Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jajangmyeon 자장면

I know that this dish is not strictly a Korean dish because it was derived from a Chinese dish, but for the sake of this post let us pretend that it is purely Korean. The dish is quite easy to make, it is almost as simple as making pasta. With the twist being
that is is Asian and not Italian.

Jjajangmyeon was first created in the city of Incheon, where early Chinese migrants to Korea began to settle in the late 19th century. The dish was arguably first developed in a Chinese restaurant called Gonghwachun (공화춘; 共和春 - meaning Republican Spring) in Incheon around 1905. The city of Incheon sponsored the "100 year anniversary of the birth of jajangmyeon" in 2005.

The dish originated from zha jiang mian (炸醬麵, literally "fried sauce noodles") in China's Shandong region. The pronunciation of the dish's name is nearly identical to that of its Korean counterpart. But Korean jajangmyeon differs from Chinese zha jiang mian, as Korean jajangmyeon uses black Korean chunjang including caramel, and onions that Chinese zha jiang mian does not use. Korean-style jajangmyeon has also been gaining popularity in China recently.

Jjajangmyeon uses thick noodles made from white wheat flour. The noodles, which are made entirely by hand and not by machines, are called sutamyeon (수타면; 手打麵) are praised in South Korea as an essential ingredient of good jjajangmyeon.

The sauce is made with a dark soybean paste called chunjang (춘장). The paste, which is made from roasted soybeans and caramel, is called chun

jang when unheated, while the heated sauce (containing vegetables and meat or seafood) is called jjajang (literally "fried sauce"). Chunjang is stir-fried with diced onions, ground meat (either beef or pork) or chopped seafood, and other ingredients. When cooking the sauce, usually meat stock is added to reduce the salty taste of cooked chunjang, and potato starch or cornstarch is added to give the sauce a thick consistency. The sauce is served hot over noodles, sometimes with sliced raw cucumbers.

Jjajangmyeon is always served with a small amount of danmuji (단무지). The dish is often served with a small amount of sliced raw onions, seasoned with rice vinegar, accompanied with a little jajang sauce. The diner eats the noodle with danmuji and onions dipped in jjajang sauce.
There are a number of variations available for the dish.
Including ganjajangmyeon (간자장면), which is jjajangmyeon served with the jajang sauce without the starch, with the sauce and noodles being served separately in different bowls, and samseon jajangmyeon (삼선자장면), which incorporates seafood such as squid, shrimp, sea cucumber, and others (but never fish). Samseon ganjajangmyeon (삼선간자장면) consists of noodles served with sauce, which contains seafood on the side.

Instant jjajangmyeon is also popular in South Korea. Dried noodles is boiled in the same manner as instant ramen with dried vegetable bits, drained, and mixed with jjajang powder and a small amount of water and oil.

Now for my version of the dish.

Cooked Noodles (Thick in size and chewy) 300 g
Pork 50 g
Onion 1/2 of a whole
Potatoes 50 g
Zucchini 30 g
Ja-jang sauce 3 Tbs (available in all Korean grocery stores)
Cooking oil 3 Tbs
Corn Starch 1 Tbs
Water(or Broth) 1/2 Cup
Ginger, black pepper, sesame oil

1. Cook the noodles in boiling water and rinse them off with cold water.

2. Cut the onions, zucchini and potatoes into pieces, approximately 0.5 cm in length.

3. Also cut the pork in the same fashion (0.5 cm in length).

4. Slowly stir the ja-jang sauce in cooking oil at a simmer. (The cooking oil should shrink the ja-jang sauce in half in content.)

5. Mix the corn starch with water. (1 Tbs of corn starch to 2 Tbs of water is fine).

6. Cover the frying pan with oil and cook the pork with chopped ginger until the pork is completely cooked. Then add in the chopped vegetables and stir-fry some more. Then add one cup of water and let it come to a boil. Add in the corn starch/water mix and let it come to a boil.

7. Place noodles on a bowl and pour the ja-jang sauce over the noodles.

I know that it doesn't look the appetising from the photos, but it is REALLY hard to take photos that look good when you have a lot of black sauce on top. But it does taste amazing so I hope that will make up for the bad photos. This dish is also not spicy so it is something that everyone should try, it is really filling too.

Anyways, that is all from me. I hope you guys have a great week. And I might not be posting for a while because I have exams coming up in two weeks and I need to study. We'll see what happens though.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Patbingsoo 팥빙수

It is still quite warm in Korea now (even though I'm in Australia I think anything over 25 is just too hot), so I thought that I would see what summer dish I could think of. I know that I have already done samgyetang and naengmyeon (삼계탕 and 냉면) so I had a little help from the Korean Tourism site.

You all know the name of my blog "PATBINGSOO" but I have never made a post on the actual dish itself. I think it is about time for that, to show you guys one of the most common and popular dishes to have in summer in Korea.

Patbingsoo or 팥빙수 is a popular dish in Korea that is eaten in summer to cool down from the humdity and sweltering weather temperatures. This snack originally began as ice shavings and sweetened azuki beans (known as pat, 팥). It was sold by street vendors.

In contemporary culture, it has become a very elaborate summer dessert, often topped with ice cream or frozen yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, fruit syrups, various fruits such as strawberries, kiwifruit, and bananas, small pieces of tteok (rice cake), chewy jelly bits, and cereal flakes.

That was my introduction for it, but I'll also give you the one offered by the Korean
Tourism Board

"During summer, besides eating ice cream, there’s quite a popular dessert, which Koreans are found eating with friends, families, coworkers, and lovers, called ‘Patbingsu’, which is a big swirl of yogurt or sherbet mounted on some ice and garnished with sweet red beans called ‘Pat’ or fruit. There a various creations and sizes to enjoy with a group or by yourself. The best part of eating this dessert is that you don’t have to worry about calories or watching your weight unlike ice cream. It’s a guilt-free dessert, and one, which is considered a healthy snack.

I highly recommend ‘Green Tea Patbingsu,’ not only is it considered a well-being food, but its shop (
O’sulloc Tea House) specializes only in green tea, making all its food from this ingredient. In the west, ‘green tea’ is still a novelty, which is mostly considered a beverage. It’s a great opportunity to treat two new things- green tea and patbingsu- if you haven’t already. Patbingsu reminds me of a glorified snow cone, but much, much better than a regular snow cone.

Another great franchise to eat fruit bingsu is at a place called “Ice Berry”. It specializes in fruit yogurt desserts with ice and fruit. There is an assortment of different kinds of fruit toppings to choose from such as watermelon, kiwi, peach, strawberry, as well as cereal and vanilla ice cream. If you share with a group of people, it’s best to order a large size bowl called “Jangpan bingsu”. It’s a sumptuous treat to eat in the summer as well.

Tip: Make sure before you eat patbingsu or fruit bingsu, to mix it thoroughly. The taste is much better! Also be careful, don’t just eat the ice by itself. A big spoonful of it may make your brain freeze.
[Source: ]

Now you guys should have a wholesome understanding about patbingsoo. Now just so you guys know, what the tourism board says I can't make a comment about the places that it tells you about because I have never been there before...let along heard of it. BUT to put you out of your misery, I'm going to show you my version of patbingsoo.

Seriously, you can eat it however you want and with any combination of toppings. Here goes:

- 2 cups of ice
- 1/2 cup of cut-up fresh fruit (kiwis, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, peaches, mango, any berries, watermelon, melons are all good) or fruit cocktail.
- 1/4 cup of chapsal dduk, sweet rice cake (you can use mochi if you can't anything else)
- 1/3 cup of sweetened canned red bean, called 팥
- 1/4 cup of condensed milk OR scoops of ice-cream <-- I prefer this

You should be able to find everything at your local asian grocer or even supermarket

1. Grind up the ice using a mixer or ice grinder and put it in a bowl (clear bowls are nice to eat out of)

2. Pour the condensed milk or ice-cream over the crushed ice in the bowl. Put the red bean topping over the ice and milk, and then sprinkle the fresh fruit and dduk over the whole thing (you can be artistic and arrange the fruit prettily, or just dump it on top and eat).

3. EAT

The Korean style of eating patbingsoo is 섞어섞어, or "mix mix". You take a spoon, mix everything together so that the toppings and ice blend, and eat! But personally, I prefer leaving the toppings intact until the very end. It is more pretty that way.

That is the recipe for basic patbingsoo...there are a lot of other varieties that you can try, such as green tea patbingsoo and misutgaru patbingsoo (미숫가루 팥빙수)

I hope you guys enjoy that in the summer heat. It looks absolutely delicious....but it is too cold to eat here...maybe I'll just go and have some ice-cream now ^^

Next week = another recipe. Look forward to it

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hwajeon 화전

Hey guys, here is another dish for this week. I'm kinda sad that I haven't shown you guys a spicy dish in a while. but for the past week I have been having stomach problems so my parents have forbidden me from eating spicy things. Usually I will show you guys what I have eaten, so once again this week it is not spicy.

But something else that I absolutely love is sweet things. So I'm gonna show you guys a sweet Korean dish. This one is quite unique, and I think that it is a really pretty dish. It is not that hard to make, there are only a few steps and if you do it properly it will turn out really nice.

The dish is going to be Hwajeon 화전, or sweet flower pancakes.It is a really great springtime dish to make, which is perfect for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere. I'm sorry for all of you in the Northern part though, I promise there will be something for you later on in this post.

The dish is actually traditionally eaten during hwajeon nori (화전놀이), a traditional custom held since the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392). According to this situation the dish is only eaten in spring, however it can also be eaten in the autumn as long as in-season flowers are used, such as chrysanthemum flowers. However it is then called gukhwajeon (국화전).

I think it about time the history lesson ended and I will start to show you how the dish is made.

Sweet rice flour OR glutinous rice flour
vegetable oil
edible flowers

1. Place 1 cup of sweet rice flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
2. Add ½ cup of hot water little by little. Mix it well with a wooden spoon as you pour in the water.
3. Knead the mixture for 5 minutes.
4. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
5. Cover the dough with a wet cloth so it doesn’t dry out. Set it aside.
Make syrup:
6. Place ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water in a small pot. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
7. Heat up a non-stick frying pan over low heat. Drizzle some vegetable oil on it (½ tbs).
8. Press each rice cake ball into a disc about 5 cm in diameter.
9. Place each disc-shaped rice cake on the pan and cook it.
10. When the bottom of the rice cake is cooked, turn it over to cook the other side. It will take about 3-4 minutes to cook.
*tip: flatten it out on the pan with a spatula to make it larger
11. Place an edible flower on the top of the rice cake, then flip it over so that the flower gets slightly cooked and sticks to the cake.
13. Cook each one and put them on a serving plate.
14. Drizzle the syrup on top of the pancakes.
Serve with green tea or rose tea.

There are a couple of points I want to point out about the dish
- It is important you only cook it right before serving
- Be careful about how much oil you use to cook it, it make turn out too oily if you use too much (the hwajeon in the first picture is a bit too oily)

I hope that you guys all enjoy the dish, it does turn out really pretty if you make it right. I hope that you guys have fun making it and eating it. And take care of your bodies because the weather is starting to change.

And now for the Autumn dish that I promised. Next week :) Look forward to it!