Thursday, July 21, 2016

Japchae 잡채

I have been wanting to cook this for a long time now. Japchae is sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables and meat and is one of Korea's best loved dish. Of course, it is often featured in Korean dramas and that's how I first got to know of this dish.  Seriously, my passion for korean food started when I was first introduced to korean dramas.  Finally, I get to taste my first Japchae , homecooked by your truly , of course  :)  

It is hard not to like the chewy ,sweet and slightly slippery noodles with colorful vegetables and mushrooms,  tender juicy  beef (grain fed ) , its irresistible sesame flavor , healthy amount of garlic , light and refreshing taste.  Awesome ! 

Each ingredient have to be cook separately because each requires different cooking time and care.  It may seems a lot of labor but the end result is a delicious Japchae that I will want to make again and again.  You can get the sweet potato starch noodles from Jusco .  

these ingredients has to be cooked separately
and seasoned

love the colorful veggies

tender and juicy beef  (grain fed type )
you can get them from Jaya Grocer

sweet potato starch noodles

love the beef and mushrooms :)

all you have to do lastly is to mix all the cooked ingredients together
yummy !

this is how it looks after mixing all together

a healthy dish

Japchae 잡채 - adapted from Maangchi


4 ounces beef, filet mignon (or pork shoulder), cut into ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long strips
2 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 2 to 3 hours, cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 large egg
4 ounces spinach, washed and drained
4 ounces of dangmyeon (sweet potato starch noodles)
2 to 3 green onions, cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces
1 medium onion (1 cup), sliced thinly
4 to 5 white mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 medium carrot (¾ cup), cut into matchsticks
½ red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (optional)
ground black pepper
vegetable oil


Marinate the beef and mushrooms
Put the beef and shiitake mushrooms into a bowl and mix with 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil with a wooden spoon or by hand. Cover and keep it in the fridge
Make the egg garnish (jidan):
1. Crack the egg and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Remove the white stringy stuff (chalaza) from the yolk. Beat in a pinch of salt with a fork.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a heated nonstick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess heated oil with a kitchen towel so only a thin layer remains on the pan.
3. To keep the jidan as yellow as possible, turn off the heat and pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan. Tilt it around so the mixture spreads thinly. Let it cook using the remaining heat in the pan for about 1 minute. Flip it over and let it sit on the pan for 1 more minute.
4. Let it cool and slice into thin strips
Prepare the noodles and vegetables:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then take it out with a slotted spoon or strainer. Let the water keep boiling to cook the noodles.
2. Rinse the spinach in cold water to stop it from cooking. Squeeze it with your hands to remove any excess water. Cut it a few times and put it into a bowl. Mix with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Put it into a large mixing bowl.
3. Put the noodles into the boiling water, cover and cook for 1 minute. Stir them with a wooden spoon so they don’t stick together. Cover and keep cooking for another 7 minutes until the noodles are soft and chewy.
4. Strain and cut them a few times with kitchen scissors. Put the noodles into the large bowl next to the spinach. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix well by hand or a wooden spoon. This process will season the noodles and also keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
5. Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil with the onion, the green onion, and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until the onion looks a little translucent. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
6. Heat up the skillet again and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the white mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until softened and a little juicy. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
7. Heat up the skillet and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add the carrot and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the red bell pepper strips and stir-fry another 20 seconds. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
8. Heat up the skillet and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the beef and mushroom mixture and stir fry for a few minutes until the beef is no longer pink and the mushrooms are softened and shiny. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
Mix and serve:
  1. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to the mixing bowl full of ingredients. Mix all together by hand.
  2. Add the egg garnish and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Mix it and transfer it to a large plate and serve.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Spicy Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi ( Oisobagi kimchi 오이소박이 김치 )

One thing I love about Jaya Grocer is they have things I like which I can't get anywhere else. Imported Australia beef - grain fed..very tender and which are great for my korean dishes :p  Herbs and baking stuff like aluminium free baking powder which I can't get from my usual baking shop. Ok, sorry I have digress again...back on track on this delicious, mouth watering spicy stuffed cucumber kimchi.  I bought 2 packs of mini cucumber from Jaya Grocer ( now you know why my mind trails back to Jaya Grocer that deserved a mention in my blog )  This is not a advertisement post.

I am a great fan of Maangchi and I love most of her recipes and today I am sharing her mouth watering flavor packed side dish or banchan as it is called in Korea - Oisobagi Kimchi which means Spicy Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi. This is a keeper and I can't wait to share with you .... appetizing and easy to make.  A healthy side dish which even my meat eater at home loves it and asked me to make more.  I made a batch and kept them in air tight container, serving them as side dish at every dinner meal.  Try it to believe me :) After a week in the fridge, the cucumbers are still crunchy and the flavors deepen even more...a delightful side dish.

mini cucumbers from Jaya Grocer..fresh and cheap

the stuffings for the mini cucumbers

toasted sesame seeds, while still hot, press hard on the seeds
to release the oil to make it more aromatic

it is fun to stuff the cucumber

I can eat many at one addictive !

this side dish is a keeper...healthy and delicious

Spicy Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi - Maangchi


4 4½ inch long mini cucumbers
2 tbsp salt
1 cup Asian chives - cut into 1/2 inch length
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 medium carrots - cut into thin matchsticks - about 1 cup
1 cup of onions- sliced thinly
1/2 cup hot chilli flakes
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


1.Wash the cucumbers. Make pockets out of them by slicing them twice lengthwise at right angles, ½ inch from one end so the cucumber quarters are still connected to each other at the end.

2.Put them in a big bowl, and sprinkle and rub them with salt inside and out. Let them sit for 10 minutes on the kitchen counter, and then turn them over so they’re evenly salted. Then turn them over and let them sit another 10 minutes.

3.Rinse the cucumbers in cold water a couple of times to remove excess salt. Drain and set aside.

4.Combine buchu (Asian chives), carrot, hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, sugar, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

5.Stuff the seasoning paste into the cucumber pockets. If you have sensitive skin, you can wear rubber gloves for this because the paste might irritate your hands.

6.Serve immediately as a side dish for rice, and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator. If you prefer it to be fermented a bit more, let the container sit at room temperature for a couple of days until it smells and tastes sour. Then put it into the fridge. Serve cold.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Prawn Omelette With Crispy Edges

If I can have an egg a day, I will surely have it everyday in my diet. I love them poached, steamed,  as half boiled or as omelette. But I am only allowed to eat them twice a week.  Wild boar loves omelette and   Today, I am sharing a simple and yet delicious omelette recipe, Prawn Omelette. There are many can either make a classic one or with fillings.  Our favorite is prawn omelette. 

When I am tired or too lazy to cook anything elaborate and too lazy to eat out :p, I will just cook this prawn omelette to either go with bread or plain rice.  This recipe doesn't need much preparation.  I always have shelled and deveined prawns ready packed in small tupper for each cooking in the freezer and thus this has made cooking prawn omelette even easier for me.  You can seasoned the prawns  10 mins before cooking, with just salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar. The rest is just slicing thinly garlic, red onion, italian parsley and for some heat, bird's eye chilli.  Beat up 3 eggs with 1/2 tsp of maggi seasoning and you are on the go to cooking the most flavorful prawn omelette :)

ingredients : 3 eggs, 1 red onion, 2 bird's eye chilli, sea prawns,
italian parsley and garlic

WB always remind me to make sure the edges are crisp...he loves
the  burnt crisps around the edges....smell good and taste good

Prawn Omelette With Crispy Edges


120 gm sea prawns - shelled and deveined - seasoned with a pinch of salt,pepper and sugar
1 red onion - sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic - sliced thinly
2 bird's eye chilli - sliced thinly
1 sprig of italian parsley - coarsely chopped

3 eggs - beat up with a 1 tsp of  maggi seasoning

1/2 tbsp of rice bran oil

pan size 12 inch diameter or bigger for an omelette with crispy edges


Heat 1/2 tbsp of rice bran oil on a non-stick pan, saute the seasoned prawns till cooked, add in onions, garlic, chilli, italian parsley and stir fry for a few seconds.  Dish up and keep aside.

Pour in the beaten egg , add in the cooked ingredients evenly around the surface, swirl the beaten eggs till it covered the whole pan area . The edges will be thinner than the center part. Once the egg has set on bottom, flip over the cook the other side till both sides are cooked through and edges are crispy and golden brown.

Serve with bread or with rice.


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