Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Korea - Dakgangjeong

Last recipe from Korea today so we're finishing on this Korean popcorn chicken that's served as street food pretty commonly. The kids are already fans of American style popcorn chicken so let's see what they think of the Korean version.


  • 2 packs of 500g chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • Some cooking oil for deep frying


  • 5 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl. Add the ginger powder, rice wine, salt and pepper. I got my hands in there and rubbed it all into the chicken but you can stir it if you don't like touching raw meat.

Cover and put in the fridge for a couple of hours. When the time is almost up you can make the sauce by stirring together all the sauce ingredients. It's that easy.

Heat some oil in a frying pan for frying the chicken. Remove it from the fridge and add the cornflour. Making sure each piece is coated well. Fry the chicken in batches, draining on kitchen paper when it's done.

In another frying pan heat up the sauce and as it starts to bubble, add the fried chicken. Stir well so the chicken is coated by the sauce. The sauce will thicken and turn sticky. Then it's ready to serve. Garnish with some sesame seeds if you like or some chopped spring onions.

We really enjoyed Korean popcorn chicken. I think it's much nicer than American style popcorn chicken but the kids didn't agree. It was warmingly spicy and the sauce was perfectly covering every bit of chicken. It'd be nice with rice to balance out the chili heat but I'd decided to serve it alone street food style as it's mostly eaten that way in Korea (vendors sell it in a paper cup with a wooden fork or toothpick to eat it with). Either way, it's delicious! :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Korea - Samgyupsal

Samgyupsal is a grilled pork belly dish often cooked at the diners table in Korean restaurants. Translated to English the name is Three Layer Flesh referring to the skin, fat and meat of pork belly. I really like this cut of meat so I'm happy to try this Korean gui (grilled dish).


Korean Barbecue Sauce
Sliced Pork Belly

Pour two-thirds of the sauce onto the pork belly. Cover and leave to marinade for several hours.

Grill the meat until crispy. It's as simple as that :) Serve with the remaining barbecue sauce.

This was delicious! The barbecue sauce had caramelised on the pork giving it a lovely sweet barbecue flavour. Belly pork might be my new summer barbecue favourite. I love it already because it's cheap but really flavourful. I often slow cook it though so this method makes a nice change. Simple to make and soooo tasty, winner!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Korea - Mandoo

These Korean Dumplings are made in lots of different ways using different meats and fillings. I really like versatile recipes like this. I'm using pork and cabbage in mine today.


  • 1 pack minced  pork
  • 1 onion (grated)
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • 4 ounces​ sweet potato noodles
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package circular mandoo wrappers
Sadly I couldn't find the mandoo wrappers so I had to use spring roll wrappers.

Firstly shred your cabbage as finely as you can. Then parboil it for 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

Soak the noodles in boiling water until softened. Then cut them into 1cm pieces. Set aside.

Mix together the minced pork, grated onion, cabbage and noodles in a bowl.

Add the oil, soy sauce, salt & pepper. Mix well. This is your dumpling filling.

Now it's time to assemble the dumplings. Put a tablespoon of mix in the centre of the wrapper and use water to seal it closed.

It's difficult to see the wrapper in this picture but it turns clear when soaked in water to soften it. Fold the dumplings into little parcels and place on a floured plate.

Fry the dumplings in some oil. Turning after a few minutes to fry the other sides. Put a lid on for a last few minutes to steam and fully cook the dumplings.

Serve with a spicy dipping sauce. We had sweet chilli sauce.

Delicious! The filling had formed a solid, meaty lump inside the dumplings that went really well with the chilli sauce. We really enjoyed them. The wrappers had gone a bit soggy from the last part of cooking with the lid on but apart from that the dumplings were lovely. Yum!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Korea - Japchae

This dish uses Korean Glass Noodles made from Sweet Potato Starch. They're transparent when cooked which looks strange but I'm interested to try them in this stir fry.

Glass Noodles

  • 6 ounces frying steak 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper 
  • tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 onion 
  • 2 carrots 
  • 1 package green beans
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 4 ounces baby spinach
  • 250g glass noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Firstly, cut the steak up into thin strips and place in a bowl. Mix in the garlic powder, sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.

Saute the steak in some oil until it's browned.

While it's sizzling away you can start chopping up the other vegetables thinly.

Cook the glass noodles according to the packet instructions. Add the vegetables to the pan with the steak and stir fry until cooked through. Add the spinach last for just a few minutes to wilt it..

Drain and add the glass noodles, also adding the remaining sugar and soy sauce. Toss everything well, sprinkle with some of the sesame seeds and serve!

JD and I love stir fries so we were keen to try this one. The beef smelled delicious as it cooked and we were practically drooling as it was served. The steak and vegetables didn't disappoint, they were delicious with the simple sauce from the soy sauce coating everything beautifully. I really didn't like the glass noodles though! The texture of them was like warm, savoury gummy bears. Too chewy and kind of slimy. It was a shame because they'd soaked up the sauce really well but I couldn't eat more than a few mouthfuls of them. Luckily there was plenty of steak and veg to save the meal :)

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Korea - Hotteok

Moving on to K now and I've decided to make a selection of Korean foods. In 2015, I made Jijims which are potato cakes served with a sesame dipping sauce. I really liked them.


Today I'm going to make Hotteok. Sweet pancakes sold as street food in Korea. They're stuffed with brown sugar and nuts, mostly eaten in winter.



1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

1/4 cup brown suagr
2 tablespoons chopped nuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Start by combining the dough ingredients in a bowl and warming the milk.

Add the milk and stir well until a dough forms.

Cover the dough and leave to rest for an hour.

Mix together the filling ingredients in a bowl.

Cut the dough into 8 pieces. In your hand flatten each piece out and make into a circle. Put a spoon of filling in the middle and close the dough up to make a small ball.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and when hot place the dough balls in the pan. Use something flat and disc shaped to press down each ball into a disc shape. I used the bottom of a bottle of honey.

Cook on each side for a few minutes until browned.

Remove from the pan and serve as they are or with some ice cream.

I really liked these! The dough is firmer than we're used to with pancakes but it's still delicious. The filling turns almost liquid so be careful when you bite into a hotteok as it can be really hot inside. It's easier to eat in your hand and bite rather than with a spoon which I guess is what makes it good street food. Especially on a wintery day when holding one would keep your hands warm. Lovely!
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