Korean fried chicken – President’s choice review

korean fried chicken

Korean fried chicken, the other KFC, the best KFC there is.  It is sticky and spicy and sweet and so delicious! If you haven’t tried Korean fried chicken, you need to stop what you are doing and give yourself a whack in the head.  This is the one thing you need to accomplish this year.  Forget your new years resolutions, long forgotten and abandoned.  Promise yourself that this year you will do something for yourself, you will self-care, you will eat Korean fried chicken.  It is hands down, the best thing you can do for yourself that doesn’t involve too much energy (like exercising), hard work (like learning a new language) or self restraint (like dieting).  It is is just treating yourself right!

World of Flavours gochujang chicken

So I have been craving KFC ever since my daughter and I watched nonstop cooking shows in the hospital when she had her appendix rupture, but that is another story! Then I saw that Superstore had President’s Choice Sweet & Spicy Gojuchang Chicken Wings in their World of Flavours brand and I knew I had to try them!

President's choice chicken

I must admit, I was disappointed when I opened the box and found that is was just breaded chicken wings with a little packet of gojuchang, spicy red pepper sauce and some sesame seeds.  I’m not sure if I was expecting them to be pre-seasoned, but I felt let down.

gochujang chicken

I carefully followed the cooking instructions which simply involved putting them on a tray in the oven.  Once they were cooked, I put them in a mixing bowl and added the gojuchang sauce.  Now this is where it came in handy that they were not pre-dressed.  I made some really spicy ones for me and my yobo, some lightly seasoned ones for the kids and even left one plain for our littlest guy. After sprinkling on the sesame seeds and adding some green onion for garnish, I have to say they resembled the box pretty closely! 🙂

So the verdict, they are good.  They were not a.m.a.z.i.n.g but I didn’t really expect them to be.  They were prepackaged and frozen after all.  The kids liked the less spicy version and they were all eaten.  So if you are wanting to try Korean fried chicken for the first time and want the socks blown off your feet, I recommend you go to a restaurant or wait for the recipe I hope to post.  If you need something fun and fast to eat or share, this is a good tasty option.


Shredded Korean beef tacos with cabbage slaw

Korean beef tacos

An ohhh so yummy Korean beef taco.  Tender sweet Korean beef with a tangy Asian slaw and spicy gojuchang… you will be licking your plate looking for more!

I have been dreaming of these delicious Korean tacos and sunny California beaches since the weather turned and it has been wet windy here. I’ve never made it to Korea town in California but I hear they have the best Mexican Korean fusion.  So while we save up airmiles to make a foodie trip to LA, I’ll just whip us these, crank up the heat and enjoy a little taste of it at home.  Mind you, the cost of heating the house might be similar to the airfare… hmmm…. need to think this through! 🙂

If you have made this delectable Korean beef roast, these tacos are a great left over meal if you managed to wrestle any beef away from the family as they devoured it.  It is also totally worth it to cook up a big beef roast just for this dish!

Shredded Korean beef tacos with cabbage slaw

Shredded Korean beef tacos with cabbage slaw

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Spread desired amount of go ju jang on the middle of the taco
  2. Add shredded Korean beef
  3. Top with Asian slaw (drain for a second or else it will be too wet)
  4. Wrap it up and enjoy!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=2046

If you like Korean Mexican fusion, you need to try these recipes! If you are heading to California, you have to try Korean tacos… better yet, take me along and we can enjoy them together! 🙂

korean nachosKorean Nachos

Korean tacosBulgogi tacos with kimchi

Father’s day – Bell pepper side dish

Father's day

Happy Father’s day!

In honour of Father’s day, my yobo got to pick what he wanted to eat for dinner.  His request: sam gyup sal – pork belly bbq! Nothing says ‘I love you’ like three layers of fat on side pork! 🙂

sam gyup sal

Sam gyup sal is served up with different side dishes so I also whipped up a batch of kamja jo rim – a potato side dish – sweet and salty potato dish that I could devour all on my own.

june 2014 138

and I made him a spicy red bell pepper side dish to enjoy along side his kimchi.

june 2014 131

The bell peppers added a nice sweetness to this in contrast to the green onions. It was fabulous… because he is fabulous!

Bell pepper side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp hot pepper powder

Instructions

  1. Slice the red bell pepper thinly
  2. Slice the green onions thinly as well.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients
  4. Pour over the peppers and onions and mix well
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1193

Enjoy! 🙂

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

Assemble

  • 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’

Enjoy!

Jaina's grin

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

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!

bibimbap

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

Lindt Chili Chocolate review

lindt-excellence-chili

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

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!

Korean nachos

korean nachos

An East meets West combination! A wonderfully weird marriage of a Mexican classic and a Korean side dish. Korexican. Mexiorean. Whatever you want to call it, it is the best of both worlds. Mashi-e-sawyo! Delicioso!

I usually shy away from ‘fusion’ food.  It is really popular in Korea and I know California has a big Korean fusion culture, but I remain skeptical about mixing flavours from different ethnic foods. But I was making the kids and me some nachos the other day for dinner and knew that my yobo would be less than excited about them.  He is not a picky eater at all and he will eat anything I make him, but Mexican is not is favourite kind of food.

Then I remembered a recipe I saw at my sisters house in  Fresh Juice magazine: Korean Tacos

Fresh Juice

Inspiration hit! Since I did not have the magazine, I just improvised this Korean version of nachos. And the verdict?  Delicious!  I ended up eating these instead of the ones I made for me and the kids 🙂 And my yobo? He devoured them and asked for more! Always a good sign!

The things you need:

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 heaping teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp gojujang, red pepper paste
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • lettuce
  • cucumber
  • hot green peppers
  • kimchi
  • sesame seeds
  • nacho chips

The how to:

  • brown the ground beef with the garlic and add the sesame oil, taco seasoning and soy sauce
  • mix together the gojujang, vinegar and sugar to make a yummy spicy dressing
  • chop your lettuce, cucumbers and hot green peppers into bite size pieces
  • assemble: nachos, lettuce, ground beef mixture, cucumbers, peppers
  • drizzle the dressing over it all and top with chopped kimchi and sesame seeds!
  • to take it up a notch in fusion… add cheese! (it was surprisingly delicious!)
  • Enjoy!

korean nachos

Sundubu jigae – Soft tofu stew

sundubu jigae

A spicy red stew thick with veggies, seafood and silky tofu. The depth of flavour from the fish stock is enhanced by the red pepper paste, gojuchang, and the smooth tofu is complimented by the crunch of the vegetables.  Add in any kind of seafood you desire and this is one fabulous stew!

My yobo really enjoys this stew.  He isn’t a big meat eater and he likes tofu and egg in just about anything. Serve with a bowl of steaming white rice and he is one happy man.

The time you need: 25 mins

Yield: 2 servings

The things you need:

  • 1.5 cups of fish stock (to make fish stock, I boil 6 little fishys with 2 cups of water and reduce.  Then I feed the little fish to the chickens for a taste snack and omega 3 eggs!)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1.5 tbsp red pepper flakes, goju garu (add more for a spicier soup)
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/4 c onion chopped
  • 1/2 c zucchini chopped
  • 1/4 c mushrooms chopped
  • 1/2 c shrimp or other seafood
  • 1 tube of soft tofu
  • 2 eggs

anchoviesfish stocksoft tofuchopped veggiesshrimpspicy paste

The how to:

  •  mix together the garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a pot (I used a stone one)
  • saute the mixture for a few minutes
  • add the chopped veggies and continue to saute for a few more minutes
  • add the fish stock and bring to a boil
  • add the soft tofu in chunks and allow to boil until the veggies are soft
  • with a few minutes left, add the shrimp (so as not not overcook it)
  • crack an egg on top
  • serve!

close your eyesa big surprise

“Open your mouth and close your eyes and you will have a big surprise!”