Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Finger Food (Dirty Food)

Beef & prawn bong bong

Cucumber & dill salad

Italian ham& smoked salmon

Grilled octopus

Scotch eggs

Scotch eggs
According to The Times paper, London food scene is changing to finger food, they call dirty food.
No booking , first come first serve system is very popular., burger and chips, pulled pork & chips, spicy fried chicken wings so on, all very American.

Our family are all love various finger food for the lazy late Saturday lunch. As a Korean, it is just normal, like a Korean meal set, rice with 4-6 different dishes, they are more than tapas.
Our favourite dishes are, cold ham, smoked salmon, Scotch quail eggs,  bean salad, Korean pancakes ( seafood or just courgette & chilli), dips with good sourdough bread.
you do have more work to do but it is much more interesting and all family got talk freely, as a foodie family , topic is always about new food in London.

I change every week also make more veggies dishes, like  baked cauliflower with curry and cheese, baked aubergine with Korean  spicy sauce  so on.

I think finger food dinning at home is more family oriented affair, hope all my blog readers will try casual finger food lunch time to time.

I have no plan usually, whatever I can find a good value and fresh ingredient in my week end shopping, I just improvise . as the photo, last week I found small octopus, were so cheap, boiled in  red wine and  onion, garlic, pepper corn and a dry chilli for 1 hour. when they are cold, marinate with soy, sugar, sesame oil, spicy chiili paste and simply grilled in my oven, it was so tender and delicious!

Friday, 21 March 2014

BBC 2 , Korean Food on March 20.

I knew Hairy Bikers had filmed in Korea about food last year and finally they were on BBC 2 last night , 20th, March.
I am not a fan of them , never have been.
My ideal choice would be my food hero, late Clarissa Dickson Wright. Honest talking, history loving , knowledgeable  excellent food writer , Ms Dickson  would have been a dream presenter for Korean food.

The program was informative about kimchi making , pleased they filmed at the ordinary household rather than official cookery institute to show how to make kimchi.
It looks more real than I often have seen Korean traditional dress wearing well known Korean celebrity chefs, it was a very wise choice not to use them.

I knew this Korean food fever will be happen in UK a few years ago through my cookery and I was upset about celebrity chef writing on kimchi recipes so wrong ,wrote blog about it and send begging email to food program team , let me show how it has to be done but as I am only a food blogger, all just ignored.
But only a Guardian Journalist contact me in early 2013, she came over here in my house and I gave a free quick kimchi lesson and she wrote in her article as a part of  world pickles.
I am pleased now, at least some celebrity chefs know about kimchi recipe.

After this program, I am hopping the Korean kimchi fridge maker will sell kimchi fridge in Britain soon, not too big , just small one, I always love to own this fridge, Perhaps they should market in UK not for only kimchi, also fruits, vegetables' fridge

But kimchi is very well known and popular in UK since 2010 , the program look so out dated, should have been a few years earlier.  It could have been a big food news I think.
I have seen that Korean food's popularity through my cookery since 2010, Kimchi was most popular word in 2012 among the London foodies which I read in the paper.

I think food is like fashion, it comes and goes.
 Korean food was the food, 2013 in London, Who know what will be the Food 2014 in London.
It may not the special food , the way we dining , casual dining perhaps!

After this Korean younger generation under 40s should think about how they will carry on this Kimchi making tradition

Baby radish kimchi

Non spicy cabbage kimchi

Radish cube kimchi ( kakdugi)

Cabbage kimchi

Even my family in korea, nieces does not make kimchi themselves, they are provided by mothers or mother in laws because, all of them has high flying jobs, too busy.
I do hope, All Korean school teach kimchi making as a subject , must learn during school years.

One thing in the program, hairy bikers seemed Korean chilli is too spicy for them,  but the beauty of Korean chilli is not too spicy like Thai, has sweet taste in the background, that's why fermented kimchi is so good, If they are too spicy, kimchi could not be able to eat in every meal.
I feel they missed a good point in this or perhaps they can not take spicy food.

Photos: my own home made kimchies.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Veggie Monday and Fish Friday

We had been eating fish supper for ages not for any special reason, just found fresh fish on Fridays at the fish counter and fish mongers.
Winter, I usually cook Fish and chips with mashed peas, cod or haddock, or grilled salmon, any fresh fish I can buy.
Now I have stared veggie Monday supper from February, I do cook at least 3 different dishes make more interesting.
All family love veggie Mondays now , it feels we having a drinks party, I often serve with freshly fried prawn crackers or fin crisps.
Vegetable tempura is also a good dish , any kind of bean salad with chopped red onion, grated carrot, chopped parsley is delicious with top onto the prawn crackers.

Simple pasta Wednesday is going, no meat pasta, mainly a good olive oil, pinch of chilli, garlic, grated courgette  or kale, with smoked bacon and chopped parsley.
It is an inexpensive and healthy dish. Hope all readers try at home.

Stuffed pepper with rice

Bean salad

Red bean and kale dal

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bo Ssam and Bibmbab at Robinson college, Cambridge University

Bo Ssam Plate

Instant Kimchi
Dr Shin
Mooli  Salad
Home Made Ssamjang
Bo Ssam
Chef, Jason

Chef , Sam and me

2 ways slow cooked pork, Bossam

Chefs are preparing Bo Ssam


Dr Mike Shin informed me  last December ,having  another  Robinson College Korean Food Event and they had a slot for the Event on 5th of March. But since then I had broke my right arm on boxing day.
Naturally I was worried about the Event , not knowing my recovery but I thought, I am not the one chopping or slicing the ingredients,  I know that all college chefs will help me out so nicely in my past experience,   I 've decided to go ahead.
After all I have been a left hand cook for 2 month now. Had cookery on early February, it was fine.
Dr  Shin liked to introduce Bo Ssam so we set menu for the Event.
Starter: 2 way slow cooked pork Bo Ssam with Kimchi stuffing, Ssamjang with lettuce.( For vegetarian: 2 ways tofu )
Main: Bibimbab. Miso and tofu soup with Instant kimchi, Mooli salad ( Vegetarian: without beef topping)
Dessert: lemon tart with cream
BO Ssam is very popular dish in UK and USA because of famous NY chef, David Jang.
His restaurant, SSAM BAR serve not traditional recipe but a kind of  western way, slow roasted shoulder pork with Ssamjang, lettuce and Kimchi sauce rather than slowly boiled belly pork with Korean wine, spices .
It is served with oyster, a kind of  Surf and Turf dish .  It can be just wrapped meat and sauce since oyster is expensive here.
We've decided to serve 2 ways slow cooked pork .( roasted and boiled)
I was informed 100 guest are dining, I was not expected so many. Cooking for 100 !!
But I was quietly confident, I know my right hand ( literary)chef, Sam is not only a hard worker also he love to learm these new Korean recipes. .
Left home 8:00 am without breakfast on the day ( 5th) , arrived 10:00 am , Chef, Sam is already cut the all vegetables for Bibimbab, and cooked belly pork.  2 huge shoulder pork were scored and ready to be in oven.
We cooked in the oven 6 hours, it was so beautifully cooked, perfect crispy skin and tender meat.
Shame! I did not take a photo, so busy !
Sam and I worked all day without break ( I had lunch break with Dr Shin), we were on time  for 6:30 pm sitting
Rice , 5 different vegetables, beef , egg for bibimbam, Made 100 portion of hot sauce for bibimbab from scarch.
 home made Ssamjang, Mooli salad, Soup.
12 cabbage instant kimchi  were made. It worried me greatly, looks not enough for 100, I know how they all love kimchi. 
2 ways slow cooked pork Bo Ssam was a great success and Bibimbab..
If I did not have help from college chefs and staff, I could not have done the Event.
All guest seemed enjoying Bo Ssam experience for a change. All has gone!!!.
Wow, it was a big event,    Dr Shin and  me, college chef, Sam pulled off successfully.
Not a bad effort  for a temporary left cook , helped by kitchen staff and chef, Sam.
Hope I gave some kind of justice to Dr shin, trusting me even he knew I am not a trained chef.

After the event I joined with my husband Neil, at Red Brick Bar, he was watching England, Denmark Football.
Had well earned a glass of cold white wine, listening, out of tuned student's Karaoke in the back of bar and I could relax finally. All day I carried myself with nervous energy with this grey sling in my right arm.

What a day !


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Dear Tesco

Dear Sir

I have been your royal customer since 1989, the year we moved to England from Greece.
My local Tesco is Old Amersham branch in Buckinghamshire which is great for us not only it is near also has fish section and butcher.
I am a Korean born food writer and food blogger and teaching Korean cookery at home. I do not shop only at Tesco, I do go around any where like any foodie to find the best for my cooking.

I was so pleased that I found skirt beef , ox cheek meat were in your butcher section, I love to cook with not familiar cuts and specially slow cooking . I knew skirt beef makes good flavoursome steak and wanted to cook at home but it is hard to find unless I go to expensive famous London butcher or Selfridges. I always thought it is mad, why cheaper cuts beef are not available , like Skirt beef or Hanger's Steak meat.
Of course my favourite steak is Ryb Eye Steak but they are too expensive, we can have only special day, like birthday, anniversary.

Anyway your Butcher section sell this skirt beef from 2012( I think?) and we enjoyed medium rare skirt beef steak time to time for 2 years now.
Suddenly you do not sell anymore since early February, Why ?
I understand it is a commercial reason, and I might be the only one buying as a steak cut, others just for Cornish Pie perhaps, if this is the case you should educate your customer through your cookery magazine, Real Food.
I have seen a lots of recipes on chicken or other meat recipes as budget meals, never seen a budget steak, for 1kg £8, I can feed family, 4 people. I know it is not a low budget meal but certainly it is budget treat meal as I do.
It has to be cooked as medium rare or medium, if cook well done, it will be  too stringy and chewy.

If you knew that the most famous French Chef in UK, Albert Roux's favourite meal is Skirt beef steak and English chips! this would change your mind.

As a Korean food writer, I use them for my Korean spicy beef and leek soup instead of Brisket beef, now I have to order my local butcher specially as they never stock them in the shop.

As ox cheek is no longer available at  your Tesco but luckily now Waitrose is selling them along with another cheaper cut, feather blade.
Ironically I do shop at Waitrose more often than ever to buy these cuts.

As lamb wing shank is no longer available at Tesco from November, 2013 ( I think?) , you know they make excellent stew dish with red wine and tomato just like other expensive lamb shank also very good Lancashire Hot pot, meaty and soup in the pot is so tasty because of  the bone.  Now Waitrose has them.

Still you sell  good lamb's kidney and Ox kidney, I am thankful for this.
I do make very good devil's kidney, they cost often less than £1 and we can have lunch with a slice of toast for 3 grown ups. how economic is it!!

I do appreciate it is purely commercial reason, but do you sell a lots of expensive cuts like Sir loin, ryb eye, fillet, and prime rib joint?

Isn't it ironic I do shop more at Waitrose, well known for upper middle class shop for cheaper cuts of meat??

Skirt Steak
Skirt Steak with Chips

Ox cheek stew with red wine

Monday, 17 February 2014

New Korean Food event at Robinson College, Cambridge University



Slow cooked belly pork

Dr Michael Shin , Robinson College, Cambridge University and I are organizing 3rd Korean food event on 5th of march for 70-100 invited guests.
I had a meeting with college chefs on 12th of February, I made sample dishes at home, Bibimbab and Belly Pork Bossam, they all loved the taste.
As ever, college chefs so willing to be my right hand (literary) chefs and all are excited about making new Korean dishes.
We are serving, Belly Pork Bossam followed by Bibimbab with miso soup, kimch, mooli salad for the dessert, Lemon Tart and Fruits salad .
I am so proud to cook in this event at Cambridge University, what a task, and the best way to promote Korean food to the future generation in Britain. Hope Korean government would notice Dr Shin's idea and his enthusiasm for Korean food.

Watch this space I will write a blog after the event.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Kimchi, bulgogi class on 8th of Februaray

brined cabbage with kimchi stuffing

instant kimchi

Korean cucumber salad

Korean beef BBQ , bulgogi
8th of February was my first Korean cookery date, 2014 but unfortunately I broke my arm during the festive season , I had to adapt as a left hand cook for now.
I have considered to cancelling this class  but this one has planned in late November and most of them as a present for Christmas, as I can do most cooking with my left hand, and did not have a heart to disappoint their Christmas treat.
Luckily my an old royal student, Dan offered as a  my helper.
 Making authentic cabbage kimchi is a long process, mostly brining , salting is most important and Difficult, should not be too salty, takes a few hours.
15 per cent salt water solution and turn cabbage now and then, try to get crunch top and soft leaves makes a good kimchi.
Making kimchi stuffing. cut mooli like match stick, crushed garlic, ginger, Korean chilli flakes, spring onion, Korean anchovy sauce and Korean salted baby shrimp, mix well and leave for at least 1 hour.
Luke is making kimchi

making kimchi in the class
ashes and drain the salted cabbage on to the stuffing bowl, put stuffing top side leave by hand and repeat leave by leave and, fold in half, wrap tight with outer leave, store in the air tight jar. push all kimchi to prevent any gap between kimchi.
 Leave in a cool place for a day and put in the fridge to ferment, or just put in the fridge which takes longer to ferment.

I was so glad the class went so smoothly, they cut, sliced vegetables . all of the made their own kimchi and took home.
Bulgogi and refreshing cucumber salad , dresses up with sugar, sesame oil, sesame seed instant kimchi , they seem all enjoyed class and the meal.
It was a huge relief for my side and great satisfaction as a left  hand cook and I and Dr Shin, Robinson college, university of Cambridge will put another Korean food event in March.

One thing I had to address, just 2 hour before the class one lady who applied the class, sent email saying she is not able to come as she has to attend the dinner. it was the most unprofessional attitude, and I was very disappointed by this not because I had spent money on ingredients , not respecting other people's work. it would be fine at least gave me 24hours notice at least.
Another lady just did not turn up without any excuse and still I have not heard from her. it was the very first time happened to me, I might have to address when they apply my cookery class, make sure they do respect my work.  well, well, you learn something along the way.

 meal after the class