Yangpa Jangajji (Korean Pickled Onions)

pickledonion

Moving on from sharehousing to living just with The Boyfriend has been so much nicer than I anticipated. I knew that I would enjoy it but I didn’t know that I would enjoy it this much. When we first moved in I would just walk from room to room to remind myself that, yes, you really do have all of this space! Our furniture has trickled in gradually and using our new dining table for the first time, after 5 years of eating in front of the TV, felt pretty spectacular.

These pickled onions are an attempt the replicate my favourite side dish at my favourite Korean restaurant, Madtongsan 2. Their pickled onions blow my mind and I was determined that they would be mine. Another reason to love pickles (like I need one?) is how long they will hang out in your fridge for, just getting better with age. You can also use the pickling liquid as a spicy dipping sauce for Korean pancakes or any other dippable savouries in your life.

Yangpa Jangajji (Korean Pickled Onions)

Adapted from Korean Pickled Onion: Yangpa Jangajji Recipe over at Asian at Home.

1 3/4 cup water

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1 lemon

2 1/2 white onions

1 large red chilli

In a medium saucepan over high heat combine the water, soy sauce, sugar and white vinegar.

Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and squeeze in all the juice from the lemon, set aside.

Peel and cut the onions into bite sized pieces and slice the chillies.

In a large airtight jar (mine is about 1L) alternate layers of onion with the pieces of chilli until used up.

Pour the warm pickling liquid into the jar with the onions until they are covered (if you have left over pickling liquid you can use it as a dipping sauce for Korean pancakes).

Cover tightly with the lid and allow to cool completely on your kitchen counter.

When it’s cool, place in the fridge for 1-2 days before eating (you can eat it straight away but I like them really pickled before I go to town on them).

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Gamja Jorim (Spicy Soy Glazed Potatoes)

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These are THE potatoes at our house and much whinging ensues if they are absent from my Korean dinners. The best thing about Korean food is having a whole bunch of different dishes and sides (banchan) to choose from but trying to make five things at once at the end of the day is enough to make me pull my cranky pants on. Sides like these potatoes keep forever so you can make them ahead of time and whip them out for a mid-week Korean feast. Or, if you like to keep it simple, just eat it with rice and kimchi. This recipe does the four of us for one meal but we are crazy for taters.

You can find gochugaru and corn syrup at most Asian supermarkets and all Korean supermarkets.

Gamja Jorim (Spicy Soy Braised Potatoes)

Adapted from Gamja Jorim (Korean Glazed Potatoes) over at My Korean Eats.

4 tbsp vegetable oil

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes

4 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)

6 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp corn syrup

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Place a wide-based saucepan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and potatoes.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Add soy sauce, brown sugar, gochugaru and garlic.

Stir together and turn the heat down to low, cook for 15 minutes or until you can pierce the potato with a fork.

Add the corn syrup and sesame oil, stir gently to coat the potato.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Eat warm or keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Salty Almond Praline

almondpraline

Sooo has anyone else realised that all 6 seasons of Xena are on Netflix? I’m still on the first season but my crush on Lucy Lawless is well underway. I’m also in disbelief that it was aired right after school in the afternoon, so many sexual references! Xena and Hercules are also fun to watch because of the number of Australian and New Zealand actors who played bit parts before they got famous (and before they could act, ZING!).

Of course Xena has nothing to do with this praline, I’m just spreading the good word. I have doubled the original recipe because you need half for you and the other half for making friends, bribes etc. Sprankle over ice cream, fold into brownies or eat straight from the oven tray. Bonus points for being vegan and gluten free.

Salty Almond Praline

Recipe hardly even adapted from Salty Maple Almond Praline over at The Sugar Hit.

2 cups whole almonds

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp maple syrup

4 tbsp brown sugar

sea salt to taste (I started with 1/2 tsp)

Preheat oven to 180 C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl, taste and adjust the flavours to your preference.

Spread evenly onto your prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 8 minutes.

Remove the tray and mix the nuts, spread out evenly and bake for another 6 minutes.

Remove from the oven, give the nuts a final stir and set aside to cool completely.

Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Mu-Pickle (Radish Pickles)

radish

Get ready for an influx of Korean recipes, I’m working my way through Maangchi’s book. I’ve even bought it for my step-dad, who seems to have fallen in love with Korean food (an interesting dalliance for an Irishman). If you are already a fan of Maangchi’s videos and recipes then this book has some content that isn’t on her website. Hard to believe considering the variety and number that are already available on the web. If you can get a few banchan (side dishes) under your belt then every night will feel like a feast.

These pickles pair well with spicy food, they cool your mouth down and give you a break from the burn. As you may have guessed from the picture, I didn’t cut my radish exactly as small as the recipe says. This wasn’t a problem, I just let the radish pickle for 2 days before I went to town on it. I found the radish at a Korean supermarket but I think Japanese radish would work in a pinch. I used 2 Korean radish (radishes? radishii?) but you proably only need one Japanese radish because they are waaay bigger.

Mu-Pickle (Radish Pickles)

Recipe slightly adapted from Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking.

1 1/3 cup caster sugar

1 1/3 cup white vinegar

4 tbsp coarse sea salt

3 cups water

900g Korean radish, cut into 7mm cubes

Mix the sugar, vinegar, salt and water in a small bowl until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Place the radish in a glass jar and pour over the prepared liquid (make sure that the liquid covers the radish completely).

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.

Can be kept in the fridge for up to one month.

Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)

soybeans2

My obsession with Korean food is reaching new heights, it’s basically soaring on the wings of eagles. My gang is getting at least two Korean dinners a week complete with pancakes and side dishes. The side dishes (called banchan) were the most mind blowing part of the cuisine for me when I first ate at a Korean restaurant. You mean they’re complimentary?! As in free?! And you can get them RE-FILLED?! There will always be kimchi but apart from that there is no restriction on the variety of side dishes that can appear on your table. At Madtongsan 2 (where I drag every unsuspecting person I can get my hands on) they serve kimchi, tuna pasta salad, pickled onion and candied sweet potatoes. Technically these beans are mitbanchan, meaning that they are prepared in advance and are ready to be used with different meals throughout the week. They get chewy after a few hours in the fridge and the sauce thickens nicely.

I couldn’t find black soybeans so I used yellow soybeans that I found at a Chinese supermarket. Korean corn syrup is stocked at most Korean Supermarkets but replace it with honey if you can’t get your hands on it.

Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)

Adapted from Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans) over at Korean Bapsang.

1 cup dried soybeans (black, if you can find them)

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp mirin

4 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp corn syrup

1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

Rinse the beans then soak for 3-4 hours in cold water (make sure there is at least twice the amount of water as beans).

Drain the beans, then place in a medium pot with 2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil.

Continue to cook without a lid for 5 minutes, stir a couples of times and skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar.

Simmer, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until most of the sauce has evaporated (stir frequently towards the end to avoid the beans sticking).

Add the corn syrup right at the end of cooking, stirring well to coat the beans.

Refrigerate the beans until cold, sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving.

Malted Nutell-Oat Smoothie

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I’m on a smoothie rampage, after drinking the same thing for breakfast err-day suddenly I’m obsessed with trying every smoothie recipe that comes my way. I’m a creature of habit, though, so that means a Mango Passionfruit Smoothie to start the day and a new recipe to take to work (I’m convinced that my daily smoothie is what’s keeping my immune system going even though I’m having trouble sleeping). This recipe in particular has everything I want in a milkshake but the addition of banana and oats makes it feel more nourishing. I figure as long as I’m getting some fibre and nutrients with my sugar I’m all good. Banana also has the magic property of keeping your smoothie thick even after sitting for a while, although you have to give it a stir to incorporate the oats having a rest at the bottom. I’m not a major banana fan but there is enough going flavour-wise to keep it in the background, although the sweetness it brings to the party is welcome. A smoothie to get you past 3 o’clock without getting into that family size bag of Malteser’s that keeps looking at you.

It still tastes great without the malt (not that I would ever sanction leaving out malt) but don’t pass up the vanilla extract and salt. Experiment and add more or less milk to change the consistency.

Malted Nutell-Oat Smoothie

Adapted from Nutella Oatmeal Cookie Shake over at How Sweet It Is.

1/3 cup oats (any kind)

375 ml milk

2 bananas, peeled and frozen

1/4 cup ice

4-5 tbsp nutella

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp malt powder

pinch of salt

(If your blender needs a little help getting the oats smooth, combine oats and milk in the blender, allow to sit in the fridge for 1 hour).

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until combined.

Taste and add more Nutella if desired, blend again if adding anything.

Serve immediately.

Salty Choc Chip Oat Slice

chocoatslice

I felt so grown up today, I had to inform all interested parties about my change of address, something that I’ve been putting off since we moved in December (thank the lawd for mail re-direction). To reward myself I did something not so grown up and watched the episode of Pop Asia that I missed on Sunday (thank the lawd for SBS on Demand). This song is my current favourite. G Dragon, why you so pretty? As someone with a chronic lack of rhythm I’m also jealous of their dance moves. I know that I talk about Pop Asia a lot but if you could peer into my skull it would just be a vision of G Dragon and TOP dancing around a nacho hat and not much else.

If your days are as busy as mine, you need this slice recipe in your life. One bowl and only 20 minutes in the oven and you get a chewy, salty and chocolate-ey mouthful. It makes a biiiig pan of it too, share the love. Or eat the whole thing yourself and never tell a soul. No judgement here, it’s a safe place.

Salty Choc Chip Oat Slice

Slightly adapted from Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars over at Cookies and Cups.

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coarse sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 cups plain flour

2 3/4 cups oats

1 1/2 cups dark choc chips

Preheat oven to 175 C and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tin with baking paper (if your tin is larger or smaller you will have to change the cooking time accordingly), spray the baking paper lightly with oil.

In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, brown sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla and salt, mix well.

Whisk in the baking soda, flour and oats until just combined, then mix in the choc chips.

Transfer to the prepared baking tin, spreading it into an even layer.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin then slide the slice out onto a wire rack to cool completely (the baking paper helps with this).