Monday, 28 February 2011

Left over Meal Solution

Kimchi is one of the most versatile Korean foods. It has very strong ingredients and flavors
which includes garlic, ginger, chilli and fish sauce. I love to eat kimchi when it is fresh. It has crunchy texture and is mild and spicy. However, kimchi can be cooked as a soup, stir fry, dumpling or pancake. As it gets mature, it gets softer, sour with a stronger flavor. Because kimchi is fermantate vegetable pickle, it ages like a cheese. 
When I was a kid, my mum often cook soup with tinned tuna, tofu & potato using  kimchi. It was great comfort food for cold weather. However, the quickest and easiest way is to make Kimchi fried rice. All you need is left over rice any vegetables or meat you can find in the fridge or freezer.
My left over Kimchi Fried Rice 

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 cups of left over rice (or you can cook rice)
1/2 cup of Aged kimchi ( if you keep the kimchi for 1~2 week in fridge, perfect for cooking)
1 Red onion & Spring onion
left over chicken, pork, bacon or a tin of tuna
1/3 cup of Frozen peas
choice of your vegetable ( capsicum, carrot and zucchini )
1 egg per person 
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Salt and Black pepper 
Olive oil
Toasted sesame seed for garnish 
Coriander for garnish ( option )

1. Preparing vegetable: chop the red onion and spring onion to small pieces. The other vegetable can be chopped to a similar size. Cut your choice of meat to the same size as the vegetable. If your meat is raw, it should be cooked before, for example, bacon should be fried and set aside.

2. Kimchi: Put your kimchi in a bowl and chop them to small pieces using scissors. I recommend avoiding  wooden chopping board in this process, because of the smell and red colour given off by the Kimchi, this will leave a smell and stain on your lovely chopping board for a couple of days (Remember that kimchi is fermentated vegetable with garlic, ginger, fish sauce and chilli combination) but plastic chopping board is ok.

3.  Turn on the gas to full heat add your Wok with a lug of vegetable oil.  Stir fry onion, vegetable and meat for 2~3 minutes and set aside. Then Cook the kimchi with 1 teaspoon of sugar for 3 minutes. Add back in Stir fried vegetables and meat along with the left over rice to the kimchi. Stir fry them a further 2 mins or until well mixed.

4. Make a space in the middle of the wok and add egg(s) with dash of oil. Fry the eggs slowly breaking up york and white with wooden spoon. Mix all together.

5. Serve in a bowl with fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Korean Happy New Year Meal

Happy Korean New Year! I decided to cook a very Korean dish. My mum used to say to me, that I can get one more year on life when I have DuckGuck (Rice cake dumpling soup). This is a very typical Korean New Years breakfast meal. Depending on family it can vary. My mum uses beef stock and not anchovy broth. As a child I hated not only anchovies but also seafood. Seafood looked unattractive to me and I found some seafood difficult to eat because of bones.

How funny! In fact, now I love seafood the most. I can eat one dozen Oysters by myself. So, I am using anchovy broth for this dish. Actually, making anchovy broth is much quicker than making stock out of beef, because it only takes 10~15 minutes (Beef would normally take between 30 to 60 minutes). Also, anchovy broth is full of flavor and much healthier.

This year, is the year of Rabbit, which makes me a Rabbit! Hopefully it should be a happy & lucky year for me.

Best luck to all Rabbits!

DuckGuck ( Rice Cake Dumpling soup)

Ingredients for 2~3

Sliced Rice Cake
Pork Dumpling (any dumpling fine)
2 Eggs
Red Capsicum
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Spring Onion
Stock - Dried Anchovy and Kombu (seaweed used for stock in Japan and Korea)
Roasted seaweed paper

1. One handful of dried anchovy goes into the pot with 4 cups of cold water and boil for 10 minutes. Add a couple of slice of Kombu for the last 3 ~5 minutes. Drain out the stock and set aside.

2.Koreans love colourful decoration. Preparing this garnish is labor intensive but you will be rewarded & delighted when the meal is on the table. Separate the egg white and yoke into separate bowls. Add a pinch of salt and whisk lightly. Next, make crepes from the egg white first then yoke using a frying pan. Rest them on chopping board and when cold, role them up and slice them into thin strips.
Red capsicum (you can also use fresh chili if you like it hot). Slice them into strips and cook lightly using a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
Roasted seaweed paper. You can get these in your local asian shop, they usually come ready packed. Just cut them into strip using scissors.

3. Boil up the broth again and add rest of ingredients, which is the sliced zucchini, chopped spring onion, washed rice cake and dumplings.

4. When the rice cake and dumplings is cooked, serve it in a bowl and final touch decorate garnish which was prepared earlier (2.) on top of the soup.

5. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve! If you like, enjoy with cold Kimch!