While it is easy to find Bulgogi marinades in supermarkets these days, I learned how to make my own Bulgogi marinade last year.  The bottled marinades may be flavourful but in reality, homemade Bulgogi doesn’t need to have a strong BBQ-y taste.  Instead, it should have a harmony of balanced flavours that doesn’t overwhelm.

For the recipe below, you will need half a kilo of Beef.  Tenderloin, Sirloin or Rib-Eye would be good options.

What You Need for the Marinade Sauce:
4 tbsp of soy sauce
4 tbsp of water 
3 tbsp of sugar 
2 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tsp pepper
4 cloves of garlic, minced

What You Need to Finish Off the Dish:
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 stalks of green onion/shallots, chopped (alternative: white onions)
Salt and Pepper, to add flavour

Mushrooms, sliced
Carrots, sliced

What To Do:

  1. Slice half a kilo of beef into thin strips.
  2. In a bowl, throw in the ingredients of your Marinade Sauce, then mix it with the sliced beef until well coated.
  3. Marinate for at least 2 hours and keep it in the refrigerator. I leave it overnight for maximum flavour. 

You can cook your Bulgogi-marinated beef in two ways:
(1) Grill the beef.  After grilling, transfer to a plate or cast iron plate.  Sprinkle it with shallots and sesame seeds. (see my previous post: Weekend BBQ Party with Friends)

(2) Stir-fry the beef in sesame oil, garlic and onion.  Saute for a while then throw in mushrooms, carrots and green onions.  Add salt and pepper if needed. Once the beef and vegetables are cooked, transfer to a plate or bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds (see photo below).

Recipe: Bulgogi

Note: Measurements of ingredients are based on estimates so these only serve as guides.  If you want stronger flavours, you may choose to add more. The key is to taste as you go along.

Happy cooking!

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Other than eating Kimchi as a condiment, there are many ways on how to cook Kimchi into becoming something else.

If you have Kimchi that you’d like to use, you can make it into Kimchi Stew.  I like this dish because it’s very easy to cook and perfect for winter season.

What you need:

1/2 kilo Pork Belly
4 cups of chopped Kimchi (you can add more if you want)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 tbp hot pepper paste
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
4-6 stalks of green onion, chopped
Radish (cut into strips)
Sesame Oil

Kimchi Stew Recipe
Kimchi Stew Recipe

What you need to do:

1.  In a pot or earthen bowl, put your chopped Kimchi and some Kimchi Juice.
2.  Add in the pork belly, chopped onions., green onions, hot pepper paste and hot pepper flakes.  You can make the stew more spicy if you add more hot pepper paste and hot pepper flakes.
3.  Pour water until all ingredients are submerged.
4.  Close the lid of the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  The first 10 minutes should be in high heat, then turn down to medium heat.
5.  Add the tofu and radish and let it sit for 10 minutes.
6.  Pour a few drops of Sesame Oil before serving.
Kimchi Stew Recipe

This Kimchi Stew recipe is inspired by Maangchi’s recipe.
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I’ve been learning how to cook Korean cuisine for the past weeks because other than wanting to learn cooking different cuisines, my Husband and I really enjoy eating Korean food.  Last weekend, I was able to cook three Korean dishes.  I felt very good being able to practice what I’ve read about Korean cuisine and very happy because my Husband loved them. 

While there are Asian grocery stores in our area and they usually sell Korean marinades and packed Kimchi, I love that I’m able to make my own Korean marinades and Kimchi.  And as much as possible, I avoid buying bottled marinades because they are sometimes high in salt, sugar or preservatives.

There are different ways of making Kimchi.  I got the inspiration of this recipe from a Korean Blogger named Maangchi where she shared a few Kimchi recipes in her site.

The traditional Kimchi is made with Napa Cabbage, but this recipe uses the common cabbage we see in the markets.  One of the things I learned when we visited the Kimchi Museum in Seoul, Korea was that any vegetable is a probable candidate to be “kimchi-ed”. 

I chose this recipe of Maangchi because this is the easiest and less complicated.  I made a few changes on the measurements of the ingredients because I based it on my family’s taste and tolerance for spice.  I suggest that if you make your own Kimchi at home, season as you mix so the taste will also be based on your preference.  You can just use my measurements as a guide.  The Kimchi I made was just medium spicy; not too hot. 

What you need:
1/2 head of medium sized Cabbage (cut into strips)
1/4 cup Hot Pepper Flake
3-5 tbsps Fish Sauce (depends on your taste)
1 tbsp Sugar
1/4 cup minced Garlic
4 stalks Green Onion (cut into strips)
1 medium-sized julienned Carrot
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup Salt

What you need to do:
1.  Cut your cabbage into strips and place into a large bowl. 
2.  Add 1 cup of cold water and 1/4 cup salt.  With use of your hands, mix it well to properly salt the cabbage.
3.  Set aside for 10 minutes.

Easy-to-Prepare Kimchi

4.  Make the Kimchi Paste by mixing the following ingredients:
1/4 cup hot pepper flakes (you can lessen or add depending on how spicy you want it to be)
1 tbsp sugar

3-5 tbsps Fish Sauce (saltiness should be based on your taste)
1/4 cup minced Garlic
4 stalks Green Onion (cut into strips)
1 medium-sized julienned Carrot

Easy-to-Prepare Kimchi

5.  Wash and rinse the salted cabbage in cold water for about 2-3 times then drain.
6.  Mix the Kimchi Paste into the cabbage thoroughly.  Better to use your hands in mixing.

Easy-to-Prepare Kimchi

7.  Put the Kimchi into a container or jar.
8.  Press the top of the Kimchi down with your hands to protect your Kimchi from being exposed to too much air.  Seal container tightly.

Easy-to-Prepare Kimchi

You can eat this Kimchi right away and call it fresh Kimchi.  If you want to ferment the Kimchi, keep it at room temperature for a few days.  I fermented my Kimchi for 3 days and then stored it inside the refrigerator.

If after a few days of fermentation and you find white stuff (mold) on top of the Kimchi, remove the top layer and the rest of Kimchi will still be good for the months and months.

My 1st Kimchi

Jal Meokkesseumnida!!!! (Bon appetit! in Korean)

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This is our dinner tonight! 🙂 

Adobong Pusit

What you need:

1/2 kilo Squids
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp Pepper
4 cloves Garlic, mashed
1/3 cup Vinegar
1 tbsp Sugar
1/4 cup Water
3 tbsp Canola Oil
1 Onion, diced
Red Chilies or a dash of Chili flakes/powder (optional)

What you need to do:

1.  Clean the squids by pulling out head, tentacles, innards and transparent ribs from body of squids.  Discard innards and transparent ribs.  Wash bodies and tentacles.  

2.  Marinate squids in salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar, water, sugar and bay leaf.  Leave for an hour.  After an hour, drain and set aside the marinade.

3.  Saute onion in hot oil.  Add drained squids and mix for about 10-12 minutes (or until juices evaporate).  Strain your marinade then add to sauteed squids.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.  If you want your Adobong Pusit spicy, add chopped red chilies or a dash of chili flakes/powder.

Serve Adobong Pusit with steamed rice.

What’s your dinner tonight???

While I almost didn’t prepare anything for our Christmas Noche Buena, I was very much prepared for the New Year Media Noche.  Celebrating New Year is more of a big deal for me because I love beginnings, I love starting anew. 

Our table spread on New Year’s eve consisted mostly of fruits, a noodle dish, leche flan (for dessert), champagne to toast to the new year and my main, Baked Ham.

Welcome 2011!

It has been my dream to bake my own ham so I decided last year that I will try my best to make one for the new year.  Thank God I found half of a leg ham in the supermarket a week before Christmas.  It’s so hard to find a small whole leg ham here (everything is so big!) so our best option was to get a half leg.

Welcome 2011!

I started preparing the ham on the 30th December.  Boiled the ham in pineapple juice, beer and brown sugar for an hour (no precise measurements, just “to taste”).  Then sliced off the skin, scored the ham and pushed whole cloves unto the ham.  The cloves add flavor to the ham and at the same time serves as decoration.  Covered in foil, I stored the ham inside the fridge overnight.

Three hours before midnight of 31st December, I baked the ham (180-200 degrees) for an hour while brushing sauce from boiled ham unto the surface of the ham every 20 minutes.  On the last quarter of the hour, I placed two pineapple slices on top of the ham.

It was a good first try and the Husband approved!

Welcome 2011!

I cooked one of our favorite noodle dishes, Sotanghon Noodles with Scallops and Snow Peas If you want the recipe, you can find it here.

Welcome 2011!

Welcome 2011!

At the stroke of midnight, we welcomed 2011 with hopeful, happy faces as we toasted “Cheers to a brighter 2011!”