Sesame spinach side dish- sigeumchi namul

spinach

Trying to get more vegetables into your meal plan?  Tired of the same old, same old steamed veggies?  This delicious garlicky spinach Korean side dish will have you craving those leafy greens!!

This is a very common side dish (banchan) in Korea served with rice and other side dishes such as kimchi,  honey potatoes or a bell pepper banchan. It is one of my yobo’s favourite; he has fond memories of eating this everyday in spinach season. He waxes on about his mom and his childhood when he eats it  reminiscing about trimming spinach in the garden.  He recalls being influenced by Popeye cartoons and wanting to eat lots of it to grow big and strong.  Our kids have no idea who Popeye is, so the stories are lost on them.  This poor generation of kids, not having heroes like Popeye to look up to.  I should find some old cartoon clips and show them.  For educational purposes, of course!

So whether you are old enough to remember Olive Oyl and Brutus or not, I promise you, if you make this dish, it will be gone before you can say ‘Popeye’!

Sesame spinach – Sigeumchi namul

Ingredients

  • 300g spinach
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 green onion chopped fine
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. blanch the spinach in hot water for 30 seconds
  2. drain and squeeze out excess water
  3. add the remaining ingredients
  4. mix well
  5. serve and enjoy!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1428

Recipe from Maangchi.com


Yukiya sushi restaurant – Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Harrison hot springs

We had a little Christmas get-a-way with the family over the holidays to this beautiful place, Harrison Hot Springs resort.  It is situated on Harrison lake nestled between the mountains near Agassiz BC, 1.5 hours from Vancouver.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

paul SepDec 2014 155

We went out for dinner one night a block from the hotel, right on the lake front, to Yukiya Sushi. It is a little restaurant and it was very busy. The service was great and the owners were super friendly Koreans – aren’t they all?  friendly and Korean!? :)

We ordered an assortment of rolls and they were devoured quickly. The teriyaki chicken rolls were just chicken rolled up and I prefer my teriyaki rolls to have something else added to them, but they were a hit with the kids and the owner kindly gave us extra. The other rolls were your basic rolls, but the star of the night was the dynamite roll.

dynamite rollteriyaki rolls

It was a delicious combination of prawn and yam tempura, avocado and cucumber.  I love yams and this roll won my heart with the deep fried yams! The second best part was that it was not stuffed full of crab.  I admit that crab is not my favourite ingredient in sushi rolls, which is why I don’t usually order California rolls! But the dynamite roll was dynamite!

The only draw back about this place was that it was a little pricey, but given the view, it was worth the extra money.

Say “sushi! :)

yukiya
Yukiya Sushi on Urbanspoon

Top 3 recipes – 2014

It is that time of year when we get to look back and review the year.  What a great year it was!  Here are a few highlights for me and my family:

We worked really hard and saved up money to go to Korea in March! The boys had never been to Korea or met their Halmoni, grandmother, so it was a really special trip!

korea

We also acquired a fabulous vintage motor-home, a 1969 Shasta,  who we lovingly named Peggy.  My talented sisters helped me redecorate her (they sewed and I cooked) and we had wonderful camping experiences in Peggy with friends and family this summer.

peggy

I continued working here on my blog making yummy food, reviewing restaurants and writing funny (or not so funny) comics about our life.

So, what were the top 3 recipes from Korea in my kitchen in 2014?  These were the most searched and viewed from the blog.

Drumroll please ….

#1 Korean rice balls – Jumuck bap

rice balls

#2 Potato side dish – Gamja jorim

gamja jo rim

# Rice- how to make Korean rice

rice

If you haven’t given these a try, add it to your new years resolutions!

Thank you for visiting, commenting and cooking along with me.  It’s more fun doing this with friends.  Here’s to a fabulous 2014 and an even better 2015!!

koreainmykitchen Love Leslie

 

Holiday food

Holiday food

Every culture has holiday food or food for special days.  Koreans eat a sweet red bean soup on the shortest day of the year, rice cake soup for new years and chicken soup in the heat of summer. We have lots of holiday food traditions in Canada too; eggs for Easter, pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and turkey at Christmas. In our family, all the “sit-down holiday meals” like Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas pretty much look the same: turkey, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts.

My yobo has lived in Canada for 13 years now so we don’t have too many cultural misunderstandings anymore so it surprised me when he accused me of not liking brussel sprouts!

I love holiday meals but I don’t usually cook up a turkey any other time of the year or make brussel sprouts for a Thursday dinner.  That said, I have never been served red bean soup on a Friday in June either.

My mom is a fabulous cook and this year again she hosted a wonderful meal including a killer brussel sprout recipe!  I’ll get her to guest post about it some time… maybe at Easter time.

*This conversation actually happened at Thanksgiving, but since the menus for both meals were the same, I used some creative license to change the date! :)

Pork sausage zucchini pancakes – dwaeji gogi jeon

pork zucchini pancakes

Love these pancakes!  All the yummy-ness of sausage and zucchini fried up in a pancake.  Who could ask for more?

#vintage corelle dishes

I don’t hashtag. I’m not on twitter.  And I don’t normally even think in social media lingo. I never LOL or TTFN.  Call me old. So old in fact that these vintage 70s dishes are still used at my moms everyday.  I grew up eating cereal out of the matching bowl and toast from the salad plates. I happen to have one in my cupboard that brought something delicious home from her place.  I thought it would be the perfect plate for these crispy pancakes! Everything tastes better on mom’s dishes!

Do you have this set or something similar?  Does your mom?  Or (gasp) Grandma?

Pork sausage zuchinni pancakes

Ingredients

  • 250 g pork sausage
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Remove the pork from the casings
  2. Slice the zucchini thinly
  3. Cut up the green onions
  4. Mix all the ingredients together
  5. Oil the pan generously (I didn't say these were healthy!)
  6. Fry on medium high heat until browned squashing them thin
  7. Flip and squash until browned nicely and the sausage is cooked
  8. Enjoy!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1381

I confess my undying love to pancakes here and you can give these marvelous pancakes a try too!

seafood pancake Seafood pancake – hae mul pa jeon

veggie pancakes Veggie pancakes – yachae jeon

kimchi pancakes Kimchi pancakes – kimchi jeon

Hoddeok - stuffed pancakes Sweet stuffed pancakes – hoddeok

How to make kimbap – graphic

Kimbap how-to graphic

Here it is!  For those visual learners, who like to see how to do things, a how-to graphic!

I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time.  Whenever I post a yummy kimbap recipe, I have thought that it would be really handy to have something like this to attach so people could easily see the steps.  I hope this helps.

And if this has inspired you to make kimbap, here are a few fabulous variations to try:

kimbap rolls Kimbap

cucumber rolls Naked cucumber rolls

Nov 2014 011 Sweet and spicy Tuna kimbap

tuna kimbapTuna kimbap

salmon kimbapSmoked salmon kimbap

 

 

Ramen burgers

ramen burgers

Heard of these fabulous burgers made with ramen noodles instead of a bun?  Seen the pictures on pinterest?  Drooled?  Licked the screen?!  Well, you can wipe your drool and make them at home!

My fabulous friend, who took me to Hawaii this summer where I was first introduced to L&L Hawaiian Barbecue and their ramen burger, said mine was better.  Don’t take her word for it… try it yourself!  And if you have a chance, fly to Hawaii and try theirs too!  Better yet, take me along and I’ll buy you one!

ramen burgers with nyles

These tasty burgers were a ton of fun to make.  Whats more fun than making buns out of ramen noodles?  In our house, you get to pick your birthday dinner (and breakfast and lunch) and it was my dear sweet Jaina’s birthday recently.  The other members of the family always try to influence and encourage the birthday person to pick something they really like.  I suspect this request was at my yobo’s influence.  Jaina also wanted rice burgers, some I made them both.

Jaina and her ramen burger

Most recipes online for this creation have instructions for making one burger.  The whole process would have been tedious and time consuming for all the monkeys in this little household.  So I needed to find a way to make this work to feed all the hungry mouths in our family plus a special guest.

The solution:  muffin tins!  Would doesn’t love muffin tins?  Not muffin tops… muffin tins! (Though eating too many of these may lead to muffin tops!!)

Ramen burgers

Yield: 6 burgers

Ingredients

  • 4 packages of ramen noodles
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • oil
  • Hamburger patty
  • BBQ sauce (or teriyaki sauce, or hoisin sauce... whatever you are feeling in the mood for!)
  • green onions chopped finely
  • mixed greens

Instructions

  1. Cook the ramen according to the instructions
  2. Strain the water and let cool slightly
  3. Beat the eggs and salt and pepper
  4. Coat the noodles with the eggs. If the noodles are too hot, they will cook the eggs already!
  5. Line a muffin tin with plastic wrap
  6. Scoop out the noodles evenly into 12 muffin tin spots
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh the buns down with various small jars from your fridge
  8. Refrigerate for 20-30 mins
  9. Add oil to a frying pan on medium heat
  10. Remove the buns from the saran wrap and fry for 4-5 mins on each side until they are brown.
  11. Press down on the buns to thin them out
  12. Prepare the hamburger patty
  13. Top the ramen burger with sauce of choice, onions and mixed greens!
  14. Savour and enjoy!

Notes

The muffin tins make for smaller ramen buns, so smaller beef patties would work best with this recipe.

http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1367

Sweet and spicy tuna rolls – chamchi kimbap

sweet and spicy tuna rolls

These sweet and spicy tuna rolls are quick and easy but oh so yummy!  Rolled up seaweed in or seaweed out, they make a great appetizer or a light lunch.

Nov 2014 011

The kids are in swimming lessons on Friday nights.  It was a great concept, in theory; end the week with lessons and a swim at the pool.  My yobo joins us and swims with the kids.  It sounds lovely.  And it is, except that dinner still needs to be made, my yobo can’t always make it there and it is 6:30 when we get home!  If I am organized, I have dinner planned before we go, but more often than not, I am throwing it together when we get home.  This week’s throw together menu… sweet and spicy tuna rolls and zucchini pancakes!

sweet and spicy tuna rolls

“You are crazy!” you are thinking. No, really, they are that easy. :)

Sweet and spicy tuna rolls

Sweet and spicy tuna rolls

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cooked medium grain rice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 sheets of seaweed for sushi (nori)
  • 1 can of tuna
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • sesame seeds to garnish

Instructions

  1. Mix the sesame oil and the salt into the warm cooked rice
  2. Add the sweet chilli sauce to the drained tuna
  3. Place 3/4 c rice on the top 2/3 of the seaweed
  4. Spread out evenly
  5. Add 1/4 of the tuna mixture to the end of the rice
  6. Roll the rice/seaweed over the tuna to cover it - squeeze tightly
  7. Continue to roll
  8. Glue the end of the roll with a few grains of rice
  9. Squeeze, slice and enjoy with soy sauce!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1360

Note: to make the ‘inside-out” rolls, you need 4 cups of rice and instructions for reverse rolling are here! :)