Kalbi hamburger patties

kalbi patties

There is nothing like home made hamburger patties! And with three easy  ingredients, these make the yummiest burgers you have ever tasted!

Three ingredients? How can that be?  While I am one who likes to make a marinade from scratch, I have a hard time passing up a good bargain when I see one.  I found Kalbi sauce on for 50% off!  I can’t even buy the soy sauce for that price! (50% off of $3.98 = $1.99! for 800ml)

july 006

So what is it? It is a Korean kalbi marinade sauce made with soy sauce, sugar, onion, garlic, ginger and sesame. So even though I don’t usually love to cook with pre-made sauces, I couldn’t pass up a good deal and with 5lbs of ground beef on sale as well, I took the easy route to yummy-ness.

kalbi sauce

What is the third ingredient you wonder?  Green onions!  Gotta love green onions!

The things you need: (a re-cap)

Yield: 24 large hamburger patties

  • 3/4 of a jar of Kalbi sauce (about 500ml)
  • 5 lbs of ground beef
  • a bunch of green onions finely chopped

The how to:

  • mix the sauce and green onions into the ground beef
  • get in there with you bare hands and mix well
  • form patties the of a baseball
  • press onto a parchment paper lined pan
  • fire up the BBQ and enjoy!
  • or cover in plastic wrap and freeze for future goodness!

ground beef

Sorry – no kid pictures.  I try to be a good mama and have them help me in the kitchen but I don’t love having them play with raw meat.  🙁

Korean decor

Korean bible verse

I have been looking for a wooden plaque with a Bible verse to put on the  wall for some time.  I have sourced them out, priced them out and even contemplated making one myself. But in all my researching, I had yet to buy one.

Then the girls found this one! The church that hosts our Korean school had a huge bazaar and garage sale.  For $5 this was a great deal! It is wooden, and it is a Bible verse. It had all the elements I was looking for, except it was in Korean!

Nothing says “get back to studying” better then a large plaque on your wall you can barely read! 🙂

So what does it say?

Jehovah Is With You

Dear Friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John vs 2

july 100

Rice balls – jumuck bap

rice balls

A perfect appetizer: seasoned sticky rice coated in sesame seeds or seaweed.

My yobo tells me that ‘jumuck bap’ translates to ‘fist rice’ since they were traditionally made as big balls of rice for soldiers during war times.  Rice and other ingredients were formed into a ball and could be eaten on the go. We make them small in our house… the size of a small child’s fist! 🙂

The options are endless with rice balls; they can be made with just about anything.  Mix in meat in vegetables, add a seasoning or roll them in something.  Whatever you choose, they are sure to be a hit. The hands down favourite of these two were the roasted seaweed balls.

The things you need:

  • warm cooked sticky rice (here is a handy use for left over rice you might have sitting in the fridge)
  • sesame oil (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)
  • crumbled roasted seaweed
  • toasted sesame seeds

The how to:

  • season the rice with sesame oil and salt
  • scoop a small ball of rice (an ice cream scoop size) and with plastic gloves or plastic wrap shape the ball and firmly press it together. Note: if you do not use plastic wrap you will end up with rice stuck on your hands and you will be trying to pick all the rice off you for some time…. not that I know from personal experience or anything 🙂
  • roll in crumbled seaweed or toasted sesame seeds
  • enjoy!

rice scoopseaweed ricesesame rice

Dwaeji bulgogi – bbq pork strips

bbq pork

Marinated pork strips, fresh veggies and some sunshine!

When the sun is shining, I just want to eat outside.  Everything tastes better outside.  And everything tastes better BBQed!

Koreans have BBQ down to a fine art.  They use these single element butane BBQ that sit nicely on the table.  With a grill plate that allows for even cooking and collects grease, the food is cooked up as you eat.  This allows time for socializing with the cook and food hot off the grill.  Both are very important to me: hot food and good conversation!

may june 067

The things you need:

  • 1 lb pork strips
  • 3 big cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp green onion
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 zucchini chopped

The how to:

  • combine all the ingredients and marinate for a while
  • get out your handy dandy butane bbq and grill plate
  • bbq at the table
  • eat hot and enjoy!
  • Note: a little bit of bbq’ed kimchi with this is delicious!

may june 068

Summer fun!


Roasted seaweed review

seaweed review

We like to eat seaweed.  We really like to eat seaweed.  We eat lots of seaweed.  We eat lots of different kinds of seaweed.

But which seaweed is the best?!

We took this question seriously and did a blind taste test with a panel of very serious judges.

may june 013

The products (as seen in the photo from left to right):

  • Choripdong Roasted Seaweed Laver – available at Hmart
  • Jayone Seasoned & Roasted Seaweed – available at Costco
  • Roasted Seaweed with Grape seed Oil – available everywhere
  • Roasted Seaweed with Olive Oil – available everywhere

may june 007

The results:

  1. Choripdong (Green):  “Perfect flavour” “Nutty” “I like it”
  2. Jayone (Blue): “Saltier than the others”
  3. Olive Oil: “Too oily!” “Too bland” “Not good”
  4. Grape seed Oil: “Tough” “The worst!” “Thin” “No flavour”

They unanimously agreed that the ‘green package’ was the best.  So there you have it!  If you are looking to try roasted seaweed or would like to try a better one, make your way to Hmart and try the green one!

may june 008

Lindt Chili Chocolate review


I was perusing the chocolate isle the other day and I stumbled upon the Lindt Excellence Chili dark chocolate.  Now I enjoy all kinds of chocolate and I can be quite picky (read: snobby) about chocolate at times.  But my yobo, on the other hand, will eat anything.  I saw this and thought maybe this would be something he would really enjoy.  Here are his thoughts:

My yobo’s review:

It reminds me of kimchi ice cream.  It is kinda weird.  The chili overtakes the taste of a nice chocolate.  Give me chili peppers, give me chocolate but don’t give me them together. I feel like I need a real chocolate now.

My review:

Spicy.  The first taste is chocolate, nice dark and smooth chocolate and then you get this spicy after taste.  With every bite, the intensity of the peppers increases..  Several minutes later, I was still wincing from the spice.

Not a winner in our house!  Guess I will have to go back and try some more chocolate! 🙂

korean writing 013

Soegogi Sanjok – Skewered beef and green onions


skewered beef

Marinated sirloin strips skewered with green onions and BBQ’ed to perfection.  Deliciousness on a stick!

For Father’s day my yobo got a new BBQ; it was a well needed gift since the old one was now more like a meat warmer on wheels than an actual BBQ.  It served us well for a long time, but we were ready for a new one!  In celebration, I decided to prep some skewers my yobo would really enjoy.  He really likes green onions so this was the perfect combination. Ironically, I got to have the first dance with his new BBQ… since he was cleaning the chicken coop.

Just a note: I used green onions from the garden, which are delicious but too thin for on the BBQ.  As you can see in the picture, they got seared! A thicker stalk would have worked better.

beef onion skewers

The things you need:

  • 3/4 lb sirloin steak strips
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • skewers

The how to:

  • cut the sirloin steaks into strips (I buy them already cut, but if they aren’t then cut them into 2 inch strips)
  • cut the onions into strips as well.  The meat will shrink when it cooks so to have them the same length, cut the onions a little longer. I didn’t follow this advise and I ended up with burnt onion wings with my beef. 🙂
  • mix the remainder of the ingredients in a bowl and marinate the beef in the mixture
  • skewer the onions and the beef alternately.
  • BBQ and enjoy!


 The shiny new machine!


Sam gyup sal – pork belly bbq

sam gyup sal

Sam gyup sal translates as “three layers of meat” or simply as “delicious”.  Pork belly is fried up with salt and pepper, topped with seasoned bean paste and flavoured onions and wrapped up in lettuce.

Pork belly, a boneless cut from, you guessed it, the belly of a pig, is the star of this BBQ. It is very popular in Korean cuisine (see dwaeji bulgogi) and in this dish it is unspiced, unseasoned and uncured. And as you can see, it resembles bacon.

pork belly

It caused quite the exchange between my older brother and me.

“What are you having for lunch?”  “Pork belly.”

“So… bacon?”   “No… pork belly.”

“So, bacon.”  “No, pork belly.”

“So, bacon!”  “No, pork belly!

Got to love older brothers 🙂

My Korean class wrap-up lunch featured this fabulous feast.  My classmate hosted and in the spirit of eating Korean-style, he cut the legs of his dining room table so we could sit on the floor!  It was a potluck so there was plenty of meat, rice and side dishes. My teacher brought the essential green onion salad to enjoy with our pork belly (not bacon). <Recipe to follow>.

The things you need:

  • sliced pork belly cut into 1 inch pieces
  • lettuce
  • perilla leaves
  • green onion salad
  • seasoned bean paste
  • rice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • a grill plate
  • table top stove

The how to:

  • set up the table top stove and grill plate in the middle of table (cutting table legs is optional!)
  • salt and pepper the pork belly and fry until it is cooked
  • enjoy wrapped in lettuce and perilla leaves, topped with seasoned bean paste and green onion salad

 sam gyup salsam gyup sal

sam gyup salsam gyup sal

Green onion salad – pa mu chim – My teacher, Yun jin Choi’s recipe

Pa mu chim

  • a bunch of green onions roughly chopped into thin strips
  • some shredded lettuce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp hot pepper powder

Combine the dressing together and add to the green onion and lettuce. Mix well with your hands. Enjoy!

(Interestingly, this is the very first thing I ate in Korea. See here!)


Kimchi relish


kimchi condiment

Look what I found at my favourite store, Superstore! Kimchi, a Korean-style condiment with cabbage and spices; a fun new topping for hotdogs this summer.

kimchi relish

I am a condiment collector.  “Hello, my name is Leslie and I have four types of mustard in the fridge right now.” I love fancy relishes and mayonnaise and don’t get me started on bacon marmalade.  There is hardly any room in my fridge for real food between all the bottles of interesting sauces. So when I was shopping with my sister and I saw a kimchi condiment, I knew I had to get it!

So what does it taste like?  Well, like kimchi.  It is made with cabbage, red peppers and onions and lots of spices.  It’s kind of a spicy cabbage salsa with the vinegary flavour of a relish.

may june 091

And the yobo?  What does he think?  He says it is good; good for a hot dog.  But it’s not kimchi.

hot dogs

Give it a try!

Ham Ji Bak restaurant – Langley/Surrey

Ham ji bak

This restaurant is located right inside Hmart in Langley/Surrey. It’s menu features Korean style Chinese food and traditional Korean dishes as well. My Korean class went out for lunch after our grocery shopping field trip.

jajang myun

Most of us ordered the jajang myun, black bean noodles, since it was on special. It came with some standard side dishes of pickled yellow radish and radish kimchi. None of us were overly impressed with the noodle dish; there wasn’t enough sauce and it was quite salty.  My one classmate thought there were too many onions, but the dish is mostly made of onions. 🙂

tang su yuk

My generous classmate ordered tang su yuk, sweet and sour pork for us to share.  This was definitely the most delicious part of the meal. It wasn’t over overpoweringly sweet as it sometimes can be. And it had quite a few vegetables and some cute carrots flowers in it. Who doesn’t like carrot flowers?


One classmate ordered kong guk su, a cold bean broth soup with noodles.  He thought is was refreshing.  It is quite a bland soup that you add salt too, and he added too much salt 🙂 But he awarded it a 7/10 anyways!

The service was not great; the waitress was neither quick nor friendly.

So overall, it was okay, not great.  In my opinion, if you are at Hmart and hungry for some Korean food, go next door to Baik Mi Korean restaurant for a good meal. (check out the review here)

Ham Ji Bak on Urbanspoon