Thursday, 19 November 2015

Very slow cooked OX Cheek

Vegetables and herbs

Ox cheek with vegetables for the stew

Slow cooked  OX cheek  with crushed new potato
These days you can find ox cheek meat at super market butcher section , very good news for me.
When cooked with vegetables, herbs and garlic , cook in the low oven for at least 3 hours meat will be deliciously tender but hold the shape,
Our family love this  with smooth mash potato or just crushed new baby potato.
Just make sure as butcher cut in half, I found they are impossible to cut with domestic knife when they are raw, very tough. understandably ox cheek muscles are working so hard all day, chewing grass.
This is a perfect dish when windy ,cold Autumn and Winter days.


2 Ox cheek cut in half
2 M size onion,

3 celery sticks
4-5  Carrots , 6 chestnut mushrooms
5 garlic cloves
1 small 1 cm cube ginger
Herbs, thyme, 2 ay leaves, 1 bunch of parsley head, half small dry chilli. 2 star aniseeds
2 tbsp. tomato puree
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 glass of red wine
Beef or chicken stock


1. Cut onions 4pices each and other vegetables cut 5cm and put in the bottom of stew ( oven proof)
and the crushed whole garlic ( no need to cut), ginger. all herbs put together as a bundle, star aniseeds. chilli
2. Finally ox cheek meat on the top, mix tomato puree in the stock mix well, Stock should e just enough cover the meat, no more,  pore over and Worcester sauce, sea salt ( 2tsp) and cut grease proof baking sheet enough to cover the stew, wet with water grease proof sheet and put on to the stew. and lid on.
3. Put in the in the oven (  120-130c) for at least 3 hours.
4.take out from the oven and taste and season again with salt and pepper, if still has a lots of stock in the stew , cook on the hop for a 5 minute ,reduce stock in the pot as you wish but not too dry, needs 2 ladles of stew juice to another pan add 1tsp tomato puree and 2tsp brown sugar or honey and slowly reduce on the low heat to glaze the meat.
3. Make smooth potato or boil new ay potato and crush with butter ( or EXV olive oil).
4, Serve in a shallow main dish, put vegetable and meat ( 1 piece per person enough for me but you can serve 2 piece ), drizzle glazing sauce that you made and sprinkle chopped  parsley and serve with potato.
It is a good idea make red cabbage pickle and serve as a side dish.

This one is a perfect Autumn and Winter dish, homely yet rather a fine dinning dish.

I even eat with rice and kimchi!!  

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Pasta Carbonara

Wild mushroom and other ingredients 

Egg yolk

Pasta Carbonara,
Autumn is orange colour don't you think? Start with pumpkin, squash ( various), wild mushrooms so on.  When I saw this wild mushroom, I could not resist to buy, in my head I already had an idea what to do. Make pasta Carbonara ! Adding this golden, tasty looking mushroom in Cabonara is not authentic recipe but I love it.

Been a long time made Spaghetti Carbonara, So good with wild rocket and pomegranate seed salad , of course needs full bodied a good Italian red wine would be a perfect match .


200g wild mushroom
100g  chestnut mushroom
5-6     good smoked bacon or Italian pancetta
1  white onion, diced ( about 100g)
5-6 cloves of garlic ( crashed)
2      egg yolks
1      pack of  spaghetti ( 450g )
2 tbs  Extra virgin olive oil
l  lemon zest and 2 tsp lemon juice

Parmesan cheese


1. Cleaning the mushroom specially wild one needs a lots of attention, use pastry brush and kitchen tissue. take of any soil on the mushroom without washing is very important. use brush for the loose soil and if does not come off wipe with tissue but look for in between .
Slice chestnut mushroom as same thickness with wild. I do not cut wild mushroom as it is not too big. Leave aside.
2.  Diced onion and cut bacon 1 cm long.
3. Heat pan and fry bacon until crisp and set aside , wipe off bacon fat by putting bacons on the kitchen paper and se aside.
4. Heat olive oil and put diced onion first cook for 2 minutes , add all mushroom and garlic cook until they are cooked add crispy bacon pieces and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, stir and taste. add cooked pasta mix well, add more olive oil if necessary.
6. Heat off and add slowly pour egg yolks mixture and same time stir the pasta.
7. Add chopped parsley and serve with parmesan cheese and wild rocket and pomegranate seeds salad.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Lunch at Galvin at WINDOWS, Hilton Park Lane

Scallops with cucumber and light soy sauce

kimchi resotto

Steak tar tare
Table setting at Gavin at WINDOWS
After I saw Chef. Won's risotto during the interview, I could  not resist to taste his kimchi risotto because I have been making this for years like to taste risotto made by proper Korean chef even I do make this as any other risotto.

It is first time I am at Galvin at WINDOWS, nice view of Hyde park. really very impressive room with well trained attentive staff, all had a good impression to me.
I have decided have just 2 course light lunch set menu for £28.

Starter was steak tar tare,  meat was neatly in the middle with thin toast on the top. but not the raw egg yoke was in the middle of tar tare but all pretty condiments were edge of plate.
Egg was cooked in water bath (60 degree) for 2 hours and yoke was deliciously soft and more like moose texture. it was first time I had tar tare served with cooked egg . I rather prefer this than raw, meat was tender and slightly tangy and season were just right. I think I had one of best tar tare .

The waiter brought me scallop dish which I did not order, the chef, Won's another complimentary dish for me (how nice of him) I already  his complimentary a glass of champagne.

Scallops was like Korean style ceviche, but seasoned with Korean seasoned soy sauce, dill oil and pickled cucumber  with caviar. it was light and delicious and pretty as a picture.

Finally my main. kimchi risotto, poached egg on the top . it was perfectly made , runny sauce with a little bite to it as risotto should be. poached egg makes creamy sauce which I would use in mine as well. I loved it, surprisingly quite a bit of crunch cabbage kimchi and  Parmesan cheese goes so well. I admit it is not a typical risotto but rather a good fusion dish.
I always make  with a good bacon, air dried streaky bacon ( cut 1cm) fried with onion and  in the end of cooking, I put crispy half bacon on the top with plenty of parmesan cheese.
Bacon and kimchi are good together because both can hold their own flavour.

Finally I had to have strong coffee to get rid of champagne in my head, chef Won appeared and we chat a bit about food again!!
It is £28 set menu but extra cost of water, coffee, service charge 12,5 %  on the top, in the end I paid £45.
Had a wonderful lunch but I won't be able to come often with this price but I would love to do again with family as a treat.


Monday, 31 August 2015

Interview | Joo Won, head chef at Galvin at WINDOWS, Hilton Park Lane, London

Salad of clam & quinoa

Braised short rib ( Galbi JJIm)

Fig and blue cheese ice cream & ginseng honey

Iberico pork ssam ( Bossam)

Chef Won and manager

Kitchen team

I was informed that Joo Won, the South Korean head chef of Galvin at WINDOWS, had developed a special Korean fine-dining six-course tasting menu for August.

This immediately caught my interest. I wanted to find out more about how a French influenced restaurant with one Michelin star would carry this off and present a taste of Korea. Upon looking at the website, the tasting menu looked excellent but at £110 per head, it was clearly an expensive experience.

Head Chef, Joo Won, was born in the city of Busan, which is near my home town, Masan. This means we are same the Kyungsando people, known as friendly bunch and with great seafood.

I emailed the restaurant speculatively to chance my arm at interviewing the head chef and to discover the reason behind the new menu. As a food blogger, and without the name or weight of a major media outlet, I was not particularly optimistic about securing an interview. But, to my pleasant surprise, they replied very promptly and gave me a few dates to choose from.

We settled for lunchtime on 27 August and the restaurant kindly allowed me to meet his team in the kitchen and take some photos. Ahead of the interview, I prepared 12 questions that I wanted to ask Chef Won and read up on his background from the website.

Mr Won was born in Busan -- Korea's second biggest city after Seoul -- and studied industrial engineering at college. Despite his course, he soon realised that his heart belonged to the world of cooking. He gave up college and studied Korean Cuisine to follow his dream before going on to study hospitality management at Schiller International University in London and Switzerland.

Chef Won studied Le Cordon Bleu in Marylebone, London and worked at the Orrery restaurant in London, which gave him his first experience of working in a Michelin star kitchen. In 2006 he joined Gavin at WINDOWS as a founding team and became the Head Chef  in 2013. I thought this was a highly impressive CV and rise into the highest echelons of cooking in the capital.

Korean Tasting Menu:
  1. Salad of clams, quinoa, pear, cucumber & sesame
  2. Marinated Iberico pork Ssam pickled mooli & soy bean (Bossam)
  3. Pan-fried fillet of turbot, squid, baby shrimp & sweet chilli
  4. Braised short rib of beef, Galbi, white kimchi, stuffed courgette. potato & crispy anchovies (Galbi jjim)
  5. English figs, blue cheese ice cream & black rice ice cream & ginseng honey
  6. Herbaceous sponge, sweet red bean cream, blueberries & black ice cream
The menu seemed well balanced for a fine dining Korean menu with a modern touch. Bossam (slow cooked pork wrapped in lettuce) used Spanish Iberico pork. Galbi Jjim featured crispy anchovy and was effectively a kind of surf & turf. Dessert featured black rice and green tea with Korean field sage sponge cake.

I arrived at the Hilton a little early and sat at the bar. Chef Won soon came in and said hello with a big friendly smile; we clicked almost as soon as we started talking. He answered all my questions with ease and a humble and honest manner.

1. You were trained in Korean cuisine and then came to London to study French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu in London. I think you are the right person to introduce Korean fine dining here,  because you know both culture of cuisine. Do you agree?

Won: Thank you. We have been introducing Korean food into our regular menu such as kimchi risotto and had a good response. As a Korea-born chef, I always thought about extending this and alongside the manger and team had a research tip in Korea for a week. We were so impressed with the food culture there and loved the food. That trip was our inspiration to create something new.
The Korean Tourism Office helped us in this trip as well.

2. How would you say Korean cuisine is different than other Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese and Thai?

Won: The deep taste of our sauces -- namely, soy sauce, soy bean paste and chilli paste. Our cuisine is based in this and our sauces are much deeper than other Asian countries.

3. What was the feedback like when you introduced kimchi and kimchi risotto into your regular menu?

Won: It was very positive and became popular. Korean food seasoning is different than western cuisine, and we season the food with light soy rather than salt to give the umami taste.

4. Why did you and your team go to Korea for research?

Won: Our restaurant, WINDOWS is keen do something different, and as I am a Korean-born, Korean cuisine seemed the right and natural choice. All the team had a tight and busy schedule but learnt a lot; the buzzing market scene was an unforgettable memory for the team. Visiting a soy paste making place was also very educational.

5. How did you choose the menu?

Won: The main ingredients are all from here in the UK but the sauces are all Korean.  This was my main aim -- the best ingredients coupled together with Korean techniques to made the tastiest food possible. This included the likes of Bossam cooked with Spanish Iberico pork and quality fish from here mixed with Korean chilli paste sauce and coriander oil.

7. Are you going to do it again?

Won: Yes, but not this year as we already have other plans in place. Next year though.

8.  As far as I know, WINDOWS has made history in introducing Korean fine dinning at a western (French) restaurant in London, you must be very proud of this?

Won: I am so pleased to have done this. It was hard work to get it right but I'm so proud and relieved by the good feedback from our customers.

9. Why do you think your tasting menu was a success?

Won: Mixing the best ingredients from here in the UK with Korean recipes and Korean sauce. That has been the key.

10.  London have many Korean restaurants but not many high end restaurants. There's the likes of Nobu for Japanese and Alan Yau's many for Chinese. Do you think Korean cuisine needs one now?

Won: Well, it would be nice to have fine dining restaurants for Korean cuisine but whoever has plan to do this might find it difficult to find good Korean chefs here in London. We need more chefs trained in Korean cuisine. This means training classic Korean cuisine to the young British-Koreans who live here, as well as developing a Korean cookery school (a proper one).

11. Do you think Korean food's popularity will stand the test of time like Japanese and Chinese?

Won: I am optimistic on this, Korea is no longer a small country. Travelling to Korea will help a lot as will the rise of Korean culture in things like art and film.

12.  Finally, if you could only choose two Korean ingredients (except kimchi) to take with you on a desert island, what would  they be?

Won (after a long pause): Ghochujang (chilli paste) and sesame oil. *I totally agree, that would be mine too!

After the interview, Joo kindly let me taste some of the courses on the menu.

First, I had grilled sea bass with pork bulgogi bedding. The chilli sauce was not too hot and also included coriander oil. It had so much flavour but was also delicate. I loved it.

Next up was Iberico Pork Ssam. Wow, I have never had such tasty and tender pork in my life. It was wonderful and cooked medium pink (he informed me only Iberico pork can be eaten as medium). The dish was unbelievably tender and contained chilli ssamjang with wild water mint and lettuce. Korean shiso leaves are not easy to get, so he used pickled wild water mint, whose taste was much like shiso -- even in texture. I did not know you can get Iberico pork, I love acorn fed Iberico ham with a good red wine

Dessert was a fig and blue cheese ice cream & ginseng honey. Very English yet very Korean.
He even made Korean style fermented sauce with fruit. This is an ancient recipe made contemporary
cuisine. In fact, everything in the menu is classically Korean but made with a contemporary twist. I thought this would be the perfect meal for high ranking foreign dignitaries who visit Korea but who might not be used to the spiciness of Korean food.

Talking to the team in the kitchen, they all seemed happy and eager to show me their creations, and asked me to try things out. It was a relaxed environment which means he must lead a happy team.

I feel very confident that Korean cuisine will be safe in Joo Won's hand for the next generation in London. It was also extremely comforting to know that Chef Won will do his best for his mission to introduce fine dinning Korean cuisine into London.

Won's kimchi resotto

Won's happy team member

Won's happy team

Chef Won and me at his busy kitchen
After finishing the interview he insisted taking me to the lift -- exactly as any polite young man would do to elders in Korea! How nice it was that he has not lost his Korean manners. He even said that his mum's cooking was far better than his own. How modest and decent!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Korean Spicy noodle ( Bibim Guksu)

Spicy sauce ( choganjang)

Korean noodle and spicy sauce ingredients


Noodle in the mixing bowl with toppings

Spicy noodle
I love this Korean spicy cold noodle when the weather is hot, and lost appetite , it is very easy to make and very addictive.
It is perfect for the light lunch.
Using Korean thin noodle is the best to make smooth and light

Ingredient :

Korean thin noodle (1 pack).

Sauce :  1 tbs Korean chilli paste ( gochujang).  1tbs dark soy sauce.  1 tbs rice vinegar . 3ts sugar.
2ts sesame oil, 2ts Korean chilli flake ( gochugaru) 1 tbs toasted sesame. 1/2ts crushed garlic.


Lettuce (1), half of cucumber. spring onion ( 3). strong garlic sausage ( 5 slices, optional).  2tbs thinly chopped cabbage kimchi( optional), 


1. Put noodle into the boiling water and quick oil for 2 minutes and add a cup of cold water and boil another a minute. drain and rinse with cold water few times until excess flour has washed off and live in the colander.
2, Making sauce :  Put all the sauce ingredients and mix well, taste should be spicy, salty, sweet and sour , but you can make as your taste like less spicy or less sweet.
3. Cut all vegetables like 5 cm long like thin strip .
4. Put noodle in  a big bowl all toppings  and pour half of spicy sauce and mix well  and taste, add more sauce as you wish, serve in a deep bowl.


 It is a good idea to serve sauce separately in a small bowl and help themselves as their taste.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Spicy Chicken Wing

Wings marinated in Buttermilk

Quick fried  Wings

Wings with Spicy Sauce

What can be nicer than sitting in the garden on Summer late afternoon drinking Gin & Tonic or cold beer and ice minty tea with spicy Korean style fried chicken wing.
We all love this kind of casual snack in the garden at week-end enjoying warm Summer evening.

I think Food is the greatest conversation maker , much more than drinks, it leads all sort of thinks not only food also memory of holiday and culture so on.

Making Korean spicy chicken wings and drinking cold ice tea or cold beer at the week end evening is one of my pleasure without much effort or expense.
Make sure buying a good meaty free range wings is very important.

1. 500g chicken wing
2. Butter milk
3. Oil for frying ( vegetable or rape seed oil)
4. Rice flour for dusting

Sauce :
1. Gochujang ( Korean chilli paste) 2 tbsp.
2. Rice vinegar 1tbsp
3. Crushed garlic 1 tsp
4. Honey 1tbsp
5. Dark soy 1tbsp, 1tsp sesame seed oil.

1. Cut chicken wings in half at the joint and add butter milk mix well and leave it the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours.
2. Take out from the fridge and wash , sprinkle sea salt with grated ginger( 1 tbsp.) and leave for 1 hour, mean time make sauce, all the sauce ingredients in the pan and cook on the medium heat until
sauce is sticky and a little runny consistence.
If you like more spicy add chilli powder. or honey , depending how spicy or sweet you like to be.
I advice  not to make  too sweet , should be spicy ,tangy and a bit sweet.
3. Put wings in the steam rack and cook until cooked, lightly dust with fine rice flour and fry and dry on the kitchen tissue.
4. Put fried wings in the serving dish and pour half of the sauce , sprinkle sesame seed  and serve with rest of sauce , of course plenty of paper napkin as well.

Spicy wings with fried Italian black cabbage
I made the other day this dish again but I have developed this dish to be better and different by adding fried Italian black cabbage leaves as a topping  which gives another texture .

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Dishes from left over

Roast lamb with potato hash
Avocado, tomato salsa

Radish and mint salt

Grilled asparagus and roast chicken , potato hash

As a home cook I have to be creative making food for family because it can be repetitive to make usual dish all the time , not only for family but most importantly for my sake. Who likes same old recipes all the time with left over anyway?
 For Monday dinner , I have to wear a my creative hat, because I am using left lover from Sunday roast meat or any meat left over from Sunday . this week as my family visited us for10 days, I had lots of left over meats, roast leg of lam, roast chicken.
Curry made from cooked meats are never our favourite , for lamb, made lamb and potato hash with spicy avocado, tomato, red onion, salsa.
Needs nice not thin plat bread makes different. We all love this kind of  middle eastern style food,  big plates of food in the middle of table , sharing with all family , all very similar with Korean actually.

For chicken I made hash but add nice grilled thick English asparagus and baby red radish with mint salt as a starter with wine.
They look so pretty on the table as yet so simple, as we all know, the simple recipes are the best if the ingredients are good.
I love to using seasonal vegetables when they are in the shop, specially English asparagus , so flavoursome and fresh, you can not beat this.

Made chicken bone stock with mooli, onion, carrot, celery chilli, pepper and dried kelp and shitake mushroom, boil first and simmer for 40 minutes.
Stored in the freezer for later use like making barley risotto or any soup, I made kimchi udong for my lunch using chicken stock, I will try marinade soft egg next time for the kimchi udong it would make more authentic udong.
One whole chicken made us 3 meals, how economic is that!! and so satisfying!

Readers may wonder why I did not make stock with Lamb's bone, actually I find lamb stock is too strong to use soup or risotto, but I do use to make rich gravy  and freeze.


Kimchi udong
Barley risotto

Udong with soy marinated egg