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

Rice fritters

rice fritters

A perfect use for leftover rice – rice fritters.  A yummy combination of rice, vegetables and cheese, fried up hot and crispy.  You might find yourself making extra rice, just to make these the next day!

I am sure it comes as no surprise that we eat a lot of rice in our house.  As a result we also tend to have left over rice in the fridge.  The amount of leftover rice, however, depends on who makes the rice. I like to aim to have the perfect amount for dinner. Kyah makes the same amount every time regardless of what is on the menu.  My yobo, on the other hand, makes as much as our rice cooker can handle. Go big or go home! So after my yobo has lovingly made rice for the family, we have copious amounts of leftover rice!

Rice fritters

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked rice (short grain)
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together
  2. Fry up in some oil
  3. Makes 12-14 fritters
  4. Enjoy!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1025

 kids

Our giggly gang!

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!

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.  🙁

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!

bbq

 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!)