Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Spicy Beef Soup ( Yukgaejang (육개장)


This beef soup is very hearty and warm soup for winter but also popular in the Summer season in Korea.   Specially when you lost appetite to any bland foods due to the Summer Heat.

Traditionally this soup is made with brisket beef , but brisket is not widely available in Britain ( Local butcher or Super market), I  use short rib of beef or, with oxtail, it makes better  deeper and rich stock  from bones, much wholesome soup as a main dish.

I sometimes make like Vietnamese Soup, Pho. Adding thinly sliced raw skirt beef and cooked rice noodle .



2- 3Lt. water

Half  mooli ( long white radish ( daicon)

1 onion, 3 carrot. 3 celery sticks. 1 thumb size of ginger, 3 garlic( skin on),

1 dry chilli, 10 whole pepper corns, dry 1 sheet of kelp ( your palm size), 4 dried shitake mushrooms.

3-4 leeks, 100g of Korean dried fern shoots ( optional) and soak in the warm water for 2 hours.

1 pack of bean sprout, 1 bunch of spring onion,

1 tbs of Korean chilli flakes, 1 tbsb of sesame oil.

 2 tsp of crushed garlic.

3 ( 10cm long) short rib of beef or  800g of meaty oxtail.



 Trimmed  meat , cut off all excessive fat and put in the roasting pan and put in the oven, grill  until meat is brown both side. ( this helps to remove fat)
  1. Cut all the vegetables, mooli, cut 5ch thick, cut onion in half, carrot and celery , 5cm long and put in the pressure cooker with browned meat, add water, and rest of dry ingredients except kelp.
  2. Boil for 10 minutes first then reduce the heat ,simmer for 1 hour to 1hour 30 minutes  ( no longer) until meats are just tender to pull off from the bone. Do not cook too long, meat can be tasteless. ( if you do not use pressure cooker, it takes longer, 2 hours, check the meats)
  3. Take out meat and pull off the meat ( or shred), set aside, put back  bones into the  cooker add dried kelp and simmer another 30 minutes.
  4. Pour stock to the another big pan but save mooli , discard rest of vegetables and spices.
  5. Skim the fat ( if any) and cut cooked mooli thin strip 1cm by 5cm set aside.
  6. Cut leeks thin strip 10cm long by 0,5cm thick, soaked fern shoots ( if you have) cut 10cm and add to the pan with crushed garlic and boil until vegetables are cooked, season with Korean light soy sauce .
  7. Chop spring onion set aside as wash bean sprout as well.
  8. Quick boil rice noodle , wash ,drain set aside to ready for plating..
  9. Make chilli paste: in a small pan put sesame oil and when it is hot ( do not burn) add chilli flakes and stir quickly add 1 tbsp light soy sauce and 3tsp toasted sesame seeds. Stir and put in the small dish .
  10. Plating: put shredded meat noodle and add boiling hot soup add handful of  bean sprout and spring onion , then serve with chilli paste.
  11.  Serving chilli paste separately is a good idea, they can control spicy level.


Hint: if you wants make like Pho style, just add thinly sliced ( against grain , makes tender) skirt beef before adding hot soup.
You can add cabbage kimchi if you wish when you eat.

This soup has deep flavour as I cooked with bones. Meat is tender not chewy like brisket, I do prefer short rib and oxtail meat. They are much tender, moist, and has a rich flavour than brisket


Ready for cooking

Plating ( rice noodle, cooked meat and raw beef)

Add soup and  spring onion

Add chilli paste and kimchi ( soup 1)

Add bean sprout and spring onion ( soup 2)

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Our Family Festive Food 2015.

Duck for Roasting

Table setting for the Christmas lunch

Seafood medley
Grilled king prawns, lobster and charred spring onion

Roasted Duck

Our Family Festive Food 2015
I love Christmas food planning more than cooking itself. As a family, we have heated a debate about what will be our Christmas Lunch menu -- especially what will be the main course. Which meat? Which bird?
We had roast Turkey for more than 20 years. But not having a big family to feed even small turkey seemed too much. We then tried goose for a while.

Eventually, we decided on roast duck for our 2015 Christmas main course and the question became if one would be enough to have sandwiches on Boxing day?

After endless discussion, I made an executive decision to have duck two ways.
Roast duck and slowly roasted duck leg spring rolls.
My festive food planning and cooking starts in early December. I do enjoy this thought process more than anything else. It never fails to excite me thinking about our family festive food planning and cooking. Talking and drinking for hours.

The stages are:

  1. Make cranberry sauce
  2. Prepare duck gravy and freeze
  3. My own stuffing (sage and onion based but with pine nuts, cranberries, chest nuts plenty of smoked bacon and good sausage meat) freeze without bread. On 23 December, I took it out of the freezer and baked with herbs, bread and butter. So delicious
  4. Make spicy mixed nuts
  5. My own bitter chocolate blocks. With ginger chilli , pine nuts, sea salt
  6. Keep smoked salmon in the fridge during the festive season
Our Christmas Eve main course was stuffed and baked monk fish tail, followed by seafood pasta.
2015 Christmas Lunch  Menu

Grilled lobster tail and king prawns  in chilli, garlic butter. Served with pickled cucumber ribbons and toasted bread (sough dough bread)

Roast duck with rosemary, ginger and orange
Roast potatoes
Creamed leeks, sprouts (quartered) with bacon and chestnuts
Mini sausages wrapped in bacon
Mini duck’s leg meat with plum spring rolls
Gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce
Fruits (strawberry, blackberry, melon) with raspberry coolie
Vanilla ice cream
New Year's Day 2016 dinner
Grilled king prawns in chilli, garlic butter with char grilled pakchoi.

Main: Roast beef of sirloin (cooked nicely medium rare)
Roast potatoes and roast cauliflower with spices
No dessert was served: we are not keen on dessert specially at Christmas pudding, we like to have nice fruit salad with ice cream. After festive feast no one like to have sweet, only strong coffee with my bitter, nutty chocolate block.

Christmas lunch