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Korean New Year foods – “Japchae” sweet potato noodles and “Jeon” fritters

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! I’m still having a hard time believing that it’s 2021. I’m sure you’ll agree with me, last year just feels like a bad dream that I’m struggling to wake up from. I still haven’t seen my family in Korea, it’s been a year and four months since I last saw them. And spending yet another big holiday missing my family was the last thing I wanted. Maybe that’s why I tried to keep myself even busier in the kitchen preparing for the New Year holiday this year, cooking up a storm to feed just two people; me and my husband, haha (we just finished leftovers). I am sharing recipes for quintessential Korean celebration dishes “Japchae” – Sweet potato noodles and vegetables,  “Aehobak Jeon” – Korean Zucchini fritters and a simple spring onion salad today. I have also made Kimchi pancakes for the New Year, click here for recipe.

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“Galbijjim” Braised Korean beef short ribs

If I was asked to pick one dish that will make anyone fall in love with Korean food, I’d without a doubt pick “Galbijjim”, soy sauce braised beef short ribs. This melt-in-your mouth beef dish is sweet, savory, luxurious, festive and comforting all at the same time and often eaten at Chuseok (Mid Autumn festival) and Lunar New Year in Korea. When my husband met my family for the first time before we got married, my mom made this dish, which was his favorite Korean food at that time. My mom is a great cook and she also got a little help from her auntie who was running a successful Korean restaurant back then. Needless to say mom’s galbijjim was out of this world. I don’t know whether my husband was too nervous or too stuffed or both but he ended up spending quite a long time in the bathroom after dinner… Continue reading “Galbijjim” Braised Korean beef short ribs

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Kimchi, pork and Asian chives dumplings “Mandu” with spicy dipping sauce

Can you name one person who does not like dumplings? I certainly can’t. I can’t even think of anyone who wouldn’t shout out “I love dumplings!” with a big smile in their face. I think anywhere in the world has its own version of dumplings. And they are often associated with warm fuzzy memories of home, family and holidays. Like every Korean kid who grew up with their grandma, homemade dumplings (Mandu in Korean) were staples that we had to have during the festive seasons. Continue reading Kimchi, pork and Asian chives dumplings “Mandu” with spicy dipping sauce

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20 minute meal – Tofu kimchi scramble with chilis and chives

tofu kimchi scramble

Without a doubt “Tofu kimchi” is a Korean soul food. And it is also a perfect example of a dish that was born out of necessity. Just until a few decades ago Korea was extremely poor, which means most people had to make the best of whatever they had. And so many of those dishes that came from the hardship in the past have in fact become the backbone of Korean cuisine. They might have been the only options for those who were in my grand parents and parents generation back then, but now they are kind of dishes that we all love and cannot imagine living without. And for that I feel quite lucky and grateful.

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Soba noodle salad with Korean chili paste “gochujang” sauce

korean platter noodles

I miss good authentic Korean food all year round, but there are a few cold dishes that I miss even more when summer hits Hong Kong hard. One of those dishes that I’ve been missing a lot lately is “Jaengban Guksu”, literally means noodles on a plate. It is cold soba served with lots of fresh vegetables and spicy Gochujang (fermented red chili paste) sauce and boiled eggs. Although called noodles, I think what it really highlights is the crunch vegetables. This dish is sweet, spicy, refreshing and quite healthy. The recipe doesn’t require any specific kind of vegetables, you can use whatever you like as long as they bring crunchiness to the dish. Cucumber and carrots are commonly used in Korea, and sometimes we add fruits like Asian pear. Apple will work great as well. I personally love adding as many rainbow color veggies as I can, not only for nutrition purpose but for making things more fun and pretty as well.

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How to use old sour kimchi – Kimchi fried rice

As kimchi started gaining its superfood status, my friends started asking me all sorts of kimchi related questions. And two of the most common questions among them were 1. Does kimchi ever go bad if you keep it too long? 2. What do you do with a few weeks or months old sour tasting kimchi? Continue reading How to use old sour kimchi – Kimchi fried rice

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Spicy garlicky soybean paste prawns and soba noodles

prawn noodles with Korean fermented soybean paste

Although my recipes in this blog are mostly vegetarian, I equally enjoy eating and cooking meat and seafood. Unfortunately my husband cannot eat most shellfish, which in fact is my favorite protein. So whenever I am not dining with him or he’s out of town I go hard on eating and cooking shellfish. Not that he banned me from eating them when he’s around, (he only pouts a little if I order them at restaurants sometimes) but sharing our food together is so important to us that I don’t want to cook or eat anything that he cannot enjoy. He was away for over 2 weeks recently, and I was able to come up with a couple of shellfish dishes that I really like during this time. This prawn soba is one of them, and it is simple, healthy, and delicious. Continue reading Spicy garlicky soybean paste prawns and soba noodles

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Hearty belly warming Korean stew – Deulkkae Sundubu

Korean deulggaesundubu

I have been wanting to post this recipe for quite a while. The reason it took me so long is mainly because of this dish being almost impossible to plate pretty for the pictures and the summer here has been hot as hell (too hot for belly warming stew…!) Weather has finally become so much cooler now, but I have to say this was definitely the most challenging food to photograph. Continue reading Hearty belly warming Korean stew – Deulkkae Sundubu