Monday, 27 April 2015

Robinson College ( Cambridge university) Korean Food Event, 22. 4. 2015

River Cam

Robinson College

Roasted pork shoulder for Bossam

Spicy grilled butternut squash( vegetarian dish) 

Chef, Stuart, Sam and me

Marinated short rib on the grill

Gutjuri ( new kimchi)

chef , Stuart making seafood pancake

Guest at the table

I was so surprised by the email from Dr Shin regarding the Korean food Event 2015 . I thought, the Korean Ambassador had offered help from the Embassy to organize this year's Korean food event of  Robinson College at Cambridge University.
 But I was delighted by this request. I love working with Dr Shin and College head chef, Gary.
I quickly agreed to do it, it is my 3rd Event with Dr shin.

We chose the menu,

Starter; Pajeon (seafood pancake) ( Spring onion with shitake mushroom for vegetarians))
Main;  Galbi gui ( grilled short rib of beef),  slow roasted pork for bossam  ( grilled spicy squash and double cooked tofu with spices ; for vegetarians)
            Kimchi ( slightly fermented and new kimchi ( gutjuri), rice
            Mooli, red cabbage and green apple salad. lettuce and ssamjang ( sauce) for Bossam.
Dessert: Lemon tart and fruits salad

I had a problem with short rib, the most popular Korean BBQ dish, because catering team has no slot to discuss prior of the event. 
I had to sent photos how to butcher traditional galbi ( short rib). 
Choose middle and meaty short rib part and cut through bone and open up like a book without detaching with bone , make long strip of beef with bone in the end.
I could not show to the butcher I sent photos and hope for the best.
Luckily head chef send me a photo that butcher made Galbi cut in Korean style, I was surprised they look good, needed only they should be a little thinner but we can manage  .

 This is an unusual cut for western butcher, regard as a cheap and chewy meat , but as a Korean dish this is the most popular and very clever way to use short rib in my opnion.
Generally we, love texture in any dishes specially meat dishes.

Short rib of beef needs slow, long cooking to be tender like stew  but Korean grilled rib needs special marinating sauce  and keep marinade  for at least 6 hours, then grill. meat will be tender and sweet and moist, and biting texture with good flavour with sweetness in the back. I think this is most clever way to cook.  We all love grilled on the charcoal fire, which gives smoky flavour.

When I arrived at Robinson college around 11 am on 21st April. as soon as I entered familiar Robinson's kitchen, I can see 2 chefs waving hands, they both work with me in the past, so glad they are both work with me for this event.

I had to start work strait away , looking at short ribs ( 100 of them) they are much thicker and not very neat I expected. I have decided marinate first thing in the morning and cook like rib steak, possibly medium to medium rare.
Made marinating galbi sauce, needs a lots of everything,
Soy sauce, conference pear, garlic, ginger, toasted sesame oil, grated black pepper, sugar and chopped
spring onion, mirin.

Made sauce and ready for use tomorrow morning , as for trial, I put 1 rib in the marinating sauce with vegetarian , grilled butternut squash as well. 6 pm I grilled with another chef, medium, pink inside , it was tasty as it should be, just need more soy sauce and pear for making meat tender and juicy.

All preparation has to be done today, for seafood pancake, I do not know how many box of spring onion has to thinly cut by Stuart along with baby squids, prawns, and mussels.

For bossam, ( wrapped pork in lettuce with spicy sauce)  2 big shoulder pork ( 8 kg each) ready to roast , made ssamjang. ( spicy sauce for bossam)
I love this way of Bossam rather than Korean classic way ( boiled with spices and press) because roast pork ( low temp. 120c for 8 hours) is tender , moist, easy to pull, most of all pork cracking goes so well with Bossam, give another texture to the dish.
English meets Korea kind of a dish,

Cooking for near 100 invited guests needs a good planning and good helpers who do work hard .
I had excellent chefs, Sam & Stuart who love Asian food and very keen, most of all they respect me.
They are so helpful, in every stage of cooking they always ask me  which is very important,
 after all it is my recipe !!

Next day I had to arrive at the kitchen 7:15 am , and prepare for the beef rib. Never cooked this huge quantity but it will be Ok , add more mirin and dark Korean soy, it has to be ok for mine and Dr Shin's sake.
Marinade beef at 7:30 am and put pork in the oven around 9 :00 am,
I was standing all day , very tiring, being a chef was not an easy job, let me tell you!

Finally made new Kimchi  , ready for Mooli salad for dressing for last minutes.
Had 30 minutes power nap in my room and ready for face the music.

We all ready by 6:00 pm, 8 hours roast pork and crackling was excellent, all kitchen chefs tasted and loved it , so tender and crackling was light and crunch, so tasty , like eating thin crisps.
It was historic! late Michael Winner ( food critic) would have said.

Grilled rib as medium , was so tender and flavoursome, I was more than satisfied.

Served at 7;00 Pajeon , follow my main.

I made 3 minutes speech of food. I am so glad to be finished and relived .

I had been standing at the kitchen all day but feeling elated by students and lecturer, professor's verdict.  had a chat with students, they all seemed enjoying the foods. Vegetarians were impressed my twice cooked tofu and grilled spicy butternut squash.

 9 pm I had much deserved a glass of white wine at Red brick bar with Dr Shin.
Perhaps I might do it again next year! If I will be invited by Dr Shin again!

ready for cook ( short rib)

Opening rib of beef

Chef , Sam

River Cam

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