Friday, 29 November 2013

Simple Super - Roast pork fillets with pear & spinach

I cook my dinner most of nights. Ideas of dinner come from ingredients. I do shopping in different local shops. After browsing around market stalls, I get seasonal common ingredients. It is cheaper, fresher and tastier. If I get a chance, I love to buy unfamiliar seasonal ingredients to discover. And then I look for recipes- asking stall owners, looking from cook books and typing in google.

This is how I found the Roast pork fillets recipe. I bought pork fillets as my Irish husband loves lean meat. I didn't know how to cook the pork fillets as Korean love fatty pork belly ( I love crispy pork belly " Samgyeobsal"). I totally failed my first pork fillet cooking. It was overcooked and no flavours. My second trial was this recipe. It is so simple, quick, healthy and it does perfectly work. Korean can cook pork fillets now.

Great recipe for simple dinner!

1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbs fresh ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp Chinese five spice
2 (about 450g each) pork fillets
4 corella pears, quartered lengthways
500g butternut pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into 4 cm pieces
2 red onions, halved, cut into thick wedges
2 tsp sesame oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
150g baby spinach leaves

1. Combine the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, coriander and Chinese five spice in a glass or ceramic dish. Add pork and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge, turning occasionally, for 4 hours or overnight to develop the flavours.

2. Preheat oven to 220 degree. Combine the pear, pumpkin and onion in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in preheated oven, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes or until just tender. Remove from oven. Drain the pork from the marinade and reserve the marinade. Add the pork to the roasting pan. Roast in oven for 20 minutes for medium or until cooked. Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Set as a side for 5 minutes to rest.

3. Meanwhile, place the reserved marinade in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

4. Carve the pork across the grain into thick slices. Divides the spinach among serving plates. Top with pumpkin, pear, onion and pork. Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately.

source :

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Korean street food 'Duck bok gi' in Eunjae's home version

'Duck bok gi' is Korean rice cake in sweet spicy chili sauce. It is snack, cheap cheerful street food in Korea. When I was a kid, I used to stop over for this little spicy bites in tent kiosk and pay as little coins (20~30 cents?) Now it would not be few cents but still it is cheap as 2~3 dollars for a small plate in street kiosks. In fact, Duck bok gi remains as No 1. street food in Seoul Korea and being loved childhood snack.

But I love my home made version. My mother used to cook duck bok gi as our meal. Adding extra goodie ingredients, such as pork, cabbage, onion, carrot, extra spring onion, hard boiled eggs and of course fish cake, make this snack to substantial meal to feed a family. Surprisingly, it is so quick to make and easily can feed 5~6 people. Here is my recipe.

Ingredients ( serve 4)
500g Korean rice cake ( get one of those look like penne pasta)
200g frozen fish cake to cut bite size
250g pork mince or pork belly cut to small bite size
1/4 small size cabbage (I used purple one)
1 onion
1 carrot
5~6 spring onion
2~3 hard boiled eggs

for the sauce,
1/3 cup of Korean chili paste ( Gochujang - most Korean shop sell this)
2 tbsp of chili powder
3 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tbsp of sugar
2 cup of water
Salt for seasoning.

1. Cut rice & frozen fish cake to bite size. Wash them and drain water. Set a side.
2. Slice cabbage, onion, carrot and spring onion to 4 cm length strip. (* Tip: make sure all ingredients in similar size & shape. It will help them to be cook well and mixed well )

3. Heat a deep frying pan ( casserole type pan ) with oil. When the pan is hot, add chili paste & chili powder and stir for 1~2 minutes in medium heat. Make sure the chile paste is not burnt. Add pork mince to chili sauce and keep stir frying until pork mince almost cooked. Add sugar & 2 cups of water and cook until boiling up.

4. Add prepared vegetable and fish cake into the sauce in the pan  and cover with rid for 5 minutes.

5. Add rice cake & spring onion on top of vegetable and cover with rid for another 15 minutes until rice cake soften.

6. The best way I serve is to bring the whole pan to the middle of table and take it as much you want in side plate. Boiled eggs is to cut half and served on the top of your final meal.

7. Where is my boiled egg?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Spring Veggie Fritter for Breakfast

Spring is one of my favorite seasons.  I smell the spring flowers along the street and I can see blossom and baby leaves everywhere. It reminds me of my happy childhood. I feel so happy like a little girl.

One beautiful spring Saturday morning, I was walking down to a farmer's market in Collingwood Melbourne. I was hunting for fresh ingredients and inspiration.  Spring brought soft and tender salad and bit of last winter vegetable. I found young green silver beet. I am getting interesting in what I can do with this. With silverbeet, I have tried Korean Style chilli beef soup ( 'Yuck-Gae-Jang' my mother's recipe), silver beet onion pizza and silver beet dumplings. But with Silverbeet, you know what would be perfect is Korean style pancake.

This korean style pancake is savory. Actually it is close to fritter. Nigel slater cooks quick garden veggie flitter from whatever he can find in veggie gardens. It is great way all vegetable become together, because flour & eggs batter will help all ingredients combined together, no matter what shape of vegetable is

This is how I cook silverbeet fritter for my breakfast. It can be so simple and enjoyable light meal or snack too.

Ingredients ( Serve 4 )
2 leaves silverbeet, finely chopped
3 spring onion, roughly chopped
2 egg
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tin or cooked lentils, drained
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
baby fresh coriander for garnish
1/2 cup vegetable oil

For batter,
1 cup organic plain flour
cold water
1/4 tsp sugar
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper

For sauce, (optional)
Grilled tomato or tomato sauce

1. Slice silverbeet, spring onion, brown onion, parsley finely and take them into a large mixing bowel.

2. Mix flour, eggs, salt, sugar and cumin in a small bowl. Add cold water and whisk until runny.

3. Add the mixture of batter to all prepared fresh veggies, lentils, cheddar cheese in the large bowl. Mix them with a spoon.

4. Spread 2~3 tablespoon of oil on medium frying pan and heat up to hot.

5. Take a small ladle or a large spoon of mixture into the hot pan. Flying one side until the batter cooked and golden ( about 3 minutes ) and Flip over to the other side. Cook another 2~3 minutes to golden. 

6. Serve with your salad or fresh baby coriander and grilled tomato or tomato sauce. Cream fraiche / sour cream would go well as well.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

"Milk it, Pick it, Cook it, Eat it" - Eye and leaf farm experience

I recently visited the Eye and Leaf farm in Gippsland, a 90 minute drive from Melbourne. Tamsin who owns and runs the farm and kitchen garden organises a monthly event called "Milk  pick cook eat ".

Eye and Leaf is set on a pretty 113 acre working farm. An abundance of food is produced on the farm including eggs, dairy, poultry, beef, pork, fruit, berries and vegetables making Eye and Leaf almost completely self sufficient. The focus is on producing delicious food using ethical and sustainable practices and the results are inspiring for anyone interested in more sustainable use of resources or growing their own.

As soon as we arrive we were greeted by Tasmin and her 3 dogs. She had prepared tea, coffee and her homemade brownies, which were delicious! After she took us out and around the farm. We met her pigs, piglets, chooks, ducks, turkeys and cattle. First job though was to milk the cow, which we would use later to make ricotta cheese!
As a interior designer i couldn't stop looking around every corner and collecting inspiration. Its a beautiful set up, everything is in harmony and so comfortable. Tasmin is a calm, gentle and down to earth person. I felt so comfortable around her as soon as we met. 

After we collected the milk from the cow we headed back to the kitchen. Tamsin had organise a menu and wrote us a shopping list for veggies. We went to the garden and collected chard for the fresh ravioli we were going to make and rockets & other herbs for the salad. It was such a wonderful feeling picking up the ingredients from the ground and to see where they come from. I love the beautiful green, red & yellow colours of the vegetables. I don't get that much experience as I live in an apartment in the city.

In the kitchen, my husband Sean and I are in charged of making the ravioli. I make my own Gyoza dumplings so I thought it would easy for me. Tamsin encouraged us to use our creativity rather than following her recipe.

After all the fun cooking, we sit down in a beautiful rustic timber table under the yellow leafy tree. Luckily the weather was so warm and pleasant. We started sharing our first meal, for starter chard ricotta cheese (made from the milk we collect from the cow) ravioli with butter garlic sauce, young rooster coq au vin for the main, and finished with pumpkin pie, yogurt and preserve apricot. We made everything from scratch and I enjoyed every minute of doing so. The meal itself was so delicious! I met new friends and shared our experiences for the day.

English cook, writer and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has been a great inspiration of' 'back to basic'. Knowing and respecting what we are eating wasn't important to me not long ago, but now it has become very important. The old say 'you become what you eat'. Nowadays not only are we responsible to ourselves, but also to our society and our environment. Therefore, eating ethical food is very important to supporting our environment. I go to the farmer's market, talk to them, understand what we are eating and support this ethical producer. I make my own free range & organic dumplings.

Tamsin bought the dairy farm 10 years ago and set up her home and farm. Working on the farm is 24 hours and there are always unexpected thing happening on the farm. It looks beautiful, but it is hard hard work maintaining it. I am so amazed that someone who used to be a city girl moved and set up her life on the farm. I have many excuses that I can't have my garden. Need determination and action! What I have to do is to get my Bokashi composting bin in my little apartment ( I found it recently ) and find my vegie patch somewhere soon. I really admire what Tamsin is doing and can't wait to go back again!