Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Spicy Beef Soup ( Yukgaejang (육개장)

Spicy Beef Soup  ( Yukgaejang. 육개장)


This beef soup is very hearty and warm soup for winter but also popular in the Summer season in Korea.   Specially when you lost appetite to any bland foods due to the Summer Heat.

Traditionally this soup is made with brisket beef , but brisket is not widely available in Britain ( Local butcher or Super market), I  use short rib of beef or, with oxtail, it makes better  deeper and rich stock  from bones, much wholesome soup as a main dish.

I sometimes make like Vietnamese Soup, Pho. Adding thinly sliced raw skirt beef and cooked rice noodle .



2- 3Lt. water

Half  mooli ( long white radish ( daicon)

1 onion, 3 carrot. 3 celery sticks. 1 thumb size of ginger, 3 garlic( skin on),

1 dry chilli, 10 whole pepper corns, dry 1 sheet of kelp ( your palm size), 4 dried shitake mushrooms.

3-4 leeks, 100g of Korean dried fern shoots ( optional) and soak in the warm water for 2 hours.

1 pack of bean sprout, 1 bunch of spring onion,

1 tbs of Korean chilli flakes, 1 tbsb of sesame oil.

 2 tsp of crushed garlic.

3 ( 10cm long) short rib of beef or  800g of meaty oxtail.




  1. Trimmed  meat , cut off all excessive fat and put in the roasting pan and put in the oven, grill  until meat is brown both side. ( this helps to remove fat)
  2. Cut all the vegetables, mooli, cut 5ch thick, cut onion in half, carrot and celery , 5cm long and put in the pressure cooker with browned meat, add water, and rest of dry ingredients except kelp.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes first then reduce the heat ,simmer for 1 hour to 1hour 30 minutes  ( no longer) until meats are just tender to pull off from the bone. Do not cook too long, meat can be tasteless. ( if you do not use pressure cooker, it takes longer, 2 hours, check the meats)
  4. Take out meat and pull off the meat ( or shred), set aside, put back  bones into the  cooker add dried kelp and simmer another 30 minutes.
  5. Pour stock to the another big pan but save mooli , discard rest of vegetables and spices.
  6. Skim the fat ( if any) and cut cooked mooli thin strip 1cm by 5cm set aside.
  7. Cut leeks thin strip 10cm long by 0,5cm thick, soaked fern shoots ( if you have) cut 10cm and add to the pan with crushed garlic and boil until vegetables are cooked, season with Korean light soy sauce .
  8. Chop spring onion set aside as wash bean sprout as well.
  9. Quick boil rice noodle , wash ,drain set aside to ready for plating..
  10. Make chilli paste: in a small pan put sesame oil and when it is hot ( do not burn) add chilli flakes and stir quickly add 1 tbsp light soy sauce and 3tsp toasted sesame seeds. Stir and put in the small dish .
  11. Plating: put shredded meat noodle and add boiling hot soup add handful of  bean sprout and spring onion , then serve with chilli paste.
  12.  Serving chilli paste separately is a good idea, they can control spicy level.


Hint: if you wants make like Pho style, just add thinly sliced ( against grain , makes tender) skirt beef before adding hot soup.
You can add cabbage kimchi if you wish when you eat.

This soup has deep flavour as I cooked with bones. Meat is tender not chewy like brisket, I do prefer short rib and oxtail meat. They are much tender, moist, and has a rich flavour than brisket


Ready for cooking

Plating ( rice noodle, cooked meat and raw beef)

Add soup and  spring onion

Add chilli paste and kimchi ( soup 1)

Add bean sprout and spring onion ( soup 2)

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Our Family Festive Food 2015.

Duck for Roasting

Table setting for the Christmas lunch

Seafood medley
Grilled king prawns, lobster and charred spring onion

Roasted Duck

Our Family Festive Food 2015
I love Christmas food planning more than cooking itself. As a family, we have heated a debate about what will be our Christmas Lunch menu -- especially what will be the main course. Which meat? Which bird?
We had roast Turkey for more than 20 years. But not having a big family to feed even small turkey seemed too much. We then tried goose for a while.

Eventually, we decided on roast duck for our 2015 Christmas main course and the question became if one would be enough to have sandwiches on Boxing day?

After endless discussion, I made an executive decision to have duck two ways.
Roast duck and slowly roasted duck leg spring rolls.
My festive food planning and cooking starts in early December. I do enjoy this thought process more than anything else. It never fails to excite me thinking about our family festive food planning and cooking. Talking and drinking for hours.

The stages are:

  1. Make cranberry sauce
  2. Prepare duck gravy and freeze
  3. My own stuffing (sage and onion based but with pine nuts, cranberries, chest nuts plenty of smoked bacon and good sausage meat) freeze without bread. On 23 December, I took it out of the freezer and baked with herbs, bread and butter. So delicious
  4. Make spicy mixed nuts
  5. My own bitter chocolate blocks. With ginger chilli , pine nuts, sea salt
  6. Keep smoked salmon in the fridge during the festive season
Our Christmas Eve main course was stuffed and baked monk fish tail, followed by seafood pasta.
2015 Christmas Lunch  Menu

Grilled lobster tail and king prawns  in chilli, garlic butter. Served with pickled cucumber ribbons and toasted bread (sough dough bread)

Roast duck with rosemary, ginger and orange
Roast potatoes
Creamed leeks, sprouts (quartered) with bacon and chestnuts
Mini sausages wrapped in bacon
Mini duck’s leg meat with plum spring rolls
Gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce
Fruits (strawberry, blackberry, melon) with raspberry coolie
Vanilla ice cream
New Year's Day 2016 dinner
Grilled king prawns in chilli, garlic butter with char grilled pakchoi.

Main: Roast beef of sirloin (cooked nicely medium rare)
Roast potatoes and roast cauliflower with spices
No dessert was served: we are not keen on dessert specially at Christmas pudding, we like to have nice fruit salad with ice cream. After festive feast no one like to have sweet, only strong coffee with my bitter, nutty chocolate block.

Christmas lunch

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Sake Sommelier Competition 2015 in Britain.

One of Finalist from Hong Kong 

Semi finalist

Sake barrel for the ceremony

The winner of Sake sommelier 2015

Opening Ceremony of Sake Barrel by the 3 Finalist.

When I was asked to attend to the Sake Sommelier of 2015 competition in west London, naturally I was surprised, because I did not know Sake Sommelier is available . I used to like warm Sake with Korean festival foods but in recent years all seemed ice cold and became very expensive and not widely available at the local shops or even super market

Decided to attend to see , when I arrived at Millennium Hotel in Knightbridge all atmosphere seemed rather intense ,
Already they selected semi finalist, five Sommeliers  after long morning session, including written test, tasting so on.

 Talking to the guests in there, surprised by the most of them are already wine sommelier and took the Sake sommelier courses as well. Even qualified

Five semi finalist are all wine sommelier and even the  head wine sommelier at famous Sat Bain restaurant were among them.
From Hon Kong, Spain , Germany, India , so this is truly international.

I did not know so many kind of sake are produced, dry , medium, sweet , just like wine. And grade of rice shaving and of course water quality as you think in Scotland  whisky!!

The finalist  were, Spanish, Indian and Hong Kong Chinese, it looked covered well all over the world ( nearly)
Their final task was recognise the sake brand and region, and blind food match , manner of recommend sake to the customer and waiting and service skill.
3 Asian dishes were served to match with Sake but I could not help to thinking why has to be just Asian food, surely they has to spread to the other kind of food like French, Italian, British so on even Indian . after all they like to makes world food appeal  !!

After long process winner was a Spanish who worked at Restaurants in London for a long time.
Breaking Sake barrel ceremony was quite dramatic, and jolly to taste with floating edible gold flakes, a bit dry and little sweet  tone in the back of my taste bud. , I think it was  fitting final ceremony. Glad to have seen this.

I might take Sake course in 2016, if I can find a time, just course , it would be good to match my Korean food I cook.


MiguelA.Hernandez , kouzu, UK
Laurent Richet, Sat Bains with Rooms Uk
Venkadesh Thanga Mariappan ; UAE
Joshua Kalinan Sinnathamby ; Singapore --Singapore Air line
Randy Au Tsz Fung : Sake Fever ,  Hong Kong
Alexsander Bayer :  Japanese Embassy, Germany

ISAKE international: www.isake.co.uk


Sunday, 29 November 2015

Memory lane trip to the North west of England

Fish and Chips at Magpie, Whitby

Smoked salmon with sour cream ice cream

Sausages at Cowman's  in Clithroe

Yorkshire sculpture park

It has been our annual trip to the North of England in late Autumn for a few years now, as my Husband was born in near Clithroe , Lancashire ,and his parents were lived there all their lives, it is always nice to visit his childhood home town and listening his memory of t places and food.
Amazingly a lot of places are still standing still and not changed at all. Such as butcher, wine shop and pubs .
We love this kind of a short break with no plan, drive , stop and eat as we wish through  beautiful country road in the North west of England. 

This year we visited Yorkshire sculpture park to see Art in the wild field. Luckily Henley Moor's exhibition was still on, Seeing all familiar long bodied and small face sculptures in the field was such a great pleasure. Walking through Autumn coloured field with this huge but beautiful art works, Wow!! 
Amazing feeling ! grateful and thinking art is for every one not just for the chosen few.
Ulls water Lake


Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Wild mushroom with poached egg

Calf's liver with mashed potato at Free Masons

Lobster tail at Free Masons

Whitby was a surprise for me, somehow I thought Whitby is busy fishing port with not much expectation or charm, but it was such a pleasure to find small but rather charming port with nice walkway along the water. Loved to see all the nice looking and inviting fish restaurants. has to eat at the legendry Fish and chips , Magpie. even out of holiday season , was quite busy, with local customers which means still has good food .

Of course we had to have fish and chips , oyster and crab salad. fish and chips was good with crispy but thin batter, cooked very well, nothing worst than thick batter with over cooked fish and chips.
Magpie's reputation will be carry on for a long time, If they cooked like this.

Finally checked in the nice charming Country hotel near by and had  long drinks at the bar by the log fire ,  needed after this long drive,  thinking drive to the Lakes in the early tomorrow morning.

Rainy cold Autumn morning to drive to the Lake district was not an ideal but we were looking forward to see small Ulls water lake. we were there many years ago, windy wild ,cold weather makes more dramatic scene I was expecting. It was when we arrived at the lake after drove through long and winding narrow road with rain, it was worth it. Loved this kind of dark side of scene, grey sky black mountain on the side, autumn leaves are on the tree, what a view! Loved it.

After scenic Lake side drive, we checked in another country Hotel near Clithroe, which was Neil's old local when he was an young 20 years old man, Now this local pub and inn became very stylish Country Hotel, comfortable and very modern , large  room and spacious bath room with such a style.

Still rainy , as usual we explore to his old home town Clithroe. old wine shop still there, huge wine cellar in the basement, Cowman's butcher, still making one of best sausages in the North, nearly 50 kind of, some unusual but  we love their pork  and Cumberland sausages. As usual bought 1 kg each to freeze at home. Down to the my favourite hard ware and kitchen shop, Dawson's. I am coming here for 33 years now, whenever I visit to the North, always something to buy there, such a nice kitchen shop.
Drive to Whally, actual Neil's family had a  cottage for a while , small village with nice little independent shops. My husband did not forget to mention, one ice cream shop made best ice cream in the world but sadly this time it was gone, now became very expensive boutique,  walked to the Whally Abby, where my mother in law's ash was buried.
Very emotional moment for us.

Finally we arrived Neil's childhood home in Wiswell, Free Masons which became one of best pub restaurant in the Country, ( once ranked no. 1 in the Good Food Guide) it was his homecoming, His dad also had run this pub 50 years ago for a few years and all family lived here, as soon as we got in , he said it looks nearly same except bar is the other side, he seemed at home, and even proud be in his old house which became well known pub. they offered the guide tour as well. so welcoming,

Menu looks very good  , priced as best  pub restaurant's price as London. But I was surprised to see miso butter, kelp, and even kimchi mayonnaise. How strange to see these kind of Asian culinary words at the little village pub in the corner of Lancashire. I was very curious ,decided meet the head chef to ask .

We had Smoked salmon with sour cream ice cream, very unusual combination but elegant dish. actually sour cream ice cream goes so well with salmon, specially salmon is thick cut not like paper thin , capers and lemony sauce, lightly smoked salmon  with cold cream.  I will steal this idea . biting salmon with cold ice cream was sensational !

My husband main was calf's liver and mashed potato which looked like rather liver steak than thin piece of liver, when he cut ,it was lovely medium rare, what a good idea ! It was more like fine dinning dish,   Neil said it was one of best calf's liver dish he had.

Mine was grilled lobster with new potato, perfectly cooked.

Finally I had chance to talk to the head chef, Steven Smith, even he invite me to the kitchen, he said he makes his own kimchi, and make kimchi mayo for the prawn tempura dish. I know a lots of Japanese restaurants in London serve kimchi and kimchi mayo but never expected in the Lancashire. But why not? The world is getting smaller and world food travels fast too.
How pleased to see Korean food travelled well to the North of England .

Dinner at Free Masons was our high light , what a lovely surprise.

FreeMasons, Wiswell

Last day we had lunch at Tree Fishes near village which has a good reputation, owned by well known chef, Nigel Haworth. very smart pub.

 Had Lancashire hot pot which is Neil's favourite comfort food , I often make when the weather is cold.
Tender lamb meat with buttery potatoes and sharp red cabbage pickle, it was perfect meal  before the end our memory lane and foodie trip.  Specially sky was grey and rainy !
We are already looking forward to make this trip next year but would like to make it longer.




Lancashire hot pot at Three Fishes

FREEMASONS: 8Vicarage Fold, Wiswell, Lancashire,  BB7 9DF
TEL: 01254 822218

Three Fishes

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.