Strawberry stuffed pancakes – ttalgi hoddeok

strawberry hoddoek

Nothing says I love you like a strawberry stuffed pancake!  These yummy traditional Korean pancakes take on a valentines twist with a sweet strawberry jam filling!

Valentines day is such a special day.  When you are dating and new in love, you think it is the best; it is so romantic.  When you have kids it is just a wonderful day to celebrate love, all kinds of love, friendships and relationships.  Little valentines cards go to school and come home.  The teacher, me, gets a few special teacher cards and I go home, slightly frazzled from 5 year olds on a sugar high, but feeling loved.  And at home in your family, your kids make you cards and leave secret messages in the mail box.  You make a fancy breakfast with valentines under their plates. Your husband brings home chocolates.  You eat some strawberry pancakes.  And life is good.  Love is good.

So how do you say I love you in Korean?  Besides with strawberry pancakes?  Sa -rang-he-yo!  Give it a try, it might work wonders for you this valentines day! :)

Strawberry stuffed pancakes – ttalgi hoddeok

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 pancakes

Strawberry stuffed pancakes – ttalgi hoddeok

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups flour (I used whole wheat...doesn't that make it healthy?)
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • Icing sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the warm water, sugar, yeast, salt and oil
  2. Add the flour slowly and mix it all together
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about an hour or it has doubled in size
  4. Knead the dough slightly to release the bubbles
  5. Cover again and allow to rise for 10-20 minutes
  6. Flour a clean surface and knead the dough
  7. Divide into 8 balls
  8. Flatten a ball in the palm of your hand and fill the center with 1 tbsp of jam
  9. Pinch the sides to the top to close it up
  10. Fry in an oiled pan on medium heat
  11. Fry for 30 seconds and flip it over and flatten it out so it looks like a pancake
  12. Flip it over and fry until golden brown
  13. Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy warm!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1755

A visual how-to:

hoddeokhoddeokhoddeokstrawberry hoddeokhoddeokstrawberry hoddeok

Some of my valentines enjoying the love!

the boys

Korean lentil veggie pancakes

lentil veggie pancakes

Savoury pancakes with a protein punch! One mouthful of these and you will be back for more.  Haven’t tried savoury pancakes before?  Those Koreans, they knew what they were doing when they fried up this fabulous food!

I have a confession: I love pancakes and could eat them every meal of the day.  Sweet in the morning with blueberries and maple syrup, savoury for dinner with zucchini and soy sauce! Nothing makes me swoon like a crispy pancake.  I have make endless variations of the traditional Korean pancake (jeon) and just when I thought I couldn’t come up with anymore, I made these!

I was looking to add protein without adding meat.   Enter in lentils!  What a amazing addition to this recipe.  The red lentils cook up quickly not adding too much prep time and with 16 grams of fibre and 30 grams of protein for 1/2 cup, they add a nutritional punch to this already ridiculously good recipe!  Now my little perfect pancakes are a protein powerhouse!

So do yourself a favour, break out your fry pan, get cooking!  Grab your chopsticks, dip them in some soy sauce, bow to the Koreans and thank Saskatchewan farmers for their lentils!

Korean lentil veggie pancakes

Korean lentil veggie pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of red lentils
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • oil

Instructions

  1. Cook up the red lentils according to the package, drain and cool
  2. Slice the zucchini, carrots and green onions nice and thin (a mandolin works great for this!)
  3. Mix together the eggs, flour, water, soy sauce, onion powder and garlic powder
  4. Add in the lentils and veggies
  5. Heat up the oil in a frying pan
  6. Put the batter in the pan according to the size you would like
  7. Flip when browned and squish the pancake flat - this cooks up the veggies
  8. Flip again and squish hard
  9. Serve hot with soy sauce
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1642

 

 

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! :)