My Korean food making experience-Season 1

I ate Korean food in whole my life, but was not interested in making food that I only could make few Korean food. So I decided to learn Korean food, and start listening class from 2 weeks ago. I’m listening the “Korean food Craftsman cook” certificate class to learn the Korean food.

However, to acquiring this certification is not that easy. Because firstly, there are 51 kinds of Korean foods to learn and you have to remember all the process of making each kinds of the food. In the test day, you have to make 2 foods which are selected randomly. Secondly, you have to cut the ingredient in the fixed sized. For example, the mushroom should be in 0.2cm thickness and 3cm length in the ‘Korean mushroom porridge’ cuisine. In every food recipe, there are fixed standard of the ingredients size. Finally, you have to make the food in on time. Normally the time limit is 20-30 minutes for one food.

IMG_3547These are the two Korean food measurements. The big one is usually used for measuring the amount of the rice and the water. The spoon Is usually used for measuring the sauce(soy sauce, red pepper paste), salt, sugar…etc.

Today I made “Korean Steamed egg”(계란찜), Tangpyeongchae(탕평채) and Korean mushroom porridge(장국죽)

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This is the food which I finally made. This food visual seems not that yummy, but the taste was not that bad. 🙂 I brought home and my family ate it all. I hope I can make it better in next time.

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To make the Korean Steamed egg, first pour the water five times as much as the egg amount, and then put it inside the pot and boil about 13-15 minutes. Then Turn off the fire and put the sliced mushroom on the top of the egg and steam it. The black one which is in top of the egg is the sliced mushroom. In this time, I pour the water little more than the suitable amount that the steamed egg was not made well. 😦

 

 

Korean frequently eat the steamed egg dish and it is good for eating with spicy food. Because steamed egg helps you to feel less spicy.

What I felt during making Korean food is we have to throw away many parts of the ingredient to make the Korean food pretty. The egg which is cooked separately from yolks and whites should be cuted in 0.2cm length and in 4cm thickness. I threw away all the end of the egg.

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Cooking tip what I learned in the class is that if you want to make the good shape of the egg slice, wipe the cooking oil with the kitchen towel after putting the cooking oil in the pen. Then the bubbles can be less made in the flat egg.

Thanks for reading. Next time I will introduce about making the Bibimbap(mixed rice) Korean dish.:)

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Fish bread(Bungeoppang) Character Analysis-from how you eat

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Fish bread, which is called ‘Bungeoppang’ in Korean, is popular Korean street snack. It is shaped as the fish with the sweet red bean filled in. In winter, it is easy to see the truck that sells the fish bread in the street. The taste is soft, sweet and fluffy and a little crispy.

In Korea, we have a physical test with the fish bread for fun! Test your personality with which part you eat first.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 6.17.39 AMEats head first: An easy-going optimist, unconcerned with trivial things. Says whatever comes to mind, is passionate, but the passion can dwindle easily.

Eats tail first: Cautious. A romanticist concerned with the smallest things; is slow in catching onto other’s feelings.
Eats stomach first: Masculine, active, bright, and outgoing.
Eats fins first: Temperamental and childish. A loner.
Cuts it in half and eats the tail first: Polite, good at saving money, and a rationalist.
Cuts it in half and eats the head first: Strong willed who goes through with a plan once it is decided. Stingy, and does not like to lend money.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Are Scissors commonly used in Korea restaurant?

The answer is YES. In Korea Kitchen scissors are commonly used not only in restaurants but also in home.

I remember my American friend was surprised when he saw people are cutting the noodles with scissors in Korea restaurant. However, in many type of the Korean restaurants use the scissors. Today I will introduce which type of the Korean food is commonly used the scissors.

1. Korean Barbecue

At first, grill the whole meat and then when it is cooked cut the meat with scissors as you can see in below.

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The scissors are more easy to cut the meat rather than the knife that almost all of the Korean barbecue restaurants use the scissors for cutting the meat. Also, in some of the restaurant waiter cuts the meat, but mostly the customers should bake and cut the meat by themselves.

2. Naengmyeon(Korean cold noodles)

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Normally Korean cold noodles are durable that it is quite hard to cut the noodles only with your teeth. Accordingly, normally people cut the noodles with the scissors first for the cross shape as you can see in the above picture. If you can’t see the scissors in  Naengmyeon house, ask to the waiter. Then he will bring it for you.

 

3. Seollengtang(soup of bone and stew meat) and Kalguksu(Knife-cut noodles)

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Seollengtang is a Korean soup made from ox bones, brisket and other cuts and Kalguksu is the handmade Korean noodle dish which knife-cut wheat flour noodles served in a large bowl and other ingredients. Both of the dishes also serve the kimchi and the radish kimchi as the side dishes as you can see in the below picture.

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Then you have to take these out to the plate with chopsticks or with tongs by yourself as much as you will eat, and then cut it with scissors to small pieces.

3. Spicy Seafood Stew

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Seafood in stew is slippery and little tough that it should be cut in to pieces before eating it. At first, seafood stew which need to be boiled came out with scissors and tongs in table. Then the seafood stew is boiled in the customers’ table and the customers cut the seafood by themselves.

4. Korean Pork Cutlet

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Pork cutlet is served with fork and knifes in many pork cutlet restaurants, but some of them give the scissors instead of knives for cutting the food. I assume this is because for some Korean cutting with scissors are easier than the knives.

5. Korean street food

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Spicy rice cake(called Tteokbokki) and fried snacks(called Twigim); sweet potatoes, shimp, dumplings, squid, vegetables etc are one of the common Korean street food. As you can see in the above picture, when people cook the food, they frequently use scissors when cutting the food like fries, fish cake, eggs to put those in the Tteokbokki soup.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 7.35.02 PMAlso in street food restaurants, the scissors and tongs are prepared in each tables. When you are eating the Korean street food, you can cut those in a good size for eating it. 🙂Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 2.56.42 PM

Those 5 examples are just the part of the Korean foods which use the scissors. There are more list of the Korean food which commonly use the scissors. Then you will be curious why Korean use the scissors frequently.

In my opinion, there are main 2 reasons why Korean frequently uses the scissors for cutting food.

1. Korea Hurry-hurry culture

Korea has Hurry-hurry culture(called “Pali-Pali” in Korean) and many Korean has a habit of handling matters quickly and prematurely. For example, normally many Korean eat meal within 20 minutes, drink alcohol quickly and drunk fast, typical Korean restaurants serve the food fast. So I assume Korean also prefer the tools which can cut the food fast, easily and the scissors fit well in Korean characteristic.

2. Cooked by customers 

In many Korean food restaurants, customers have to cook by themselves for some part of the process of cooking. For example, grill the beef in Korean Barbecue, bowl the sausage stew and bowl the Bulgogi hot pot in the customer table. Accordingly, the tools, which the customers could easily cut and not dangerous, should be prepared and the scissors was the proper tool in these requirement. I think the knife will be little more dangerous for using compare to the scissors.

3. Many side dishes

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Korean food has many side dishes in one meal compared to other countries dishes. In typical Korean food restaurants have 11~25 side dishes that the possibility of having food which is hard to cut in one meal is high. Accordingly, the scissors are getting common for the use of cutting food.

Thanks for reading.:)

 

Why Pickles are always with western meal in Korea?

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My American friend asked me “Why there are pickles with every western meal in Korea? Pickles with pizza or with spaghetti is weird”. So I thought about the reason why Korean eat pickles with western food and today I will explain about it.:)

When you visit the western restaurant in Korea, you can easily see the pickles for the side dish. Korean usually eat pizza, spaghetti and other western food with pickles and I also like to eat with pickles. Even in the Mexican food, there is the side dish which is similar with pickles. The below picture is the Quesadilla what I ordered in Mexican restaurant located in Korea. The right side of the small bowls is the mix of chopped pickles, carrot and white radish.

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I visited the Costa Rica before, in fact  I never saw the pickles in any restaurant. When I was there, I thought the side dishes like pickles are common for the food, because I was grown in Korea where the pickles are always coming with the western food. Accordingly, at the first time when I ordered the food in Costa Rica, it was strange for me that there was no pickle or other side dishes with main dish. I asked to the waiter “Is there any pickles or something like that?” ,and he looked at me strangely. So I noticed it is not common for giving the side dishes such as pickles with main dishes.

In my opinion, the main reason why Korean eat pickles with western food is in the Korean food style; Korean food always has the side dishes.

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In typical Korean food, the side dishes should be with rice and soup and Kimchi is always included. 5-6 kinds of side dishes in one meal is normal for Korean, but I assume it will be uncommon for other countries’ people.

Korean doesn’t eat just side dishes by itself . We always eat the side dishes with other food such as rice. Few months ago, I had a chance for eating dinner with Indian person, but I was surprised because first he only ate Kimchi by itself without other dishes. I think eating the foods together was not common for him. Meanwhile, Korean eat the food together such as Kimchi with rice, soup with rice. Accordingly, Korean also like to eat the western food with this habit that we eat the western food with pickles. I assume that for the other countries people the pickles are just an appetizer, but for Korean the pickles are one of the side dishes which should be eaten with the main dish. I even saw the Korean who eat the piece of steak, one spoon of soup and pickles all together in one mouth in the western restaurant.

In Korean dish, it is common to have the specific combination of food. The most common combinations are in below.

1. Chicken with white radish

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This is the delivered fried chicken and always the white radish is coming with it. I really like to eat chicken with white radish!!

 

 

2. Jajangmyeon with yellow pickled radish

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Jajangmyeon is the black-bean-sauce noodles, and it always comes with yellow pickled radish. The yellow pickled is made from the white radish, but yellow food coloring was used during pickling it.

3. Bulgogi with lettuce 

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Bulgogi is the Korean barbequed beef and we eat the bulgogi wrapped in lettuce. Also many people prefer to put red pepper paste, garlic, onion in the lettuce additionally and eat together.

 

 

4. Boiled pork with kimchi 

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Eating the boiled pork with white kimchi or the normal red kimchi is common. Korean usually wrap the meat with kimchi and eat together as the barbequed beef.

The perfect combination of Korean foods like these examples are more than dozen.

Also the interesting thing is when I asked to the Korean as “What is your favorite Korean food?” then many of them answered as “I like Back-ban(meal with bowl of rice,soup, and side dishes)” or “I like the all kinds of Korean stew”. However, Korean always eat stew with rice and other side dishes that this answer includes they like to eat the combination of stew, rice and side dishes. Thus, many Korean prefer to eat the western food with this Korean food style that we are eating the western food with pickles. 🙂

This is my opinion of the question. If you have different idea or question please leave the comment. Thanks for reading.:)

 

What is Chopstick Diet?

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Have you ever heard the “Chopstick diet”? It is quite common in Korea, Japan and today I will introduce about the chopstick diet. If you don’t know how to use the chopstick? Don’t worry! Then it will be more effective for doing the chopstick diet. 🙂

The way of doing Chopstick diet is only using the chopstick during having a meal. There are 3 reasons why the chopstick diet can help you the diet.

  1. Eat slow and less

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If you use the chopstick, you can control the speed of eating that can eat less and slowly than using spoon, knives and fork. This is because the amount of the food, you can grab with chopstick, is less than the spoon or fork. Also the time of grabbing the food with chopstick is little longer than spoon or fork that you will chew more and eat slower during grabbing. 🙂

 

The reason why eating slowly helps you to eat less is in the body system. After you eat the food, it needs time until the message “I’m full” travel from stomach to brain. Normally it takes 30minutes for the message to arrive to the brain and then you will feel full.

So using the chopstick is good for eating slowly and will help you to eat less. 🙂

  1. Eat less salt

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In Korean food, soup is always in the dish, and even some of the Korean drink all soup liquid. But there are lots of salt in the soup that it can raise your blood sugar level. Also the salt is the enemy in diet that eating less salt is important to lose weight. If you do the chopstick diet, you can’t drink the soup and only can eat the ingredients in the soup what you can grab.

FYI, in Korea one of the eating etiquette is you should not raise the soup bowl with hand to drink. People only can have a liquid of soup with spoon. This is different from Japanese’s food etiquette that they can drink the soup with hand.

  1. The time you feel hungry will come later

Eating pace effect the blood sugar that if you eat the food fast, then your blood sugar will rise sharply. However, once the blood sugar goes down which raised quickly during the eating, the feeling of hunger will come fast. This is because, blood sugar also will go down quickly and then the body will feel nervous that it will make to eat.

  1. Food you choose with chopsticks have calories less.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 7.15.13 PMIn Korean food spoon is for rice, soup and chopstick is for side dishes. People also eat rice with chopstick, but it is quite hard to pick up the rice with it. Accordingly, if you can only use the chopstick, it will make you to eat less rice and eat more side dishes. The main component of the rice is carbohydrate that eating low amount of carbohydrate is important to do the diet. In my experience, when I only use the chopstick, I tend to eat side dishes more rather than the rice. The good thing is many Korean side dishes are vegi, fish, tofu..etc that these have less calories than the rice.

Why don’t you try the chopstick diet and also learn how to do the chopstick? If you try eating salad, noodles or other food with chopstick, it will help you to eat slowly.

Thanks for reading.:)

Do you know the Korea “Coffee mix”?

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There are many types of coffee such as coffee shop’s coffee, can coffee, capsule coffee, filter coffee..etc. The coffee mix is popular in Korea that it was sold more than a rice in a market. Korean eats the rice every day but recently we drink 7billion mix coffee in a year. Haha 7 billion is the word population.

Then what is in Mix coffee?

People usually call the coffee mix as ‘mix coffee’ or ‘stick coffee’ in Korea. The ingredient of the mix coffee is grind coffee beans, sugar, creamer…etc.

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The first instant mixed coffee pocket was invented by the Korean Dong Shu Food company in December, 1976. Korean has “Pali-Pali” culture which means “Hurry-up!” or “Faster!” that we also prefer to eat fast, drink fast. Accordingly Korean are addicted to the mix coffee, which can quickly make and drink, that it is easily seen in everywhere such as home, office, school, coffee machine in public place.

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How to make delicious mix coffee?

You can see how to drink mix coffee in the Maxim Mocha Gold Mild article.

Also I will give you the tips for making delicious mix coffee.:)

1. When pouring the mix in a cup, you can control the sugar content! Because the sugar is in the back of the mix pocket, you can control by holding the end of it. Want less sugar? Pinch the end! Then less sugar will be poured into your cup.

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 8.52.24 PM2. Use the paper cup. It is easier to put the right amount of water. The proper amount of water in a one mix coffee package is 90ml and the paper cup is 195ml. So fill only half of the cup with the water. So the total amount of water and the coffee powder will be 80% in the paper cup as you can see in the right side of the picture.

 

 

3. Pour the hot water two times separately.

: Put the coffee, creamer, sugar first which is in the max coffee package, and then just pour the small amount of the water to melt those ingredient, After the coffee powder is melt, put the rest of the water. It will help for melting the sugar totally and the taste will be smooth.

  1. Put the fresh milk instead of the creamer.

: There are ‘black mix’ which is one type of the mix coffee, but doesn’t have the creamer inside. Make the coffee strong with this black mix, and then put the milk instead of the creamer. The good amount of the milk is the double of the coffee. Then instant coffee latte completed.

 

When you stir the coffee, you can do with small spoon or with the coffee pocket. Many Korean stirs with coffee pocket. However I don’t recommend stirring with coffee pocket as the harmful ingredient can came out from the plastic pocket when it is in the hot water.

Mix coffee is delicious and easy to make, but also has weakness. Pros and cons of the mix coffee are as below.

Pros

  1. It is really cheap! Only $0.1 for one pocket.

2. Mix coffee has the sweet taste that it helps the people to relieve the stress with cheap cost.

  1. You can make and drink the coffee easily. Just put the mix pocket in the cup and pour the hot water. You don’t have to put coffee, prime, sugar separately.

Cons

  1. High calories: Mix coffee has quite a lot of sugar inside that one mix pocket is 55~69kalories.

Starbucks’ ham& sandwich is 246kcal, so if you drink 4-5mix coffee pockets, that means you are having a one meal.

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In my experience, mix coffee is quite addictive and I drank 3-4 cups of mix coffee everyday. This is common in Korea that there are many Korean who drink 3~4 cups of mix coffee in each day as me.

2. If you make the coffee with the mix coffee powder, the coffee amount is the 80% of the paper cup. Accordingly, the coffee amount can be lack for you.

Even if the mix coffee has cons, I assume you should try this at least once in your life. Probably you will like the taste and the easy way of making it.

Thanks for reading:)