When I first came to Korea, I used to get lunch provided at my school and one of my favorite meals was rice, with pan-fried tofu and dried seaweed. I remembered thinking how bizarre it all was that this was my favorite meal when I would never have considered eating something like it in Canada. These days, I even cook it at home.
Here’s how to pan-fry some tofu:
1. Drain a block of firm tofu well and cut into 5cm thick slices. Salt and pepper both sides, flipping it carefully.
2. Heat up a non-stick or cast iron frying pan with some oil until hot.
3. Add tofu carefully and fry until brown on the first side. Flip only once and then cook until brown on that other side.
Here are some meal combination ideas:
1. Put it on top of a green salad.
2. Make “bibimbap” with the tofu, rice, gochu-jang and whatever veggies or side-dish stuff you have in the fridge.
3. With seaweed and rice, of course.
4. Use it in place or pork or beef in Korean BBQ, with the lettuce wraps and side-dishes.
It’s equally delicious hot or cold so it’s perfect for taking for lunch at work. Check out This Can’t Be Tofu! for even more recipe ideas.
We all know that duck is probably the most delicious bird-type meat ever. It’s a million times better than turkey or chicken and I really don’t know why North Americans don’t get on it for Thanksgiving and Easter. Anyway, that’s a blog post for another day. However, I’m a wee bit scared to cook it, even though I’ve tackled turkeys and whole chickens quite easily.
But, not to worry because they have pre-cooked, sliced duck at all the major grocery stores here in Korea and it’s fabulously delicious. As a little splurge, I bought a package yesterday. And here’s what I did with it:
Round 1: I was very hungry when I got home from the grocery store so I fried some up and ate it straight-up with mustard sauce.
Round 2: I fried up some more of it and put it on top of a big green salad with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It made a boring kind of salad into one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten in a long time.
Round 3: I made some duck fried rice for hiking. It was kind of the ultimate lunch on the mountain and the duck grease made everything taste quite fabulous. Duck grease and garlicky goodness: YUM!
Round 4: I’m contemplating a sandwich with some homemade bread, ripe tomatoes and lettuce, with a bit of mustard and mayo. It depends how inspired I feel tomorrow.
So, even though it cost 12 000, it’s actually a lot of meals and I’ll definitely be buying one again at some point in the near future.
I love omelettes! They are delicious, healthy and the perfect way to use up random veggies, meat and cheese that you might have lingering in your fridge. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I learned how to make a perfect one from Jamie Oliver, although I must confess that mine are not as beautiful as his.
You’re perhaps wondering what you can use to scoop up that delicious homemade hummus of yours. A good option is homemade brown bread, but if that’s too much work for you, there’s an even easier solution: baked tortilla chips.
It’s really quite simple. Just go to Costco and get the jumbo bag of tortillas (or you can buy them at the local mart as well usually, but they’re quite expensive). Then, cut them up into triangles and lightly brush them with olive oil. Add some salt, or another spice or two if you’re feeling adventurous. Something like cumin is good for hummus. Then bake in the oven on medium heat until crisp. Check frequently because it’s quite easy to burn them. You can store them for a few days in an airtight container, but make sure you let them cool first.
Red Lentil Curry is one of my favorite meals for when I have almost nothing in my fridge or cupboard except for a bit of onion, garlic and ginger (which I’m never without). It only takes about 15 minutes in total so it’s perfect for when you’re hungry and tired.
Here’s how to do it:
Put your rice in the rice-cooker and bring your red lentils to a boil and then turn off heat and cover. I always get my lentils from Iherb, but you can also find them at Asian supermarkets.
Chop up some onion, garlic and ginger. Fry in oil with the following spices, which are all from the fabulous Iherb:
Cumin, Coriander, Cinnamon (only a tiny bit), coriander, salt.
Add the lentils and some coconut milk. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat until at your desired consistency. If you have some fresh cilantro or green onion, put on top. If not, no worries. Just serve over rice. Delicious!
In the organic box this week, I got some eggplant. Since I was too lazy to make Baba Ghanoush, the most delicious eggplant thing ever, I settled for Korean eggplant side-dish. It was my first attempt at making it and it turned out okay, but not as good as I’ve had in restaurants. I loosely followed this recipe online:
In the organic CSA box, they often send water parsley. The problem is that most expats in Korea truly have no idea what to do with it. How I usually eat it up is by making a really simple salad. Here’s how you do it:
Clean and chop up the water parsley. I usually use some of the stems, but discard the really thick pieces.