[Bread] Korean Style Cornbread

Bread

This is… frustration… Currently, my most favorite bread is the Korean style corn bread. Americans sent over tons of cornmeal to war torn South Korea back in the day. 

Koreans made tons of this awesome cornbread which seems to be the one thing I can’t make. I was desperate as to use other people’s recipes which all failed. Rather than sharing my recipe, I will just post pictures of ingredients, process, and outcomes of my efforts. 

After making more than 70 breads, about 20 of them had right flavor but wrong texture. And 50 of them were completely bland due to no sugar… 

I may post recipe once I perfect it. This bread is very similar to American cornbread but the edges are harder and the outside has almost a crunch like texture. While the inside is soft and fluffy. Best bread ever made.

   

           

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[Snack] Healthy Fast Cookies

Snack

I can’t believe these haven’t been spread out to the world. I’m about to introduce you to the quickest and healthiest cookie recipe ever invented. It starts with two ingredients and then you can add additional items as you desire. Once you make the batter, you can add any type of dry fruits or nuts. 

Ingredients

3 bananas

2 cups dry instant oatmeal

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl

Add additional ingredients if you want

  

Spoon on a well greased pan

Bake at 350F for 16-17 minutes until firm

Voila! This cookie is so healthy and tasty that they disappear so quickly!! I like to add almonds and raisins to make them similar to oatmeal cookies. And the bananas provide the banana flavor as well as the natural sugar. It really is indescribable and amazing. If you have 20 minutes and some ripe bananas, try this awesome recipe!!

   

 

[Snack] Kimbap (Korean Futomaki) Sushi Roll

Snack

Lunar New Year is fast approaching. In my house, we celebrate Korean New Year which is one of the top three most important holidays in the Korean calendar. Normally, we are to clean the house before the new year, because Koreans believe that it will reflect the rest of your year.

On Korean New Year, Koreans normally eat a bowl of Rice Cake Soup aka Tteokguk which is rice cake soup with eggs, beef, and some green veggies. It’s a super savory dish, and is very special and nostalgic to Koreans.

In the day leading up to the New Year, I was inspired to make some Korean food. And I decided to make Kimbap which is a Korean style futomaki. Normally, there are thousands of variations in which to make kimbap. In the kimbap stores in Korea, there are many kinds you can buy on the menu. When I visit Kimbap Heaven (김밥천국), my favorite thing to order is the bulgogi roll with some naengmyeon (cold noodles).

In my kimbap recipe, I like to use ingredients depending on what I’m in the mood for. I will show you the recipe here that I made last night.

Ingredients

7-10 cups of cooked rice

~15 sheets of roasted seaweed (aka yaki nori)

1 bamboo mat (optional, but strongly preferred)

6 eggs

2 cucumbers

2 gobo sticks (if fresh, it needs to be boiled in water until soft)
* Then it needs to be put in same marinade as instant bulgogi (see below)

2 rolls pickled radish (takuon or dakweon)

1 pkg imitation crab meat

1-2 lbs of bulgogi *** See instant bulgogi recipe below ***

Preparation

– In order to marinate the beef, I normally take thin sliced beef and put it into a bowl of water to take out the blood. Any residual blood will end up foaming (or coagulating) in the wok when you cook it. Then you heat a wok (or pot) and add 2 cups water, 1/3 cup soy sauce, and 1/4 cup of honey (sugar and agave can also be used). Then you add the meat and boil until the meat is full cooked through. This is the instant recipe I use when I need bulgogi for kimbap, bibimbap, or any other dishes.

– The same marinade above can be used to boil the gobo which is one of the ingredients I used.

– The eggs are a bit tricky. I normally break three eggs and whisk together very well. Then heat them under low-med heat on a well oiled pan until the bottom side is firm. Then flip gently to make sure not to rip the egg. The goal is not to cook the egg fast, but to gently heat through so we can flip both sides.  You will want to create a thin circle basically that has no rips.

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Directions

1. Prepare the “mise en place” which is a fancy way of saying prep work. In order to prepare the “mise en place”, you need freshly made rice. Then go ahead and cut up the gobo, pickled radish, cucumber, eggs, and crab into strips/sticks that can fit in the kimbap. The beef will need to be minced or cut into strips as well.

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2. Place a sheet of seaweed on the bamboo roller mat as mentioned earlier. Then add on the rice to cover half the sheet and place each of the mise en place components on the rice.

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3. Use the bamboo mat to roll up the ingredients into a kimbap roll! You are done and you can cut up the roll into bite size pieces. However, i will tell you one secret that Koreans do. Koreans like to brush some sesame oil on the rolls and sprinkle a little bit of salt before cutting the rolls. We do this to accentuate the savory side of kimbap as well as pump up the flavor.

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Kimbap has always been a special snack for Koreans. In Korea, it’s very accessible, and can fill you up quick in an emergency. Also, they say you can determine a mother’s love if she has ever attempted to make kimbap for her child before school. The reason behind this is that kimbap is very times-taking to make. And to make attractive looking kimbap is even more difficult.

I still remember when my mom used to make me kimbap before school and on weekends. I used to enjoy eating the end pieces as those were the best parts of the roll. And when we had a batch of kimchi to go with the rolls, it was even more special. Because the rolls are full of rice, veggies, and some meat, it makes the perfect snack or meal. The flavors are amazing and it’s hard to go wrong with this roll. Almost any ingredient can be used as long as it’s not watery or powdery. Previously, I almost always used carrots, fishcake, and spinach in my rolls. Those ingredients happen to be very common to a traditional kimbap as well.

In a batch I made a few months ago, I made Tuna Kimbap which had tuna, mayonnaise, sesame leaves, carrots, and some other vegetables. It’s good to explore with flavors and ingredients. That’s how we become better cooks. This is a special recipe to me, so I hope you all enjoy making kimbap.

As I usually tell people, cook from the heart, and the food will always be delicious.

[Package] Korean Goodies

Package

Today, I received a ton of goodies I ordered from Korea. Actually, I had missed the delivery and the mailman left a pink slip saying they will try again tomorrow. Me, being the persistent guy I am, drove around town to search for the mailman so I won’t have to wait until the next day. And eventually, I caught up to the mailman and got my long awaited package. This shipment left Inchon just last Friday.

And when I get packages, I can’t help but enjoy opening them up!!

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Now, I will show you all what I got in my boxes today!! I listed the prices to reference what they would normally cost to buy from outside South Korea. I paid a bit less than shown.

1. Tomy Moly Apple Hand Cream – 15 USD

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This hand cream is quite special because it moisturizes very well and smells really nice. It’s not strong and it’s portable in a nice looking package. There are only good reviews for this item all over the Internet.

2. Jeju 100 Year Old Cactus Vitamin Tablets – 45 USD

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Jeju island in Korea is famous for their mandarin oranges and cactus fruit. It’s very common to see vitamin c tablets made of those two tropical fruits. Not only do they taste amazing, they are super healthy for you!! I personally like the mandarin ones better but I heard the cactus one has less sugar.

3. Isa Knox Care Zone Emulsion – 35 USD

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Ever since I visited Korea a few months ago, this brand has become my go to skin care. I kid you not, this brand has made almost every skin problem I have go away. Right now, I’m battling some skin issue that seems like eczema. This lotion is the only one that can calm my skin down. I’m currently using the Troubled Skin version within the brand. They also have versions for oily skin or dry skin too. This brand is seriously worth every penny because it heals your skin and not just covering up the damage! I normally wash my face, use toner, then emulsion/lotion, and then cream.

4. Tomy Moly Peach Hand Cream – 10 USD

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This is basically the peach version of the apple one I mentioned earlier. This one seems to be cheaper but I’m not sure why…

5. Isa Knox Care Zone Toner – 20 USD

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This is the toner which I use after washing my face and before applying lotion. Because there is a whole brand and version dedicated to troubled skin, it seems only natural that I get the toner along with emulsion. I may put a review of the products later on after I use them. This will be my first time to use the toner!!

6. Isa Knox Peeling Gel – 25 USD

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This is a peeling gel under the same name from Isa Knox Care Zone for Troubled Skin line. Basically, a peeling gel is something you apply to your face and rub gently with your fingers. Eventually, the dead skin will clump and fall off your face. This is also a first for me to use, but I have to know how well it works with other items in the same brand!!

7. Jeju Choco Crunch – 15 USD

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These crunch snacks are one of Jeju Island’s main exports. These snacks are super delicious. They combine Jeju Island fruits with popped rice in the form of a chocolate rice puff type item. These boxes can get pricy so it’s important to buy in bulk. The Korean cactus is my favorite flavor!! One of my coworkers told me it tasted like strawberry!! It’s sweet and crunchy with a sense of yummy!!

Random ads that came with my box:

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This was one of my more better deliveries of items. I don’t order from Korea often, but when I do, I try to buy things I need rather than want. Although, I guess I want the things I need too. I spent a lot more than I should have, but I know the items will go to good use. For anyone who is interested in the items listed above, I can help you to order your own shipment or I may be able to sell you the same items!

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