Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jap-Chae 잡채

So as promised from last week. Another Korean dish this week.

Today it will be Jap-Chae (잡채). The dish is not that hard to make, and it is nice to be enjoyed in the summer or winter, making it perfect for both sides of the world.

Japchae is a stir-fried dish that combines sweet vermicelli noodles made from the starch of a white sweet potato, thinly slices of beef, and various vegetables. It is usually prepared with carrots, green onion, spinach, shiitake mushrooms and green peppers. Beef may be added as an option but may be left out to be served as a vegetarian dish. The noodles are gray when raw and turn almost translucent when cooked (thus given its popular nickname, glass noodles). When cooked correctly, they retain a chewy texture.

My mum has actually mastered this dish so I had asked hr for the recipe. It is sorta weird though, because I'm not Korean yet my mum knows how to make Korean food. I guess you can call it being multicultural.

Anyways, back to the dish.


12 oz noodle (Dang Myun)
4 oz beef
5 shitake mushrooms or Chinese black mushrooms
1 carrot
1 onion
1 egg
⅓ lbs spinach
5 tbs oil
1 tbs sesame seed oil
2 tbs soy sauce
Salt & black pepper (pinch)
Sesame seed (pinch)
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs chopped green onion


1. Soak mushrooms in water for 15 minutes. Cut off stems then cut the caps into thin strips.
2. Cut beef into thin strips and marinate it with the mushrooms in a seasoning of: soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, sesame seed oil, chopped green onions, and a pinch of ground pepper.
3. Cut carrots and onion into thin strips (julienne).
4. Cook spinach in boiling water for about two minutes. Cool spinach in running water. Squeeze the water out of the spinach. Season the spinach slightly with salt and sesame seed oil.
5. Batter and fry the egg in a pan with a pinch of salt. Once cooked and cooled, cut the egg into thin slices.
6. Cook the noodles in boiling water for about 2-4 minutes or until soft (You may want to cut the noodles in half before hand if they are too long). Rinse in cold water and drain.
7. Start cooking the beef and mushrooms with a bit of oil.
8. When beef is cooked, add carrot, onion, spinach, and noodles and stir-fry.
9. When vegetables are cooked, add the sliced egg and use salt and soy sauce to season the dish to your taste.
10. Put it all in a dish and sprinkle some sesame seeds for the final touch.
Can be served hot or cold.

The dish isn't hard to make. The most trouble you will have may be actually finding the correct type of noodles for the Japchae. The easiest way to find it is to go to your closest Asian grocer and try to look for it, it is probably easier to look for sweet potato vermicelli noodles than for dang myun so I suggest doing that. Also this can be a vegetarian dish by leaving out the meat, so it is easy to accommodate for all eaters.

I hope you guys enjoy that, it is a simple Korean dish that is perfect for those of you who can't handle spicy things.

Another Korean dish next week? I think so (:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hotteok 호떡

So I'm suddenly craving hotteok 호떡. You may not know what it is....well it is a popular street food in Korea and is usually eaten in Winter. Which is perfect for now because it is cold.

The dough for hotteok 호떡 is made from wheat flour, water, milk, sugar, and yeast. The dough is allowed to rise for several hours. Handful-sized balls of this stiff dough are filled with a sweet mixture, which may contain brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon. The filled dough is then placed on a greased griddle, and pressed flat into a large circle with a special tool with a stainless steel circle and wooden handle as it cooks.

It is sort of like a pancake with fillings...if you want to put it that way. It is apparently best not to indulge in this snack because of its high sugar content...but I have a sweet tooth so it is sort of inevitable that it will happen.

My fingers are getting colder and colder, so I'll move on to giving you guys the recipe for this snack.

2 3/4 – 3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk (low fat or full)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Stir in milk and mix until smooth. Gradually add in the remaining flour until dough is very stiff.
2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead until dough is just barely tacky to the touch, and feels fairly smooth and elastic (about 1 minute).
3. Shape dough into a ball, cover it with a clean dish towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
4. In the meantime, combine all filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
5. Once rested, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.
6. Work with one piece of dough at a time. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 5-6-in. wide. Place 1 tbsp filling in the center of the dough, then bring up the sides and pinch them together around the filling to seal tightly.
7. Roll out the dough ball with filling inside, lightly flouring both the surface and the rolling pin to ensure that nothing sticks and tears open the dough, until you have a disc about 1/4-inch thick. Slightly thicker is ok, but the cake should be quite thin. Repeat with all remaining pieces of dough.
8. Put about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large pan and turn up the heat to medium-high. When oil is hot, place 1 or 2 of the hotteoks (depending on the size of your pan) in the pan and cook until golden brown. Turn once, then cook the second side until it is golden brown as well, about 3-5 minutes overall.
9. Repeat with remaining hotteoks.
Serve hot.

I hope you guys enjoy that snack. And I'll be back with another recipe next week. I promise to make it Korean (:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oi Naengguk 오이 냉국

As promised from yesterday, I have come back today with a dish that is perfect for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere. The dish is bound to be refreshing and cooling in the heat.

Naengguk(냉국) refers to all kinds of cold guk(국) (soups) in Korean cuisine, mainly eaten in summer. It is so called changuk(찬국), which literally means "cold soup" in pure Korean, while the term naengguk is a combination of a hanja word and a pure Korean word with the same meaning.

Naengguk (냉국), which are cold soups generally eaten during the summer months to cool the diner. A light hand is usually used in the seasoning of these soups usually using ganjang and sesame oil

Naengguk (냉국) is largely divided into two categories according to seasoning and ingredients. The first category is made by mixing chilled water and vinegar to give a sour and sweet taste such as miyeok naengguk (미역
냉국) made with wakame, oi naengguk (오이 냉국) made with cucumber, pa naengguk (바냉국) made with spring onions, nameul naengguk (나믈냉국) made with garlic, and gim naengguk (김냉국) made with gim or nori. The other category is made to supplement health and has rich tastes such as chilled soup made with chicken, sesame, or soybeans.

You may find that this recipe is similar to one that I had posted about a year ago on naengmyeon (냉면). 냉면 is a cold noodle dish whilst 오이 냉국 is a cold soup.

I have chosen to do the cucumber soup because it is more easy and cucumber is a vegetable that we are more willing to eat...compared to garlic.

NOW, for the recipe.

* 4 mini cucumbers or 1 regular cucumber, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
* 2 shallots, cut into matchstick strips
* 2 teaspoons sea salt
* 4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
* 3 Tablespoons sugar
* 1 Tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
* 3 cups cold water
* 1 green onion, sliced into thin rings
* 1 hot red chili pepper, seeded and cut into thin rings
* ice cubes, optional

1. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, shallots and salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and water. Add this mixture to the cucumber.

3. Add the green onions and mix well. Place in the refrigerator until well chilled. Garnish with red pepper rings. Add an ice cube or two in each bowl to keep the soup extra cold, if desired.

Serves three to four.

So there you go, a nice cold dish that is simple to prepare in the hot and humid Korean weather conditions.

I hope you all enjoy that whilst I go and make myself some ddeokbokki because it is cold right now.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oh gosh it's DDEOKBOKKI (떡볶이)

Boy, has it been a while since I have been on this blog

I have been so busy with the other aspects of my life that I totally forgot about this blog, if it wasn't because I had remembered a blog I used to follow I think I would have forgotten that I ever created this blog.

Now I'm really sorry for not posting for like the past year(?) but I will start again soon, and hopefully I can make it a habit.

So to start things off again...I think I should tell you about the food I had when I was on holidays back in January. Yes, I know that it was AAAAGGGESSS
SS ago...but better late than never. So I went to Hong Kong and Japan, but what I'm gonna tell you is about something that I had when I was in Hong Kong.

When I was in Hong Kong, I had my first ever Korean BBQ. Now being Australia I'm accustomed to have BBQs but a Korean BBQ is actually quite different from the usual Australian one. For one we don't have it outside and the servings of meat are quite...well small. I knew what a Korean BBQ would be like... but it was the flavours that surprised me.

My family can't really eat spicy, only I can. So I was a bit disappointed that I was unable to experience the authentic Korean BBQ. :( But non-the-less, the food was delicious. I loved the meat and especially the sauces that we could have. The side dishes were all amazing....

I wish I had taken photos...but I didn't so I am reserved to have to use photos from Google images, but I'm sure that you get the same idea.

NOW, to move on to the recipe that I will be telling you about this time. I'm going for Korean because well....I was talking about Korean food just then.

I'm gonna introduce to you guys a dish called ddeokbokki (떡볶이). I know that it is usually labelled as a snack...but when I was in Hong Kong I was fortunate to have the whole dish to myself. I have had it before in Australia as well...and lets just say that it is just one of the Korean dishes that I have fallen in love with.

I love the chewy rice cakes and the spicy gochujang (고추장) paste. Now I'm gonna show you guys how to make two variations of this dish, a spicy version and a more mild version for those of you who can't eat spicy things.

Spicy Ddeokbokki


Tube shaped rice cake (300 grams)

Hot pepper paste [gochujang (고추장)]

Dried anchovies (a must for a tasty dish)



Green onions


  1. Separate the tubes of rice cake into individual pieces.
  2. In a pan, pour 4 cups of water and add 7 large dried anchovies after removing their heads and intestines. Boil the water for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Remove the anchovies and add the rice cakes, 4-6 tbs of hotpepper paste, 1 tbs of sugar, and 1 tbs of hotpepper flakes (optional). Stir it constantly.
  4. Cut 7 green onions into 5 cm long pieces, and add them to the pot.
  5. Keep stirring until the sauce is thick and the rice cake is shiny.
  6. Transfer it to a plate and serve

Now for the mild version

Mild Ddeokbokki


1 package of rice cake

Beef strips

Soy sauce




King oyster mushrooms



  1. Saute 200 grams of beef strips with 2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, and 3 tbs of sliced onion.
  2. Add 3-4 sliced king oyster mushrooms and 2 chopped green onions to “1″ and stir it.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and put rice cake in it and keep folding until rice cake is soft
  4. Serve it on a plate and eat it when it is warm

Now, that is my two recipes for ddeokbokki. I hope you guys like it in this wintery weather in Australia...and I'll try and post a recipe for those of you who are in the Northern hemisphere in the summer :D