Kimchi Fried Rice

While studying and writing papers I was hankering for something easy and inexpensive to make. I had forgotten about the container of kimchi in the back of the refrigerator and stumbled across it just the other day. So I got to thinking that I should make something with the kimchi. Well I would have had it in a bowl of noodles, but I ran out of noodles a while ago. Instead there was a container of leftover rice and I figured why not combine the two. I was inspired to make this dish from watching Maangchi’s youtube video on Kimchi Fried Rice and just had to make it. But with a few changes.

Here are the ingredient needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/3 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup Spam
  • 1/3 cup kimchi
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. plum sauce

Step 1: Rinse the frozen sweet peas to remove the ice; set aside.

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Step 2: Cut the Spam and kimchi into small pieces; set aside.

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Step 3: In a large pan, add 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil over high heat.

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Step 4: Add the egg and fry it to however you prefer it. (I like a slightly runny yolk, this way when I cut into the egg the yolk will give the dish a creamy texture.)

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Step 5: Remove the fried egg from the pan and onto the cutting board. (I accidentally broke the yolk, such a sad moment.)

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Step 6: In the same pan, add in the defrosted sweet peas, Spam, and kimchi and cook until heated through.

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Step 7: Add 1/4 cup of water and the rice.

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Step 8: Break the rice up with a spatula and again cook until heated through.

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Step 9: Add in 3-4 Tbsp. kimchi juice and stir to combine.

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Step 10: Add in the sesame oil and toss to combine.

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Step 11: Turn off the heat and add in the plum sauce and stir until well mixed.

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Step 12: Scoop into a large bowl and top it with the fried egg and serve. (I had to make this again the next day, but I added Emoki mushrooms.)

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Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki, also known as ddeokbokki or topokki,is a popular Korean snack food which is commonly purchased from street vendors or Pojangmacha. Originally it was called tteok jjim (떡찜), and was a braised dish of sliced rice cake, meat, eggs, and seasoning.

So while I was completely and utterly sick from a head cold for a good week I ended up watching some Korean dramas online and I stumbled upon one called Gourmet. This drama was all about the traditional foods of Korea and of course the drama of the characters’ lives, but anyways I got really into the food shown on it. This has led me to wanting to make some of the dishes. Well at least the ones that I can kind of manage with the limited supplies on hand in my town.

So today, finally after getting over the nasty cold, I will show you how to make topokki. Well a version that I am able to make right now. After looking over dozens of food blogs and videos I have come up with my own version. Let’s hope it’s not too spicy to eat. As an added bonus you can add instant ramen to the mix as well and it’s really tasty.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1lb. rice cake sticks (there are different types, the smaller they are the less time it takes to cook them, so be careful when cooking them, try not to overcook them.)
  • 4 oz. fish cake, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. cabbage (optional)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 green onion, cut into 2-inch pieces (I had tiny ones from the market so I used 3 of them)
  • 4 boiled eggs (optional)
  • 8 oz. fish meat balls (optional)

Sauce

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  • 2 Tbsp. gochujang (hot pepper paste) I’ll be using a milder version (Korean Bean Paste [green container])
  • 1 tsp. red pepper powder (paprika for my taste)
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp. mirin
  • 1 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 cups anchovy stock, vegetable stock, water, or in this case dashi
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the rice cakes as indicated by the packaging.

Step 2: In a large saucepan, add stock or water, pepper paste, sugar, corn syrup, pepper powder, and garlic and bring to a boil. (When you add in the pepper paste make sure you press it in, cause it doesn’t like to dissolve easily)

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Step 3: Add in the rice cakes, cabbage, carrot, and fish cake. (Add the instant ramen)

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Step 4: Turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Step 5: Add in remaining ingredients.

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Step 6: Keep stirring until rice cakes are cooked through, or soft. (I removed everything but the sauce so that I could thicken the sauce without overcooking everything else.)

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Step 7: Serve hot and garnish if desired with sesame seeds and sliced green onion.

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Sweet Potato Rice

After the holidays there seems to be a surplus of sweet potatoes in the house and I can’t seem to figure out what to do with them all. Well other than to make desserts and such for the most part, but I found a recipe that used sweet potato in a different way, it’s called Sweet potato rice (Gogumabap). It is a healthy and filling dish.

Besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta-carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid), vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. Pink, yellow and green varieties are also high in beta-carotene.

Perfect for the cold winters and tiring nights. Simple to make and inexpensive.

I will be combining two different recipes to make it as simple as possible. Gogumabap requires a pot or stone pot to cook the dish. Instead I will be using a rice cooker, like in Sweet Potatoes Rice (地瓜飯).

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 3 cups long grain rice
  • 2 sweet potatoes (washed, peeled, & cut 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 3 cups water/chicken broth/vegetable broth (or any type of combination)

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup green onion or Chinese garlic chives, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil (suppose to use 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, but didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less)
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar (optional)

Step 1: Wash the rice and rinse 2-3 times.

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Step 2: Fill the rice cooker according to the instructions of the model with water/broth combination.

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Step 3: Add sweet potatoes to the rice and begin rice cooker.

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Step 4: Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients until well mixed.

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Step 5: Serve sweet potato rice in a serving bowl and spoon the sauce on top.

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Notes: You can add a fried egg to add a protein to the dish.

Khaliat Nahal (Bee’s Hive Bread)

Khaliat al Nahal (known by many as Khaliat Nahal) literally means Bee’s Hive in Arabic. This is because the buns are baked close to each other in a round pan in a honeycomb like pattern and they are glazed with a honey flavored syrup. Now there are many different recipes for this dish. I have compiled a group of them and found an easier and less expensive version.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

Dough

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pkg. dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm water (may need more or less, just enough to form a soft dough) (I added 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • sesame seeds

Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. honey

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp. water

Step 1: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, powdered milk, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Step 2: Mix in the yeast, vegetable oil, and enough warm water to form a soft dough.

Step 3: Knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be smooth in texture.

Step 4: Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and place plastic wrap over the bowl. (I recommend to not cover the dough with the cloth, it will stick to the dough. Instead just lightly oil the plastic wrap and cover the dough with it.)

Step 5: Proof for 1 + 1/2 hours.

Step 6: Meanwhile in a sauce pan, combine the sugar, water, and honey.

Step 7: Bring to a boil and allow it to lightly thicken over med-low heat, 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool.

Step 8: Lightly oil and line the bottom of a baking pan. (I will be using a 12-inch cake pan.)

Step 9: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 10: Punch the dough down and divide it into small balls, about 2-3 Tbsp.

Step 11: Create a well in the balls and add 1/2-1 tsp. cream cheese in the center and encase the cream cheese in the dough.

Step 12: Place dough balls into a lightly oiled and lined baking pan, starting from the center and moving outward like a honeycomb.

Step 13: Brush dough balls with the egg wash and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Step 14: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Step 15: Remove from oven and immediately pour the cooled simple syrup over the buns.

Step 16: Cover the buns with foil and allow to cool to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. (The syrup will be absorbed into the buns.)

Curry Rice

This week I was craving for some curry, but not an overly spicy Chinese version my dad always makes. So I figured I could make a Japanese curry rice dish. Went to the local oriental market and picked up a box of mild Japanese curry roux.

Curry (カレー karē?) is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. It is commonly served in three main forms: curry rice (カレーライス karē raisu?), karē udon (thick noodles) and karē-pan. Curry rice is most commonly referred to simply as ‘curry’ (カレー karē?).

A wide variety of vegetables and meats are used to make Japanese curry. The basic vegetables are onions, carrots, and potatoes. For the meat, beef, pork, and chicken are the most popular. Katsu-karē is a breaded deep-fried pork cutlet with curry sauce.

Today I will be making a basic curry rice dish. It is inexpensive and very easy to make. The great thing about this dish is that the next day you reheat it, the curry taste even better.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 box = 100g (3.5oz.) Golden Curry Sauce Mix (Mild) or whichever brand/spiciness you prefer
  • 8oz. meat (chicken, beef, pork, etc.), chopped bite-sized
  • 2 medium onions, chopped bite-sized
  • 1 1/2 medium potatoes, chopped bite-sized
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped bite-sized
  • 3 1/2 cups water (or 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken broth) (*I used 1 can 14.5oz. chicken broth and the rest was water)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 servings of cooked rice

Step 1: Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over med-hi heat.

Step 2: Add the onions, carrots, and potatoes. Stir to coat with the oil and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add in the meat and cook until it is no longer pink.

Step 4: Add the water and bring to a boil.

Step 5: Remove the foam that has formed on the surface.

Step 6: Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 15 minutes.

Step 7: Turn off the heat.

Step 8: Break the curry roux into pieces and add to the pot.

Step 9: Mix well until curry roux is completely melted.

Step 10: Turn heat on med-low and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Step 11: Serve the curry on a hot bed of rice.

Optional: Here’s a video on how to make (curry rice)

Spam Musubi

While watching the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” I came across Spam Musubi from Mana Bu’s. I just had to recreate it. Since I didn’t want to go the conventional route and make it with the traditional mold. I will be recreating the version on the show, which is similar to an onigiri. Here is a review of Mana Bu’s Musubi.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 canned Spam (any flavor you would like to use)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin(I didn’t have any so I will be making a substitute)
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3-4 cups of cooked Japanese short grain rice
  • sheets of nori (for sushi making)

Step 1: Slice the Spam into 1/2 inch slices.

Step 2: Brown the Spam in a skillet over high heat until both sides are browned.

Step 3: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, water, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

Step 4: Once the Spam is done browning, turn the heat down to low and pour in the sauce mix.

Step 5: Simmer the sauce gently for 20-30 minutes, the sauce will have thicken as well.

Step 6: Once the sauce thickens, take the pan off the heat and set aside. (I will be cutting them in half to fit into the onigiri shape)

Step 7: Wet your clean hands with cold water sprinkle with salt.

Step 8: Take 1/2 cup of the rice and place on one hand. (I couldn’t take pictures for steps 8-12, my hands were covered in water, rice, and nori)

Step 9: Make a dent in the middle of the rice with your other hand.

Step 10: Place in 1 piece of the Spam in the dent.

Step 11: Working rapidly, wrap the rice around the filling, and form into a ball. To make the traditional triangular shape, cup your hand sharply to form each corner, and keep turning it until you are happy with the shape. (I recommend using a mold, it was really difficult keeping it in a triangle shape.)

Step 12: Wrap the musubi with 1-2 strips of nori seaweed.

Beef Bowls

While living in Miami I had tried my very first beef bowl and it blew my mind. I just had to make some. So I will be attempting to recreate a traditional beef bowl today.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 5oz. thinly sliced beef (I will be using veal, didn’t slice it thin enough)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 oz. (2 tsp.) ginger root, grated
  • 2 servings of rice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sake
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water

Step 1: In a large pan, add in the onion and hot water and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Allow to boil for 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft.

Step 3: Add the sake, sugar, salt, soy sauce, ginger and beef; stir, cover, and boil for 8-10 minutes over medium heat.

Step 4: Taste and add more sugar and/or soy sauce if needed.

Step 5: Serve over the steamed rice.

Notes: Leftover broth can be used for dipping.

Grapefruit Bread

Going through a nostalgic moment this week and bought a few grapefruits for breakfast or to just snack on during the day. I remember sitting in the kitchen on the weekends as a child and spooning on teaspoons of sugar on top of grapefruit half and sharing it with my mom. It must have been a warm day with a bit of wind because the kitchen was brightly lit and the windows were wide open. When these memories hit me I just had to buy some grapefruits. I got some and after about 4 days of eating grapefruit I still had one left and I didn’t feel like eating it with just plain old sugar. So I figured I could incorporate it into a baked good of some sort. Nothing to fancy or anything. Just something easy to make and will only require 1-2 grapefruits.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

Bread

  • (3oz.) 3/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 egg whites
  • (6oz.) 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (If using plain yogurt add 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 grapefruits, segmented, coarsely chopped, and juice reserved (I will be using an orange in place of 1 grapefruit, don’t do this it will change the taste of the bread and not in a good way either.)
  • 1 Tbsp. grapefruit zest
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

Glaze

  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. grapefruit juice

Bread

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease the loaf pan (I lined the bottom with parchment paper)

Step 2: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, add the egg whites and whisk them until they become frothy.

Step 4: Add in the yogurt, milk, and oil; whisk together until combined.

Step 5: Stir in the grapefruit pieces and zest.

Step 6: Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until no lumps.

Step 7: Fold in the pecans.

Step 8: Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Step 9: Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.

Step 10: Cool bread in loaf pan for 1 hour on a wire rack. (Forgot this part and when I removed the bread, it broke apart, so I put it back into the pan)

Step 11: Remove loaf from pan and cool completely

Glaze

Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and 1 Tbsp. grapefruit juice

Step 2: Stir in additional 1/2 tsp. of juice to achieve a thick, but pourable consistency.

Step 3: Add 1/2 tsp. of juice in drops if necessary.

Step 4: Place a piece of foil beneath the wire rack.

Step 5: Drizzle glaze over the top of the loaf.

Step 6: Allow the glaze to set before slicing.

Fouace Nantaise

Coming across a brioche recipe that looked really pretty I wanted to make it sometime soon. It’s a french brioche made in Nantes, France. It’s suppose to be in the shape of a star, but seriously I first thought it was a flower. Oh well it’s still quite pretty to look at in any sense. The bread is light and soft on the inside and a hard crust. Perfect for some a bread pudding or topped with jam. I found the recipe for it at FOUACE NANTAISE – a taste of home. I am going to recreate this bread, but with a few changes to some ingredients. Since some of the ingredients I am unable to find in town.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided and more for kneading
  • 1 pkg. instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg, for egg wash, lightly beaten

Step 1: In a medium bowl, add 1 cup flour, yeast, and 1 Tbsp sugar.

Step 2: Pour in warm milk and stir briefly just to well all ingredients.

Step 3: Allow to proof for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled in size, puffy, and bubbly. (Next time I will just proof without the flour)

Step 4: While yeast is proofing, in a large bowl, add in the rest of the flour, salt, remaining sugar, butter, water, juice, and 4 eggs.

Step 5: Stir with a wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients are moistened and well blended.

Step 6: Add in the yeast mixture.

Step 7: Stir together until well blended. (I had to add 4-5 handfuls of flour to become solid enough to knead)

Step 8: Scrape the sticky dough onto a well-floured surface.

Step 9: Knead the dough, while adding additional flour, until dough is no longer sticky and is soft, smooth, and elastic.

Step 10: Carefully divide dough into 6 equal portions.

Step 11: Form into balls.

Step 12: Make a flow design with the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet (Don’t worry about gaps and try to keep it center)

Step 13: Cover lightly with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel.

Step 14: Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Step 15: Preheat oven to 350°F

Step 16: Brush the dough with the egg wash.

Step 17: Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a deep golden brown color. (Branches of the star will have started to pull away from center and if you tap the bottom it should sound hollow.)

Scottish Shortbread

So I was watching Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Christmas and saw him make a pretty simple shortbread recipe. I really wanted to make it, but a less expensive and wasteful version. It goes really well with tea or coffee in the winter afternoons. This version is a more rustic feel to it and is a bit crumbly, but really buttery.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Step 1: Take out an 8-in. tart pan with a removable bottom (Since I don’t have that I’ll be using an 8-in. cake pan)

Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, rice flour, salt and sugar together.

Step 3: Take the frozen butter and grate it over the flour mixture (you can add the vanilla extract at this time)

Step 4: With your fingertips, work the butter into the flour by lifting small handfuls and rubbing the butter and flour together. Do this until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. (do not form a dough)

Step 5: Evenly press the shortbread into the tart pan, smoothing the top as much as possible.

Step 6:Place shortbread in freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 7: Preheat oven to 300°F with the rack in the center of the oven.

Step 8: Score the top of the shortbread, by slightly cutting the top of the shortbread creating 8 or 16 triangles. (will flake don’t worry about it)

Step 9: Press a thumbprint at the edge of each triangle.

Step 10: Prick the surface shortbread with a fork.

Step 11: Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until light golden/biscuit color.

Step 12: Allow to cool slightly in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes

Step 13: With a sharp knife cut all the way through the score marks on the shortbread (do this while shortbread is still quite warm)

Step 14: Allow shortbread to cool completely in pan on wire rack before removing from pan.

Notes:

  1. If you have overly warm hands you can place the flour into the refrigerator to reduce melting of the butter

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