Spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup (Jjamppong)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 71
Lunch: Spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup (Jjamppong)

I still have 2 stalks of dae-pa that I bought from Korean grocer. Not wanting it to go to waste, I checked on internet what I can cook with it and found this from my favourite Korean chef, Maangchi’s Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup.

Another new Korean recipe. Sourish, spicy and sweet seafood noodle soup.

Ingredients:

Vegetables:

  • 1 daepa (large green onion), or 4 green onions, cut into 2 inch length
  • 100g leek, washed and cut into ½ x 2 inch strips
  • 100g ounces bok choy, washed
  • 85g / 3 large cabbage leaves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 100g onion, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch strips

Seafoods and meat:

  • 4 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 100g squid, just the body with guts removed and sliced into rings
  • 8 mussels (optional), scrubbed, debearded, soaked in salted water for a few hours, and washed
  • 24 small clams (optional), soaked in salted water for a few hours, and washed
  • 100g of thinly sliced pork belly (or beef or chicken)

Noodles and seasonings:

Bought this from a Korean grocer, $17.20 for 6 servings.

  • Fresh or frozen jjajangmyeon noodles, thawed if frozen, and uncoiled
  • 5 tbsp gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

Make the hot pepper flakes mixture:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of hot pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil in a small bowl.
  2. Mix with a spoon until well incorporated. Set aside.

Make jjamppong:

  1. Heat a large wok (or pot) over high heat. Add the vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, and stir about 20 seconds with a wooden spoon until the garlic starts to turn a little crispy.
  2. Add the pork and stir until slightly cooked.
  3. Clear a spot in the wok by pushing the garlic, ginger, and the meat to the side. Tilt the wok so that the excess vegetable oil slides into the cleared area. Put 3 tablespoons hot pepper flakes into the hot oil and stir and mix with the wooden spoon for about 1 minute, until it creates a smoky flavor but not long enough to burn. Then stir everything in the wok together into the hot oil.
  4. Add green onion, leek, cabbage, and onion and stir for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables are wilted.
  5. Add 6 cups stock and all the seafoods and bok choy. Cover and cook 7 to 8 minutes until the mussels and clams are open and the shrimp and squid are well cooked.

6. Stir in the fish sauce, kosher salt, and the reserved hot pepper flakes mixture. Cover and let it simmer over low heat.

We added too much of anchovy stocks that the broth is a little diluted but the taste is still nice.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir a few times so that they don’t stick to each other.
  2. Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes until tender but still chewy.
  3. Strain and rinse the noodles in cold running water to make them nice and chewy.

Put it together and serve:

  1. Heat up the soup over high heat.
  2. Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls. Add the soup over top and include cooked seafood, vegetables, meat over top of the noodles. Serve right away.

Spicy stir-fried Pork and Green Onion (Dae-pa Bokkeum)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 67

My foodie friend who once lived in Seoul for few years inspired me to cook this Bokkeum. He saw I have been trying out Korean dishes during this MCO.

I browsed a few videos on how to cook it. I scribbled some notes and the ingredients to buy. While I was busy doing it, the doorbell rang. My sister delivered these burnt cheesecake again. How to stay on diet?

I couldn’t get green onions and Cheongyang pepper. I went to a Korean grocer and found them. Not cheap.

Korean large green onions, which are sweeter and more aromatic, cost $10.20.

Cheongyang pepper cost $19.50.

Ingredients:

  • 300g pork belly, cut into bite size pieces 1/8 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced into thick pieces
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks green onions sliced in half and cut into 5cm pieces.
  • 3 Cheongyang peppers (green chili), roughly slice diagonally
  • 1 tbsp coarse red pepper powder (gochu-garu)
  • 1 tbsp fine red pepper powder
  • ¼ cup hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 1/3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

 

Directions:

  1. Heat up a large pan over medium high heat.
  2. Put the pork belly on a pan, sprinkle flavoring salt and pepper, roast over medium heat.
  3. Once the pork belly is cooked, add garlic.
  4. If too much oil has come out from pork belly in the pan, take out some oil.
  5. When garlic is golden, add sugar and stir-fry.
  6. Sprinkle soy sauce around the edge of the pan and scorch to give a smoky flavor.

7. Add the green onions, coarse red pepper powder, fine red pepper powder, and stir-fry till the pork is fully cooked and juicy and a little crispy.

8. Add water to make sure ingredients blend well.

9. Sprinkle black pepper and sesame oil and mix before the green onion softens.

10. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle ground sesame seeds.

We had it with rice and kimchi pancake.

May eat with lettuce, ssamjang and side dishes.

My Dae Pa Bokkeum is not red enough but its spicy with the Cheongyang pepper. Next time, I will use more fatty pork belly so that the meat is juicier. Overall, the taste is good and we finished the entire plate.

Spicy Rice Cake (Tteokbokki)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 62
Lunch: Spicy Rice Cake (Tteokbokki)

Another first attempt, another Korean food.
I made some twist from the cooking direction on the hot sauce packet. I didn’t use water but anchovies stock. My foodie friend told me Korean food is best to cook with anchovies stock. I am so glad that I did it.

This is like our Chee Cheong Fun (Rice noodle roll) that commonly served as snack or light meal.

As we had it for lunch, I added hard boiled eggs and fuchok roll. I also added cabbage which tasted like kimchi after cooked in the hot sauce and onions to give some flavor to the stock.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of anchovies stock
  • 250g of rice cake
  • Toppokki hot sauce – ready made or combine in a small bowl
    • ⅓ cup hot pepper paste
    • 1 tbsp hot pepper flakes
    • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 green onions, cut into 2.5 inch long and some for garnishing
  • Optionals:
    • Cabbage – sliced into bite pieces
    • Onions
    • 2 hard boiled eggs, shelled
    • Fish cake/Fuchok roll

If use frozen rice cake, thaw it out and soak in cold water to soften it before cooking.

Make hard boiled eggs and let it cool in cold water, shelled.

Directions:

  1. Boil anchovies stock.
  2. Add rice cake and Toppokki hot sauce

3. Add green onion, cabbage and onions

4. Add hard boiled eggs and fish cake/fuchok roll.

5. Stir gently with a wooden spoon when it starts to boil

6. Keep stirring until the rice cake turns soft and the sauce thickens and looks shiny, which should take about 10 -15 minutes. If the rice cake is not soft enough, add more water and continue stirring until soften.

7. Remove from heat, garnish green onions and serve hot.

I only used 1 packet of the hot sauce as it was quite spicy.

 

Fermented Soy Bean Paste Stew (Doenjang-Jjigae)

 

Recipe from my favourite Korean chef, Maangchi. I must get a copy of her cookbook.

Jaden added more rice and we finished the entire stew pot and green onion pancake. My cooking must have improved or they are more easy now due to the MCO cause they used to tell me “Mommy, can you please stop cooking”.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4):

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green Korean chili pepper (cheong-gochu), stemmed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large (8 medium) size shrimp, shelled, deveined, washed, and coarsely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2½ cups of anchovies stock (water and 7 dried anchovies, guts removed)
  • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) fermented soybean paste (doenjang)
  • 6 ounces (3 pieces) medium-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 green onions, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. Add potato, onion, zucchini, chili pepper, garlic, and shrimp in an earthenware pot or stainless-steel pot.
  2. Wrap the dried anchovies in cheesecloth (or a dashi bag, a pouch for stock-making sold at a Korean grocery store) and put them into the pot with other ingredients. Add water and cover.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes until it starts boiling. (If use stainless steel pot, it will take about 7 to 8 minutes)
  4. Stir in the soybean paste, mixing well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes longer over medium heat.
  5. Add the tofu and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the anchovy pouch and discard.
  6. Sprinkle with the green onions and serve as a side dish to rice. Serve it directly from the pot, or transfer to a serving bowl. Everybody can eat together out of the pot, or portions can be ladled out in individual bowls for each person.

Green Onion Pancake (Pajeon)

Recipe from my favourite Maangchi

Ingredients (for 6×7 inches rectangular pancake)

  • 10 stalks of green onions:
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tsp of soybean paste
  • ½ tsp of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of vegetable oil

Sauce: Mix these ingredients in a small bowl

  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp of vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar or honey
  • 1 chopped shallot or 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • Chopped green or red chili peppers
  • 1 tsp of roasted toasted sesame seeds (toasted sesame seeds give a very fragrant and enhance the taste of this sauce)

 

Directions:

  • Clean, wash, and drain a handful of green onions
  • Cut them into 4 inch long
  • Make batter by mixing flour, water, soybean paste and sugar in a bowl. Mix well until the batter is smooth.
  • Heat up a non-stick pan
  • Add vegetable oil to the heated pan.
  • Put the green onion on the pan parallel to each other, in the shape of a rectangle.
  • Pour the batter over the green onion evenly.
    *tip: If you want some seafood (chopped squid, mussels or fresh oysters) in your pancake add it on top of the green onion before pouring the batter.
  • While the pancake is being cooked, keep patting it, pressing it slightly, and keeping it in a nice shape with your spatula.
  • A few minutes later, when the bottom of the pancake turns crispy and golden brown, turn it over.
  • Cook a few more minutes until the bottom of the pancake turns crispy and golden brown again and flip/turn it over.
  • Cook another minute and transfer it to a serving plate.
  • Serve hot with sauce.

Kimchi Tofu Stew (Jiggae)

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 11
During this COVID-19 Control Movement Order, I started cooking more as we cant eat out and didn’t really like the food delivery.
I used Tefal Expertise wokpan to cook this Kimchi Stew as the wokpan is spacious enough for me to put all the ingredients and with the right depth. I didn’t put green onions as I don’t have it at home and didn’t want to go out to buy during this MCO period.
Tips:
  1. For higher protein, replace meat with chicken breast. Put more tofu.
  2. The quality of kimchi is important in making a good kimchi jiggae. Buy those with brine.
  3. My foodie friend told me another secret ingredient is to add a teaspoon of “dwenjang”, a Korean preserved bean paste. It adds another layer of complexity to the flavors.
  4. To be authentic, use anchovies stock.
  5. You can get all these from Korean supermarket.

Glad that my family enjoyed this simple meal. Stay in, eat in, stay safe.

Ingredients:
Meat
  • 300g of chicken, skinless pork belly/shoulder, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • Dash of ground black pepper
Kimchi & Others
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 454 g of kimchi (1 cup), cut into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup kimchi brine
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of broth (anchovy, chicken, beef, etc.)
  • 1 block of medium firm tofu (Japanese pressed tofu), sliced into 1cm thickness rectangles
  • 2 stalks of green onion, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 stalk of green onion, thinly sliced for garnishing
Jjigae sauce (mix in a bowl)
  • 1 tsp Korean chili/hot pepper flakes (gochugaru) – can omit if don’t want too spicy
  • 1 tsp Korean preserved bean paste (dwenjang)
  • 1 tbsp Korean chili/hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Dash of ground black pepper
Instructions:
1. Marinate meat with rice wine and ground black pepper for about 15 mins.
 
2. Saute garlic and onions in a wokpan (or in a pot where you will make this jjigae) until fragrant. Add in the marinated meat.
3. Add kimchi, kimchi brine and mushrooms.
4. Add in the Jjigae sauce and pour in the broth. Let it boil.
5. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.
6. Lay tofu over top.
7. Cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat.
8. Add green onion on top of the stew.
9. Remove from heat and serve with rice.
Sometimes, I served it as hotpot on dining table.

One pot dish for dinner with meat (chicken, pork belly and pork shoulder), vegetables (kimchi, onion and green onion) and protein (tofu). I like to use 3 different types of meat to give varieties to this one pot dish. Kimchi Jjigae reminds me of our bak kut teh… also one pot dish and with few varieties of pork meat.

Tomato Basil Bruschetta and Smoked Salmon Bruschetta

My body was aching after taking care of Jared and Jaden all by myself for the last 9 days. I was their driver, cook, cleaner, tutor, etc and it was just the 3 of us for more than a week, which was a record for me. Tough job, no wonder my body was aching terribly.

I made a massage appointment for 11am. Before left home for the appointment, I prepared and cooked meat sauce for spaghetti Bolognese for dinner tonight. Looking at the ingredients, suddenly bruschetta came to my mind. The thing about Italian food is all in few ingredients i.e. olive oil, garlic, tomato, salt and pepper. I decided to make Bruschetta as appetizer for dinner tonight which has been ages since I last made it.

I felt so good after a good 1.5 hours of warm oil massage with hot stone. I was served with ginger tea. While sipping the hot ginger tea, I admired these lanterns hanging at the massage place. Such a sweet colour and pretty lanterns.

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Sweet and pretty lanterns

There’s a nice Korean restaurant next to the massage place, owned by a Korean lady and have lots of Korean dine at the restaurant. I’ve been there several times and particularly like its kimchi pork stew.

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My favourite Kimchi pork stew

On the way home, I stopped by neighborhood café to buy baguette. The staff asked me “Do you want to cut the baguette into slices?” “Oh … yes please”. And that made my work even easier.

Bruschetta is another easy to prepare food. It’s just a mixture of chopped tomatoes, balsamic, basil and garlic, spooned over olive-oil brushed slices of toasted baguette. It is a perfect finger food for a party or as appetizer of Italian dinner.

We can prepare in advance a large bowl of bruschetta topping, cut baguette into slices (or asked shop assistant to cut for you) and toast them ahead of time. I remember preparing this and brought to friends house to eat and watch football match together. And it was a hit, especially we paired it with beer.

In this recipe, I’ve replaced balsamic vinegar with Maggie Beer’s Verjuice which we bought from Maggie’s Farm Shop in Barossa Valley.

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Simple ingredients for Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 8 plum ripe tomatoes (cut out stem base, remove seeds and diced).
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Verjuice (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette French bread, sliced diagonally 1 cm thick and toasted

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix together tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese and garlic.
  2. Mix in Verjuice (or balsamic vinegar), olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Brush one side of each slice of baguette with olive oil and place olive oil-side facing up on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Toast in toaster or on the top rack of oven at 230°C, for 5 minutes until bread lightly browned around the edges.
  4. Serve the toasted baguette slices plain with a bowl of the tomato bruschetta mixture on the side for guests to top their own, or use a spoon to gently top each toasted bread slice with some of the tomato mixture, right before serving.

If you do not like the sour taste of tomato, peel away the tomato skin.

  • Put water in a pot to boil.
  • Make shallow cuts in a cross pattern at the tip ends of tomatoes to peel tomatoes easily.
  • Once water boiled, remove the pot from heat.
  • Put tomatoes in the hot water and blanch for 1 minute.
  • Remove tomato from pot and once cool, gently peel off the tomato skins.

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I made these few for my photo taking. And my bruschetta didn’t make it to appetizer for spaghetti dinner as they were all consumed during tea time.

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We can also add slices of smoked salmon on top of the bruschetta topping to make smoked salmon bruschetta.

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