Like our neighboring countries in East Asia, Tofu is one of the most essential ingredients in Korean diet. Koreans eat it steamed, boiled, cooked in soup, lightly fried, braised or even raw. I too have eaten countless tofu in my lifetime, and it had been a kind of food I was so used to eating that it almost became too insignificant to have an opinion about. But things changed a little when tofu started gaining a reputation not only as a healthy food but also as a bland and tasteless food that gives almost no pleasure of eating.
Ever since the success of Korean American chef Roy Choi’s ‘Kogi BBQ taco truck’, Korean and Mexican fusion has been huge. It really is a genius combination of flavors that totally make sense. Both cuisines are saucy, hearty and down to earth. And they are very hot and spicy relying heavily on chilis. Somehow when all those strong flavors get mixed together magic happens and everything becomes even more fiery and tasty. Although I have to say, putting cheese on food in Korea started way before ‘Kogi truck’. Cheese in instant noodle soup, BBQ chicken, rice cake, omelette, Kimbap (Korean sushi roll) and Kimchi fried rice…you name it, we’ve had it as long as I remember. What can I say we are just obsessed with stinky fermented food :-). Continue reading Spicy chicken and Kimchi quesadilla with avocado mash
Growing up my brother and I probably had at least 2-3 ‘Omurice’ a week. ‘Omurice’ is one of the examples of ‘Yoshoku’, which refers to Western influenced Japanese cuisine. And this type of cuisine is also very popular in Korea. The typical Omurice we used to eat had fried rice with vegetables, ham or bacon wrapped inside thin omelette and topped with tomato ketchup. My little brother loved the combination of these flavors so much that he would ask me to make simpler version at home, which is steamed white rice topped with fried eggs and drenched in tomato ketchup. Continue reading Fried omelette rice with sweet and spicy tomato sauce
I love pretty much any kind of hearty food. But if I had to choose one, I would definitely go for a pot of hot stew or curry. I often call it a “belly warming food” :-). Being Korean, I grew up with soup and stew, which are essential parts of Korean cuisine. But I think these kinds of food are just so comforting to anyone no matter where you are from. So today I decided to make hearty, comforting, quick and easy one pot curry (not much washing up!) mainly with South East Asian ingredients (I need to use leftover coconut milk from the dairy-free rice pudding I made for my previous post ;-)) and a little bit of Korean flavor. This dish is mildly spicy but if you want to add some serious heat you could use hot Thai chili. This curry sauce will also work well with chicken or white fish. Continue reading Coconut and Korean red chili paste “Gochujang” prawn curry