Spice up your weekend with Korean Dukbokki

Dinner, Korean, Lunch, Recipes

Welcome to a Korean cooking tutorial – Dukbokki, the snack food or in this case, a full meal.

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“Duk” is a Korean food where rice is cooked, then pounded into a glutinous mound and cut into different shapes. In Duk Bok Ki, thin and long rice cakes are used, where in our new year’s soup Duk guk we use sliced rice cakes.

There are brown and white duk varieties available in Vancouver – but found in London only one type in the white rice was available. Choose one you’d like to use and go for it.

Cook time
~20 minutes

Ingredients
1 bag of duk
3-4 tablespoons of gochujang (Korean pepper paste)
250g mushrooms
1 large onion
1 zucchini
2 cups of water
250g cuttlefish (or other type of seafood, optional)
Package of fish cakes (optional)

Method

1. Saute the onion with a bit of coconut oil or oil base on medium heat. At the same time, soak the duk (rice cakes) in cold water and set aside.

2. Mix in the cut up cuttlefish and sauté with the onion.

3. Take 3-4 tablespoons of gochujang, and mix in to the sauté. Saute vigorously, and add in about 2 cups of water. Put the heat on high.

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4. After the water comes to a boil, add in all chopped veggies (mushrooms, zucchini). Add in fish cakes.

5. After all ingredients are mixed together, drain and rinse the duk, and mix in with the other ingredients, stirring gently to ensure mixing amongst the other ingredients.(The reason we do the rice cakes last is because they cook quickly and otherwise they congeal and get too soft for good texture).

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6. You’re done! Enjoy your spicy dukbokki.

Msfitz’s “Mungcake” – a vegan and gluten free savoury pancake

Dairy free, Korean, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

The Mung Bean

Mung beans are very nutritious. They are an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber, and also contain vitamins A, C and E, folacin, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and calcium.  They are also easier to digest and quicker to cook than most other legumes so great if you have difficulty digesting beans to eat these instead.

Other health benefits of mung beans include:

  • Cleansing and detoxifying – mung beans are known as a cleansing legume especially when soaked and / or sprouted
  • Improving digestion – the fiber improves bowel function and cleanses your intestines
  • Reduced cholesterol, risk of coronary disease, high blood pressure – eating legumes have a strong correlation with healthy cholesterol levels

Would you like to try a recipe incorporating this delicious legume?

Making yourself a Mungcake 

1. Mix 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups mung beans, and soak in water overnight. (To save time, if you have other items you’re soaking, do them all at once!) Soaking makes the ingredients easier to digest since we will not really “cook” them.

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2. Drain and rinse the brown rice and mung beans a few times, then blend in a food processor. I use my Vitamix blender, which works fantastically. Add a little bit of water (~0.5 cup to 1 cup) depending on how well the blend is being created.

3. Heat a non-stick frying pan at medium. Put a spoonful of the rice / bean batter and spread it out to be flat.

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4. When the mixture is getting formed, flip over.

 

Here’s your finished product. What is really tasty is adding things that you love, like chopped veggies, etc to this mixture. I added toasted sesame seeds I made before. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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Delicious hearty miso stew

Korean, Recipes

There’s still a nip in the air… try out an easy to make, hearty miso stew this spring! This “Miso Stew” is a Korean recipe, a heartier version of the lighter miso soup you may have tried in Japanese restaurants.

Hearty Miso Stew

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1. Cut up vegetables you like (I threw in chopped peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.)

2. Put all of the cut up vegetables, along with a couple of seaweed kelp pieces to thicken the broth – all in a pot. Fill up the pot with water up to the top level of the vegetables.

3. Bring the water to a boil, and add in about two tablespoons of miso paste. You could buy miso paste in asian grocery stores –  it looks brown and squishy (things you don’t normally consider as something good, but it is!).

4. Mix in the paste with the boiling water with a spoon, and add in chopped tofu. Let it simmer off high heat for 10-15 minutes. Have with a bowl of wild rice on the side. Enjoy!

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Brown rice kimbap or “Korean sushi”

Dinner, Korean, Lunch, Recipes, Snacks

Ever been in a food coma? When your body ingests (1) too much food and (2) foods high on the glycemic index, your body releases insulin, triggering a chain reaction of chemicals including melatonin that make you very sleepy… mid day!

Combat such a situation with homemade kimbap made with brown rice – essentially for us Koreans this is a picnic or snack food, and very much resembles sushi. It’s sort of like a “Korean Sushi”. Try out something new this weekend!

Brown rice kimbap or “Korean Sushi”

The below makes about 12 rolls of kimbap. Each ingredient that goes in to the dish takes a bit of time to make, so I generally make a lot, and freeze the ingredients for use later on. I would set aside about 2-3 hours to make the separate ingredients and roll the kimbap.

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Ingredients

  • Bamboo rolling mat
  • White vinegar
  • 6 cups uncooked rice (1/3 white sticky rice, 1/3 brown sweet rice, 1/3 black wild rice)
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 7-8 carrots
  • Dozen eggs
  • Pickled Korean radish (bright yellow)
  • Your choice of protein (I used imitation crab meat, but you could use flaked tuna, etc…)
  • Flat seaweed

Instructions

1. Make your individual ingredients.

  • Carrots – Wash, then chop up the carrots into small pieces. Sautee in a non-stick frying pan with no oil for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat, until they are soft.
  • Cucumbers – De-seed the cucumbers, and cut them into thin, length-wise strips. You can keep the seeds, but they don’t go in the kimbap (they will make them very soggy, something you probably don’t want).
  • Eggs – Beat 6 eggs at a time in a bowl, and pour in a non-stick frying pan. When it’s quite formed, flip it over, making sure it’s cooked all the way through. Cut into thin strips after they’ve cooled a bit.
  • Rice – Take 3-4 cups of the cooked rice in a large bowl, and add in 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar.  Mix in a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds.

2. Create your workstation – lay out all of the ingredients on a table.

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3. Take about 1-1.5 cups of rice with a spoon, and carefully spread it throughout the seaweed. Arrange all of the ingredients close to the base of the roll, leaving a bit of rice protruding where you will start rolling.

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4. Begin rolling, pressing down firmly! About halfway through rolling, you could do the remainder with your hands, then reinforce the kimbap with the bamboo roll at the end.

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5. With a thin brush (or you could use your hands too though this gets messy), apply a thin layer of sesame oil to the rolls. It will taste delicious, and prevent them from sticking to each other and breaking. This step is optional.

6. Repeat, repeat, repeat until your ingredients are gone.

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Try it out, let me know how it goes! If you have variations / recommendations please send them through!

Korean Red Bean Rice Cake (Gluten Free!)

Korean, Recipes, Snacks

I’ve tried out a recipe today that’s been around in our family and Korean traditions – especially with the freshly growing Mugwort plant in the backyard as one of the bases! Enjoy!

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Health Benefits of the Main Ingredients

Did you know – Red beans have such a super-concentrated store of antioxidants than even other antioxidant powerhouses like blueberries? Also, unlike meat, beans are naturally low in fat and cholesterol-free. The soluable fiber found in red beans also helps lower your blood cholesterol levels by helping to push cholesterol through your digestive tract before your body can absorb it. Red beans are also packed with protein, with about 15g of protein per cup!

The energy breakdown of red beans per 1 cup: 225 calories, 0.9g fat, 4mg sodium, 40.4g carbohydrates (of which 13.1g is fiber), 15.3g protein, 29% of your daily iron intake

The Mugwort plant (see wiki) is used a lot in Oriental cooking as a herbal ingredient and flavouring agent. Per 100g, it packs 5.2g protein!

Recipe

Step 1:
Make red bean paste

  1. In a steam cooker, place 1 cup of washed red beans and 4 cups of water and heat it over high heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat to low medium and simmer for 50 minutes.
  3. Check if the beans are cooked fully. Remove extra water from the beans and crush them with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add honey as needed to sweeten.

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Step 2:
Make mugwart plant mix (for cake dough). You could just add water to mugwart plant mix powder at an Asian food mart as well, or use another plant like spinach!

  1. Cut mugwart plant, and grind using a food processor
  2. Add 2 parts warm water to 1 part mugwart plant mix

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Step 3:
Make rice cake dough. You could get the brown rice powder at the store – but it’s much cheaper to make it on your own.

  1. Put in 2 cups of brown rice with 4 cups of water overnight.
  2. Drain the next day, and grind in a food processor to a find powder.
  3. Put aside a bit of the powder in a plastic bag.
  4. Mix the rice cake dough with the mugwart plant mix by hand, until the dough is workable with your hands. Add more powder as needed from the plastic bag if it’s too soggy, add more water if too dry

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Step 4:
In a double broiler, start boiling water.

Step 5:

  1. Roll a small ball of dough about 1 inch in diameter.
  2. Push the middle of the dough in, working in the dough until you carve out a hole to place the red bean stuffing into.
  3. Take a spoon to scoop up the red bean and place in the center.
  4. Close it up slowly working up from the corners. (Make sure to press it or the red bean will leak out when you steam)
  5. Once the water’s boiling put the rice cakes in for ~10 minutes.
  6. Remove the rice cakes and place them on the cooling rack.

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The rice cakes freeze really well, and could be microwaved afterwards for a snack anytime!