Zucchini pancake – hobuk jeon

zucchini pancake

A simple savoury recipe that tastes like the summer garden!

It is that time of year again where the garden is overgrown and the zucchini are in abundance.   I mentioned that this year my garden has been unloved and is in desperate need of attention.  Normally I dote on my garden and faithfully water it and daily check in on all the treasures growing under the leaves and on the vines.  With life having gone sideways earlier this summer, the garden has been neglected.  So much to my delight and surprise, the other day when I was mumbling my apologies to my garden, I discovered several huge zucchinis growing.

We have a real love affair with zucchini in our house.  We eat it multiple times a week and I shred up the excess from the summer and I put in almost every soup or stew imaginable in the fall until my supply runs out. So discovering these beauties was a score.  We got right down to grating them and produced 6 loaves of zucchini bread, copious amounts for the freezer and these fabulous pancakes for dinner!

And I was happy to note that there were a few more zucchinis hiding amongst the overgrown weeds in the garden… :)

So however you get your zucchini, whether it is from your garden, from a friend’s garden or the fruit and veggie stand, do yourself a favour and make these!

girls and zucchini

My girls and their green babies…

boys and zucchini

and my boys and their green weapons!

Zucchini pancake – hobuk jeon

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 large or 16 small

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Slice the zucchini finely (or grate coarsely... which ever works for you)
  2. Cut the green onions into 1 inch pieces
  3. Mix together the remaining ingredients and add the vegetables
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat
  5. Add desired amount of batter
  6. When browned, flip and squish down the pancake as flat as possible
  7. Flip again and squish
  8. When deliciously brown, serve hot with soy sauce
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1993


Linguistic confusion

Apa in Korean

My kids are not fluent in Korean <hang my head in shame> but we speak a few Korean words and expressions around the house.  The kids say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and other simple phrases but they know that they are Korean.  They call their grandmother ‘Halmoni’ but they know that is the Korean word for grandmother, likewise for uncle and aunt.  Apparently this one did not realize that “Apa” is the Korean word for “Dad”! :)

I grew up in a Dutch Canadian home and similarly there were a few Dutch words that we always used and it wasn’t until I was a teenager did I realize that they weren’t English!

Did you grow up in a multilingual home?  What words did you think were English?

 

Baked sesame spinach egg

Baked seame spinach egg

Go big or go home.  That is my yobo’s policy on most things.  Not for cars or boats or anything like that, just things that grow.  When we first decided to get chickens, he came home with thirty one of them!  I wanted to have some blueberry bushes, now we have over thirty of them.  Grapes; all the fences are covered in them. Raspberries; two and half long rows. So when I decided I wanted a garden, I should have know it would be big.  Now granted it isn’t huge, but considering it is in our front yard, it is a good size.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my garden.  In the spring I eagerly weed it and turn it.  I empty several of our compost bins on it.  I spread out all the new top soil and sow my seeds with great excitement.  But then June comes.  I am a teacher so June is just as crazy as it is for most people with report cards, field trips, and graduations.  So by the time June is over, so is my beautiful garden.  It is overrun with weeds again and things are growing all over the place.

So my garden is lacking love this year (again).  But in the midst of it all, it grows.  And this spinach plant provided me what I needed for this great dish. (ignore the weeds!) Actually, aside from the sesame oil and seeds, the rest of this dish is all from our homestead.  Look at us… urban farmers! :)

spinach in the garden

Baked sesame spinach egg

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Baked sesame spinach egg

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 green onion chopped finely
  • spinach chopped into pieces
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 350F
  2. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray or coat with oil
  3. Lay spinach in each cup
  4. Sprinkle with green onions
  5. Crack on egg into each cup
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each
  7. Bake for 15 mins
  8. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes
  9. Carefully slide the eggs out of the oven tin
  10. Drizzle sesame oil on top and garnish with sesame seeds
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1982

Enjoy!

Berry Picking with Kids

Berry picking with kids

Despite the lapse between expectations and reality, I still go berry picking with my kids multiple times during berry season.  I like a good deal just as much as the next person and U-pick is always substantially cheaper than picked berries.

More than that though, I love the nostalgia of it all.  My mom took all of of us kids berry picking when we were little and one of my first jobs was berry picking with my fabulous younger sister. (I do remember more raspberry fights than cash in my pocket though!) My yobo and I have picked together with the kids every year. He is a great picker and has our buckets full in no time!  My girls have become excellent pickers as well and the boys in the comic are still in training. Soon I can just sit in the shade with some lemonade and watch them pick…. right?  :)

Best of all, my freezer is full of fresh berries!

4 reasons why your kids should eat with chopsticks

chopsticksYears ago, when our little ones were wee, my yobo and I were out for dinner with an Asian family who had just moved to Canada and their 8 year old could not use chopsticks.  I thought it was scandalous!  I was determine to teach all my offspring to master the Asian utensil.  Along with my many things I was sure I would do as my children grew, such as teach them Korean fluently, have them well behaved, good mannered geniuses, use of chopsticks was high up there on the list.

As parenting goes, I have not been able to follow through on all my lofty ambitions.  They have temper tantrums like the rest of them and their Korean language ability is severely lacking.  But I am proud to say, that they can use chopsticks (phew!).  So though their rooms are messy, they can hold their own in a chopstick challenge.  Well, the ones over 8 at least.

chopsticks

So besides pride, there are some good reasons why you should teach your child to eat with chopsticks.

1. Improves fine motor skills

You know those skills that help kids write their letters, numbers, and their name.  These skills make for great colour-in-the-liners!

2. Improves hand – eye coordination

This will help make your child a future baseball champ or a knitting pro.  I’ve also heard the best surgeons are also those who grew up using chopsticks.  Hearsay, of course.

chopsticks

3.  Builds new pathways in the brain by learning a new skill

With all the talk of neuro-plasticity these days, and the advancement in brain development, why not forage a new pathway or two?  A growing brain could always use an extra trail.

4. It takes longer to eat

(which may not seem like a benefit) but it reduces overeating.

Have you ever tried to wolf down a bowl of ramen – or m&m’s for that matter – with chopsticks?  It definitely takes longer!

chopsticks

We started with all the kids around 3 and they graduated up through various trainer chopsticks to being able to use the wooden ones.  Next step: Korean metal chopsticks!

Osaka Sushi – near Children’s Hospital BC

Osaka Sushi, South Cambie Street Pictures

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being at Children’s hospital in Vancouver, whether for an appointment or an extended stay, you may find yourself wishing for more than coffee shops and cafeterias.  When you need some fresh air but don’t want to travel far, you are in luck.  There is a decent sushi shop just blocks away.  The exercise might do you well, the walk is good for body and mind and the food is better than the vending machine.

We had the regrettable opportunity to visit Children’s hospital more than once in the last little while and needed a place to go and eat.  When I asked the six small children in my care what they were interested in for dinner, they all yelled ‘sushi’.  I was proud considering the options I had presented included pizza and Mcdonalds.  So on recommendation from the ICU doctor, we made our way (read: ran) a few blocks down to Oak and King Edward and found Osaka Sushi.  The kids rushed in, I smiled sweetly and we piled all 7 of us in a little booth.

We ordered a copious amount of cucumber rolls and teriyaki chicken rolls and the children gobbled them all down. I am not sure if they are the most discerning eaters, but they all gave them thumbs up.  What is not to like about cucumber or chicken rolled up in rice and dunked in way too much dipping sauce? I ordered a dynamite roll which was OK.  I don’t like lettuce in my rolls, but aside from that it was good.  My sister joined the party and she had a spider roll which was also average.

The service was quick and friendly.  They accommodated a whole bunch of munchkins and quickly made extra rolls when ordered.  The restaurant was busy and by the time my sister joined us, there was a line up out side.  So either all the doctors recommend this place, or it is just a local favourite.

wasabi nose trickMy sister arrived in just in time for the post dinner antics of our 6 year olds putting wasabi up their noses.  :)

Oma’s curry turkey

Oma's curry turkeyA tasty turkey dish with hints of spice and sweetness.  Need a leftover turkey recipe that doesn’t taste like last nights turkey dinner?  This is it.  It will knock your socks off.  And then you will find yourself looking for excuses to have turkey dinner just to make this for left overs.  Your hockey team won?  Turkey dinner!  Your flowers bloomed?  Turkey dinner! It’s mother’s day?  Turkey dinner!  This recipe comes from my mother and even though we didn’t have turkey dinner to celebrate, I wish we had, so she could whip this dish up with the leftovers.  I can make it myself, and you can too now, but everything tastes better at mom’s house!

My mom’s heart and home is always open for people.  She is one of the most hospitable people I know.  Most people in our church have been over for coffee and a slice of pie.  Most of the kids in the high school when me and my siblings were young, have been over for spaghetti and a sleep over and she can always whip something together without making you feel like you are a burden.

Her heart is big and so is her pantry.  She shows her love through food.  If you are down, she’ll bake you muffins.  Stressed out, stay for soup.  Feeling lonely, come for dinner. She cooks for the local soup kitchen, bakes for Seniors club at  church and always has a pot or two of something down in second fridge.

Her food is delicious because she cooks with love.  She is kind, caring and quick to give a hand.  She has been a patient and loving mom to me, a fabulous mother-in-law to my yobo and is a wonderful Oma to my children. We all adore her! So on this mother’s day, I give you, her curry turkey recipe.  Cook up a turkey, make this for leftovers, and you too can taste my mom’s love.

Oma

Oma’s curry turkey

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked turkey pieces
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 5 cups coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients together and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  2. Remove the bay leaves and the whole cloves
  3. Serve over hot rice and enjoy!

Notes

Turkey can be substituted with chicken. Optional toppings include cashews and lime juice.

http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1901

 

 

 

 

Pulled pork bibimbap

pulled pork bibimbapWhat’s the best part of slow cooker Sunday? Besides a hot yummy meal cooking while you are out working or drinking coffee in the sunshine?  Slow cooker leftovers!   If you are going to have your slow cooker working for you, you might as well have it do a double shift and you have two meals done for you as you go to the zoo and watch the lion feeding- which I might add is very interesting!  Not the feeding per se but the side show! Did you know that the male lion sprays urine on the bystanders to mark his territory?  It makes for great entertainment! Well, if you are not sitting in the ‘splash zone’! :)

Slow cooker Sunday included a big pork roast with this fabulous recipe from Six Sisters stuff.  I have tried lots of different pulled pork recipes, but this one is something special!  The sandwiches we had with them were a.ma.z.ing but they played second fiddle to the leftovers the next day… pulled pork bibimbap.  Need I say more?  A fabulous fusion recipe that is fun to cook up and eat!  The pulled pork is so deliciously saucy, you don’t need to add any spicy gojuchang (red pepper) sauce, but of course, everything is better with a little spice!

So scour your flyers for a pork something-something on sale and get slow-cooking!  You won’t be sorry!  And maybe you can catch the lion feeding at the zoo with all your free time! 

Pulled pork bibimbap

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 6 individual bowls

Pulled pork bibimbap

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cooked medium grain rice (hot)
  • 2 carrots sliced up thinly
  • 1/2 zucchini sliced up thinly
  • 2 cups left over pulled pork
  • 6 eggs
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • sesame oil
  • Sesame spinach - mix together these ingredients
  • 150 g blanched and drained spinach
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tbsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Heat sesame oil on the bottom of the pan
  2. Add 3/4c cooked rice
  3. Top with 2-3 tbsp each of sliced carrots, sliced zucchini, sesame spinach
  4. Top also with 1/3 cup pulled pork
  5. Crack an egg on top
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds
  7. Mix it up until the egg is fully cooked.

Notes

Bibimbap translates 'mixed rice'. So once served, the heat from the pot and the rice will cook the egg as you mix. So mix well and ensure that the pot is good and hot! Another option is to fry the carrots, zucchini and the egg separately and serve in a normal bowl.

http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1889

all bibimbaped

All mixed up and ready to devour!