Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rice Cake Soup (Duk Gook)

Rice Cake Soup (Duk Gook) is traditional soup that is eaten on New Years. Although, with it being such a simple soup many eat the soup all year long. It has now become cooler out and so soups on in this household. Over the next few weeks you'll see many different types of soup recipes that I hope you and your family will enjoy.

The Koreans have many different types of rice cakes that they make. These particular ones are disc shape ovals in the freezer section of the Asian Market. Yes, one could realistically make these but first it is so time consuming and second I don't dare with my carpal tunnel, it is just easier for me to buy them and be on my merry way.


  • 1lb Korean duk (oval rice cakes)
  • 6 cups broth (beef, anchovy, or chicken)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  •  pepper (to taste)
  • 2 eggs, fried and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Dried seaweed sheets, cut into thin slices
  • 2 scallions, chopped (optional garnish)

  1. In a large bowl or pot place cold water and add your frozen rice cakes, thawing for about 25 minutes. If using fresh skip this step.
  2. Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk. Heat frying pan and add oil once frying pan is hot add eggs and cook. Set aside cooked eggs to cool. Once eggs are cooled cut into thin strips.
  3. Mince garlic and set aside.
  4. Chop scallions and set aside.
  5. Drain your rice cakes they should be ready about now. Add into pot broth of your choice, mine typically is chicken, then I place the rice cakes back in from the strainer, and add in the garlic and wait until it boils. Once it has reached boiling temperature wait 3-5 minutes and turn off the stove.
  6. Ladle your soup into a bowl top with egg, scallions, seaweed, and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Korean Spicy Pork (Dwaejibulgogi)

One of the most versatile recipes that I use in cooking because it can be used so many different ways. This pairs nicely with white rice and kimchi. Slide these on a skewer and bbq this on the grill with your favorite veggies for that perfect bbq treat. I prefer making ssäm (wrap) with lettuce. In the lettuce wrap you can add rice if you wish. I opt not to use rice, but I often will grill garlic and place it into the wrap, sometimes kimchi, or Korean perilla (also known as seasame seed leaf). Add whatever makes your mouth happy.

You can add a little rice, grilled garlic, kimchi, or Korean perilla
This is called "spicy" because of the use of gochujang sauce, which is red chili flakes, rice powder, sweet rice powder, and powdered soybeans, however with the sweet rice powder it adds a sweetness to the sauce. This sauce is a main staple to Korean cooking, as well as flavoring wraps (ssäm). My two teenagers do not believe this to be a hot sauce, but my youngest on the other hand thinks its hot when she eats anything I make with this. Although my youngest thinks anything seasoned with black pepper is spicy so I hope that helps with giving an idea there is a slight bite but not overly spicy.

Note when I cook I am used to cooking for five now that it is just the three of us in the house since the husband and I have divorced and the oldest teenager has moved out I still have not cut down my sizes. This will end up making for the three of us, three meals. I bag the remaining and place it into the freezer. Typically, if I work on the recipe in the evening the next day it is ready to cook, so a full 24 hours. If on the weekends I am working on it in the morning I will cook it that evening and it has tasted fine but my theory is why create a recipe and cheat my taste buds out of a culinary experience? I have seen some people say 30 minutes to allow the marinate to soak, yes I like to look and see what others do differently than what I cook, and I cringe. So rule of thumb, allow at least 2 or more hours for it to marinade otherwise you are robbing yourself from the deliciousness of this recipe.


4-5 lbs of pork belly or pork shoulder thinly sliced.

For the marinade:

1 1/2 c of Asian pear  (if Asian is not available substitute Boscov pear about 3-4 medium sized)
3/4 c of onion (medium sized)
8 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp of minced ginger
1 bunch of chopped  green onion (approximately 6-8 individual pieces)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c of honey
2 Tbsp of toasted sesame oil
1/4 c of brown sugar
1/4 c of  gochujang  (hot pepper paste)


  1. First I thinly slice all the meat and remove excess fat. Pork belly has a layer of fat that I also cut off from it. My mother gets on me over this and I can not eat a big piece of fat. If you opt to that is up to you and it is the way it is suppose to be done, I just can't.
  2. Next I peel the pears and quarter them removing the seeds and place them into the food processor. 
  3. I then move on to the onion, removing the ends and the peel and quarter that as well and into the food processor.
  4. Garlic we peel and place into the food processor. 
  5. Add 1tsp of minced ginger to food processor. If you are using ginger root then peel, cut off a small piece and mince, then place into the food processor.
  6. Add soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, brown sugar, gochujang into the food processor
  7. Mix all ingredients until a paste (pictured to the right)
  8. Now pour your sauce onto your meat and mix into well ensuring all the meat is covered. I use cooking gloves during this process because hot paste sauce tends to stain your finger nails.
  9. Slice off the ends of the green onions and chop them into small pieces add them into the meat marinade mixture and mix in.
  10. Allow your meat to marinade for at least 2 hours if not more. 
  11. Now it is time to cook. On the stove set the temperature to medium high. Cook approximately 12-14 minutes (6-7 mins per each side). If you have a butcher slicing your meat for you will need to adjust your cook time since they can often get the meat to cut thinner.  
Ready to for everyone to enjoy
I like mine as a wrap
My kids like theirs with rice

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sallys Award Winning Zucchini Bread

Over the past two weeks I have been playing around in the kitchen with many different types of zucchini breads. I have never made a zucchini bread in my life but with the crops coming in I figured that I better learn quick. My oldest daughter and I were the only two that would eat zucchini in cooked dishes, however with her now being an adult and moved out it has left the 14 yr old and 5 yr old to eat this with me, neither of them like it. I have tried many ways to cook this and it has been a no go. Zucchini  has been one of those veggies that takes on the taste of what you season and pair it with so I have never understood how the children could eat all the other veggies but not this one. After many recipes and hours of trying many times to make recipes my own I decided why mess with a good thing. I found an excellent recipe from Sallys Baking Addicition the kids loved and it was warm and reminded fall cooking, quite possibly because of the cinnamon and nutmeg. This bread reminds me a lot of a carrot cake. I omitted the chocolate chips so it was a little healthier for the children. Yes I did play around with a cream cheese icing and made it unhealthy and omitted the streusel topping. I loved it both ways. The best part the kids couldn't tell that zucchini was in the bread.

Recipe credit: Sallys Baking Addiction


Brown Sugar Oat Streusel

  • 2/3 cups (60g) old-fashioned or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (16g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 Tablespoon (10g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) 



Cream Cheese Icing
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/4 cups powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk


 Zucchini Bread & Muffins

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil*
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 large)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (135g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional (or use pecans or walnuts)


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x5 (or 8x4) loaf pan with nonstick spray. If making muffins, preheat oven to 425F degrees and spray a 12-count pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Make the streusel first by combining the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter with two knives or a pasty cutter (preferred) - or you may use your hands. Mix until the streusel resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the beaten egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla until evenly combined. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Avoid overmixing.
Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake the bread for 20 minutes at 350F degrees. Remove from the oven and top with the streusel - press it down into the top. The reason you are adding it after 20 minutes is to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the bread as it bakes. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I covered the bread loosely with aluminum foil after 35 total minutes to avoid the top from getting too brown. Allow bread to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan and serving.
If making muffins, fill 9-10 muffin cups all the way to the top. Press the streusel into the tops of each muffin. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F degrees and, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and continue to bake for an additional 13-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.
Bread and muffins stay covered tightly at room temperature or refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bread and muffins freeze well for up to 3 months. Recipes may easily be doubled, tripled, etc and baked in batches.
If making a cream cheese icing, mix together butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Add powder sugar in a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Set aside and place on top of the bread once it comes out of the oven so it melts and hardens.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Korean Fried Chicken Wings are so tasty and differ from the typical chicken wings that are placed in flour or flour and egg mixture. These puppies use a cornstarch for their coating which gives them a  light crispy crunch and holds their sauce well, but don't just take my word for it try your hand at these heavenly morsels.

Chicken Wings Ingredients
1 4-5 lb bag of chicken wings
1 1/2 c - 1 3/4c of cornstarch depending on 4 or 5 lb bag of wings
1 c of soy sauce
3/4 c of sugar
grapeseed oil or vegetable oil for frying (enough to cover the chicken completely or if you don't mind cooking longer at least to cover half the chicken)
sesame seed to sprinkle on top of the wings 

1. I typically leave my wings frozen until I need to use them. Then I take them out and place them in a big bowl in cold water and let them soak for about 45 minutes to defrost. This also gives the wings a bath and pulls some of the fat off. Clean chicken to work with woohoo! Yes I know I am not right in the head, I am a clean freak.

2.Once your chicken has defrosted drain the chicken in a colander. Wipe down the bowl dry with a paper towel and return chicken to the bowl.

3. Now your chicken is ready for the cornstarch make sure to get everything covered. If you do not have a big enough bowl and not good with flipping chicken then please by all means use a plastic bag. I don't want you to create a mess you in kitchen. I am from the school of using less to do my jobs. Your chicken should look like this. Yes I realize it doesn't look like it is going to be a nice coating of anything but believe me it will be trust the cornstarch if you coated them all.

4. Next is placing your oil in a pan I do not give measurements for this because it depends on pan size that is used, not to mention so people would rather flip to use less oil. I use expensive oil so I would rather flip and take my time then use more oil. I know I am strange that way. Which also cook time will vary depending upon how much oil you use. For the small wings it will be 5 minutes for the larger 8 minutes. If you do the flip method double it 5 minutes for each side and 8 minutes for each side. I cook on medium high heat. When cooking with the cornstarch it doesn't brown like flour does. It will change slightly in color but this is what you will be looking at.

5. Once your chicken is done place it on a plate with a paper towel. I personally prefer to use a bakers rack and casserole dish because this allows the oils to drip down. A paper towel can only absorb so much before it stops absorbing. I want the flavors and not the oil. Here is your happy chicken.

6. Once all of the chicken wings have been cooked you will want to place your soy sauce and sugar into a large pot on high heat. Stir it together to make sure the sugar blends in with the soy sauce. Allow the soy sauce and sugar to bubble and I mean rise and bubble because it will. I have asked my mother why it needs to rise and it states "Dis it what makes tasty" in her Korean accent. I have no ideal why the reason I just go with it because there is a method to the madness. I will trying to obtain a picture of this and it really is not the best but over the stove on high heat was a problem.

7. Take your chicken and dump them in the soy mixture and shake/flip them in the pot to cover the chicken completely with the mixture. Remove for the pot and place onto a plate. If you are not good with flipping then I would recommend placing all your chicken into a metal or glass bowl that is heat resistant. Dump the soy mixture from the pot onto the chicken then dumping chicken with mixture back into pot going back and forth until full covered and then plating.

8. Now that the soy mixture is on your chicken it is time for you to cover with sesame seed. How much you use is depending upon you. You can use a dash or cover them fully like I have done above.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Korean Fried Dumplings -Yaki-Mandu (aka Mandoo)

Korean dumplings, OH my, they're a favorite in this household but hey what's not to love about a dumpling that has dual purpose? You can place these in a steamer or fry them up. The kids love them and are a perfect go to snack for heating back up. Though the texture of microwaving is more like a soft dumpling instead of the nice crispy dumpling, but you can always break out the pan again and re-fry to obtain that crispness.

Mandu Ingredients
1 Medium green cabbage
1 lb hamburger
1 lb ground pork
1 pkg firm tofu
2 small onions
1 handful of glass(cellophane) noodle
1/2 lb of bean sprouts
2 eggs when mixing
1 pkg of 16oz dumpling wrapper (square or round)
cheesecloth/kitchen hand towel
Grapeseed oil because of the multiple uses, not to mention your foods keep there taste, but make sure it is cold pressed. (You can use an oil of your choosing)

Dipping Sauce
2 parts soy sauce
1 part rice vinegar
1 green onion choopped up (optional)
dash of sesame seed (optional)

Spicy Tastes? 

1 tsp Korean dired chili powder (can add more depending on taste, my kids can't handle more)
If that is not available then use 1tbsp Sriracha sauce  again add to your taste

Now I know what you're thinking, oh no she went away from traditional Korean, oh yes I did. I am flexible that way I use what tastes good and often you will see me pair things together. I am about taste.

1. In a large pot add water place onto stove boil water. Once water is boiling add cabbage that is quartered into the pot and boil on med high for 15 - 20 minutes. The cabbage should be soft but still have a little crunch.

2. In a medium bowl place warm water and add your cellophane noodles. Noodles will be ready in 15 minutes. Place noodles into a colander to remove water and place noodles back into bowl for later.

3.Cabbage and noodles are on there way so we need to rinse off the bean sprouts. Pull out any bad sprouts and set aside until your cabbage water is done. Once the cabbage is pulled from the water place the bean sprouts into the water and let it boil for 1-2 minutes. Sprouts just need to softness slightly but still have crunch, they should be able to bend. Place the sprouts in colander allow sprouts to sit in the colander for the time.

4. Peel onions and dice them up finely. Place into frying pan and fry until the onions become translucent.

5. In your cheesecloth (kitchen hand towel) place tofu inside and wrap up into the towel and wring out excess water in the tofu. If you have skewers, wrap the ends of the cloth around each end to help get out the moisture. After the all the water is out remove tofu from the cheesecloth and set aside and repeat this process for the cabbage. The reason for this is because the moisture in the tofu and cabbage will end up causing the mandu skin to rupture in the frying process.

6. Now that the tofu is crumbled make sure to finely dice up the rest. You will also dice up the cabbage and bean sprouts into small pieces. Next take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut of the cellophane noodle into small pieces.

7. Place all the ingredients into the same bowl now add the hamburger and pork meat and 1 large egg and mix together.

8. In another small bowl beat the other egg. This will be used for closing up the wrapper.

9. The mixture is now ready to be placed into a wrapper. You can use a small spoon to place the mixture onto your wrapper. Depending on if you use a square or round wrapper will depend on how you will wrap, but the meat will go into the center leaving enough edge to close up the wrapper. For square wrappers you will want to wrap and make a triangle shape. For the round wrappers you will want to make half a circle shape.

Round Wrappers used, these babies are ready to be fried up!

10. Heat up your oil on medium high Once oil is hot add your mandu to the oil and fry until golden brown about 3 - 4 minutes per each side. Place cooked mandu on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb residual oil.

Time to eat this deliciousness.

11. Your dipping sauce is something you can whisk together while waiting for the mandu to fry up.The very basic is soy sauce and rice vinegar. I like to add in my sauce green onions, sesame seeds, and Korean chili powder.I love the flavors of it all mixed together.  Enjoy!