Kalbi rice burger sliders

kalbi slider

A yummy little burger made with a delectable ground sirloin patty, topped with spicy bean paste and fried zucchini, inside a sesame rice ‘bun’!

I have never understood the whole slider concept.  Why make a small little burger and then have to eat two? (or three?)  What was wrong with the good ol’ fashion sized burger? The toppings never all fit, the burgers are too tall and 4 bites later, you are done!

So why, you ask, did I make them?  Well, like most things that happen in my kitchen, it was by chance.  I had made my delicious kalbi beef patties with some ground sirloin my yobo had got on sale.  I have been wanting to make a patty with a spicy bean paste for a while, but alas, I had forgotten that when I was making the patties.  Still wanting to experiment with the bean paste, I figured I use it as a condiment.  Then inspiration hit, and voila, spicy bean paste and fried zucchini kalbi beef patties!

By why are they so small?  I had already made the patties, and I have small hands, so unless I am intentionally making big ones for burgers, this is the size they come out in.  Perfect for sliders! 🙂

missing a top bun... slider

The things you need:

Yield: 12 sliders

The patties

  • 1 lb ground sirloin (or ground beef)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (or 3 cloves)
  • a couple of shakes of black pepper

The rice ‘buns’

  • 6 cups of cooked rice – a quick tutorial here if needed
  • salt to taste
  • sesame oil to oil the pan

The toppings

  • Spicy bean paste, Sunchang Samjang (bought prepared at an Asian mart)
  • 1/2 a zucchini sliced

The how to:

  • mix all the ingredients together to make the beef patties
  • form into small balls and flatten – make 12
  • fry them on medium low. Turn them over and flatten them down.  Be sure to not let them burn!
  • continue to fry until the juices caramelize and a delicious sticky coating has formed on the outside
  • fry the zucchini and salt to taste
  • salt the rice to taste
  • heat a fry pan and season with sesame oil
  • scoop out 1/4 c rice
  • using 2 plastic sandwich bags as gloves (if you don’t have plastic food gloves handy 🙂 ) form it into a ball and press into a flat pancake
  • lightly fry both sides
  • fry all 24 rice ‘buns’ – I usually can fit 4 in a pan at a time


  • place a rice ‘bun’ on a plate
  • put a kalbi beef patty on top
  • smoother in spicy bean paste
  • lay 2 or 3 slices of zucchini on the patty
  • top with another rice ‘bun’


Jaina's grin

Even though summer is over, the kids fascination with rice burgers is not!

Guest post on My korean husband

A day off

I’m so excited! I got to do a guest comic post on a fabulous blog that our family follows called mykoreanhusband.com . Nichola is an Australian married to a Korean man and she makes web comics about their life.  I gave her a glimpse into our life, and possibly her future, with a few comics of my own.  Please go check my comics out over on her blog.  mykoreanhusband.com

Korean Air comes knocking

One sunny day in September, there was a knock at the door; there stood two Koreans with a really big box.  They came asking for Kyah.  Inside the box was a lovely card and gifts from Korean Air.

The kind Koreans were in fact the regional manager for Korean Air and his assistant and the package had been sent on a flight from head office in Seoul. The gifts included model airplanes, teddy bears, umbrellas, wallets and more.

Korean air

So how did this all come to pass?  Well, it was because of a letter Kyah wrote in the summer:

letter to airline

In response, they complimented her on her ingenuity and wished her success in her endevours to come to Korea to visit her grandmother. They thanked her for her interest and hoped she would achieve her dream… and fly Korean Air.

So we may not have gotten any air miles, but we got a really great story. Not to mention, some pretty cool gifts. 🙂

Korean air

* A special shout-out to Kyah’s grade 3 teacher who taught her persuasive writing skills.

Pork mushroom dumplings – Dwaeji gogi beoseot mandu

Pork mushroom manduA delicate blend of pork, mushrooms and onions, wrapped in a dumpling skin and fried to perfection.  A perfect pork present!  A paramount pocketful of pork! A marvelous mouthwatering mushroom mandu! A delectable dumpling for dunking. 🙂

I haven’t made mandu, Korean dumplings, in a while but I had pulled out ground pork in the morning without any idea what to make with it.  Though I like my other recipe for mandu, I didn’t have all the ingredients in the house. Out of my crisper drawer, much like Mr.Dressup’s tickle trunk, I pulled mushrooms and onions. I improvised the following recipe and to my delight, and that of my family, it was delicious!

The things you need:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 large green onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 c mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1/4 c onion finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 30 dumpling skins

The how to:

  • mix together all the ingredients – except the dumpling skins of course 🙂
  • using a teaspoon, scoop a small amount of the mixture into the centre of the dumpling skins
  • wet the edges and press together (either by hand or using a mandu press)
  • heat a frying pan with vegetable oil
  • place as many dumplings as will comfortably fit in the pan (you will need to do more than one batch)
  • fry for 1-2 mins until the bottoms are brown then flip them over
  • add 1/2 cup of water and steam the mandu until the water has evaporated
  • fry for another 30 seconds or so and serve with dipping sauce
  • Enjoy!

Nyles’ first birthday!


Our little boy turned one!  One year ago, on labour day no less, Nyles joined the Kang clan! He has been such a happy little boy and he has brought so much love and laughter to our family. We think we figured out the trick to an easy baby: name your child a name that rhymes with something happy: Nyles – smiles! 🙂

Birthdays are big celebrations!  First birthdays especially!  In Korean culture, the first birthday is a really big deal and there are lots of traditions surrounding it. We, by no means,  go all out as is the custom in Korea, but we do enjoy participating in dol-sang, the first table. In this custom, different items are placed on a table and whatever the child chooses predicts their future.


For Nyles’ dol-sang we placed rice (good fortune), money (wealth), noodles (longevity), prunes and almonds (many children), pencil and calligraphy pen (scholar), and books (smart) on the table.  Nyles looked around, smiled at us all and picked up a handful of prunes and started eating.  I guess my yobo and I will have lots of grandchildren! 🙂

Nyles b day Nyles b day

Nyles left the table and started playing the guitar which could predict a future as a musician… with lots of kids!



Hanabi Japanese restaurant review

Hanabi sushi

I am starting to get summer food fatigue.  I can’t believe I am feeling this way; I love BBQs and outside eating.  But this week I was growing weary of it all.  What to make for dinner?  Who knows?  Hamburgers? Not again.  Pasta?  We had that yesterday. I know… sushi!  At a restaurant! Even better. 🙂

Hanabi Japanese restaurant is our Japanese restaurant of choice in Langley.  It helps that is close by and owned by Koreans 🙂 (Thus I feel like I can blog about it on my Korean food site!) But those factors aside, they make really yummy food!

Hanabi sushi

We started with the 8 piece vegetable tempura which came with deep fried sweet potato, pumpkin, potato, broccoli and beans; all of which were delicious.

We ordered the party platter C, since eating dinner with us is like a party 🙂 It came with 2 Dynamite rolls, 1 Alaska roll, 2 California rolls, 1 Salmon roll and 1 Cucumber roll.  We also added another Cucumber roll since those are popular with the kids.  The rolls are beautiful and the cut into nice bite size pieces. Everyone enjoyed all the rolls, so much so they struggled to pick a favourite.

Hanabi sushi

The owners are kind and the service was excellent.  They brought trainer chop sticks for the kids to use and several new pairs of chopsticks as our little guy kept throwing ours on the ground.  The waitress was friendly and quick and our tea cups were kept full.

All in all, I am reminded again why they are my favourite!

Check them out at #21 20811 Fraser Hwy, Langley

Hanabi Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bibimbap – Mixed veggies and rice

Family bibimbap

A delicious bowl of rice, veggies and seasoned beef topped with a fried egg.  Add in some spicy garlicky sauce and you have a bowl of Korean goodness!

I love this picture of our dinner tray.  We have been enjoying eating our dinner outside in the beautiful summer weather.  The kids have wanted to eat in all different locations in the yard, forgoing the picnic table.  This dinner in a bowl is a perfect picnic-in-the-frontyard kind of meal!

picnic dinner

gardenOur dinner location!

The things you need: (for 6 servings)

The time you need: (25 minutes – including cooking rice)

  • 5 cups cooked rice (I mixed short grain white and brown). See how to make rice here
  • 2 carrots julienne-d
  • lettuce cut thinly
  • 1/2 zucchini cut thinly
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (they are my yobo’s favourite but I didn’t have any when I made this)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • black pepper

Bibimbap sauce (courtesy of Sue at mykoreankitchen.com… the best sauce I have ever had!)

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced ginger

The how to:

  • marinate the beef in the seasoning then fry
  • lightly fry the carrots with a little bit of sesame oil and salt and set aside
  • lightly fry the zucchini in the same way and set aside
  • blanch the bean sprouts, squeeze to drain the water and season with a sprinkle of sesame oil and soy sauce
  • make the bibimbap sauce
  • fry the eggs over-easy
  • assemble the bowls: rice on the bottom, veggies and meat in cute little piles around the edge with a egg in the middle, top with bibimbap sauce
  • to eat: mix it all up and enjoy!


Note: bibimbap translates mixed rice so use your muscles and mix it up well 🙂

The Korea Fund

jaina's journal

Jaina’s journal page: “We are raising money to go to Korea. Just to tell you my brothers have never seen my Dad’s Mom or Dad.”

The kids really want to go to Korea. Earlier this year, we discussed trying to go to Korea as a family.  It has been over 6 years since we have all gone, over 2 since my yobo has seen his mom and the boys have never met their Halmoni, grandmother.

Everyone knows that travel is not cheap and international travel is that much more expensive.  So as much as we would love to hop on a plane tomorrow and go see Halmoni, we explained to the kids that it costs a lot of money to take this kind of trip.


So we brainstormed ideas on how the kids could help raise some money so we could go and visit Halmoni and see Korea.  They came up with some great ideas and we have been busy putting them into action:

We had a garage sale,

garage sale

they have done lemonade stands,


they have collected pop cans,

pop cans

they have saved their birthday money, we brought some scrap metal to the recycle depot and we consigned some baby clothes. It has been a very fun family project and I think the kids are learning a lot of really good life lessons through it all.

How are we doing?  Hopefully, by the end of the summer, we will have one ticket paid for! 🙂

Rice burgers with kalbi patties

Rice burger

A delicious kalbi hamburger patty topped with fried kimchi and onions sandwiched between two sesame rice ‘buns’! (Please ignore the big honkin’ onion in the picture.)

This has been this summers biggest hit!  Anytime I ask the kids what they want for dinner, they all chant “rice burgers, rice burgers”. They’ve decided these beat out any other kind of hamburger out there.


Last summer, when I was very pregnant, I was craving these burgers I had had in Korea over 10 years ago.  That is what happens when you are pregnant: crazy cravings for obscure foods from the other side of the world.  I had googled how to make them, but since they are a little labour intensive and I was close to labour myself, I decided against them at the time.  Fast forward to this summer, when I have much more energy, and I decided to tackle them.

The work comes from making the rice ‘buns’.  They are rice balls flattened and fried.  Not as easy as pulling the bread buns out of a bag, but worth the work.  As a bonus, they are gluten free.  Give them a try!

Yield: 6 rice burgers

The things you need:

  • 6 cups of cooked white sticky rice.  For a tutorial, see this post here
  • salt to taste
  • sesame oil to grease the pan
  • plastic wrap for making the rice ‘buns’
  • 6 easy kalbi hamburger patties or flattened Korean beef patties (duk kalbi)
  • 1/2 an onion fried in butter
  • 1/2 cup kimchi fried in oil.  Note: I only make onions and kimchi for me and my yobo, the kids top them with ‘normal’ hamburger toppings like ketchup and relish

The how to:

ricerice rice

  • salt the rice to taste
  • scoop 1/2 cup of rice on to a piece of plastic wrap
  • cover it with another piece of plastic wrap
  • form the rice into a ball
  • flatten firmly

rice bunsrice bunsrice

  • oil the fry pan with sesame oil
  • when hot, place the rice buns in the pan and lightly fry till golden
  • assemble burger by topping with fried kimchi and onions (and another rice ‘bun’ on top)

rice burgerrice burgerrice burger

  • wrap in aluminum foil.  This makes for handy hand-held eating and holds the burger together.

rice burgersEnjoy!