Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My Visit to Seoul

Hi, all.

The Autumn is here it seemed. I am off to Seoul tomorrow ( 4th. Sept).
I will be spoiled by the choices what to eat in Korea, already my family asked me what would you like to have for my first supper on my arrival, 5th.
 I will have oyster, my favourite raw fish and blow fish stew in my home town ( south east) style ( non spicy but a little sour and plenty of Korean water cress/ parsley), yum!
I can not wait.

I probably eat oyster every day which I can afford in Korea not with champagne mind you, may be with Korean sake or makguli.

Hope when I am back from Korea I will write my food journey and photos.

Oh my Korean Thanks Giving Day ( Chuseok) celebration meal on 8th of September will be historical.
After service for the our ancestor,  all our clan, Chos will sit down ( more than 30) have this special meal. Of which I never be able to re-create in my house here, somehow its taste not good as in Korea.
I have not had Chuseok ceremonial meal since 1979, OMG! it will be a such emotional and  memorable meal, I can tell you!!

By the way my Cookery dates are 27th,Sept and 4th, 11th October.

Raw fishes with side dishes

Sea Vegetable

Fish market

Kungbok palace

Korean door ( window)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Grilled( Baked) Chicken thigh with korean spicy sauce.닭 고추장 구이

Chicken thigh with marinating sauce

Grilled chicken with carrot & beetroot salad

I made this recipe using my favourite Korean seasoning sauce, Gochujang,고추장 ( chilli paste).
Gochujang is fermented Korean chilli powder mix with rice powder.

It is used as seasoning sauce for bibimbab.
 Mix with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and honey.  I was very surprised by BBC food presenter did not know about this sauce or any Korean foods. One guest chef using this gochujang  for his lamb cutlet, he seemed confused by all.
I realised then, Korean food popularity is still a cult kind of situation in London, perhaps for only foodies and chefs who are  looking for new thing. just for the popularity and its taste

It is spicy but has a sweet note. I love using this sauce , unlike Japanese, Korean raw fish ( sangsun hoe) dipping sauce is mix with, gochujang, vinegar, honey and sesame oil. I prefer this than wasabi and soy sauce specially nice firm fish.

This chilli paste makes a good Bossam ( cooked belly pork in the lettuce wrap with chopped kimchi) sauce when mixed withy bean paste. Thinly sliced belly pork marinated this sauce with honey, makes excellent BBQ .

We all love my spicy grilled chicken, I often make as a weekend supper with rice, cucumber  or carrot & beet root salad and kimchi. it is a perfect week-end meal.


12 pices of chicken thigh meat ( boned and skinned)

Marinating sauce:

1 Tbsp  gochujang ( Korean chilli paste) : can be less if you think it is too spicy
2 tsp bean pase or  Chinese black bean paste
2 tsp grated garlic
1tsp grated ginger
1 tbs sesame oil.
2 tbs dak soy sauce
2 tbs  Sugar or runney honey
2 tbs  chopped spring onions
1 tsp grated black pepper
3 tbsp. apple juice or grated conference pear, kiwi fruit


Make sure chicken meat has not extra fat or skin attached.
Mix all marinating ingredients in a big bowl and spread chicken thigh in a big container, spread sauce evenly on the chicken and leave in the fridge for 4 hours at least.

Take out chicken 30 minutes before cooking time to be at room temperature.
Spread out on the roasting tin, cover with foil. Put in the oven ( 180c) for 30 minutes and take off foil, turn oven at 200c cook until lightly brown .

If you like to be grilled , put high setting, grill after bake 30 minutes.

Serve with chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seed on the top.
Meat will be spicy, sweet and nutty taste, melt in your mouth.
It is good with cooked rice or noodles.( I prefer rice stick noodles)


I can not live without this gochujang in my kitchen, such unique paste, not like soy sauce or bean paste I can not substitute any other  Asia chilli sauce .

Korean sauce ( gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Lazy Saturday Lunch with octopus salad

Octopus salad with chilli & red onion

We love late week-end Summer lunch , usually with cold cuts and nice green
salad and nice crunch bread.
This week I found nice fresh Cornish octopus were in the fish corner, have to buy.
We love octopus, specially Italian style with red onion. red chilli, lemon zest, juice
extra olive oil.
But how do you cook octopus?

If  you do not cook properly it can be very chewy and hard to eat.
Put water into the large pan to cover octopus, onion cut in half with brown skin on, 1 carrot, half celery stick, 7 pepper corn, small piece of ginger, 2 covers of garlic and 1 glass of red wine , 1 dry chilli ( small), salt 1 tsp.
Add octopus and let it boil for 2 minutes and simmer for at least 30-45 minutes ( depends on the size of octopus) and check.
If octopus is tender still got a bite , take out and keep leave them to cool.

Slice 1 red onion very thin.
1-2 red chilli ( not bird eye chilli, long ones) cut thin.
1 tbs extra olive oil, one lemon zest and juice
mix together ,Season with salt.
Cut the octopus bite size and mix with onion, chilli mix and season .

Our family love this octopus salad in Summer season, I make spicy octopus stew with Korean spices when the weather is cold.
Hope I can find octopus often at the fish corner specially Cornish one is not too big , easy to cook.
I love grilled octopus as well, if I can find big ones.
I do not know why a lots of people in Britain does not cook octopus at home, the meat texture is just like chicken thigh.
I think too many people eat fish looks pretty, squid, octopus look weird or just does not know how to handle.
Do try at home !
Our dessert was juicy white peach, they are strangely beautiful to look and taste even better. 

White peaches

Lazy Saturday lunch

Monday, 7 July 2014

London Korean Street food Competition.

Tteokbokki with Cheese

Tteokbokki  with Cheese

Bulgogi sauce marinated Hamburger

the Judges

Stuffed fried Chicken ( The winner)



Black rice with Gochujang & Mayo sauce

Contestant and Judges

This year  Korean Culture centre  UK had put up Korean Street Competition on 5th of July at Central street cookery School.
Last year one of my cookery member did got to the final three but sadly lost to the professional chef , Jordan Burke, and he won the Global competition in Seoul.
It is a good event to promote Korean Food world wide.

My a brave cookery member is contesting with black rice with gochujang & mayo sauce.
I thought I can cheer him up a bit to be there.  He is making rather complicated Spanish Black Rice with Korean Sauce.

This year finalist 7 people, 2 professional chefs and 5 amateur cooks were competing.
 Kitchen was heating up when I arrived, all contestants were having a finishing touch but unfortunately, my member is seriously late. I was worried that he will get a huge penalty being late serving to the judges.
But I can only to give encouragement words , He shouldn't make fresh fish stock for this , ready made
stock would be fine as  only 1 and half hour cooking time were allowed.

The dishes were 1, Small pot of tteokbokki with cheese on the top, 2, Baked ttokbokki with Cheese.
3. Bulgogi in the French bread, 4, Beef & pork, tofu stuffed dumpling with crispy skin.
5, Bulgogi sauce marinated hamburger with gochujang & mayo sauce.
6. Stuffed fried chicken  7, Black squid rice with prawn and gochujang & mayo sauce.

I have tasted all of them at the kitchen only one standing out for me, as for the taste and idea, individuality and presentation.
Bulgogi was too tough and salty, not touched any wine, or grated pear or apple juice in the marinating sauce in order to tenderise it seemed ( I am guessing, he may have).

 Tteokbokki  dish was too chewy, It could have been a good dish make Korean Italian pizza but base was too thick, thinly sliced tteok may have worked.
The other ttoekbokki is slightly better in a small dish and adding mushroom makes moist than the other.

Hamburger was nearly  same as Kalbi Bros ( whom I met London Taste Festival) , they do sell their burger at East End Urban Fest.  But tasty and moist.

Dumpling were tasty but lack of her own idea, she made real well  after all she is a chef.

Black rice were tasty but too late, his idea was wrap in the egg pancake, with contrasting colour, but ran out time, poor Dan!

Fried stuffed chicken by chef, Hejazi  was original and tasty . It was the winning dish in this contest, I was very glad the Judges thought same as me.
I think it needs more  to develop into the really a good dish , she has to compete in Korea with other contestants from all over the world.

Two chefs made ( Dumpling & Fried Chicken) good dishes but other amateur cooks need more understanding ingredients and texture.
Ttokbokki seemed universally loved by young people as in Korea.

The winner, Shokofeh Hejazi was a ex lawyer became a chef  ( love her story and very brave to changing the profession)and currently working in the restaurant in London.  Her family comes from Iran,

If I can advice her dish, should be use Persian spice like Sumac and Korean Spice and make something unique. Something more spicy and tangy sauce perhaps.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

London Food Festival, TASTE.June 18th-22nd, 2014

Korea Foods tent

Korea Foods tasting tent
Organic wine from Italy

Galbi Bros

TASTE entrance

British pie shop

Scallops with lentil

Italian spicy cured pork salame Nduja


Korea foods tasting tent

Over the years I've visited London food festival here and there, I think London Taste in regent park is the best, have a chance to taste well known chefs creation and more professional.

This year I was very lucky to have tickets by Korea foods, my special thanks to Korea foods.

It was perfect day , on Sunday ,to stroll park for any reason, when we arrived, all  festival goers mingling between tents not too many people  but just right to enjoy to add party moods.
I could not miss 6 tents of  Korea Foods, I knew they are promoting in this event but did not realise such a big scale.
It was such a pleasure to see and I could not help feeling smug because I knew this is going to happen years ago.
I did bang on about my prediction and told a few food editors to take in their papers but sadly most of them did not, but a few food writers had tried but it did not happen, I am guessing the editor thought it differently.

But only one food journalist contact me about Kimchi and gave her free my kimchi lesson, and she wrote about my recipe  in her world pickle article.

Korea foods selling their product and invited Galbi Bros were selling Korean Burger.
Korean bulgogi sauce marinated mini burger with gochujang and mayo sauce seemed very popular.

Korean foods are big here in size wise, selling products, tasting  and celebrity chef talking and serving her Korean tasting menu., Even she was in Korea earlier , invited by Korean tourism and Korea foods to see Seoul and other attraction in the country's food scene. ( lucky her!)

Korean food is rising in London,  hope this huge momentum carries for a long time. Sure, under 35 years old Londoners are having love affair with Korean food for some time now, as I knew through my cookery.
How this love affair will be nurtured and eventually to the marriage? I certainly hope so.
Some of well known chefs are looking into Korean food now, to create new dishes, it is a good sign for the Korean food's publicity .

Looking around festival, famous restaurant,  ROKA ( fusion Japanese) grilling Lamb chop with gochujang ( Korean chilli paste) sauce.  this kind of free publicity is vital to keep Korean food interested to the public. Well known chef with  restaurant , cooking with Korean sauce even they are not Korean food, does not matter.

Looking around, still  big names pulling the crowd, like Jamie Oliver, M, Roux Jr. from ( Le Gavroche),, Club Gascon  Salt yard, Samba Susi, Italian restaurants had big queues, and tapas bar as well,

Jami Oliver's slow cooked smoked short rib was very good and tender meat fall off the bone, meaty piece of this cut we, Koreans love.

Still Italian well known restaurants has the longest queue, Londoners had not enough of Italian food yet it seemed.
My resent favourite Italian ingredient is Nduja, very spicy cured pork meat, so spicy , but so tasty.
It can be on the toast, in the pasta or in the meat stew, so versatile.
I can use for the Korean dishes if I can buy at the shop.

As always finding good small food producers are my aim.
Nice looking meat pie shop was caught my eyes in the small producer's tent. It was such a good pie.
Pork and stilton cheese, pork and chicken pie are exceptionally good.
Thin crust , not heavy , has very good flavour. I had to buy for my husband who is a Northerner, he certainly loves  and knows the meat pies.
As he, meat pie owner said, loving meat pie is in their ( Northerners) DNA!
It was nice to know this pie is available on line , also they sell excellent cheese and ham (

Useful note;
Korea foods ( Korean supermarket):
New Malden, Surrey.
Tel: 020 8329 2900


Friday, 20 June 2014

BBQ Lamb & Chicken for the Summer weekend

Butterflied & marinated lamb
Baked beetroots


Chicken thigh

BBQ ( Grilled)lamb
Lamb and new potatoes
We have decided to celebrate Father's Day at home with BBQ lamb and chicken, asparagus, baked beetroots, new potatoes. My son provided excellent Italian Red, ( our favourite) wine, Amarone.

One of my favourite Iranian spice is Sumac, it has tangy , hint of  lemon flavour goes well with lamb, chicken and even fish.
Whenever I go to middle Eastern or Turkish shop, buy 2-3 bags and store in freezer.
This is good for Summer BBQ meat , even grilled aubergine or courgette, just sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Leg of lamb ( half leg)

Butterfly the meat and leave bone in,
Marinating :
Sumac ( 1tbsp), smoked paprika ( 1tbsp) black pepper ( 1tbsp). grated ginger ( 1tbsp), chopped rosemary ( 2 tbsp), olive oil ( 3tbsp), 1 zest of lemon, salt

Mix well and rub on the lamb leave in the fridge over night .
Take out from the fridge 1 hour before cooking and put on the roasting tin cover with silver foil
roast in the oven for 1 hour with low temperature. ( 110c)
Take out and grilled on the charcoal fire, rest for 20 minutes . Squeeze lemon on the meat before cut.
It was such nice pink ( M.rare) and moist.

Same way marinade chicken thigh  , skinned and boned ( 12 pieces) and cook slowly on the fire
we had new potatoes and sweet baked beetroots and lightly grilled asparagus.

Wow, they were delicious it was a change from our usual  spicy Korean chilli paste marinaded chicken thigh which my family loves.

We all washed down with Amarone,  Lovely.
Certainly as my husband, Neil said, had a fantastic father's day meal.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Why British girls are the fattest in Europe, Too many Foodies not enough home Cook

 Whenever I read British are the fattest in Europe I am so sad, this time our girls are fattiest in Europe, it is a tragic!!
Surely all nation knows what is the healthy food by now,
I thought most of population are interested in food, you just can not avoid, paper, magazine, TV even leaflets from supermarkets!

 But I am guessing not a lots of home does not cook at home, this is the biggest problem, too much ready made meal and fast food are around in society.  Too busy to cook? I hear ? but does not need hours to cook just half an hour a day will do.
Even mighty Jami Oliver's 30mintues, even 15minutes meal TV program seemed not be able persuade people to cook at home.

Perhaps U K have too much Cookery program in TV, a lots of people have TV dinner on the lap watching chef's creation, may think all look so complicated and too expensive for the ordinary  low income family.

I truly think Cooking skill is most important life skill you could have. Needs all your life anyway even you are rich, poor it does not matter.

If I am the Minister of Health and  the Minister Education, what  I
would like to do.
1.Promote cooking at school, from age of 7
2. Just make them cook, eat together at the table, learn how to share and how enjoyable eating together with conversation.
3. Never make judgement or mark, competition, whatever they are cooking  , they will know what is good or tasty food, learn like at home.

4.Learn how to cook basics.

*5 different egg dishes ( boiled, fried, scrambled, poached,
*Full English breakfast
* 3 pasta dishes
*3 different salad dressing
*Basic mayonnaise
*Sunday roast ( Chicken)
* 3 different potato dishes ( mashed, fried, roast)
* How to cook vegetables
*Basic curry
* How to cook rice
* Fried rice with vegetables
* Basic meat stew or vegetables stew
* Basic meat pie( chicken or beef)
* Cottage & shepherd pie.
* Cornish pie and basic  pasty

5. when they learn these basic cooking by 14 years age, they can learn what is the value of cooking and nutrition , healthy food.
By the time they know how to cook, they will know about what is good food themselves. As so many teen magazine covering about food and perhaps too much food article on it,

I just wonder why in Britain has many middle class foodies not enough home cooking family.
I may be a middle class foodie,  but I always cook at home, never get take away, ready meal in my house, this is not a rule, just happened.

We do eat dinner at the table as a family whoever  at home, and always have a family Sunday Roast.
We do have  special meal at restaurant, always good, fairy pricey with excellent cooking by well known chefs. Only 10 times a year, like birthdays, anniversary, make it really super special.

Drinking is a big problem  here not only teens as a nation I think.
1.Should promote more healthy way of drinking rather than  try to price up, this is short term resolution, needs long term solution.
2. Should encourage teach how to drink at home and parent should teach their children, as everything in life, start at home.
3. We have to change  the way drinking habit, always drink with foods like Spanish tapas are most excellent way.
4. Teach low income  family how to eat properly and most of all how to cook with low budget. this does not means not tasty or bad, it can be a delicious meal, depend on how to cook .

I 'd like to tell all politicians do educate from home, if parents are not up to it, teach them first , not to the school first, it is already late then.
Education has to start from Home!!!!

Another thing has to aware, low cost ready meal is not only unhealthy but most importantly also
more EXPENSIVE than home cooked meal.

PHOTOS: all our home made Korean & Western dishes made by me.

Grilled salmon, pepper and pasta

Korean seafood pancake

Stuffed pepper with rice

Asparagus with poached egg
Pan fried cod with egg& parceley sauce