Make Your Own Korean Fusion Recipe with Recipe Bingo

You’d be hard-pressed to find anything that’s quite as fulfilling as digging into a culinary experiment and finding it to be a success. Being able to determine which flavors will go well together is a gift that not everyone is born with, and for many, it takes years of trial and error, of discovering different tastes and combinations, to finally be able to say that they have a solid grasp of even just the basics.

This is especially true for Korean cuisine, with its myriad of strong, intense flavors and subtle, delicate fragrances. Korean food is as rich and complex as the culture it embodies, and to be able to know the many flavors that function in this cuisine is already difficult enough – let alone trying to cook with them. A great game of bingo, however, could help you learn to work with these flavors.

Modifications to the traditional 75-ball bingo card, a 5×5 chart of numbers. Each spot on the chart presents a number, apart from the center square, which is labeled “FREE”, have been used to create bingo cards for different activities and events. Free Bingo Hunter, a website dedicated to online bingo portals, has reported that bingo portals often vary the themes of their games and promotions, with some giving away Flowers for Mother’s Day and then tickets to games during football season. It’s this versatility that helps bingo lend itself to different themes. In fact, bingo has even been used to teach the Korean vocabulary, through an app available on iTunes.

Cooking and learning new Korean dishes can be fun and having to use the Recipe Bingo can double the fun. Playing Recipe Bingo to create your own Korean fusion dishes is easy. As many of you know from following My Korean Kitchen, Korean cuisine combines colored ingredients because of a belief that they make it easier to absorb nutrients into the body. Korean cuisine follows a five-color, five-taste formula, and it is this formula that gives rise to our bingo game.

The five essential tastes are as follows:
• Sweet
• Sour
• Salty
• Hot
• Bitter

A perfect example of a dish that makes use of all of these tastes is bibimbap, but these can also be apparent in other classic Korean dishes. To prepare for your bingo game, list down five ingredients for each of the five essential tastes. Create your bingo card using any of the free bingo card templates available online, with each row being dedicated to one essential taste. Label each of the items on each row a number from 1-5.

Once you’re ready, roll a die. The number you roll corresponds to the ingredient you need to use in your Korean dish. Should you roll a six, you are free to choose among the ingredients, or add your own choice of ingredient even if it isn’t on the card. Allow yourself to experiment with different techniques, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results of your Recipe Bingo game.

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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.

 

Common Drama Words: Geureom (그럼)

I have been watching Korean drama lately.  I just finished watching 별에서 온 그대 (byeoleseo on kudae).  Although the English translated title of this drama is very popular, i still love breaking down the words of the title.  별 (byeol) means star with the place marker 에서  and 온 (on) is from the verb 오다 (oda) which means to come but since it’s in modifier form 온 actually denotes past event, this two words means came from star. 그대 means you which is typically used on songs and poems.  I am not sure if this is still being used in normal Korean conversation though.  So 별에서 온 그대 would mean You (who) came from stars 🙂

Anyway, after watching this 21-episode drama in marathon, i came to realise that there is this word I often hear at the end of the conversation.  This word I am referring to is  그럼 (geureom).  I actually had double thoughts if I heard the word right.  From what I know 그럼 means ‘so’ or ‘by the way’ as such I don’t expect it to be said right at the end of a statement.  It was weird that in most cases where I hear this word from the drama, the scene is the person who just said 그럼 would leave the person he/she is talking to.

To end my curiosity, I asked two of my Korean friends if I am hearing this word right.  This is what I learned from my them,  other than the meaning I know this word is apparently used frequently at the end of Korean conversation.  It means to end discussion and would suggest that the speaker is about to leave or bid goodbye.

Such a little thing but to someone who is eager to learn Korean, this is worthy to know especially that I someday still dream of being conversant in this language.

이거 지금 친구에서 알았어요…그럼 ^^

Seems or Looks Like Expression

I certainly love listening to Korean songs.  Although it is not a good way to learn the language due to some poetic license, it makes you recall phrases and words that you can actually hear being used in regular conversation.  Recently I am inflicted with LSS, short for Last Song Syndrome and the song that keeps on playing in my head these days is an OST from a reality show called ‘The Romantic’.  The song is entitled 사랑은 너인 것 같아 (Sarangeun Noin Kot Kata) by 나비 (Navi).   That part where she sings the lines 사랑은 너인 것 같아 feels like a big confession of a strange feeling that love brings.

The title of the song is typically translated as ‘I think My Love is You’.  I kept on wondering how the title has been translated this way because I only know  ‘think’ is 생각하다 (saenggakhada) in Korean plus 같아 (kata) as far as my little knowledge of the language means together with or like.   Finally, I saw answer to this.   Browsing on my Continuing Korean book, I saw this lesson on Modifiers with 것 같아요.  So this modifier actually means seems or looks as if, it literally means same thing as.

The book says it has been very popular expression to young speaker  (the book is published 2002 makes me think how young is young ^_^)  If I have to use what I just learned then the title of the song can be Seems You are My Love.  The book emphasizes on the use of this pattern even on situation where there is absolutely no doubt or question.  For someone who speaks English, ‘seems’ connotes a little uncertainty.  Typically used if the speaker is not so sure of a fact that he is stating.

Here are some examples of the use of this modifier.

  • 기차가 오는 것 같아요 (Kichaga oneun kot katayo) – The train seems to be coming
  • 감기에 걸린 것 같아요 ( Kamki-e kollin kot katayo) – I seem to have caught a cold
  • 내 책을 잊어버린 것 같아요  (Nae chaekeul ijeobeorin kot katayo) – I seem to have forgotten my book

The Fried of South Korea

My mind is still filled with memories from last visit to Seoul so I am posting about this experiences from now.  It’s lunch time so I am craving for chicken.   I think fried chicken is a menu that exists in almost all country, there is always a version that each is proud of.   Though i have seen people eating fried chicken in Korean dramas, I always thought it was a western influence, I never thought there is Korean version.

I got introduced to Korean style fried chicken when 본천 (Bonchon) started franchising in the Philippines.  Their chicken wings with chili and soy are really good.  Then my boss one time ordered for BBQ chicken with pickled raddish sidings.  I don’t eat radish but the Terri-Q wings is such a perfect pair with pickled radish.  I eventually learned to make one.

So this year,  I made sure I can eat fried chicken Korean style.  We ended up having lunch on a small chicken HOF in Jongno.  The place is called 오복영양 치킨 (Obokyeongyang Chicken).  We ordered for fried and barbecued chicken.  To our surprise it seems an order is one whole chopped chicken.  The chicken below is my order which is fried.

I tried to order for 밥 (rice) but they don’t serve.  I then realized that this place is which they call HOF is actually a pub that serves beer and chicken.  So this explains why the 삼동치킨  (Samtong Chicken) near the hotel opens by 3pm.

Just like BBQ Chicken here in Manila, they serve it with pickled radish plus a sidings that looks like a coleslaw to me.   It seems to be a perfect pair to fried chicken.  Good thing there is no 밥 is not available because i am able to finish my chicken.

The night before leaving Seoul, we looked for another chicken or HOF.  We really enjoyed our chicken the other day and we are craving for more.  All the HOFs are full and luckily we found this place named 치킨마니아 (Chicken mania). We actually don’t have a choice but to enter this restaurant since most are really full.  Well i guess we are just lucky becuase after getting seated the place got crowded in a few minutes.  We ordered for 마늘 치킨 (maneul chicken) or garlic chicken.

As expected it came with pickled radish and that coleslaw type side dish.  Seems to be pretty standard among chicken HOFs 🙂  I get to practice some Korean phrase during order and we learned our lesson the 1 order is too much for one person:

마늘 치킨 일 인분  주세요 (maneul chicken il inbun juseyo)

일 (il)  is one in Korean, 인분 (inbun) means serving or set while 주세요 (juseyo)  is verb used to request for something.  I think 주세요 has the same meaning as 부탁합니다 (putakhamnida).   The order came as expected so I guess i said the right thing.  Funny is the guy who seems to be the floor supervisor actually knows how to speak English, he is the one seating the guests.  We ordered beer and cider from him.

There is a laundry list of chicken menu in the HOFs we visited.  There maybe other variations that will surely tingle our taste buds.  I am saving this on my next visit 😉

Hangul Nal (한글날)

I am writing this post in celebration of Hangul Day.  The 9th of October is marked as 한글날 (Hangul nal) in South Korea.  According to Korean history this is the day when King Sejong proclaimed 훈민 정음 (Hunmin Jeongeum), the document that contains the writing system (sort of alphabet) for Koreans.

The North Koreans celebrate this during 15th of January and it is called 조선글날 (Choseongul Nal).  Based on some of my readings, in the earlier times Koreans are forced to write using the Chinese writing system but it was difficult for the Koreans to write their native words in Chinese. This is the reason why King Sejong tasked some scholars during his reign to come up with a writing system that will represent the words and sounds of Korean language.

In line with this, I am participating in the celebration of Hangul Nal being organized by the Talk to Me in Korean (TTMIK) online language site. I have been frequenting this site for up to date learnings on Korean and Hangul.  Together with my sister, we baked and decorated a cake to celebrate Hangul Day and sent it to HangeulDay2011@gmail.com.

You too can participate in this event by sending picture of your work of art with Hangul on it.  Check out the video message from 선현우 선생님 (Seon Hyeonwoo Seonsaengim of TTMIK)

If you are a Korean Language enthusiast your participation in this event will surely make a difference. Show Hangul some love =)

Hangul for Real

I was in Seoul for five days and it was a fascinating experience to personally hear Koreans speak and try out my little skills.  Being able to read Hangul is an advantage at least, so having that pocket dictionary will at least help you in case you can’t speak the language. 

Some of the most helpful greetings I have used are:

  • 안녕하세요 – annyeonghaseyo, which is an overly used phrase equivalent to good morning, good evening, hi or hello
  • 감사합니다 – kamsahamnida, to say thank you and i have also used 고마와요 (komawayo) after being served when we dined in.
  • 괜찮아 / 괜찮아요 (gwaenchana/gwaenchanayo) is very handy to say its okay, no problem or are you okay? (just change the intonation). 

Honestly I am not confident to speak the language but there are times that I am forced, instead of just doing some sign language. It really helps to know the basics:

  • 예/어니오 (ye/aniyo) which mean yes and no respectively are very basic as a reply to simple questions.  
  • ~ 즈세요 (~juseyo) the polite ending which means please give me.  This has been very useful when asking for something specially on traditional Korean restaurant where people don’t speak English at all.  I remember ordering rice and requesting for water using this phrase and it goes like this:
    • 밥 즈세요 (Bap juseyo) – ordering rice.
    • 물 즈세요 (mull juseyo) – requesting for water.
  • 얼마나요?  (olmanayo) simple but polite way to ask ‘how much?’
  • ~이/에요 (i.eyo/eyo) noun plus this ending is proven to be very helpful its like asking or saying..’is this ~’.  I remember using this to ask if the building in front of us is what we are looking for. Orange Shock 이에요? (Is this Orange Shock?) 
  • ~ 좋아요 (chuayo) this verb ending could mean ‘to like’, and I had the guts to say to an 아즈씨 (ajusshi or polite way to address an old man) 휘성씨 좋아해요  (Wheesungsshi chuahaeyo). Got it 😉  Wheesung is the famous R&B singer in Korea who is under Orange Shock label.

It was fun roaming around Seoul Korea.  Having a first hand experience trying at least a part of these things that I kept on studying since last year was worth it.  Much more, saying the above phrase the Korean way is fun.  I love the intonation.  I need to be better in speaking the language when I go back. 한극말을 잘 하고싶어 (Hangukmareul jal hagoshipo) I wish to be good in Korean.