Category Archives: Others

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Korean Beef Skewers (with Vegetarian option)

06 19 17

There is whole other part of Korean cuisine that I have yet to explore. It’s the royal cuisine. Food that was served on king’s table during Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (1392 – 1910). It’s mindful, it’s delicate, it’s beautiful and of course, delicious. Joseon dynasty is one of very few, possibly the only era that was documented down to every detail through each king’s reign. All 27 monarchs ruled over 500 years of time. You can imagine the type of food that made it to king’s table and the royal family was exquisite and exceptional. A lot of what you see in modern Korean food is developed over the years based on region but heavily roots back to Joseon era. I’m happy to re-introduce this recipe again from what we made few workshops ago. You can see the previous recipe HERE and compare how it is prepared differently. Hope you get to try it. It’s a really good one to entertain the guests with.

Photography by Selina S. Lee

KOREAN BEEF SKEWERS (산적꼬치) – 3-4 servings (12 skewers)

8 asparagus stalks (medium thickness for easier threading)
1/4 lb thin sliced lean beef (sirloin or rib eye)
4 king mushrooms
12 rice cakes (thin round tube kind)
3 green onions
2 eggs
¼ cup flour

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp grated ginger
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin or cooking sake

Cut all ingredients preferably in same length. 2 to 2.5 inches. All ingredients will be par-cooked and seasoned separately before threading into the skewers. Prepare the sauce first by combining the ingredients.

BEEF or KING MUSHROOM – Cut the beef or mushroom into strips then marinate in sauce for about 30 min. Use about ⅓ of the prepare sauce and save the rest for later. After meat or mushroom is marinated, sautéed them on a skillet for few minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked.

RICE CAKE – Soak the rice cakes in cold water for few minutes then blanch in boiling water for 1-2 min. Season it with little bit of the sauce and sesame oil after draining to make sure it doesn’t stick together. There is no need to blanch the rice cake if you are using freshly made rice cakes.

ASPARAGUS, CARROT and GREEN ONION – Remove the tough ends of the asparagus and cut both asparagus and carrots into same size strips then blanch in boiling water for 2-3 min. Make sure vegetables are not overcooked and season with salt after it’s drained. Cut green onion, including the white part and set it aside.

Once all ingredients are par-cooked and seasoned, thread the meat/mushroom, vegetables and rice cakes onto the skewer. I like to thread them in this order: Asparagus – Mushroom/Beef – Carrot – Rice Cake – Green Onion. It looks pretty!

Heat a large pan with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Coat each skewer with flour then with whisked egg (season with salt) and place the skewers in the pan. Add more egg on top of the skewer to fill in the gap. It’s okay if egg overflows, we can cut off the excessive to keep the shape after it’s been cooked. Cook it for 2-3 min then flip it over and cook for another 2-3 min in lower heat.

Serve with remaining sauce for dipping.

TIP: Soak or rinse the wooden skewers in cold water before threading. This will prevent the wood from burning.


1500mg of Sodium per Day

04 28 17

“Wait, How much or how little is 1500mg of sodium?” is the question that I asked my doctor during my last annual check-up. To give you a better idea, that’s less than 1 tsp of salt. If you have one cup-a-noodle, you are pretty much done for the day. To be perfectly honest, I dreaded writing this post. I waited until I was actually in the “mood” to write it. I don’t feel totally comfortable talking about something personal (like my health) here but I feel the need to bring it up since I cook and share recipes here on my blog, the way I eat, the way I choose to cook has everything to do with it.

After going through the round of blood tests, my doc tells me the bad news. That I have hypertension, a high blood pressure. I don’t need to go into medical details to explain but basically, if I don’t take good care of it now, it can lead to something more serious. She said I need to be on a pill everyday to keep the blood pressure down and focus on 3 things that can help me (other than pills) to get back on track. Reduce stress, walk at least 30 min everyday and reduce sodium intake drastically. Now that I quit my full time job, I think I can take care of first two without any excuse but how about the last one? 1500mg of sodium per day? Is that even possible? That’s like saying don’t use any salt in your cooking, don’t go near any processed food. This is going to be a challenge as someone who cooks Korean food on a daily basis, someone who develops recipes and shares them online, someone who cooks and serves at events. “Ugh, my food will taste terrible, everything will taste blaaaand and nobody would want to try my recipes again.”…is the initial thoughts that went through my mind. But I’m beginning to accept this change and hoping to make a positive impact in my life. Yes, it’s going to be extremely hard. It is about taking baby steps, long-term goals and a life style change. It just took a doctor’s ultimatum to make a change but I feel good about it. I already started making small changes at home and instead of using salt and sugar, I use Shim’s homemade savory and sweet sauces to season. Check it out!

So if you notice that I write ‘adjust to taste’ repeatedly in my recipes, this is the reason. I think of recipe as just a guide, never really to follow down to every teaspoon. Having more flexibility to cook is the fun, creative part and it’s what got me into cooking in the first place. So if you have any ideas about low sodium cooking (cookbooks, blogs, articles…etc.), please please send it my way. Appreciate any help I can get here!

Recipe All - Others

Mung Bean Fritters – Updated

01 02 17

Photography by Selina S. Lee

Happy New Year! Happy 2017!

As a new years tradition, I had another great Korean holiday meal with my family last night. It was one of few opportunities where I can pig out on mom’s home cooked meal. My sisters and I brought some dishes to add to the table. I made one of my holiday favorite, Mung Bean Fritters (녹두 빈대떡). It brought back memories of all those years helping mom on the side of the kitchen making these. Not to mention sneaking in a few bites while I was helping her. So happy I can make my own now and to share this recipe. Hope you get to try it too!

MUNG BEAN PANCAKE (녹두 빈대떡) – 4-6 servings
recipe adapted from Korean Bapsang

2 cups peeled mung beans
1 cup mung bean sprouts (숙주나물)
1 cup washed kimchi
3 scallions
1 cup pork belly for shabu shabu
1/2 cup crown daisy leaves or parsley leaves (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced seeded red pepper (optional)
cooking sake or white wine
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (gochugaru)

Rinse and soak the mung bean in cold water for 3-4 hours. Drain leaving little bit of water to be used for blending (approx. 1/4 cup). In a blender, grind 2 cups of soaked beans. Adding little bit of water will help blend them smoothly. Add little bit of salt for seasoning. The the batter should be thick and coarse consistency. Prepare mung bean sprouts by boiling it for just 2 minutes to cook but still crunchy. Rinse it in cold water, drain and set it aside. Cut pork belly in small bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper and cooking sake (or white wine). Prepare kimchi by cutting in small bite size pieces then wash it in running water on a strainer, squeeze out excess water and set it aside. Chop scallions and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, add the mung bean and combine all ingredients by mixing gently so it’s evenly mixed. Prepare the crown daisy leaves and red pepper slices to add. I like to soak the red peppers in cold water to take the heat off a little and to take the seed out easily.

On a non-stick pan, heat oil on medium-high heat using generous amount of oil. Use the spoon to put the mixture into the pan and spread it down into a thin round shape. Add crown daisy leaves and red pepper on top. Cook until the bottom is golden brown (2-3 minutes), and turn it over. Lower the heat, Gently press it down with a spatula, and cook for another 2-3 minutes then flip it over one last time and cook for 1 min. Repeat the process with the rest of the mixture. Serve hot off the pan with the dipping sauce.