banchan that I am introducing to you today is sigeumchi namul (시금치나물) or spinach side dish. This consists of boiled spinach which has been seasoned and is served with rice, jiigae and is perfect to complement the meat when you have a BBQ.

3 Handfuls Fresh Spinach (1 Cup Boiled Spinach)
7 Cups Water (1 Tsp Salt)
⅛ Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
⅔ to 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
Some Sesame Seeds (Garnish)

1. Add 1 tsp of sea salt in 7 cups of water and boil on high.
2. In the boiling water, add the spinach and cook for 30 seconds on high.
3. For the best results, the spinach should be cooked for a short time at a high temperature.
4. After 30 seconds, quickly drain the hot water and rinse the spinach in cold water several times.
5. Squeeze out the water.
6. Mix together the boiled spinach, ⅛ of salt, 1 tsp of sesame oil, and 1 tsp of minced garlic.
7. To serve, sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

The last banchan that I am going to post about today is kongnamul (콩나물) or a beansprout side dish. Similar to the spinach side dish, the bean sprouts are boiled down and then seasoned and served at meals.

The exact origins of kongnamul is unknown, but it is assumed that it has been eaten since the Three Kingdom Period or early Goryeo era. Records of kongnamul can be found in the document from the Goryeo era, Hyangyak Gugeupbang (hangul: 향약구급방, hanja: 鄕藥救急方) where cultivation of the sprouts are mentioned; when Taejo of Goryeo was founding the country, the soldiers were saved from starving by growing bean sprouts in nearby streams.

In the Joseon era document Sallim gyeongje (hangul: 산림경제, hanja: 山林經濟), cooking methods are mentioned, and in another Joseon era document Seonghosaseol (hangul: 성호사설, hanja: 星湖僿說) it is said that the poor used kongnamul to make juk. Kongnamul is again mentioned in Cheongjanggwanjeonseo (hangul: 청장관전서, hanja: 靑莊館全書) as the main food consumed during famine.

package of soybean sprouts (500 grams)
soy sauce
hot pepper flakes (optional)
sesame oil
sesame seeds
green onions

1. Rinse and drain a package of soybean sprouts a few times over.
2. Put the soybean sprouts into a pot.
3. Add 2 ts of salt and 1 cup of water. Close the lid.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat, and boil for 15 minutes.
5. Drain the cooked soybean sprouts and let them cool down.
6. Put the soybean sprouts in a large bowl with 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 chopped green onions,1 tbs of soy sauce, 1 ts of salt, ½ ts of sugar, 1 tbs of sesame oil, and ½ to 1 ts of hot pepper flakes.
7. Mix it by hand.
8. Transfer it onto a plate and sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds over top.
NOTE: if you want a non-spicy version you can skip the chill flakes

That is it from me today. I have not introduced you to some of the popular Korean side dishes that come with meals. I think you may have noticed that there is one side dish in particular that I have not posted about. That is kimchi, but I hope you understand that there is a very long process involved with that recipe, and I just don't have the time to experiment with that recipe either. One day, maybe later this year I will be able to finally post the recipe for kimchi.

But for now enjoy kongnamul, kamja jorim and sigeumchi namul. And until next time stay healthy, safe and happy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hot & Spicy Chicken Buldak 불닭

Soooo I said that I would post more in the holidays, but I was't really bothered to. But I am posting today. I don't actually have that much time to blog today because i am going out later today, but I do have all morning I can devote to this, but let's hope that this won't take up too much time.

Today I am going to be posting about a meat dish. The dish is Hot & Spicy Chicken (buldak) 불닭. The literal translation of the name is fire chicken, bul means fire and dak means chicken. It is a heavily spiced chicken dish and it is known to be VERY spicy. Keep in mind that this is so spicy that even some Korean can't eat it.

Although this is a very spicy dish, I have come up with a mild version, that is not too spicy. Although if you are scared that it may be too spicy, take care in adding the marinating ingredients and taste it as you go so you only make it as spicy as you wish.

And now to move on to the recipe:

6 chicken drum sticks (de-boned) or 2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp traditional corn syrup (substitution honey)
2 tbsp cheong ju (clear rice wine similar to Japanese sake)
1 stalk green onion
Black pepper ground to taste
Olive oil
Roasted sesame seeds (optional)
Marinating Sauce
3 tbsp gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes)
2 jalapenos
½ cup Korean pear (substitution Asian pear)
¼ onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp spicy yellow mustard
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mul yut (substitution honey)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar

1. Rinse chicken drum sticks in cold water and de-done meat with a sharp knife. Cut into 4 even pieces per leg drum -OR- rinse chicken breasts in cold water and cut into bite-size pieces
2. In a large bowl, mix chicken with soy sauce, sugar, mul yut, cheong ju and ground pepper.
3. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4. Puree all marinating sauce ingredients together in a blender. Once completed, leave aside for later use.
5. On a non-stick frying pan or skillet, cook prepared chicken over medium heat until meat is just short of desired completion.
6. Take out chicken only and leave excess ingredients in frying pan or skillet.
7. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix chicken with marinating sauce.
8. In the same frying pan or skillet, add olive oil to taste and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes in medium high heat.
9. Serve hot on plate.

And there you have it. A simple dish to try out when you are feeling peck-ish for spicy food.

That is it from me today, but I will try my best to post tomorrow. I might post up a recipe for what I ate for dinner, I'm going to a Korean restaurant. I hope you guys look forward to it. Until next time remember to stay warm, healthy and happy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dumpling Soup Manduguk 만두국

Today the weather has gotten a lot colder. So I am going to share a Korean favorite in this type of weather. The recipe I will be sharing with you is called Manduguk or Dumpling Soup (만두국) It is pretty easy to work out what type of dish this is.

I think I have already talked about the history of mandu in my recipe on how to make mandu. If you have not seen it, you can check it out here. I am actually not sure whether or not I have touched on the topic, so I will give a run down of it here.

According to the 14th century records of Goryeosa (고려사), mandu had already been introduced via Central Asia during the Goryeo era. Mandu was called sanghwa (쌍화) or gyoja (교자) until the mid-Joseon Dynasty and became a local specialty of the Pyongan and Hamgyong regions, as both wheat and buckwheat - the main ingredients for flour - were mainly cultivated in the north.

Mandu was made and cooked in various ways, including manduguk. In the Korean royal court, the dish was called byeongsi (餠匙) while in Eumsik dimibang, a Joseon Dynasty cookbook, it was called "seokryutang" (석류탕). The exact era when manduguk got its modern name is unknown.

There are various ways that mandu's can be styled or prepared in i.e. different fillings. Often they are made by rolling out thin circles of dough, creating a half-moon shape and filling with a mixture of minced meat, vegetables, tofu, and sometimes kimchi.

The dumplings are then boiled in a broth made from beef brisket. The soup is placed in a bowl with stir-fried beef, scallions and gim added for garnish. Some variations make the broth from anchovy stock and directly add eggs to the soup in the manner of egg drop soup. The addition of tteok is common as well, making the dish tteok manduguk.

Today I will just be showing you how to make a simple manduguk. And now to the recipe:

300g beef
11 cups water
Fragrant Seasoning
50g green onion
4 cloves garlic
Dumpling Skins
1½ cups wheat flour
½ tsp salt
5 tbsp water
Dumpling Filling
160g minced beef
160g cabbage kimchi
160g tofu
200g mung bean sprouts
5 cups water
1 tsp salt
10g watercress
1 tbsp wheat flour
1 tbsp edible oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp minced green onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp sesame salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tbsp clear soy sauce
1 tsp salt
Vinegar Soy Sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp water

1. Put the beef and water into the pot, heat it up for 10 min. on high heat. When it boils, lower the heat to medium, continue to simmer it for 30 min. Add fragrant seasoning, simmer for another 20 min. Take out the beef from the broth, cool the broths down and filter broth.
2. Sprinkle salt on the wheat flour and knead with water. Wrap it with damp cotton cloths and let it sit for 30 min.
3. Remove the inside stuffs from cabbage Kimchi, chop the Kimchi finely, squeeze the Kimchi juice out.
4. Wrap the tofu with cotton cloths, mash by squeezing.
5. Wash the mung bean sprouts.
6. Panfry the watercress after coating with wheat flour and beaten egg.
7. Panfry egg for garnish, cut them into 2cm diaper shape.
8. . Blend vinegar soy sauce.
9. Pour water into the pot, heat it up for 5 min. on high heat. When it boils, scald mung bean sprouts with salt for 2 min. chop it into 0.5 cm-long, and squeeze water out.
10. Mix minced beef, Kimchi, tofu, and mung bean sprouts all together, and season with seasoning.
11. Roll and press dumpling dough into 0.2cm-thick and 7~8cm diameter round disk.
12. Put the filling stuffs onto the dumpling skin, fold it into half. Pinch the both edges together roundly.
13. Pour the broth into the pot, heat it up for 6 min. on high heat. When it boils, season with clear soy sauce and salt to make dumpling soup.
14. When it boils again, add dumplings, boil it for 4 min. When the dumplings float on the surface of the broth, lower the heat to medium, continue to boil it for another 4 min.
15. Fill the dumpling soup in a bowl, garnish with watercress and egg strips. Serve with vinegar soy sauce.

And there you have it. A hearty dish to satisfy you needs and warm you up on a cold day like today.

That is it from me today, but I promise to be back with more recipes these two weeks. Maybe a post every other day... Until then, stay healthy, safe and warm.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Crème Brûlée

It is Easter at the moment, so I hope that you guys have all been having lots of yummy food. I know that I have been.

The post today has actually be inspired by my friend's fail version of crème brûlée. It didn't turn out very well. Hopefully the one that I am posting up will turn out like it should be. Yea, hers sort of leaked all over the place :S

For those of you who don't know what crème brûlée is, it is a French dessert that roughly translates to burnt cream in English. It is usually a later of thivk custard topped with another layer of hard caramel on top.

The exact origins of the dish is unknown however the earliest known reference of crème brûlée as we know it today appears in François Massialot's 1691 cookbook,and the French name was used in the English translation of this book, but the 1731 edition of Massialot's Cuisinier roial et bourgeois changed the name of the same recipe from "crème brûlée" to "crème anglaise".In the early eighteenth century, the dessert was called "burnt cream" in English.

In Britain, a version of crème brûlée (known locally as 'Trinity Cream' or 'Cambridge burnt cream') was introduced at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1879 with the college arms "impressed on top of the cream with a branding iron",[5] The story goes that the recipe was from an Aberdeenshire country house and was offered by an undergraduate to the college cook, who turned it down. However, when the student became a Fellow, he managed to convince the cook. That is pretty much the history behind the dish.

Crème brûlée is usually served in individual ramekins. Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a broiler/salamander, with a butane torch (or similar), or by flambéing a hard liquor on it.

Enough with all the extra details, I think it is about time that I moved on to the recipe.

6 extra large egg yolks
375 ml thickened cream
1 vanilla pod or extract (a few drops)
80 g sugar
6 tbsp soft, brown sugar
6 ramekin or souffle dishes

1. Place the cream and vanilla pods with seeds into a pan and bring to the boil
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is creamy and white
3. Strain the cream straight onto the egg and sugar and mix well.
4. Allow to cool slightly and for the bubbles to subside and transfer into a jug. Fill the dishes to only three quarters full
5. Place in an oven tray and pour in boiling water to reach up to about halfway on the outside of the dishes. Then place in a pre-heated oven of 130°C
6. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the custards have only just set. If the custards are colouring too quickly or bubbling, turn the oven down immediately
7. Remove from oven and take them out of water. Then place them on a cold tray
8. Allow to cool and refrigerate for anything up to a day. An hour or so before you are going to serve them spread half a tablespoon of soft, brown sugar (with no lumps) on top of each and clean away from the edges of the dishes using your thumb
9. Place on a tray under a moderate grill and watch all the time to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn. After about 3 minutes you will see the sugar start to change colour and slightly caramelise
10. Allow to cool slightly and then pop into the fridge until you are ready to serve them. Add fresh fruit or cream/ice cream to serve with crème brûlée if you wish.

And there you have it. an easy dessert that you can make to please guests, or even as a treat for a hard day at work. Hopefully you will all have a better result than my friend. Enjoy the rest of Easter, and I will post again soon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Potato Jeon Gamaja Jeon 감자전

Hey guys, so I haven't posted a recipe in about a week. That is because school has resumed. There is only one more week of school before the holidays, but I still have one last exam T_T

Anyways, today I will posting a quick recipe for a yummy dish before I go back to studying. Today I will be introducing you to a snack called Potato Jeon (gamaja jeon) or 감자전. IF you have watched SBS's old Sunday Program Family Outing you might remember Lee Hyori making this dish in one of the later episodes. This is a simple dish to make and it works very well as a breakfast food as well as a snack.

Gamjajeon is a variety of jeon, or Korean style pancake, made by pan-frying finely grated potato on a frying pan with oil until golden brown. Potatoes were introduced in Korea in 1824 through Manchuria and have been cultivated mainly in the hills and mountain ranges of Gangwon Province, with gamjajeon becoming a specialty of that region.

Gamjajeon is traditionally made with only potato, salt, and oil.According to taste, the grated potato may be supplemented with finely shredded potatoes, carrots, onions or scallions, sliced mushrooms, or garlic chives, which adds color and crunchy texture to the dish. Gamjajeon can also be garnished with shredded fresh red and green chili pepper. It is served with a dipping sauce called choganjang (초간장), made of soy sauce and vinegar

Today I will be showing you the recipe for a Potato Jeon with carrots. You do not have to add the carrots, but I like how the carrots give the dish some colour. And without further ado I will move on to the recipe.

4 potatoes, peeled
½ carrot, peeled
¼ onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red and green pepper (for garnish), thinly sliced
4 Tbs. potato starch powder (or flour)
½ Tbs. salt
Vegetable oil
Dipping Sauce
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. water
½ Tbs. vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar

1. Grate the carrot and potatoes finely.
2. Drain water from the carrot/potato mixture using a strainer.
3. Add the sliced onion, potato starch powder and salt to mixture and mix together.
4. Heat 1 Tbs. vegetable oil in a frying pan and add 1 scoop of the mixture for each pancake
5. Spread out evenly using the back of a spoon and place a few peppers on top for garnish
6. When the bottom is cooked, flip over and cook for another minute or until desired
7. Serve with dipping sauce

And there you have it, a quick breakfast5 or snack (banchan) to try when you are feeling a bit peckish.

That is it from me today, I promise to come back with more recipe when I go on holidays. But for now I must return to studying. Until next time stay healthy and safe.