Hunger, Eating and Food

Joining the Taste of Korea posted a challenge on how well I know Korean food. I know there are a lot more food to taste and learn. The number of 반찬 (banchan) alone is too many to learn in one cooking session.

In Korean you say 배고파요 (paegopayo) or 배고파 (paegopa) when you want to eat or when you are hungry. The first one is polite way to say it while the next one is the casual way. You will also hear 배고프다 (paegopeuda) when someone declares that he/she is hungry.

I am always amazed by the number of food served in a typical Korean meal. The 반찬 or side dishes are way too much. Just before you know it you are full picking on these banchan even before the main dish is served.

Banchan

 

My good friend Suhyeon treated us to a Korean dinner in one of the restaurants in Sinchon last April.  The picture above shows the side dishes served.  There were around 7 반찬 served.  The 동그랑땡 (donggeurangddaeng – mini beef patties) in stone warmer and the 파전 (pancheon- Korean onion pancakes) were the best.  

Sundubu Jjigae

I specially request for 순두부 찌개 (sundubu jjigae – spicy soft tofu stew) since this is my favorite. Then another set of side dish were served  although some of which are treated as seasoning or spice, I am surprised that another set of 반찬 was served along with the soup.  Instead of the usual plain white rice what went along with the food we had is the 오곡밥 (ogokbap).

Ogobap

Ogokbap is actually sticky rice.  It is made of five grains namely glutinous rice, millet, sorghum, black beans, and red beans.  I heard that this is usually eaten by Korean families during first full moon day in hopes of peace and a good harvest.

At this point, 제가 배고파요… I am getting hungry looking at the Korean food I got to taste in the past. What I wanted to have right now is the 김치볶음밥 (kimchibokkeumbap – kimchi fried rice).  To say I want to eat kimchibokkeumbap in Korean, this pattern can be used <food>을/를 먹을 거에요.  김치볶음밥을 먹을 거에요 (Kimchibokkeumbapeul mokeul koeyo – I want to eat kimchibokkeumbap). Depending on what letter or sound the food name ends you can simply attach 을 -eul for consonant ending food name  and 를 -reul for vowel. 

IMG_4334

I got to taste this kimchibokkeumbap from Yoogane in Myeongdong last April.  It was one of the best Korean fried rice I ever had. I got mine mixed with chicken and it was a super complete meal on its own.  The pan above it humongous, I can’t imagine I would be able will finish it ~ but I did LOL!

I have never into spicy food until I became hook with Korea.  Maybe it was a natural thing, me liking the country and the culture led me to liking the food as well.  Honestly it is not that I like every Korean food I had before but I get to appreciate the taste itself and I slowly grew fond of spicy dishes.   How about you?  What is your favorite Korean food? 

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Taste of Korea Philippines 2014

So I was not able to post anything last month, this is because I gave Taste of Korea Philippines 2014 a try. This is how crazy and fascinated I am with Korea, I learned how to cook some of their dishes and took my knack on it the next level.  I was busy the whole month preparing for the competition.

The Taste of Korea Philippines 2014 is a cooking contest exclusive to residents and is open to professional and amateur chef, by the way , I don’t fall in any of the two I am just an amateur cook 😛 It was sponsored by the Korean Cultural Center (KCC).  I must say this contest is  neatly organized.

Spot me! :-)
Spot me! 🙂

I did not win…LOL but I sincerely enjoyed the contest.  Being there and getting selected as one of the participants is good enough for me.  It was nerve wrecking.  Having to cook two dishes in 1 hour with the judges observing is so stressful. Now I know how it feels to be in Master Chef show.

I prepared one of my favorite Korean dish, 수두부 찌개 (Sun dubu jjigae) known as spicy soft tofu stew.  This is the very first authentic Korean dish I had.  In one of the local Korean restaurants in the Philippines, I tried this stew served in stone pot before in preparation for my first ever travel to South Korea in 2008.  I am never a fan of spicy food but this stew changed the way I eat spicy food.  I really liked the combination of tofu’s soft delicate taste and the spiciness of the stew.  Since then, this became one of my favorite Korean dishes.

Sundubu jjigae

Sundubu jjigae is easy to prepare.  I a sharing my not so winning recipe but it taste really good.

Ingredients:

For the Stock

12 dried anchovies (intestine part removed)

3 pcs of dried kelp (about 2 inches each)

1 medium sized onion (cut into half)

5 cloves of garlic

2 dried shiitake mushrooms

5 cups of water

 

For the stew

100 grams of beef or pork

100 grams cut cabbage kimchi

1 cup diced zucchini

20 pieces of clams

2 green onions (stem part)

1 green chili pepper

3 tbsp of hot pepper flakes

2 tsp olive oil

sesame oil

1 tube of sundubu (silken tofu)

1 tbsp of fish sauce

1 egg

Procedures:

  1. Prepare the stock first, pour 5 cups of water into a pot and add 12 dried anchovies after removing intestine part.
  2. Add onion, dried kelp, dried shiitake mushrooms, 5 cloves of garlic and boil it over high heat.
  3. Approximately 10 minutes later, lower the heat to low medium heat and boil it for another 20 minutes.
  4. Set aside the stock and take out the mushrooms and chop them into small pieces.
  5. Heat your earthen ware (or ceramic pot) on the stove and put 2 tsp of olive oil.
  6. Stir in 100 grams of pork.
  7. When the pork is browned, add the chopped shiitake mushroom and stir.
  8. Add 3 tbsp of hot pepper flakes and keep stirring for 1 minute.
  9. Add the kimchi and stir for another 1 minute
  10. Pour 2 cups of the stock.
  11. Add 1 tbsp of fish sauce.
  12. Cut the tube of Soon du bu (soft Tofu) in half and squeeze it out into the pot and break the tofu with a spoon several times in the pot.
  13. Add the clams (it opens when it is cooked)
  14. When the clams are cooked, put off the fire and garnish 2 chopped green onions, 1 green chili pepper and enoki mushroom on top.
  15. Crack egg and drizzle some sesame oil before serving.

Instead of serving this with plain rice, i made some Korean style burrito which is basically kimchi fried rice, bulgogi, cheese and seaweeds wrapped in tortilla. It was a hit at home when I was practicing although I did not get to impress the judges 😛  A chef in a 5 star hotel actually won and to compete with chefs and aspiring chef was a feat in itself for an amateur like me.

Joining this contest was like ticking one item in my bucket list.  It was a first for me and it was something I enjoyed doing.