Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 Festive Food in our house

Roast Goose

Christmas Lunch
We decided have a Roast Goose for this year Christmas Dinner instead of turkey. I have cooked goose once, 1997 (?) perhaps.
 I love festive season , planing and cooking , specially beginning of December, I always make  cranberry sauce, apple with chilli & ginger jelly for the cheese board.
Made plum sauce for the goose, it is first time but luckily it was very good, sweet .spicy and tangy. red wine , red wine vinegar and mustard seed and sugar, I add sumak( 1 tsp) as well.
My Christmas stuffing is sage and onion, chestnuts, dry cranberry , pine nuts , lemon zest and plenty of lardons with good sausage meat, deliciously fit for the Christmas .
Spicy cashew nuts, and almond . making chocolate  with Tabasco, ginger, dried cranberry and pine nuts are great, sweet,spicy (not too much) tangy dry cranberries and lemon zest,ginger. I just add all things I love. Well well. nuts were sorted and bottled for the drinks and gifts for the friends.
Now 22nd of December, Made gravy with roast chicken wings with onions, carrot, garlic. plenty of red wine and port. since 2009, i have started making gravy a few days before Christmas to avoid too much to do on the day , just add more stock, made from the bird's neck liver from inside bird .  

Our 2012 Festive Season Menu:
 24th, Dec, dinner : medley of Seafood and Fish with  char grilled pakchoi and green beans.

25th, Christmas Brunch: smoked salmon and prawn with egg dish

Christmas Dinner : roast goose, plum sauce, braised red cabbage, roast potatoes and parsnips, carrot and celeriac.
Cheese board and very simple dessert ( good  vanilla ice cream with strong italian coffee on the top with my spicy nutty chocolates.

Finally we will have Roast of Prime beef on the bone for our 2013 new Year's Lunch or Dinner.


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A day of Kimchi Making in 2013 ( 2nd/ Feb)

I think in  Korean winter Kimchi making day is finished for 2012, probably most of korean house holds doing this annual Kimchi making for the winter month in late November.
I had a lovely memory of Kimchi making day when I was a little girl, we were head of Cho's clan and being a head of family we had to make 3-4 different kimchi and a lots of them.Poor my Mum!!!
All family had to pull their weight, as a 6 years old,m my job was I have to count how many sack of cabbage delivered to our garden, I loved that job!!
Smell of spices with garlic and ginger , I still can smell , in a huge brown pot, deep red chilli mixture and oyster, what a memory!!
Well, I am going to have 2-3 kind of Kimchi making day on 2nd of Feubuary of 2013.
If any one likes to learn Kimchi, Do email me, it will be a fun day.
After make Kimchi you will have lunch with Bossam ( this is our family tradition when I was in Korea).
Hope you can ask this class  as a your New year Present .


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Norangjin Fish Market in Seoul

Whenever I am in Korea, I always visit Market , specially fish market . I love looking all these fish and seafood, colour and shape , the noise, all of them.  They are my childhood memory.

On 3rd day,  I went NORANGJIN fish market, as my usual visit whenever I am in Seoul. as I grow up in South East seaside city, I love fish and seafood. specially Hoe ( sasimi, raw fish). I love firm fresh raw fish like sea brill. sauce has to be spicy and sour, sweet sauce ( cho gochujang), thinly sliced .  certain fish, we love with bone in , like spring baby sand dub .
Oyster is my all time favourite, it  was so cheap , £3 for a dozen on the shell, if you buy  shelled oyster , much cheaper, can you believe??? I usually pay £3 for per oyster in London.

I could not resist , bought 12 oyster and a plate of brill hoe , cost( £13) and went in the restaurant to eat,  as you pay for the table ( £2, per person, per fish dish) and give you sauce and a few side dish and lettuce.
It is a wonderful system to have fresh fish in the market, serve in the restaurant.
I wonder why not adopt this in UK.
Fishes are all alive, choose fish and ask them prepare whatever you wish, as sasimi or grill or stew.
take them to site restaurant, and ask them to cook or have as sasimi. it is fun !!

I took my Oyster and fish in the restaurant by myself, 2 French tourist were having raw fish with side Korean dishes, as soon as I told them 12 oyster is only £3 , they were so surprised, and shot out and he bought 12 oyster with a big smile.
 I know French love their oyster, specially from Brittany, we use to have holiday in Brittany, we always enjoyed oyster there, not cheap.

In the evening, the market and restaurant gets very busy, young and old come in the market choose fish or seafood and having a wonderful and jolly fish meal with Korean rice wine ( makgulli) or soju.
It is not only the tourist attraction, also local people's favourite as well. wishing Billingsgate market  can adopt this for London, Why not???

Well, I use to say, if I am ever be a millionaire I would love to eat oyster everyday with a glass of pink champagne .
I can eat oyster every day in Korea even I  am not a millionaire without champagne of course ! 

( raw fish wrapped in the shiso leave)

With Dan ( he is my Korean cookery student)

If any one travel to Seoul, must visit NORANGJIN  fish market .
Get off at Norangjin station,  take Exit 1 and 500 m down the road follow narrow vegetable market and you will be in the Fish market.


Thursday, 11 October 2012

My trip to Korea and my November Korean home cookery class

I am going to be in Korea for 20 days from 15th of October, which I am very much looking forward to seeing family and friends . I will be taking Korean temple food class, I understand temple food in Korea is a new sensation at the moment. Seasonal and organic ingredients are a core of temple food that is my understanding but somehow Temple food is regarding as a super food in Korea, Why?
Fast moving Korean society and  people are looking for and may need spiritual side of life, this is my own theory. well , wait and see this space, when I had temple food class and tasted , I certainly write a blog. I am hopping interview one of temple lady monk who specialises the Temple Food!!

When I am back from my travel , I will certainly have a few new recipes from my trip in South West of Korea..
My November class : 10th/Nov, 17th, and 24th. Do email me,  actually if any one in London area can even invite me to just talk about Korean food and cook.
My email:

Let's cook unfussy and highly flavoured Korean Home food with me.

I am talking with certain UK publisher about possibility of publishing my Korean Cook Book but you never know this things.
I do do hope I will get the contract , they will taste my food first, kimchi  ( I am absolutely confident , my recipe ,I inherited from my mum) and others,
Wish Me LUCK! 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Our Chuseok Meal - Korean Thanks Giving Day

Today ( 30th of September,2012) is one of the biggest holiday in Korea,  celebrating new harvest season and ceremony to our ancestors. All family travel to the head of family's house,( I know very well, being a daughter of very long line of head of family, the Cho) usually the traffic on the motorway is stand still, takes 3-5 times longer than usual.
I miss the this kind of Korean festival day most. All family get together and have a jolly good big party, food and conversation goes hand in hand.
The day starts with ceremony for the ancestors, On the big rectangle low table, put all kind of food, but not to be spicy, and all male members of family offer the food with rice wine to ancestor and pray and offering these newly harvested food, ask to all ancestors for their protection and prosperity to all family, kneeling down with big bow, traditionally, female members are not participate this ceremony , we, female members stay in the kitchen to make sure all foods are cooked properly. I miss not only taste of the food also the smell of burning incense sticks !!
After the ceremony we all sit down have a feast, I love this ceremonial and ritual food, even not spicy, I love slightly salty, steamed fish with bibimbab and special soup ( Tangsuyuk).
One thing I can not have here in England this festival food , salty yellow fish, soup, even I make this soup but tastes all different.
 Bibimbab is eaten without chilli paste sauce, put light soy sauce but still I can not match like home in Korea. Well, my sister told me, our ancestor in Korea did not visit my house in England and therefor not blessed by the ancestor, What a lovely story!!! I use to tell my children , told them we have to open the doors to our ghost of ancestors get in and have a nice meal. My children loved this fairy tale !!

After all ceremony we all have mid morning feast, non spicy bibimbab is strangely delicious with salty steamed( on the hay) fish is my all time favourite. I or any one in Korea do not eat non spicy bibimbab but this festival season and memorial day of ancestors , we do eat non spicy food.
according to my parents the ghost of ancestors does not like red colour or spicy food, I love this story as well.
After the feast we talk and drink all day and evening we play Korean card game or go to the hill to see full moon. How I miss this occasion!!

Well, well,  I can not beat all this but we do have mix and match special meal for the Chuseok, always.

This year our special Chuseok :
Lunch : Mandu - steamed Korean dumpling with dipping sauce
            Bossam - slow cooked belly pork wrapped in lettuce with oyster and ssamjang( sauce)
Dinner: Pan fried scallops and spicy squid with black pudding sauce.
             Slow roast lamb shoulder with roast potatoes

Scallops and chilli squid

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Courgette & Green Chilli Pancake ( Yachaejeon)

This pancake is a good end of Summer pancake. Kind of my childhood rainy Summer day's comfort food, of course before crisps or chocolate bar were widely available in Korea.

Courgette's sweet taste and chilli are perfect combination, if you have field sesame leaves ( shiso) are in your kitchen, in my case , in the garden( you can grow in the pot) add  as well.
It is a perfect afternoon snack , this is all my family's all time favourite with dipping sauce.

Ingredients:. 3-4 courgette. 3 long green chilli. 1 garlic ( grated). Strong bread flour.  1tbsp vegetable stock powder. 1 egg. rape seed oil . Dipping sauce: soy sauce ( 2tbsp). rice vinegar (3tsp). 1tbsp chopped spring onion. toasted sesame seed.

Cut courgettes like 5 cm long match stick and sprinkle salt (1 tsp) and leave 30minutes rinse quickly and pat dry with tea towel, do not squeeze, set aside. Cut chilli very thinly and mix with courgettes.
In a big mixing bowl, put vegetables , Put stock powder in a small dish and pour boiling water and stir, add to vegetables.
Put 2 cup of flour into the vegetables and add water little by little and make batter, it should be like thick pancake mixture. season with salt and pepper. If you have sesame leaves (4), chop and add to the mixture. Finally add egg mixture in the batter . leave 30 minutes .
Heat oil in the pan and put 1 ladle of batter in the middle and spread out with back of spoon and cook until light brown, turn over and cook.
Cut cooked pancake 2cm square and serve with dipping sauce ( All dipping sauce ingredients in the bowl and mix, if you like spicy one add chopped red chilli)

Pan cake is better eaten when they are hot.
This is much healthier option than cake or crisps for a snack,, perfect for the vegetarian!.

PS: October Korean Cookery: 6th, 13th.

I will blog from Korea when I am in Seoul , from mid of October.


Saturday, 15 September 2012

My ideal 5 course Real Korean Food

Korean food is getting really a lots of attention from Londoners , and one glamorous TV chef is going to open Pop Up Korean Restaurant in East London.  It is a very good news indeed as long as the chef knows how to make real one, as the chef is cooking all of dish ( according the article).
Mentioned of making spicy fried chicken marinated in butter milk but sounds just like American / Texan chicken than Korean .
5 course meal for £35 with fun karaoke as well.
The chef was inspired by Korean Food Scene in LA and NY, specially David Jang's eatery in NY.
Lets hope the chef knows all about Korean cuisine first.
I love David Jang's Book, MOMOFUKU, but certainly it is not a Korean cook book , more like his own take, twist on Korean ( as he is America born with Korean parents from Korea), Japanese, and Chinese. Do not get me wrong, I think Jang's recipes are wonderful and lovingly westernised on Oriental cuisine.
Well My only wish is the chef know traditional Korean food first !!
I do not mind fusion Korean food but not call them Korean, should serve and understand Kimchi, without kimchi, Korean cuisine does not exist that's the very uniqueness of Korean cuisine.
As far as I know , any other cuisine in the world has one single dish has to be eaten every meal like Korean food, Kimchi!! Lets hope chef serve real kimchi,
Let me tell you how I present my ideal 5 course Korean Meal.
1.Steam 3 dumplings and serve with  beef broth (Manduguk)  or Spicy Beef Soup (yukgaejang)

2. Seafood  mini pancakes with dipping sauce (Haemul pajeon).Or asparagus wrapped in pancake
3. Grilled spicy fish ( salmon or mackerel) with asparagus or Seafood Japchae wrapped in the pancake.
4.. Short rib ,grilled ( galbi gui) with kimchi and mooli salad or cucumber salad.
      OR  Spicy belly pork or Chicken
5. Mini bibimbab with tofu soup, Mini baked kimchi rice with fried egg on the top and soup
6. Spicy fruit soup with pear
Wash down with cold beer or dry white wine !!, Yummmm

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Glyndebourne Opera and Picnic

Finally I could be able to buy  tickets for the 2012 Glyndebourne Summer Opera Festival but I got  tickets for the double bill by Ravel's Opera , I would have loved to see Marriage of Figaro but by the time I was able to buy, they  were  sold out . Since I moved to UK, I always wished to go to the  Glyndebourne Opera but it looks so over the top with picnic and champagne and black tie event, it  looked out our reach.  but this year, I decided to go and judge for myself.
Set off 3:00 pm to Sussex , arrived around 4:15pm ,greeted by very polite old guard, our small Honda civic looks odd among posh and big cars. The garden looks so pretty and lake was far end. Already a lots of people were having picnic, chairs and tables dotted around this vast garden with wine and food .  not an ordinary picnic at all. It looks more like very a posh social event and opera through in !!!!!!!
Some ladies are wearing velvet cape,just like in the old movie, all of men were in black tie, but a few  men were wearing open shirts( surprisingly), some ladies were in long dress, but mostly wearing cocktail dress like me.

 90 minutes picnic break are too long for my liking, my husband and I had nice very well made, tasty sandwiches ( by me actually) smoked salmon and ham, had to eat in the car because, it was too cold have picnic dinner in the garden. Washed down with sparkling water rather than sparkling wine because of driving.

The opera itself was extremely well produced and enjoyed very much , but we won't be back next year, too long and too far from our house.
 I will try to see Glyndebourne production when they are touring near us. I am glad to be able to see the most famous English Summer opera and picnic event at last !!

 I and my husband had a very good experience but not for us. I will stick to Royal Opera and ENO as usual.


Thursday, 30 August 2012

Stuufed and Griiled Beef /찹쌀 불고기

This is another Korean wrapped dish from my family, it is not the famous Korean BBQ dish, Bulgogi but the idea is similar, using very thin piece of meat and wrapped with herb and vegetable makes more interesting to look and different layer of texture and flavour are linger in your mouth. I usually serve with soy and mustard sauce. As Sir Loin  stake meat is quite expensive I am using more economical beef such feather Blade side , thinly cut feather blade is widely use for the famous Korean grilled meat, bulgogi and get from local butcher. first of all ask them cut thinly as possible or just but at Korean super market.
This dish is easy to make , tasty and very presentable.

Thinly cut feather blade beef or sir loin beef (about 5cm by 8cm)  ; 20 pieces.  Shiso leaves( M size) : 20,
Sticky rice ( glutenous rice) flour for dusting, Spring onion; 1 bunch,
Sauce: 2 tbs soy sauce, 3 tsp mustard, 2 tsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp sugar,
Warpped beef

Cooked beef with sauce

My students Dan & Cristina,

1. if using feather blade side, marinade in apple juice( 1 cup) for 1 hour , sir loin does need to marinade.
2. Cut spring onion very thinly 5cm long and set aside. 2. Put rice flour in a wide dish, wash and dry shiso leaves and get ready for wrap.
3. Dust a piece of beef with flour, and hold on your left hand, and dust shiso leave but only one side, and put a few piece of spring onion in the middle and wrap carefully and stick with a small tooth pick and carry on until finish.
4. Making sauce: mix all ingredients in a bowl and season as you like.
5. Heat oil ( rape seed oil), in a pan and cook wrapped beef , and turn over cook as well, serve with sauce . 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Korean Cookery/ learn how to cook Korean home food with me

I am receiving a lots of email from readers and Korean food lovers about my Korean cookery. I am running Korean Home food cookery mostly on Saturdays ( as all my cookery members are working in London)) at my house in south Buckinghamshire. If any readers like to receive monthly cookery information please send me email to me.

September Korean cookery Dates:  1st/ Sept, 8th/Sept, 15th/Sept, 22nd/Sept.
Time, usually 2:30 Pm to 5:30 Pm .

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Stuffed Tofu with beef /두부졸임.

Since I applied to Oxford food Symposium , on Food and Cookery, wrapped & Stuffed, I have been thinking about wrapped & stuffed food in Korea, this is one of them from my family.
Tofu is versatile in Korean food, you can make soup, stew , or just raw with special sauce or simply wrap with baechu kimchi leave, but stuffed tofu is more a elegant dish, if you like as 3 course Korean meal, this can be a starter with green salad.

1 pack of tofu/ firm, 100g  minced beef, 5 of spring onion.
1tsp crashed garlic, 5 green chili, 1tbsp soy sauce, 2tsp sugar, vegetable oil. toasted sesame seed.
Cucumber skin(0,3 wide and 10cm long, with potato peeler), plain flour

1. wrap tofu with tea towel and put under heavy thing like chopping board , leave for 15 minutes to get rid of excess water. cut 1cm tick, 4cm by 2cm, dry again with kitchen paper.
1. heat oil on a frying pan and fry tofu until golden both side.
3. In a bowl put minced beef, chopped spring onion, garlic mix well by hand, season with salt and pepper and set aside. In a wide dish put 3tbsp flour and coat cooked tofu with flour ( one side only) and ready for stuffing.
4. Put 1 tsp beef mix on the flour coated side of tofu and ,put another tofu ( coated side) on the top and carefully wrap with cucumber skin and set side, repeat this .
5, chopped chili thinly and put in the pan , put stuffed tofu on the top, mix with soy sauce, 2 chopped garlic clovers and sugar add 3 tbsp water and pour in the pan. cook gently until stuffing is cooked, serve in a wide shallow dish and sprinkle wit sesame seed on the top.   

Monday, 25 June 2012

Brunch at Wolseley

Lazy weekend brunch is a bonus most of  the times and specially invited by our children to London Piccadilly, famous restaurant, Wolseley were such a special for us. I like this casually smart atmosphere and interior,  high ceiling ,black and white colour scheme and a few Chinese antique furniture, all very tasteful without showy, felt I am in Hong Kong, colonial hotel , Peninsula .
Brunch menu are extensive, all kind egg dishes and kipper, kedgeree .
Three of us choose fish cake and poached eggs , my daughter had toast with blueberries .
The portion of fish cake is huge even I ordered small portion, they served me large one by mistake but a well trained waiter quickly apologies and will be charged as small, this is a sign of  good business management.
Poached egg was perfectly cooked,  bright yellow egg york running out when I break with Knife,` it was just perfect. i love this casual all family eating out , with a good conversation, Being a foodie, I probably I can(?) cook like here but eating out with family makes more interesting and conversation can be more richer than at home . Time to time go to nice restaurant with family is a good therapy ,I think.  


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Razor Clam/ Ceviche and Pasta

Whenever I go to the Korean or Chinese super market, buy razor clams. I wonder why other super market does not sell this lovely clams at all. I used to catch this clams when I was little, armed with old and bashed yellow aluminium kettle and salt bottle in one hand, walking along the sandy beach, if I see any holes on the sand, sprinkle the salt then magically razor clam or tiny crabs wiggle out, it was such fun outings since our family house is just walking distance to the beach. I used call razor clams as pencil case clams because its shape. well , good old days!! Having  this  my sweet childhood memory, I can not help buying razor clams whenever I see.
I often grill in Winter, with my own pesto, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs on the top , one day I cook  pasta when I could not find fresh and good small clams, it was fantastic now all my family prefer razor clam pasta than bongole,its sweet taste and slightly meaty than usual clam with plenty of garlic, chilli,and very good olive oil, with dry white wine chopped parsley! DO try!
BUT be careful not over cook the razor clams, if you do it, will be robbery as any seafood, over cooked razor clams are too hard and chewy. Needs 1 minutes only (remember, under cook is much better than over coo in this case) to cook.

I love ceviche as a raw fish loving Korean, ceviche is most refreshing fish dish for me.  As long as fish or scallops, razor clams are fresh,  simply the best for me. As for fish, wild sea bass, skate are the best.
 Razor clam
Razor clam ceviche
Razor clam pasta

I made razor clam ceviche for our special meal first course. it was superb ,so tasty , I love the texture better than scallops for me.  Serve in its own shell, looks so pretty as well.

Wash the razor clam and plunge into boiling water for 2 seconds , if you do not like the idea of cleaning live ones, the flesh pop out and clean, chop, leave aside, 1tbsp lime or lemon juice, 1 tsp lime or lemon zest 1 red chilli chopped, red onion chopped, and mix all in a bowl, season with salt, leave in the fridge 10-15 minutes and serve with a good sourdough bread.
Do not marinate more than 15 minutes, Delicious!!!