Saturday, 23 February 2013

Korean Home cooking in March

WE celebrated The year of Snake with friends and now Big full moon day is near, 24th of February.
In Korea we do have another mini feast for the biggest full moon day, glutenous rice with 5 grains , and a lots of vegetable dish ( namul, 나물) and steamed fish and clear soup.
I love 5 grained and sticky rice , slightly salty ( this dish needs a little salt) with winter vegetable, delicious!!  certainly I will cook this at home.
Well now the Spring is near hope we can cook something new. I love Korean spring herbs, wild sage, wild tiny onions, spring vegetables so on, but unfortunately I can not get here.
I love smell of wild sage , specially soup with small clam with soy paste, when I eat this, I know the Spring has arrived.
March Korean Cookery Dates are:  2nd, 9th. 16th. 23rd.
Do contact me at kiejosarsfield@


Monday, 18 February 2013

Winter comfort Food . Ox tail and cheek stew and Yukgaejang

When the weather is cold like this Winter, everybody like to eat heart warming comfort food, we are a Anglo Korean house hold , I make both of comfort food, English and Korean, soup or slow cooked stew, using cheap cut is the key because they are not only economic also have full flavour I am looking for.

Oxtail and cheek stew

Korean spicy oxtail and leek soup ( yukgaejang)
We all love ox- tail stew with dark beer or red wine, but I recently tried new my recipe for this, mix with ox cheek, it was truly revelation for us. Certain super market butcher section is selling ox cheek now,  I thought I will try with ox tail, both need slow cooking and more interesting to add different texture of meat , most of all very cheap and full of flavour.

I do not use carrot for the stew , found carrot makes stew a little sweet,
2-4  celery sticks( chopped).  2 medium size white onions( chopped0. 5-6 garlic clovers and crushed. ginger ( your thumb size, chopped). 100g chestnut mushrooms. 2 ox cheek meat, 3 big oxtail pieces.
2-3 cups of Red wine or a bottle of dark beer .  1Tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1tsp of tomato puree. 2 bay leaves, 1tsp dried thyme or fresh thyme. half of dry chilli

Thick bottomed caster iron stew pan, 1tsp of rapeseed oil and heat up, fried all the cut vegetables and set aside.  Cut fat off from the oxtail, in a big bowl 3Tsp plain flour, salt and pepper mix. add meat and shake to be coated .
Add oil (1Tsp) , heat up and add meat to brown, little by little. add vegetables, chilli, garlic, ginger bay leaves, thyme and pour water. When stew is boiling add wine or beer, boil for 4-5 minutes first, add tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce boil, season with salt & pepper.
Put in the low (120c) oven for 3 hours to slowly cook. take out and stir , if stew is dryish add 1cup of boiling water and put it back to oven at 150c and cook another 45 minutes and serve with boiled barley and savoy cabbage leaves.
I boiled cabbage leaves in the salted water for 2 minutes, make sure not boil too long.
Barley is cooked onion, 1 garlic cloves 1Tsp olive oil, for more than 1 hour, make sure soak before cook. Add chopped parsley on the stew and barley.
Meat is so tender, fall off the bone and texture and flavour are rich and delicious!!

For our Korean Winter comfort food is Spicy leek soup made with Ox-tail. adding sliced tube rice cake and eat with rice and kimchi of course.
My family love this heart warming Korean soup, Yukgaejang as I do !!


Saturday, 2 February 2013

KCC UK 5th anniversary VIP Dinner

Korean culture centre is situated perfect place near Trafalgar SQ. I still remember when it was opened, I could not believe the location; it simply could not get any better that this. The centre sits in the middle of an arty part of London, nearby institutions include the National Gallery, Royal Academy and the West End theatres. It is the perfect location to promote Korean culture to UK.

KCC UK promotes Korean Culture so successfully in art, literature, film and language. Korean film has developed a vast following here in UK already. I think weekly free film night was a good foundation along with Korean film makers have received lots of award from various film festival.
Korean Culture is not as widely well known as Chinese or Japanese, but Korean culture certainly has as long and deep roots as Chinese and Japanese. However, in my opinion I can say our culture is quietly elegant and has more understated charm. But since KCC UK opened UK citizens are in love with Korean Culture it seems.
KCC UK 5th Anniversary Dinner on 30th of January at Corinthia hotel was a grand occasion with distinguished guests in arts. I feel very privileged to be invited with my husband.
Chef Mr. Kim's menu were carefully created and beautifully presented. I had a long conversation with a lecturer of Cordon Blue in London , we found endless things to talk about food.
Starter was Pumpkin soup with cream and herb on the top, it was from our old dish, Pumpkin porridge made more watery soup with a few red beans and pine nuts and cream on the top. It was excellent idea, not too sticky and light, without rice balls in the porridge. Perfect for the starting a meal in Winter month.

2nd was Roast Rice cake with beef and wild mushroom was from another old dish Tteokjjim .

Roasted tube rice cake is eaten  around Luna new year , this is another old dish made modern twist by chef Kim. it was sophisticated rice cake dish fit for the occasion. Slightly chewy rice cake with thinly cut beef and wild mushroom on the top was a good combination.
Roast rice cake

Roast rice cake with beef , wild mushrooms 

Small dish called Hongshi with Plum wine Granate dish was a very nice for the pre- dessert dish, Hongshi means ripe persimmons, Persimmons is a signature fruit in late Autumn and Winter in Korea.

Every village house has a few persimmon trees , you can often see bright orange coloured persimmons on the tree in the late Autumn, they look so pretty against Korean blue Autumn sky.

All Koreans have fond memories  nice about this. Persimmons are very sweet when they are ripe, we used eat with spoon or put on the plain rice cake like honey. when I had this dish I feel suddenly very homesick.

Main course was Roasted fillet of Cod with Sangsun Jungol mean Cod Fish Stew. It is also very famous Winter dish, Cod Stew. crispy cod skin , perfectly cooked cod with vegetable and light fish broth , clean taste, delicate cod flavour was well balanced main course.

It looked more like French fish dish than Korean hearty stew, Chef, Kim created another Korean old dish made fit for the modern banquet.
Dessert was Pear Tart with barley and Sugunga Ice Cream. It is the most clever creation for me, because this desert concept comes from Korean eating habit, since Korean Cuisine has no Sweet dish in the end of meal, Chef Kim took our custom, serving pear and dry persimmon punch flavoured with ginger and cinnamon in the Winter

Sugunga is Cinnamon punch made with dry persimmons stuffed with walnuts. it is very refreshing after hearty  meal. I thought Chef, Kim's this creation was very clever.
It was a perfect Korea meets West moment!   Finally this menu has shown different side of Korean Cuisine, more sophisticated side, not serving Kimchi or other well known spicy dish were Chef, Kim's intention. I may say, he showed us other side of Korean food beautifully.

Vegetarian Dish, Tofu , slow cooked kimchi with spring onion is well known Kimchi Jjigae and for the Main course , the most famous dish, Bibimbab with namul and gochujang looked very tasty and an excellent dish for the Vegetarian.
Pear Tart with barley and Sugunga Ice Cream