Thursday, 2 April 2015

Visit IFE London ( Intenational Food Exhibition)


kimchi chip

Kimchi chip

Bamboo roasted Korean sea salt

Olive Ascolana

Air dried hummus chips

Selection of fruit crisps

Korean Pavilion

Healthy sea weed snack

9times roasted Korean sea salt

kimchi flavoured seaweed  snack

Chilli paste( gochujang) with blueberry
and Korean plum

Sugar free hazel nut and chocolate spread

Spreadable Nduja
This year's IFE was held at Excel London from 22nd of March to 25th. I was at 22nd and 25th.
It was very nice to see huge presence Korean foods and Italian ,they are my favourite food along with British.

This year IFE  trend was definitely Healthy Food (snack?), a lots of fruits sugar free non fried, low temperature oven dried crisps,  from all over the world.
Loved a few from here and Turkey but my favourite was from Korea, Hephzibah.
CEO, Kim ( also founder) got it right, thin and right bite size, not too thick and clumsy shape and not too crunch like others, slightly chewy and original fruit's flavour was not lost with low temperature  oven drying.
Unfortunately they are not available in U K yet. they would be an ideal snack for the children's lunch box.

Kim's new product, kimchi chip. what an idea!, tasted but it may too spicy for some. Not fermented, just freshly made and dried in the oven. I bet they are very popular in Korean specially with Muguli and beer drinkers.

Found another kimchi flavoured snack, seaweed with kimchi powder coated onto the seaweeds, but too spicy my liking. I can see they are selling as a healthy snack , combination with seaweed and kimchi, who can argue among Asians, but to the Westerners ? Perhaps they have to use less chilli for the Western market . Still I loved wrapped with rice.

Having seen all kind of healthy crisps I do wonder potato crisps are end of life in our food culture, but certainly in many Asian countries seemed so, as they do not have  the potato food culture as such as Western world.

Chocolate, hazel nut spread from Turkey ( Sarelle) was very good, no sugar version and bitter chocolate are very good, less sweet than Nutella.

Vegan foods are big at IFE but difficult find  tasty one for me , but bean pastas from Sweden ( a la eco) caught my eyes, specially black bean pasta,  just looked like squid ink pasta which I love , sadly I could not get any sample or buy to cook at home, they would be ideal for my daughter, 20 something generation.
Recent years all young lady seemed eating spiral courgette pasta, I think these bean pasta would be a good substitute .

Young Korean company called Woomtree made chilli paste ( gochujang) with blueberry and Korean green plum. they are so good adding fruits makes vitamin C rich Korean condiments, what a good idea. They will be must have items for poor students or singles.

Korean has a kind of obsession about Korean mineral rich sea salt, the company called Korean sea salt made roasted in bamboo case , 3time and 9times roasted bamboo salt.
Founder & CEO, Si-Woo Park told me 9 times roast salt has medicinal quality and drinks salt solution ( water) like daily medicine.
Very expensive,  $70 for 100g, no wonder it used as medicine.
I tried with steak , 9 times salt bring out beef flavour and got very clean salty taste but would I pay for it, No way!
Rich Koreans may use for the cooking, it may attract rich Chinese or Russians but I can not help thinking, all these minerals I can have through other food from sea ,like sea weeds, sea lettuce, kelp so on.

Sea lettuce powder was here too from Israel, China but for me sea lettuce powder is too small packet to use as I am a sea lettuce soup ( Korean) lover, sure it will be good with salad or just in the sauce.
I will think something better than just adding to the salad.

Loved organic  cultured milk drink , from grass fed cow's milk from Devon, tasty to drink and packed with live culture ( beneficial microorganism, you know this is good for your body) by Biotiful Dairy.

Delighted to see my favourite Italian foods were big here, cured ham, and ready made snacks for the drinks, like mini ravioli, olive Ascolana ( I was longing for tasting this since I saw BBC 2, food and art , Italy ) , take out olive seed and stuffed with meat and bread crumbed, fried. So dainty and so tasty.
Hope these are in our shops in Britain soon.

Finally Nduja ( Spicy, fermented pork and chilli kind of  huge sausage) now new Nduja is spreadable.
Loved it. I often make pasta with Nduja, onion and olive oil but this slightly runny Nduya on the thinly cut, toasted bread or bisquit was good for the drinks.

This year's IFE was full of small company with  good ideas and health minded products. I had a quite inspired by all these. looking forward to cook with  these new products.
Already a few ideas in my head when I left IFE with a few samples .

Friday, 27 March 2015

Good home made Kimchi for sale

Baby white radish kimchi

White radish cube kimchi ( kkakdugi)

Good Kimchi cabbage

Sallting cabbage

Stuffing for the cabbage kimchi
winter water radish kimchi
Korean Mustard leave water kimchi

Stuffed & wrapped Baechu kimchi ( newly made)

Instant easy kimchi
I am so pleased by the popularity of kimchi in London chefs and young 30something generation but they do know cabbage kimchi ( baechu kimchi) mostly, sometimes white radish cube kimchi ( kkakdugi). But how many of them know about other kind of kimchi or tasted perfectly fermented kimchi which has health benefit. If you have not fermented kimchi, it is tasty spicy cabbage salad but do not get any good bacteria from them.

Often I am disappointed by non fermented kimchi is servered at the Korean restaurants, because of certain taste or they do not have time to ferment and storage problem.
A good kimchi needs a lots of attention and care.
So many seasonal kimchi you can have, and spicy and non spicy, watery, just easy ready cut( bite size) , folded traditional cabbage, stuffed mini cucumber for the spring and Summer kimchi, so on.

I have decided sell my kimchi as make from scratch when order is made.
But sadly only people from London or South Buckinghamshire where I live.

If anyone interested, do send me a note by email:
We can discuss .


Saturday, 7 March 2015

My comfort food, Kimchi Jjigae

Kimchi Jjigae ( kimchi stew)

Kimchi stew ( kimchi Jjigae) is another dish using old fermented kimchi dish specially during cold winter. This is one of my favourite my winter, heart warming comfort food.
As same as Kimchi pancake this needs well fermented kimchi,  a clever way using,  too fermented kimchi in every Korean household.
However kimchi jjigae become very popular tasty dish its own merit. Often I ferment kimchi quickly to make kimchi jjigae not only winter, also spring as well.

Kimchi stew and hot steamed rice , Winter watery radish kimchi are perfect match, hot and cold spicy, mild , they are very modern way of enjoying the taste buds, but they are very old Korean way of eating habit. I may say our ancestors are rather adventurous, it is all based on our ying yang philosophy in life.

Best one is made with pork bone ( Knee bone) but they are difficult to get in UK , I often use pork rib, cut 2-3cm or just with dry anchovy this makes very clean taste.

Ingredients:  fermented kimchi ( 1/4 cabbage kimchi), 1 pork rib, 1 onion, garlic ( grated) 2 tsp, ginger 1tsp,  tofu, spring onion ( chopped),  Korean chilli flake ( gochugaru),  1tsp Korean bean paste. ( doengang). oil ( sun flower or rape seed oil), water,
1 red and green chilli ( chopped thinly)

1. Take out kimchi stuffing and chopped as bite size ( 2cm) , ask butcher cut pork rib 3cm small. get rid of excessive fat and set aside. Slice onion thinly .
2. Heat oil in a pan, fry onion add pork , kimchi and cook 2-3 minutes add water about 750ml. boil first and reduce heat. add bean paste and garlic and ginger.
3. when stew is simmer, add chilli flake as much you like ( about 1tbsp) season light soy sauce ( 1 tbsp) . Stew taste just a little saltier than soup , because stew is eaten with rice.
4. Add cut tofu simmer another 20minutes,  add spring onion and chopped chilli on the top.
Serve with rice , other side dishes ( banchan).

Hint;   kimchi stew served in brown earth ware ( you can buy at Korean shop)

NOTE: Korean cookery in March. 14th, 21st,28th.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Dinner at Moro

Our table

Baked quail with garlic & rosemary

Chopped calf's liver with pine nuts

Sea bass with sea vegetable and black beans

Roast Lamb
Always a such pleasure to dine at Moro, in London, we as a family made a kind of tradition to celebrate our (mine and my son's) birthday together at Moro, as we are only a week apart.
It is rather noisy, busy restaurant with long bar and open kitchen, I do love the smell of cooking and efficient, friendly service with super tasty foods.
I love this kind of controlled chaotic ( If I can put it like that) restaurant, it is more difficult to get it right, I think.

Sourdough bread is best in London in my opinion. soft and chewy but not doughy at all.

Menu is good as usual.
Had roast quail with garlic and rosemary, so good, tender meat with garlic with rosemary flavour.
Chopped calf's liver with pine nuts was delicious, what a good idea chopped as bite size liver,  I might use this idea with my devilled lamb's kidney at home.
My sea bass was good too it was half size, as a fish lover I prefer one whole fish with head on. for me whole fish is more visually attractive. Even I love charred burnt skin ,black bean was rather odd choice but they were a good match, after all  this is Spanish Moorish foods.

Lamb was tender and deliciously pink as my husband prefer.

I love occasional family dinner at restaurants , not only food , also chance to have family talk, the best way to talk each other as a family with good food. We can talk anything everything through 3 course meal, appreciating foods lead to a lots of stuff.

I think my interest in Spanish food was began a long time ago, whenever I travel Spain, each region has such  a special character, love to explore more, of course wine region too.
How lucky !!  they got a big space, weather and foods, and art !

My Korean Cookery ; 28th, Feb.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Kimchi Bindaetteok,Kimchi Jeon ( Kimchi pancake)

Main ingredients

Mixed main ingredients

Pancake batter

On the hot oiled pan

Cooked, crispy pan-cake

On the serving dish with sauce
Kimchi Pan-cake is one of my Korean comfort food, this dish were originated by accident using well fermented old kimchi as a side dish ( banchan)  as getting use of old kimchi but it became much popular dish , I love with drinks or just a light snack. Specially with Korean rice wine ( makguli) can be a perfect match.
This is a very clever way to use left over or too fermented  spicy cabbage  kimchi.

This recipe needs  fermented kimchi, not newly made kimchi because when kimchi is fermented gives special taste, not only sour but more complex taste with depth.
If you have Korean ready made ( bought from shop)kimchi, leave in the fridge for 3-5 days to get mature and slowly ferment.
This is very important, if you use newly made kimchi for the pan cake, it does not give any special tangy , deep taste, just spicy, garlicky cabbage pan cake.

Ingredient: well fermented cabbage kimchi, 1/4 of whole cabbage . 100g of minced lean pork, 3tbsp thinly cut spring onion ,
1 tsp grated garlic. 4 cups of mung bean flour  or strong flour and rice flour. 2tsp Korean chilli flake , 2-3 chopped green chiili (not bird eye chilli, prefer long Turkish green chilli)
Rape seed oil or any vegetable oil for frying.

Dipping sauce: 3 tbsp dark soy, 1tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, 2tsp sugar, 1tbsp chopped spring onion, 1tsp Korean chilli flake or chopped red chilli.

If you have mung bean flour you can use, can be substitute with 2/3 strong bread flour mix with 1/3 rice flour.
Open the kimchi and get rid of all the stuffing and cut very thinly , add minced pork, spring onion, garlic and mix well.
Add flour to the mix and pour water little by little , make thick pancake mixture, add chilli flake and green chilli, mix well season with salt( taste first), Leave in the fridge 30 minutes.

Heat small non stick frying pan with oil, when oil is hot pour a ladle of pancake mixture, spread out with spoon, when oil is sizzle reduce heat slightly leave until brown and crisp and cooked, turn over
add more oil and cook .

It is important do not turn over until bottom part is nicely light brown and cooked.

Make dipping sauce: mix all ingredients in the bowl and taste, you can add more vinegar if you like but not too much.

Cut pan cake 1.5cm square, serve with dipping sauce.

Hint: use mung flour batter is traditional , original recipe, but mung flour is not widely available, I often make with strong flour.
Made kimchi pancake with mung bean flour batter mix is called  kimchi bindaetteok.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Mandu ( Korean dumpling)

Dumpling stuffing

Half moon shape dumpling

Teamed dumpling with sauce

Dumplings on the bamboo steamer

 vegetable ingredients
Luna new year is on 19th February this year, The year of Sheep. As we are the Anglo Korean house , we do celebrate Luna new year. Steamed dumplings are usually serve in the beef rib soup with thin white rice cake ( tteok guk) but we like as just steamed with dipping sauce or shallow fried .
Light and one mouthful soft stuffing is better than meaty one , you can serve with vegetable consommé as a starter.
Ready made dumpling skin pack is widely available now at any good orient shop now which makes so easy .

Ingredients: Minced pork ( 100g), spring onion (6-7), firm tofu ( half ), half garlic (grated, ), green and red fresh chilli. ( 1 each) finely chopped

Firstly put firm tofu has to be squeeze to take water out with tea towel , chopped spring onions fine as possible, chilli as well.
mix all together add pork  mince and mix by hand, season with salt and pepper and leave for at least 1 hour in the fridge.

Ready for making Mandu, spread kitchen towel on the big tray and dust with flour, put 1 dumpling skin on the chopping board put stuffing in the middle, put water edge of skin y hand or pastry brush , fold as a half moon shape or ravioli shape and leave on the tray.

Put on to the bamboo steamer ( top of boiling water in the pan) and cover steam for 2-3 minutes until skin looks transparent .
Serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce : dark soy ( 2tbsp), rice vinegar ( 3-4tsp), sugar ( 1tsp) chopped red chilli or Korean chilli flake ( 1/2tsp) chopped spring onion (2tsp).

Mine is put in the box, without steaming ( not to touch each other, and layers divided by cling film) and put in the freezer for the Luna new year .
You can steam from frozen or fry from frozen .

Hint: you can add garlic chives as well.
For vegetarian : add boiled Korean sweet noodle and chop, season with light soy, sesame oil, pepper, garlic ( grated) instead of meat.

PS; My Korean cookery date in February:  28th, do leave a messages.


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

New Korean restaurant, Jinjuu

Steak tartar ( yukheo)

Seafood pancake ( pajeon)

Fried chicken


Open kitchen  

I have  been hearing about Chef, Judy Joo through London paper for some time now even 1 year?
Her background is interesting
1. She is born in America, American Korean.
2. Studied Columbia university in NY
3. Worked as a Banker.
4. Studied in culinary school in USA
5. Since she moved to London worked at one of  Gordon Ramsay's restaurant
6. Now she is the executive chef in Korean restaurant, Jinjuu in Soho.
This much talked about Jinjuu ( means Pearl) had soft launch opening from Friday 9th , January till Sunday 11th.
We were lucky to share a table with friends,  Sunday 11th for Lunch.
I was very impressed by the spot, middle of swanky part of Soho, Kingly Street, it could not better place than this .
It was stylishly decorated , theme of nice sophisticated grey, upstairs bar and table, downstairs has open kitchen ( could see all chef's working) and tables with painting on the wall.
I must admit it is most stylish Korean restaurant in town, I think.
As we are, two Koreans, two English husbands we all know so well about Korean dishes.
Ordered Yukhoe ( Korean raw steak salad) , it was made with fillet of beef with soy, sesame oil and seed, sugar pine nuts and Korean pear. served with prawn crackers ( it was a good idea ) and lemon. It was excellent.
Pajeon ( seafood pancake) smallish and thicker than usual , crispy outside with chili flakes and soy dipping sauce. 
According to Joo, it was mixed fresh prawn and brown shrimp. we all love brown shrimp . it gives you sweet and nutty taste but very expensive. It was good but I failed detect brown shrimp. shame! my portion may not had brown shrimps.
Steamed mandu ( Korean dumpling) was served in Chinese spoon one each. very presentable but too meaty to my liking.
I like just one mouthful of soft not too meaty mandu. ( it is my personal preference)
Main was Jinjuu's signature dish, fried chicken, not ordered whole fried chicken ( £39 wow! could share 4people as main ), we had 2 pieces of fried meaty thigh.
It was crispy and tender moist meat with spicy gochujang sauce, it was good but not mind blowing dish.
Bossam was only 4 slices on the plate comes with lettuce, grilled seaweed, and spicy white radish , and bean paste,( 2 kind), kimchi.
We all said, first of all taste kimchi ( it was a very small portion) as we,  Koreans put in our mouth, we said,  wow too salty !  at same time.
As true Korean's mind, Kimchi is the  barometer of one's culinary skill , if kimchi is good , we Koreans  have a habit  to try kimchi first when we are invited someone's house or restaurant.
Because kimchi is the central part of Korean meal, most important dish in any Korean house therefor we all very interested in other's taste of kimchi or any  Korean restaurant.
I like kimchi ( cabbage kimchi) is not too salty, crunch top side with nicely soft leaves  and sparkling after taste when fermented correctly. 
I can guess why this Jinjuu's kimchi is salty and chewy and dry.
The reason is when they salted cabbage, put in the salting time is too long or salt portion too much, so all moist of cabbage has sucked out, in this stage you can save by  put the salted cabbage into the water for 2 hours take salty taste out of cabbage but then too late, still can be chewy. hope this is a bad batch we had.
Bossam sauce was salty too, it looks like just bean paste without any thing to add, I normally add something to make less salty , like boiled sweet potato, because just bean paste is too salty  .
We had 4 slices of thin belly pork, price of £17.50 it seemed too mean. I could not enjoy this too salty sauce and kimchi. 
 I thought it is too expensive, even meat comes from Cornwall and traceable free range, rare breed pig.

I dare say, my family recipe of Bossam is better, I cook in pressure cooker with spices and spring onion roots, dry mushroom and chungju and the when pork is cooked I pressed with a heavy weight which makes pork fat does not visible much and not fluffy. Before serve, cut thinly and put on to hot dry pan to brown top fat and sometimes I do slow roast belly pork and serve with bossam sauce lettuce, it is very nice with crispy pork skin, gives you another texture.  
Finally Kimchi Bokkumbab ( kimchi fried rice), it was same, too salty and I can not see any piece of kimchi is in the rice
As I often make fried kimchi rice at home , it was not acceptable at all, we had one little spoon each. left all of it.
Kimchi should be nicely  fermented ( not too much, enough to have tangy taste, slow in cold temperature is the best ) and if you add bacon,better.
Kimchi and pork is a perfect match.
I think problem was, Jinjuu kimchi was not fermented enough and too salty.
Jinjuu is trying to be a Korean smart dinning with a kind of street food made well but price is too high what it is.  Can't help thinking this has more style than substance.
Having said, I did think raw steak salad ( yukhoe) and seafood pancake (pajeon) was good.
Funny thing was when we were leaving managers and others keep asking about how we like  kimchi, it must be their another signature dish, if so they should improve fast and less salty.
Kimchi is a kind of  unpredictable child, even I have been making kimchi 40 years , whenever I make kimchi I do a little  pray.
I am looking forward to read how restaurant critic will write ? and do they really know how  kimchi taste should be?

PS: I have read Evening Standard review on Jinuu, it was not very exciting , critic thinks also too expensive what it is and too much fluffy fat in bossam, belly pork.
Judy Joo appeared on Saturday kitchen on 31,Jan at bbc2,
She made American Korean fried chicken wing with gochujang dipping sauce.
I have guessed she would appear bbc soon since I saw her political program at bbc2, tasting haggies .

She is very telegenic and speaks perfect English ( American twang). 
Even she made American Korean food this publicity is good for her and Korean food.

As evening standard restaurant said she predicted that Korean food will be popular 10years ago, I did as well.
I knew that something going to happen on Korean food through my blog and my cookery course, I did tried  to the main paper to take my prediction and mission but sadly ignored by this huge media.
No Big PR firm behind me it was not going to happen. But I did help BBC 2 food on line section, help to publish right name for Korean dishes and appeared TV 2 minutes talking about sharing  Korean food culture . ( ha ha--) 

!5th, Feb Sunday times magazine restaurant critic, AA Gill wrote on Jinjuu. I have changed fried whole chicken price which was £ 50 when I visited but  according to AA Gill's column, it was £39. I am guessing they've changed price , which seemed too much as £50 for a whole chicken.