Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Lazy Saturday Lunch with octopus salad

Octopus salad with chilli & red onion

We love late week-end Summer lunch , usually with cold cuts and nice green
salad and nice crunch bread.
This week I found nice fresh Cornish octopus were in the fish corner, have to buy.
We love octopus, specially Italian style with red onion. red chilli, lemon zest, juice
extra olive oil.
But how do you cook octopus?

If  you do not cook properly it can be very chewy and hard to eat.
Put water into the large pan to cover octopus, onion cut in half with brown skin on, 1 carrot, half celery stick, 7 pepper corn, small piece of ginger, 2 covers of garlic and 1 glass of red wine , 1 dry chilli ( small), salt 1 tsp.
Add octopus and let it boil for 2 minutes and simmer for at least 30-45 minutes ( depends on the size of octopus) and check.
If octopus is tender still got a bite , take out and keep leave them to cool.

Slice 1 red onion very thin.
1-2 red chilli ( not bird eye chilli, long ones) cut thin.
1 tbs extra olive oil, one lemon zest and juice
mix together ,Season with salt.
Cut the octopus bite size and mix with onion, chilli mix and season .

Our family love this octopus salad in Summer season, I make spicy octopus stew with Korean spices when the weather is cold.
Hope I can find octopus often at the fish corner specially Cornish one is not too big , easy to cook.
I love grilled octopus as well, if I can find big ones.
I do not know why a lots of people in Britain does not cook octopus at home, the meat texture is just like chicken thigh.
I think too many people eat fish looks pretty, squid, octopus look weird or just does not know how to handle.
Do try at home !
Our dessert was juicy white peach, they are strangely beautiful to look and taste even better. 

White peaches

Lazy Saturday lunch

Monday, 7 July 2014

London Korean Street food Competition.

Tteokbokki with Cheese

Tteokbokki  with Cheese

Bulgogi sauce marinated Hamburger

the Judges

Stuffed fried Chicken ( The winner)



Black rice with Gochujang & Mayo sauce

Contestant and Judges

This year  Korean Culture centre  UK had put up Korean Street Competition on 5th of July at Central street cookery School.
Last year one of my cookery member did got to the final three but sadly lost to the professional chef , Jordan Burke, and he won the Global competition in Seoul.
It is a good event to promote Korean Food world wide.

My a brave cookery member is contesting with black rice with gochujang & mayo sauce.
I thought I can cheer him up a bit to be there.  He is making rather complicated Spanish Black Rice with Korean Sauce.

This year finalist 7 people, 2 professional chefs and 5 amateur cooks were competing.
 Kitchen was heating up when I arrived, all contestants were having a finishing touch but unfortunately, my member is seriously late. I was worried that he will get a huge penalty being late serving to the judges.
But I can only to give encouragement words , He shouldn't make fresh fish stock for this , ready made
stock would be fine as  only 1 and half hour cooking time were allowed.

The dishes were 1, Small pot of tteokbokki with cheese on the top, 2, Baked ttokbokki with Cheese.
3. Bulgogi in the French bread, 4, Beef & pork, tofu stuffed dumpling with crispy skin.
5, Bulgogi sauce marinated hamburger with gochujang & mayo sauce.
6. Stuffed fried chicken  7, Black squid rice with prawn and gochujang & mayo sauce.

I have tasted all of them at the kitchen only one standing out for me, as for the taste and idea, individuality and presentation.
Bulgogi was too tough and salty, not touched any wine, or grated pear or apple juice in the marinating sauce in order to tenderise it seemed ( I am guessing, he may have).

 Tteokbokki  dish was too chewy, It could have been a good dish make Korean Italian pizza but base was too thick, thinly sliced tteok may have worked.
The other ttoekbokki is slightly better in a small dish and adding mushroom makes moist than the other.

Hamburger was nearly  same as Kalbi Bros ( whom I met London Taste Festival) , they do sell their burger at East End Urban Fest.  But tasty and moist.

Dumpling were tasty but lack of her own idea, she made real well  after all she is a chef.

Black rice were tasty but too late, his idea was wrap in the egg pancake, with contrasting colour, but ran out time, poor Dan!

Fried stuffed chicken by chef, Hejazi  was original and tasty . It was the winning dish in this contest, I was very glad the Judges thought same as me.
I think it needs more  to develop into the really a good dish , she has to compete in Korea with other contestants from all over the world.

Two chefs made ( Dumpling & Fried Chicken) good dishes but other amateur cooks need more understanding ingredients and texture.
Ttokbokki seemed universally loved by young people as in Korea.

The winner, Shokofeh Hejazi was a ex lawyer became a chef  ( love her story and very brave to changing the profession)and currently working in the restaurant in London.  Her family comes from Iran,

If I can advice her dish, should be use Persian spice like Sumac and Korean Spice and make something unique. Something more spicy and tangy sauce perhaps.