Pan-fried Tofu

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.

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Duck, it’s delicious

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.

 

 

Chickpea Curry

photoThis is a simple, healthy and delicious curry that you can make in about 10 minutes.  Here are the ingredients:

Iherb: Chickpeas, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, curry powder, salt.

Organic box, or regular mart: garlic, onion, ginger, zucchini, tomatoe

Soak the chickpeas overnight and then boil until soft.  Set aside.  Fry up onion/garlic/ginger.  Add the spices.  Then add zucchini and tomato.  Fry until soft and add chickpeas and a bit of water if it’s dry.  You could also add some coconut milk if you like it more creamy and something like pineapple or raisins if you like a bit of sweetness, or cashews if you want a bit of crunch.

Serve over rice, with some plain yogurt, green onion or cilantro on top.

Fusion Korean BBQ at Home

One week, in the most fabulous Organic Box,  I received bean sprouts, cabbage kimchi and sesame leaves, so I decided to make a fusion style Korean BBQ at home.  First, I loosely followed this recipe for Korean Bean Sprout Side Dish.

Then, the steak.  I loosely followed this guide on how to pan-fry a steak (I used my cast-iron with fabulous results).  For seasoning, I used my spices from Iherb: Fresh-Ground Black Pepper, Oregano, Garlic Powder and Rosemary.

Once the steak is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes and then cut it up into bite-size pieces.  To eat it, just take a little bit of rice, bean sprout, kimchi and steak and wrap it up in the leaf.  Put it all in your mouth together and enjoy.  It’s delicious!

Steak

Fried Rice, Fusion Style

Whenever I have some leftover rice, I’ll be sure to put it in the fridge for a day or two and then I’ll make up some fried rice.  It’s ideal for taking in your lunch because it’s equally delicious, cold or hot.  Here are the ingredients:

Iherb: 

Pepper, freshly ground, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Organic Box:

Perilla leaves, Mallow, Onion, Carrot, eggs

From the regular supermarket:

Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce, Canola Oil Sesame Oil, Garlic, Green Onions, rice

After that, it’s really easy.  Just fry up the veggies in a bit of canola oil, starting with the ones that take longer to cook (ie: carrot).  Pull your veggies away from the center of the pan, and scramble up the eggs.  Add the rice and spices (salt/pepper/red pepper).  Let your rice get heated through, as you mix everything up.  Finally, add the sauce (sugar/soy sauce/sesame oil) and green onions and turn off the heat.

Tips:

1. Use old rice.  Fresh is too soggy

2. Make sure your egg gets cooked thoroughly before you add the rice or it will be soggy

3. You can add any veggies you want, the only mandatory ones (in my opinion) are green onion and garlic.

4.  Add lots of salt and pepper and garlic for extra deliciousness.

5. Cut out the red pepper flakes if you don’t like spicy

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