Bean sprout side dish – kongnamool muchim

bean sprouts

A simple yet delicious side dish of blanched beansprouts seasoned with sesame and garlic.

Beansprouts are one of my yobo’s favourite vegetables.  In his opinion, any dish is made better with beansprouts.  So when I made this big batch of seasoned sprouts, thinking they would last a meal or two, I shouldn’t have been surprised when 2 lbs of sprouts were polished off!

I have yet to convince the kids of their deliciousness.  I’ve tried to sneak sprouts into ramens or chowmeins where I think they can easily be disguised and camouflaged by the noodles.  But alas, the most discerning of the children spots the sprouts a mile away and carefully tries to pick each one out. The least observant yet with the most acute taste-buds child, fishes them out of his mouth half chewed and hands them to me with a smile.

So as it goes with most foods, if the kids don’t eat it with reasonable well, it doesn’t get made very often.  Nobody likes a fight on their hand, especially if they have been working hard at making a yummy dinner. On the whole the kids are fabulous big eaters and are not too picky about food.  But I am keen on introducing them to a wide variety of flavours, so I will continue to try and entice them to eat their sprouts. Don’t let the kids reservations about them scare you, give this recipe a try.

In the meantime, my yobo and I will enjoy them… the whole bucket of them!

Bean sprout side dish

Bean sprout side dish

Ingredients

  • 300g bean sprouts
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 green onion chopped fine
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp gochu garu - red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Blanche the bean sprouts in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 mins
  2. Drain the water and place in a bowl
  3. Add green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds and pepper flakes
  4. Mix well
  5. Enjoy
  6. It can be stored in the fridge for a few days... assuming there is any left over!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=2054

*This is a fabulous addition to bibimbap and a great side dish with bulgogi.


Korean egg rolls with bacon

egg rolls

Egg-cellent egg rolls with bacon and chives.  Does it get any better? 🙂

When you have lots of chickens, you get lots of eggs.  Except of course when the weather changes and the chickens molt and they go on an egg strike in efforts to stay warm and grow new feathers.  Then they don’t bother laying you eggs, and you get grumpy because you are still buying them food and now you are buying eggs as well.  But I digress.  Besides eggs, when you have chickens, you also start to collect something else… chicken decor.

20151121_122128

I tell you it is true.  Go into any good chicken mama’s house and it won’t be long before you spot some sort of hen or rooster knickknack.  It is inevitable, I tell you, for two reasons.  When you get chickens (especially if you get them as chicks and you raise them from tiny little fluff balls), you start to think that cheesy chicken trinkets are cute.  They remind you of your little girls at home in the coop and you eventually end up with a few on your shelf or on your mantle.

20151121_122048

The second reason is that everyone who knows you have chickens and love them in the same weird way that cat people love their felines, picks up delightful chicken things for you.  For your birthday, you get cute canisters, for Christmas gifts, charming teapots and before you know it, you are getting sweet hen tea towels ‘just because’ they thought of you.  And don’t even get me started about the size of your collection if your yobo or children like to thrift store shop!

Leslie s3mini phone 267

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my chicken gifts.  I think they are precious, but before I become permanently labelled the crazy chicken lady, I try to reign in my chicken collection.  I’m trying to limit the chickens inside my house to the amount of chickens in my coop.  I guess it is time to get some new girls in the roost! 🙂

rooster

“Limpy – the giant rooster in my living room”

Because as I always say, life is too short not to decorate with chickens!!

Egg rolls with bacon

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Egg rolls with bacon

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 green onion (sliced length wise) and a few finely chopped for garnish
  • 1 strip of cooked bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Crack the eggs and add water to a bowl
  2. Beat the eggs until a creamy colour
  3. Pour eggs into a pan and top with a long strip on onions and a slice of bacon
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Allow to cook for 45 seconds until the sides start to cook
  6. Carefully fold the end of the egg with a small fold
  7. Wait 10-15 seconds and continue to roll the egg, pausing after each fold, until you reach the end of the egg
  8. Brown the roll for a few more seconds
  9. Transfer to a plate, cool for a split second, slice into bite size pieces
  10. Garnish with finely chopped onion
  11. Serve and enjoy! Repeat as often as necessary!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=2052

For step-by-step photo instructions, see this post.

Grilled eggplant -gaji namul

eggplant produce

A simple yet delicious recipe for eggplant.  If you think of eggplant as just a bland mushy vegetable your mom made you eat, think again.  Marinated and grilled, these purple beauties have a perfect soft texture and great flavour.

My yobo has fond memories of eating eggplant.  Every time we see them in the store, he reminds me of them.  I don’t have many memories of eggplants, and the ones I do have, haven’t left me pining for purple-ness on my plate.

So when my yobo’s customer offered him some eggplants from her garden, he enthusiastically accepted them and brought them home hoping I could remake his childhood eggplant dreams.  I haven’t eaten eggplant in Korea so I did some research.  Even my favourite Korean recipe blogs did not have anything that made me want to jump up and eat eggplant.  But then I started looking at non-Korean recipes and I have to say that I think we got something on these Koreans in this department;  lots of fabulous recipes for grilled eggplant.  And those recipes, had me up on my feet.  So I took the marinade from a Korean recipe and grilled these babies!  Oh boy, were they delicious.

eggplant grill

So when I went to serve them with dinner, my yobo looked aghast!  What had I done to his eggplant darlings.  They were not looking at all the eggplant dishes of his long gone youth.  Sceptically he tried them; and then he admitted they were delicious.

So if you have an eggplant growing in your garden, or your loving neighbour hands you one, try this recipe.  You’ll thank me.

Grilled eggplant

Grilled eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 green onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp gochu garu (red pepper flakes) - optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the bbq
  2. Slice the eggplant thinly
  3. Mix together the remaining ingredients
  4. Marinade the eggplant in the mixture for a few minutes
  5. Place the eggplant slices on the grill
  6. Flip when browned and grill the other side for a few minutes (depending on the thickness of the eggplant)
  7. Remove and serve hot.
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=2031

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

Zucchini pancake – hobuk jeon

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

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!

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

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

Steamed eggs with spinach

spinach eggs

Deliciously steamed eggs with spinach make a easy side dish, or breakfast, or whole meal if that is the way you roll with eggs! 🙂

Have I mentioned we eat a lot of eggs in our house?  We have a lot of chickens in our coop and they normally produce a lot of eggs, except for right now since they are molting and losing so many feathers that the run looks like they have a constant pillow fight! When they lose their feathers, they lose the energy to lay eggs, and we lose our abundant breakfast supply! Luckily this yummy recipe only needs 4.

What would an egg recipe be with out a picture of my cutie pie helping to collect the eggs?

fresh eggs

Steamed eggs with spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 c frozen spinach thawed (fresh would work too of course!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil
  2. Drain the spinach. If not totally drained, adjust chicken broth accordingly.
  3. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl then add spinach and onions and combine well
  4. Reduce the heat of the chicken broth to medium- low
  5. Add the egg mixture to the pot
  6. Stir until fully mixed
  7. Cover for 10-12 mins until most of the liquid has been absorbed
  8. Occasionally move the egg away from the edges of the pot to allow the broth to drain down
  9. Do not stir or else you will have scrambled eggs 🙂
  10. Remove cover for a minute or so. The texture should be like medium firm tofu
  11. Add sesame oil to the top (It adds a great flavour)
  12. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1243

Enjoy!