A change of tack……………time to come back!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Fresh from the market- Fish and potatoes- 2 ways!

So I live in a rural area of central South Korea and whenever the date ends on a 4 or a 9 its a great opportunity to step out to the local market. These markets are in abundance all around South Korea and in the bigger towns and cities they are a regular fixture.

The best things to pick up at my local market are fresh fruit and vegetables and of course seafood. I usually pick up beautiful peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots and pumpkin. The peppers are particularly juicy and delicious.  The potatoes that are on sale this time of year are very good too and remind me of my favorite “new potatoes” growing up as a child.

The seafood vendors have an array of different fish and shell fish including mussels, prawns and clams. When it come to the fresh fish identifying the different species is somewhat more difficult as there are no signs and if there was then they would be in Korean!

There is always squid, what looks to me like large mackerel and also monk fish. I have also seen and bought what looks and tastes like (so therefore probably is) red snapper.

The fish I went for most recently caught my eye because of its distinct coloration of dark grey and silver vertical stripes as seen below. After much research I have found it be called the ATKA MACKEREL. The flesh is firm and brownish when raw and when cooked becomes a creamy white colour. The fish is also quite oily.

I am going to show you two separate dishes today using the atka mackerel and also the new potatoes I mentioned earlier. In order to make both dishes we will need two clean fillets for each dish from each of the fish. Before we get into the details of how to make each dish I will firstly outline how to fillet the fish properly. Below is an 8 step picture guide of how I did it followed by an explanation of each step.

Step 1- Using a small sharp knife (ideally a fish knife) cut along one side of  the backbone as close to it as you can so you don’t leave any fillet behind. Only cut in a small bit, no more than 1 cm. Try to keep as flat to the backbone as possible.

Step 2- Take the initial cut all along the length of the fish and start to gently “peel” back the fillet.

Step 3- Continue this process until the fillet is nearly off as seen in the picture for step 3.

Step 4- After continuing to gradually “cut and peel” all the way along the fish and down to the belly the fillet should just come off nicely as seen in step 4’s picture.

Step 5- The fillet has been removed but there is still some excess that needs to be removed from it. Cut away any remnants of fin from around the fish.

Step 6- Near where the head was down towards the belly there should be some quite large bones. This is not part of the fillet so can be cut away entirely by cutting down below the bones (see picture) and cutting it all away entirely.

Step 7- Once all excess has been removed all that is left is to remove the skin. I did this by placing the fillet skin side down and cutting into the fillet as close to the skin as possible. I cut in about 1 inch. Then I turned the fillet around and used a knife to gently ease the skin away from the flesh whilst also pulling it back slowly.

Step 8- As you come towards the tail end of the fish the skin should pull away more easily and come fully off. Be careful to not pull too hard or you man remove some flesh from the fillet.

You now should have one fillet. Only 3 more to go!

Atka Fish cakes with an asian inspired salad

This is a simple fish cakes recipe that produces beautifully tasting and looking fresh fish cakes served with a fresh crisp salad. It’s a very versatile recipe also and can be tweaked to personal taste.

Ingredients- for fish cakes

  • 2 of our beautifully cut fresh fish fillets
  • 6-8 small to medium new potatoes ( use less if you want extra fishy cakes)
  • 2 large scallions (spring/green onions)
  • 1 large pepper ( I prefer yellow or orange)
  • 3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • Fish sauce (I found anchovy sauce that works perfectly well)
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  • Parsley- fresh or dried
  • Sweet chili sauce (to serve with it)
  • Canola Oil
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • Flour
Ingredients- for salad
  • 6-8 lettuce leaves
  • 5/6 cherry tomatoes
  • handful of shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 a red (spanish) onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • Sesame oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Get a pot of lightly salted water on to boil and quickly peel your potatoes and put them on to boil. They should cook in around 10-15 minutes depending on the size. Ensure they are cooked through so they are easy to mash up later.
  2. Heat a good slosh of oil in a frying pan. Add a knob of butter to this and reduce to a medium heat.  Add the thinly sliced garlic and put about 1- 1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh or dried parsley to the pan. Fry off the garlic for 2 or 3 minutes or until it starts to go brown and crispy.
  3. Keeping the heat at a medium, place the 2 fish fillets in the pan. The oil and butter will have infused nicely with the garlic and will add flavour to the fish. Cooke the fish for around 3 minutes on each side or until it starts to flake. Continually basted the fish by using a spoon to pour the garlic infused oil and butter over the fish. This will help cook it further by adding hot oil and butter to the top side.
  4. Remove the fish fillets once you are satisfied they are flaky. If anything it’s best to slightly under cook the fish as it will all be cooked again in the final cooking stages. Leave the fish to cool in a large bowl.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked through strain them and place in the bowl with the fish. Using a fork gently mash up
    the potato and combine it with the fish. You can also add the thinly sliced garlic from the pan that should be nice a crispy golden brown now. Add a nice slosh of the fish sauce to the bowl and combine everything together properly. Once it is all combined leave it to cool whilst we prepare the salad.
  6. Wash the lettuce leaves and bunch them together. Slice them as one length ways at about 1 cm thick intervals. Half the cherry tomatoes. Finely chop the red onion. Very finely chop the red chili. Leave the seeds in if you want a little extra heat. Chop the red cabbage as thinly as possible length ways. Place everything in a bowl and cover with cling film. We will dress the salad just before serving so as to stop the leaves from wilting and for maximum crispness!
  7. Back to the fish cakes. Finely dice the large pepper and add to the fish cake mix. Finely chop the 2 scallions (green onions) also and add. Combine it all together again.
  8. Next we are going to roll out the fish cakes to shape them. Place a good length of cling film on a clean dry surface (a table or counter top) and drizzle a small few drops of olive oil onto one section. Take one half of the fish cakes mix in your hands and make into a rough cylinder shape.Wrap the cling film around the cylinder and try to roll it tightly. Don’t roll it so tightly that the mix will come out the side but tightly enough to get a nice cylindrical shape.
  9. Once its rolled up and sealed ensure to twist the cling film at the sides to close it up entirely. Repeat this process with the second half of the mix and leave to refrigerate. 1 hour should suffice but I left it a bit longer as I was doing some cleaning up and preparing for crumbing the fish cakes.
  10. If you wish to use pre-bought breadcrumbs that is totally fine but I prefer to prepare my own. Ideally its best to use somewhat dried out and stale bread. I generally freeze my bread and toast it when needed for sandwiches etc so I do the same when making breadcrumbs. Once the bread is toasted I tear it into my food processor and whizz is up. Once I have whizzed up as much as I need I redo it in the food processor so its extra fine and therefore coats to the fish cakes easily.
  11. For the breading you will need breadcrumbs, egg wash and flour. Beat 3 eggs and pour onto a dish. Pour some flour onto another dish and place them beside one another ; flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs and somewhere to leave the finished article.
  12. Once the hour (or longer if you wish) is up you can remove the wrapped cylinder of fish cake mix from the fridge. Take it out of the wrapping and place length ways on a chopping board. Using a large sharp knife gently
    cut the fish cakes into pieces of around 2 cms thick. Cut the end bits off first also. You should get about 6 or 7 fish cakes from one cylinder if you use both end bits and shape them together to a similar shape to the rest. Don’t worry if small bits break off as you can gently shape them back together.
  13. Once you have cut both cylinders and have all your fish cakes you can bread them. Try to use the wet and dry method.  That is one hand for the dry stuff (flour and breadcrumbs) and the other for the wet stuff (egg wash). Coat the fish cakes in flour remembering to give a quick shake to remove any excess, using you other hand coat in egg wash and then place in the bowl of breadcrumbs. Using your dry hand sprinkle breadcrumbs around the side and on top until covered and then leave aside. Repeat this process until they are all nice and evenly breaded and looking pretty appetizing as seen below.
  14. This recipe makes around 14/15 fish cakes. If you want an even fishier flavour you can remove one or two potatoes from the recipe. Obviously 14/15 is far too maybe to eat unless you are cooking for a large group so you can freeze what is left (as long as you used fresh and not previously frozen fish) and use at your leisure. They are best cooked fresh however.
  15. Heat canola oil in a deep fryer or a wok on a medium heat and once its hot enough ( you will known as whatever you put in will sizzle and bubble) place the fish cakes in and cook them until they are golden brown. Ideally the fish cakes should be submerged in the oil but if  not you can turn them regularly until they reach the beautiful golden colour. They should cook in around 8 minutes and be careful not to have the oil too hot as it will burn the crumb. Remove from the oil and drain on some kitchen towel.
  16. All that’s left is to dress the salad and plate up. To the salad add a nice glug of sesame oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a twist of black pepper and some salt. Toss it all around and pile it up on one side of your plate. Pop two fish cakes on the opposite side of the plate with a wedge of lemon and finish with some parsley sprinkled over the fish cakes and  3 or 4 dots of sweet chili sauce to the side. Atka fish cakes with an asian inspired salad. Delicious and easy!

As I said earlier one can tweak this recipe to taste if they wish. Maybe put in one or two less potatoes and a tad more fish sauce to intensify the fishiness. Also you could add some fresh chili’s or chili flakes to the mix to add some extra heat. Furthermore if you can’t find an Atka then try a fish with a similar make up and type of flesh. Or a completely different type. Tell me how it went!

So the second of the two recipes in this extra large bumper fish and potato edition of my blog is a good old favourite- FISH AND CHIPS! To be more precise its Guinness battered atka mackerel fish with potato wedges (and some of the salad from the previous recipe if you haven’t eaten it all!).  This recipe will serve two people.

Ingredients

  • 2 of the freshly cut fish fillets from earlier
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 can of Guinness
  • Soda water or sparkling water
  • 6-8 small/ medium potatoes
  • Canola Oil
  • The salad from the previous recipe above
  • Salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. This recipe is far quicker and easier than the fish cakes. Firstly prepare the batter. Put the cup of flour into a bowl and season with some salt and black pepper. Add in about 100ml of Guinness and whisk it all together. It should be a very thick consistency right now. Add some soda water, about 50ml and whisk this through also. The soda water should thin the batter out somewhat and also aerate it. Once the batter is kind of a runny thickness it’s ready. Tweak it by adding a tad more flour or Guinness depending ifs it’s too runny or too thick. Submerge the 2 fillets in the batter and set aside.
  2. Heat some canola oil on medium in a wok or a deep fryer.
  3. Clean your potatoes in cold water and quarter them to make the potato wedges. Leave the skin on once you have cleaned it properly.
  4. Check the oil is hot enough by putting in one wedge. Once it’s bubbling and sizzling the oil is ready. Cook you wedges in the oil for around 15 minutes or until they float to the  top of the oil. Remove them from the heat and drain in some kitchen towel. Sprinkle some salt on them to help remove the excess oil.
  5. Using the same oil on the same heat hold one of your battered fish fillets by the tail end of the fish and gradually lower it into the oil slowly. Don’t just drop the fillet into the oil as the batter needs a minute to form as it’s introduced to the oil. Repeat this with the second fillet.
  6. Cook the fish for around 5/6 minutes or until the batter is a dark golden crispy colour. The flesh of the atka should be a creamy white colour as mentioned earlier when introducing the ingredients.
  7. Drain the excess oil off the fish and serve with a generous handful of wedges, some of the aforementioned salad, a wedge of lemon and a nice dollop or tartar sauce. If there is no tartar to hand (I haven’t found any in Korea) them some mayonnaise with lemon zest through it will work excellently!
  8. Enjoy with a nice cold beer- Heineken was my preferred choice!

It really is hard to come by nice fish and chips here in Korea and this is an excellent simple one to try at home. One of the fish I used cost 5,000 KRW and bag of 20+ of the new potatoes cost me 2,000KRW. Add in the salad and condiments I roughly estimate that making this dinner for 2 people will cost well under 10,000 KRW. That’s 6 euro to the folks back home in Ireland. One would struggle to get a nice fish and chips in a bar for under 15 euro at home and definitely under 6 euro at a chipper. The added bonus to the price (for me anyway) is that it’s great fun to make!

Next up I will hope to bring you a delicious chicken and mushroom pie followed by a simple sweet and sour selection!

Keep reading and keep commenting and ……………most importantly………….. KEEP COOKING!

The Green Chef

Zesty Pork frie…

Zesty Pork fried rice

This is a simple and cheap recipe for a lovely refreshing rice dish that is packed full of goodness and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. It’s great to make a large batch and use for a couple of days or take it to lunch if you are getting tired of the cafeteria food. All of the ingredients are easily come by except for the coriander seeds. I found some in a world food market near where I live in Daejeon. It’s really close to Daejeon station for anybody living there who is unaware of its existence and it’s awesome. Anyway, I included them in this recipe as I used them the first time I made it but if you can’t find them substitute them with fresh or dried coriander or just leave them out. It won’t be as nice but it will still be tasty!

The ingredients are as follows.

  • Brown Rice
  • Carrots
  • Courgettes (Zucchini)
  • Red (Spanish Onions) or Green onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Green/Yellow/Red peppers
  • Pork Fillet
  • Garlic
  • Green Chillies (optional)
  • Coriander Seeds (if you can get some!!)
  • Lime Juice (Preferably fresh but a bottled version is fine if you can’t fine any fresh limes)
  • Light Soy sauce
  • Oyster Sauce

It really is a simple dish and the main work involved is in the chopping. The instructions are as follows;

  1. Get your rice on! If you are using a rice cooker then throw it in and do what needs doing. I don’t have one and have never used one so I won’t attempt to give instructions on how to use it. I’m sure it’s pretty simple all the same. I boil my rice the traditional way in a nice old pot that needs some elbow grease to clean once the rice is done. Make sure the rice is cooked through fully and is nice and fluffy.
  2. Get your chopping board out! The reason why there is a lot of chopping involved is because you want to chop everything up nice and small so it cooks quickly and mingles in well with the rice once its added (already cooked) to the veg and meat. Basically dice up the carrots, courgettes peppers and onions into small (50-75mm) cubes or at least something approaching cubes. You obviously don’t need to be unerringly accurate. As with most of my recipes the ingredients list is not exhaustive and you can remove or substitute in whatever vegetables you wish to. Chop the chillies up finely too if you are choosing to use some to add some heat to your dish. If you want extra extra heat then chop them without removing the seeds.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and add the vegetables. After 2/3 minutes of stir frying on a high heat turn the heat right down and return to your chopping board. Be mindful of your rice too and see how it’s doing. Especially if you are cooking it in a pot as I sometimes need to add more water as it has boiled down but the rice isn’t cooked.
  4. If you have managed to get your hands on some coriander seeds then you need to bash them up a bit before adding them to the pan.  Combine them with 3 or 4 cloves of garlic in a pestle and mortar and bash them up. I, unfortunately, don’t own a pestle and mortar here in Korea and I haven’t seen one either. As an alternative I have taken to using a regular bowl as my mortar and a tesco black pepper grinder as my pestle! It’s not quite the same but it does the trick. By whatever means possible crush up your coriander seeds  and garlic (about a small handful) and add into the veg that’s cooking away on your pan.

    Crushed Coriander seeds and garlic

  5. Chop your pork into small pieces and set aside. The pieces don’t need to be quite as small as your veg but still chop them quite small.

    Diced Pork fillet

  6. If step one took you a long time then your rice is probably cooked and ready to be added to the  veg. If it’s not ready then remove the veg from the heat until the rice is ready to be added.  Strain your rice with boiling water and add straight into the  veg. Mix it all up thoroughly whilst cooking on a low heat. It’s all essentially cooked now so once you are happy it’s all mixed up you can remove it from the heat and add some more lime juice.  also add in a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and a couple of oyster sauce. Mix the lime juice, soy and oyster sauce through it thoroughly.
  7.  Fry the pork off in a separate pan with some olive oil. Add the pork to a pan on full heat and immediately turn it down to a medium heat. It should only take 3/4 minutes to cook through and remain tender.
  8. Finally add the cooked pork to the rice and veg. Mix it all up once again and its ready to go!

This is really one of the simplest of recipes I have posted to date but I personally really enjoy it. I find that if you have a few busy days coming up it’s a great one to make in advance. If you make a big batch it can be reheated and eaten in 2 or 3 minutes saving extra hassle or temptation to grab junk food in the ensuing busy days. I hope you enjoy it.

If you read this folks I implore you to take 1 minute out of your day to leave a comment and if you happen to make it please please please tell me how it went for you.

Cheers cheers, THEGREENCHEF!!!

It’s hotting up…………………………..BBQ season is here!

So for this BBQ blog I am going to give you 2 simple meat recipes and 1 simple salad. Both of the meat recipes are a great alternative to start off the BBQ before you get your burgers and steaks out. Something to wet the appitite!

The first of the meat recipes is for skewered pork and veg kebabs and the ingredients are as follows.

  • Pork fillet
  • Button Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Beksul pork galbi marinade
  • Wooden skewers

Firstly

  1. Take the wooden skewers and submerge them in water for as long as possible. Leaving them submerged overnight is best. You could also pop them into an open and nearly full bottle of red or white wine so they have a slight flavour and a nice aroma. Soaking them stops them from burning once they are placed on the heat.
  2. Chop the pork into 2cm cubes and mix in 2/3 table spoons of the marinade. Set this to one side.
  3. Quarter the mushrooms. I prefer to leave the stalk on but if you want to remove them it’s okay although you will have a little less mushroom!!!
  4. Wash the tomatoes and remove the green bit. Leave whole.
  5. Chop the peppers by topping and tailing them and removing the seeds. Chop the main body of the peppers into strips around 75mm to 1 cm from top end to bottom. Chop the top and tail into 4-6 pieces depending on the shape and size. I find the yellow and orange peppers to be the most succulent and juicy but they are, however, more expensive than the red or green here in Korea.
  6. Now simply assemble. I always place a cherry tomato on first to cover the point in the skewer (safety first) and to act as a kind of stopper for everything else. After the tomato thread on one piece of meat, followed by mushroom, pepper and meat again. Finish the skewer with another piece of pepper and mushroom and repeat the process on as many as you like!
  7. I deliberately didn’t include amounts for any of the ingredients above as it totally depends on the number of people attending your BBQ.
  8. A general rule I use is to get more tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms than I will probably need for the skewers and whenever I run out of pork the left over veg can just be used later in a salad.

I generally start my BBQ with these as the first course because if you prepare a big pile of them you can gradually cook and eat them as you get started. Put them on the heat and turn regularly. As the BBQ becomes hotter try and move them to the sides away from the searing direct heat as they may burn. Cook them for 10-12 minutes turning regularly. Pinch the meat to feel if it’s done. If it still feels somewhat squidgy then they probably need a few more minutes.

A great alternative to pork are the lovely big juicy king prawns. I prefer to just throw them on a skewer alone once they are shelled and de-poop shooted! They cook really quickly and are delicious hot off the grill with a squeeze of lemon juice on top.

Enjoy!!

Next on the agenda is another pork dish and it’s a favourite to any BBQ. Good old classic ribs. This version is excellent to serve at the start of the BBQ because they are 90% cooked by the time you take them to the grill. Furthermore there are only 3 ingredients! I found them to be excellent value in my local butchers also. 20,000 won worth were enough for a light starter to a BBQ for 10 people.

Ingredients are as follows

  • Pork ribs (about 4/5 per person)     
  • Beksul BBQ pork galbi marinade
  • ½ cup of plain/wheat flour

Instructions

  1. Cut the ribs into manageable size lengths so as you can fit them in a pot. If you have a large pot you can place them all in it and submerge them in boiling water. Season the water lightly with some salt and pepper.
  2. Boil the ribs for around 25-30 minutes on a low heat with the lid on leaving them to simmer.
  3. Take the ribs out of the boiling water and leave them aside for 5 minutes to allow the excess water to evaporate. 
  4. If you are, as I did, preparing the ribs for 10 people you can use the full jar of marinade. If preparing for 5 use half the marinade and so forth. Put the marinade in a pot and heat it gently. Whilst heating the marinade gradually whisk flour through it until it is about twice as thick as when you started. This makes it much stickier and therefore easier to apply to the ribs.
  5. Smother the meaty side with the marinade and spread it around to cover the meat entirely. Be generous with the sauce and lay it on as thickly as possible.
  6. Pre- heat the oven to around 180 degrees Celsius and cover a tray with some tin foil (aluminium foil) and lightly drizzle with some olive oil.
  7. There should be some excess sauce stuck to the side of the pot used to thicken it. Add some water to this and bring it to the boil to remove the excess sauce.
  8. Pour this liquid around the tray and place the ribs in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Turn the heat down to around 150 after 15 minutes.
  10. Leave the ribs aside and when your BBQ is heated up and ready to go put the ribs on for  2/3 minutes on the meaty side and 3/4 minutes on the bony side.

If you like your spicy food there is a spicy version of the marinade available. It is red in colour. Alternatively you could chop some chillies and add them in at stage 4.

Once again…………….Enjoy!

Finally I am going to outline an extremely simple yet delicious potato salad recipe. The ingredients are as follows. The quantities vary again depending on how many people you are preparing for.

  • Baby potatoes (1-1.5 kgs) or less depending on how many you are catering for.
  • Spring (green) onion (2 or 3 large ones)
  • White Onion (2 or 3 depending on the size)
  • Dried rosemary, basil and thyme.
  • Mayonnaise (500g bottle- you will only use 12 or 3/4 quarters but its good to have extra in case the salad is a little dry)

Instructions;

  1. Wash and quarter the baby potatoes and boil them in some lightly salted water leaving the skin on.
  2. Finely chop the spring and white onion.
  3. Drain the potatoes once they are cooked soft and put them back in the pot.
  4. Add the chopped onions.
  5. Add the dried herbs.
  6. Add the mayonnaise.
  7. Using a spoon mix everything up together vigorously.  You could also use a potato masher but try not to cream the potatoes like when you are making mashed potato. We are looking more for crushed potatoes as opposed to mashed potatoes.
  8. If they look a little dry then simply add some extra mayonnaise.
  9. Enjoy!

This salad takes no time at all to prepare and always goes down a treat. An American friend of mine loves to eat it on a Nacho or any kind of chip at all so maybe give that a try!! I’ve even seen it put into a cheeseburger recently!

So that is 3 simple recipes that can grace any BBQ proudly.

Once again- ENJOY!! And remember to leave me your comments and any ideas you have to improve any of the above.

thegreenchef08

So I have unfortunately been a little inactive but i’m back and plan to rectify that by hitting you with a few new fresh recipes in quick succession. So lets get to it.

Image

The ingredients are as follows

  • Olive oil
  • 4 baby potatoes
  • Fresh or dried rosemary
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large spring/green onion
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 of a courgette/ zucchini (depending where your from)
  • 40ml milk

Instructions;

  1. Wash and chop the baby potatoes into very small cubes as seen above. Small pieces help them cook quickly and crisp up nicely.
  2. Crush or finely chop the garlic.
  3. Chop the courgette into the same very small cubes as the potatoes.
  4. Finely chop the spring/green onion until you get to the end of the stiff part. Discard the leaves.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. The one I used is roughly the size of my hand with…

View original post 699 more words

It’s been a while- Garlic and rosemary potato Spanish tortilla

So I have unfortunately been a little inactive but i’m back and plan to rectify that by hitting you with a few new fresh recipes in quick succession. So lets get to it.

Image

The ingredients are as follows

  • Olive oil
  • 4 baby potatoes
  • Fresh or dried rosemary
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large spring/green onion
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 of a courgette/ zucchini (depending where your from)
  • 40ml milk

Instructions;

  1. Wash and chop the baby potatoes into very small cubes as seen above. Small pieces help them cook quickly and crisp up nicely.
  2. Crush or finely chop the garlic.
  3. Chop the courgette into the same very small cubes as the potatoes.
  4. Finely chop the spring/green onion until you get to the end of the stiff part. Discard the leaves.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. The one I used is roughly the size of my hand with my fingers spread out.
  6. Once the oil is hot turn the heat right down and add the crushed garlic.(as seen below) Let the garlic infuse into the oil for about 1 minute but be careful the oil isn’t too hot and burning the garlic.
  7. Add the potatoes into the garlic infused oil and fry on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until they start to go golden brown and crispy as above. Also add a little more olive oil.
  8. Add a generous amount of dried or fresh and chopped rosemary.
  9. Keep the potatoes moving in the pan but at the same time crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, add the milk (makes the tortilla lighter) and season to taste with some salt and cracked black pepper and beat together with a fork or whisk.
  10. When the potatoes start to look golden and crispy add the courgette and spring onion and mix together with the potatoes on a high heat for 1 minute as below.
  11. Remove from the pan and drain off the excess oil on some kitchen paper.
  12. Now for the fiddly bit! Tear off  kitchen (aluminium) foil from a roll. About 2 1/2 times the width of the pan should do.
  13. Place this foil loosely over the pan. Remember to turn the heat off.
  14. Using a towel or oven gloves or even a spoon press the foil down into the shape of the pan leaving half of the extra foil to one side as illustrated above.
  15. Add some more oil to the foil covered pan and turn on full heat.
  16. Add the potatoes, courgettes, garlic and spring onion to the pan and turn the heat to medium.
  17. Add the egg mix and give the pan a shake to make sure it distributes evenly around the vegetables. You could quickly mix it all around also before it starts to set. (see right)
  18. Try to cook the tortilla on a low to medium heat. The foil needs to be folded over to try and cover the tortilla and act as a sort of oven. When you have it covered by the foil put a larger lid or a even a plate on top to keep the heat in again trying to replicate a type of oven. (as above)
  19. Leave to cook on a medium to low heat for 8-10 minutes or longer. Have a peek and you will know if it is cooking as it will appear to “set”. Be careful not to cook it too quickly as the outside will burn if its cooked too quickly.
  20. When you think it is nearly done try to rip (using oven gloves) as mush of the excess foil away but leave enough to lift the tortilla out whole.
  21. Lift the tortilla in the foil out of the pan. There may be some egg still runny or soft on top that needs cooking. To cook this we need to flip the tortilla whilst keeping it from breaking apart. I found the easiest way to do this was by sliding the tortilla onto a small plate away from the foil and placing it upside down onto the small pan. Ensure to put a little oil on the pan so it doesn’t stick.
  22. Cook again for 2/3 minutes on a medium heat. Even if there isn’t any runny egg it is best to do this to add some colour to the top.

Now you are ready to serve!

This dish is very versatile and can be eaten hot or cold. Serve this size as a dinner for two with a fresh green salad or slice it up like a pizza and bring it along to a picnic.

Again, the ingredients are not exhaustive. Add some meat or shrimp or even some peppers. Also, if you have an oven(may seem strange to anyone reading this who isn’t living in Korea- it isn’t as ovens are quite rare) you can pop it in on a medium heat for 12-15 minutes once you reach step 17 and it saves the fiddly moving out and back into the pan to finish the cooking process.

Please comment and let me know if you found the cooking process to be easy, difficult or downright stupid!!!

And so it begins……..Korean Fusion warm Pork Salad

Hello and welcome to my,
TheGreenChef’s, food and recipes blog. I hope to show you some simple and delicious recipes that I have cooked and developed in the last year I have spent living and working in South Korea.
After a jittery start in my minuscule kitchen I have definitely gone on something of a food adventure in my time living here.
Over the coming weeks and months I hope to show you my recipes for fish bites and crab cakes to savory pancakes to oreo cheescake and hopefully plenty in between.
I have endeavored to do a small bit of research into how much the average waygook (foreigner in Korean to anyone who may stumple upon this blog from outside the country) spends on food each week. Without getting into the nitty gritty I found that the average person will probably eat in around 3 or 4 days a week.
The recipes I will share with you will aim to keep costs down as much as possible and I will give a rough idea of how much each of the meals cost to make.
Firstly, however, If you want to keep costs down it is wise to invest in some cooking staples such as some good oil. I normally use olive oil or sesame oil for more of an Asian flavor. Also in all cooking seasoning is of the utmost importance so get some salt and a black pepper grinder. The homeplus black pepper grinder is very cheap and lasts for months.
Enough chit chat. Lets see if I can deliver upon my promises above. The first recipe i’m going to show you is basically a Korean fusion type pork salad. This recipe will serve 2 people. If you are cooking for one use half of it once prepared and keep the second half for tomorrow. The ingredients are as follows.

  • Olive Oil (Extra virgin is best)
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 button mushrooms
  • 1/2 a carrott
  • 1/2 a yellow, red or green pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Around 200g of pork fillet
  • A handful of peanuts
  • 1 heaped dessert spoonful of Galbi Pork marinade ( I used beksul brand and got it in a rural town’s supermarket so i’m sure it is available in homeplus or one of the big supermarket chains)
  • A nice bunch of green lettuce leaves
  • Salt and black pepper

Instructions;

  • Chop the pepper and carrots into strips.
  • Loosely chop the onion (after peeling) and mushrooms.
  • Use a garlic crusher or finely chop the 3 cloves of garlic.
  • Set all of the above aside.
  • Chop the pork fillet into thin 1cm wide strips, place in a bowl and mix in the galbi marinade till all the pork has been lightly covered and set aside.
  • Heat 2 or 3 dessert spoonfuls or a nice slosh of the olive oil in a frying pan or wok. Put on full heat for 1 minute.
  • Once the oil is heated place the carrot, mushroom, peppers, onion and garlic into the pan and reduce to a medium heat.
  • Lightly season with some salt and black pepper.
  • Stir fry the veg for 6-8 minutes or until the onion is properly soft. Ensure to not have the pan too hot as this will burn the finely chopped/crushed garlic.
  • Once the veg is done set aside on some kitchen paper to drain away the excess

    Beksul Galbi marinade- 2400 won

    oil and cover with some more kitchen paper. Keep the pan with the remainder of the oil.

  • If you have a second frying pan or a wok and a second burner heat a small drizzle of oil in it.  Once the oil is heated put the marinated pork into the pan. If you don’t have a second pan or wok its perfectly fine to use the one you cooked the veg in without cleaning it. If you have two burners you can cook the meat and the veg simultaneously and reduce the cooking time.
  • Fry the pork off on a medium high heat for around 5/6 minutes. Keep the pork moving around in the pan for the first 2/3 minutes then cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook on a medium heat for a further 2/3 minutes. It should cook very quickly as it is sliced quite finely.
  • The steam from cooking will hit the lid turn to liquid which will mix with the marinade and  the pork juices and bubble around the pork whilst cooking which will create some nice sauce to drizzle over the meat when serving.  If you are worried its not cook then use your instinct and leave it on a little longer. Don’t be afraid to taste check it as that is always better then overcooking it and therefore drying out the meat.
  • Whilst leaving the pork to cook with the lid on take a plate and place the lettuce leaves around the outside of the plate like the petals of a flower with the thin part pointing in.
  • Then place the veg in the middle of the plate.
  • After that, once you are confident the meat is cooked place it on top of the veg.
  • Nearly there! All you have to do now is take the handful of peanuts and lightly toast them off in some oil on a medium heat for 1 minute. If you used a second pan for the meat it is easiest to use the veg pan that you set aside earlier to toast off the nuts in.
  • Top off the salad with the handful of warm toasted nuts. The nuts really set it off in my opinion and add a lovely crunch to the whole affair.
  • Enjoy! I found myself using the lettuce leaves as if I were at a Korean barbecue restaurant putting all the ingredients and meat in a lettuce leaf, wrapping it up and popping it in my mouth.

Of course the ingredients in this recipe are by no means exhaustive. Use different vegetables or sub chicken or beef in for pork. Or maybe have it as a stir fry with rice or noodles on the side instead of the lettuce. Be creative! That’s what food is all about for me.
The reason I used the vegetables I did was because of their inexpensiveness. Onions, garlic and mushrooms are very cheap in any supermarket. The peppers are sometimes more expensive but I find the outdoor markets are the best place to get good value on them and indeed all the other veg. It’s also fun to try and have a bit of a haggle!
Furthermore I have found the pork fillet or gamtang to be much cheaper than, for example samgypsal. One pack in my local supermarket sets me back between 7-9000 won and a whole pack would enable me to cook this particular meal for 5/6 people.
I have roughly estimated that this meal, for two people, would cost around 5,000 won. That is excluding the Olive oil and the salt and pepper for seasoning.
I hope you give this one a try and enjoy it as much as I did.
Happy cooking and please leave me some feedback.

Also please follow me on twitter (@thegreenchef08) to keep a watch out for up and coming blogs.
Till next time,
TheGreenChef.