Friday, November 2, 2007

Traditional Korean Breakfast Dishes

Korea has a great tradition of breakfast. Centuries ago, Korea barely recognized a lunchtime meal. It was a snack at best. The result was that both breakfast and dinner were grand meals often consisting of several courses.

Today, breakfast is still a large meal. A traditional breakfast of Korea consists of rice, a fermented cabbage dish called kimchi, beef and/or fish, a soup made of either beef ribs or pork intestines (tripe) and often a selection of breads and pastries.

Kimchi is a spicy and very pungent condiment that is served with almost every meal in Korea. It's made by fermenting various vegetables such as cabbage, turnips, onions and radishes with a range of spices such as red pepper powder, garlic and ginger. Homemade kimchi is often placed in tightly sealed jars and buried in the ground for four days or more to ferment.


Ingredients :

1 Large Chinese cabbage
1/2 cup Sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
5 Spring onions, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
5 cm Fresh ginger, grated
3 teaspoons Chopped fresh chili
1 tablespoon Caster sugar
2 1/2 cups Cold water

Method :

Cut the cabbage in half, then into large bite-sized pieces.

Place a layer of cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Continue with layers of cabbage and salt, finishing with a salt layer.

Cover with a dinner plate that will fit as snugly as possible over the top of the cabbage.

Weigh down the plate with cans or a small brick and leave the bowl in a cool place for 5 days.

Remove the weights and plate, pour off any liquid, then rinse the cabbage well under cold running water.

Squeeze out any excess water and combine the cabbage with the cayenne pepper, spring onion, garlic, ginger, chili and sugar.

Mix well to combine before spooning the cabbage into a large sterilized jar.

Pour the water over the top and seal with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days before eating.

Note : Kim Chi is an accompaniment eaten with Korean main meals and with steamed rice. For an authentic flavor, use 3 tablespoons of chili. Bottled chopped chili can be used instead of fresh chili.

Bean Pancakes Recipe
(Bindae Duk)

Ingredients : Makes about 20

1 cup Mung dhal (dried mung beans halves without skin)
1 cup Water
2 Eggs, beaten
125 g Pork mince
1 Small onion, finely chopped
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup Fresh bean sprouts, chopped
1/2 cup KimChi or shredded white Chinese cabbage
2 tablespoons Sesame oil

Method :

Wash mung dhal and soak in cold water overnight.

Rinse and drain well.

Then put into container of electric blender with 1 cup water.

Blend until smooth.

Pour into a bowl, add all other ingredients and mix well.

Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan and drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture on the hot surface.

Cook until golden brown underneath, turn and cook other side.

Serve hot or cold.

Sesame Seed Sauce Recipe
(Cho Kanjang)

Serve this sauce with cooked or raw vegetables. It may be made and kept for a few days, or longer in the refrigerator.

Ingredients :

1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Vinegar
3 tablespoons Light soy sauce
4 tablespoons Sesame seeds

Method :

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until they are a toast-brown color.

Crush with mortar and pestle or in an electric blender.

Mix in sugar, vinegar and soy sauce.

Store in a bottle and serve with hot or cold vegetables or as a sauce for meat.

Beef Stew Recipe
(Yukkae Jang Kuk)

Ingredients : Serves 6

1 kg Skirt or flank steak
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
24 Spring onions, sliced
1 teaspoon Sugar
125 g Rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
2 teaspoons Chili powder (or to taste)
2 Eggs, lightly beaten

Method :

Put whole piece of steak into a saucepan with salt, pepper and just enough water to cover.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until steak is very tender.

Allow to cool, then shred with fingers into fibers.

Return to the pot, add spring onions and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes, then drain.

Add to simmering pot.

Mix sesame oil and chili powder together and add to stew.

The rich red oil will float on top.

Drizzle the beaten eggs into the bubbling stew, stirring so that it cooks in shreds.

Serve with hot white rice.

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