Kimchi fried bulgur wheat

 

I don’t like eating large amounts of food but I do spend the time to source good ingredients. Kimchi is the one of healthiest foods that you can eat. It is  packed full of nutritious  ingredients. We can use it as a seasoning. We can eat Kimchi as a salad, as a special gourmet addition to your recipes.

I love bulgur wheat. It has lovely pale brown colour, a nutty taste and most of all it is rich in plant based – protein and minerals. Bulgur is a light grain that is a good substitute for rice and is quick to make.

So here I made a balanced, healthy meal providing great, complete nutrition called Kimchi fried bulgur wheat.

They are really good, just try it!

It is quick and simple but most of all a super heathy meal.

Preparation time: 10-20 minutes

Cooking time: 5minutes

Servings:  2-3

Ingredients

  • 70g chopped Kimchi
  • 1 medium chopped potatoes
  • 1 baby courgettes
  • 3 baby carrots
  • 30g Romano peppers
  • 70g any cooked meats
  • 7 trimmed sugar

No pictures above ingredients

  • 70g cooked bulgur wheat,
  • 30g canned sweet corns
  • two poached eggs
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • A bit of water
  • Some herbs for garnishing
  1. Prepare all the ingredients.
  2. Add 1 tsp vegetable oil on a deep-frying pan, stir fry or cook the potatoes for 1-2 minutes and add one or two teaspoons of water if your need more oil.
  3. Add all the vegetables with cooked meat except kimchi with 1 tsp olive oil and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Lastly, put the chopped Kimchi, cooked bulgur wheat, canned sweet corns, 1tsp sesame oil and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Try your dish and add a pinch of salt or white pepper if the food taste is bland.
  6. Poach your egg and then simply load up your plate.
  7. Sprinkle with finely chopped romano peppers, chives, spring onions or what ever you fancy with colours.

 

Baek(white)Kimchi

20180613_145508Baek (white) Kimchi with no chillies.

This Kimchi is stuffed with a variety of vegetables, fruit, pine nuts, oysters and rock ear mushrooms.

 

The original Kimchis were Baek Kimchi from over a 1,000 years ago but did not use the Chinese leaf cabbage. In those times, Kimchi was radish dipped in fermented soya bean paste or salted in brine.

When it comes to Baek Kimchi, we need to wait until it ferments. This depends on temperature but usually takes 2 to 7 days.

When the Kimchi starts to ferment, it will smell a little bit sour and will bubble. The brine is a great sauce for cold noodles, or drunk as an appetizer before eating a main meal. My father was a very picky eater so if we had this Baek Kimchi in the house then he always drank a little bit of the brine before his meal and ate the crispy Baek Kimchi afterwards.

 

Kimchi guk(soup or stew)

 

In Korea if there is No Kimchi, then there is No meal!

For breakfast, lunch and dinner all year round it is on your dining table.

This means that a Kimchi refrigerator is a key appliance in Korean homes. I haven’t yet seen someone who hasn’t got one in their house.

Kimchi is the staple food in Korean cuisine.

It is made of fermented vegetables with a variety of different spices.

As Kimchi gets older, fermentation creates the different levels of flavour; at the beginning for the first 2-3 days, it is salty and spicy but as time goes on it produces a vinegary sharpness and the spiciness becomes milder and even sweet. Therefore, old Kimchi is the best ingredient for use in Korean stews, soups, stir fry, pancakes and spring rolls.

The most common ingredient of Kimchi is white Korean cabbage (Baechu) 배추. In the UK Chinese cabbage (Chinese leaves) are less firm, more watery and lighter (around 500-600 g) in comparison to the denser Korean cabbage (weighing around 3 kgs.)

Koreans often add fish sauce, fresh fish or oysters as ingredients of Kimchi depending on the region. This has its pros and cons. For example, Seoul people tend to make Kimchi without any fish sauce so when their Kimchi starts to ferment, the taste is very sour and it can only be kept for a short period. Whereas using fish sauce acts as a preservative and ensures the classic taste.

If you do not need to keep your Kimchi for more than few weeks then I would recommend that do not use any fish sauce.

If you are a Vegan then Kimchi will be a key starting place for exploring for other Korean dishes.

There are about 100 different varieties of Kimchi but typically people will keep the kimchi around 6-10 different Kimchi in their Kimchi refrigerator.

There is no doubt that Baechu Kimchi배추김치 has a deeper flavour and a better texture and you can keep it much longer.

Let me introduce some different Kimchi.

  • Baechu Kimchi (배추김치): “Whole Cabbage Kimchi” generally when we simply say kimchi we mean this type.
  • Dongchimi (Radish Water Kimchi): “Winter Kimchi”, big Korean white radish
  • Baek (White) Kimchi: without chillies,
  • Ggakdugi Kimchi (깍두기): “Chopped Radish Cubes”, Korean white radish but I always make it with Kohlrabi that actually approximates to the best quality Korean white radish.
  • Yeolmumul Kimchi (열무물김치): “Green Water Kimchi”, Tokyo turnips in UK
  • Nabak Kimchi (나박김치): “Red Water Kimchi”, Korean white radish
  • Chonggak Kimchi (총각김치): “Whole Radish Kimchi or Ponytail Kimchi”, a little bigger than Tokyo turnips in UK
  • Gat Kimchi: “Mustard Leaf Kimchi”, similar to Tat Soi with horseradish taste. I have made with Tat Soi. It is very similar to Gat Kimchi and this is from the southern provinces where I went to learn regional Kimchi. This is good with pork BBQ.
  • Mak Kimchi (막김치): “Summer Kimchi”
  • Oi Sobagi (오이김치): “Cucumber Kimchi”, this keeps only a few days.
  • Kkaennip Kimchi (깻잎): ”Perilla Leaf Kimchi”, my best favourite. It is the best with BBQ
  • Spring onion Kimchi

 

Kong-namul (soybean sprouts)

Kong means bean in Korean, Namul means edible plants.

Banchan (side dishes) are a big part of the Korean home kitchen. Kong-namul is one of the most popular side dishes and also one of the classic vegetable ingredients of Bibim-bab. It seems that Koreans started to eat this around 500 years ago.

Beansprouts are different to Kong-namul. Beansprouts are from the Mung bean. Kong-namul are sprouts of the Soy bean. We boil them and drain off the excess water then add seasoning.

Kong-namul muchim is an everyday banchan because it is inexpensive. The texture is crunchy and nutty and flavour of sesame oil. It is always served as one of the banchan in Korean BBQ restaurants.

 

In Cambridge, we have only one Korean supermarket called Seoul Plaza. In the past they used to stock a lot of fresh Korean ingredients but now there are less Korean and more from other nations. Kong-namul is therefore harder to find, so I thought I would try to grow it myself. Unfortunately, after two attempts I have been unsuccessful but I am still trying because it is worth it.

There are two versions of this Banchan, one is seasoned with a soy sauce called Guk-ganjang the other is additionally seasoned with chilli.

Another use of Kong-namul is as soup with rice. We call this Kong-namul guk (soup) bab (rice) and it is famous as a hangover cure. There are many restaurants that specialise only in this “hangover stew”.

Another famous recipe is called Kong-namul-bab which is a kind of very delicious Bibim-bab but seasoned with only soy sauce.

Kong-namul is a very good combination with Kimchi either in a soup or stir fry. I love this and I can’t stop eating it. My sisters wonder how I eat these all the time for weeks on end!

Buchu-jeon

Garlic chive savoury pancake. See all the ingredients here you can use less or more.

See how I made kimchi pancakes here.

How to Toast Sesame Seeds

Toasted sesame seeds are one of the essential Korean ingredients.
Koreans barely ever used raw sesame seeds in their dishes.

Sofar I haven’t seen any toasted sesame seeds in either Waitrose or Morrison supermarkets yet.

Toasted sesame seeds can be used as a seasoning in marinades, dressings and almost all types of “Bnachan” (side dishes) as well as for garnishing a variety of foods such as Gimbab and other vegetarian dishes.

Toasting the seeds brings out the full nutty and crunchy flavour.

sesameseeds1
Preparation Time : 3 minutes
Begin by emptying the seeds from their packet into a big deep pan.

Do not use a shallow fry pan because the sesame seeds will jump all around when you toast them!

Additionally, it is important that your pan is dry without any oil.

Add your sesame seeds and leave them for 30 seconds on a medium heat.

After 30 seconds, start to stir them with a big wooden spoon in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Do not stop stirring or they will burn.

Keep stirring until the sesame seeds’ colour becomes light brown. This should take less than 2 minutes overall.

sesameseeds2
Change the heat frequently from medium to low and back again for another minute.

Then turn off the heat when the sesame seeds are light brown but keep stirring for a minimum of another minute whilst the pan cools down.

When you finish them remove the sesame seeds from the pan to an bowl to prevent them burning from the residual heat of the pan.

Waiting for the sesame seeds to cool down and then keep them refrigerated if you do not want to use them immediately.

If you are interested in the healthly nutrition value of sesame seeds the have a look this website all about sesame seeds

How to Cook Rice

Most Korean people have to have a bowl of rice at least once a day so Korean families have got a special rice cookers that keep rice fresh for 2-4 days after its made. Therefore steamed rice is like bread so we can have any time we want.

One thing that surprised me about England is that when I wanted to buy a rice cooker in Cambridge I found that  the stores are selling very old versions of cookers that we used have in Korea a long time ago. Hopefully, I can find a new model of rice cooker to make my life much easier here!

Ingredients (4-6 people)

  • 2 cups short grain rice (500ml)
  • 2.25 cups water (600ml)

Equipment

  • A big bowl
  • 24cm or bigger and deep saucepan with a lid
  • A wooden spoon for stirring
Rice2a
Prepare 2 cups of uncooked and unwashed rice in a big bowl.You need to rinse your rice before cooking.  Run the cold tap water until it covers the rice.

Swish the rice with your hand a couple of times and change the water a couple times until the water comes out clear.

When the water is clear then drain all the water completely from the bowl.

Rice3The rice cooking process goes from boiling (at the highest heat) to simmering (medium low heat) and finally to steaming (the lowest heat).

I have a gas hob at home. First put the drained rice into the sauce pan and add the 600ml of water to the rice.

I put my saucepan of rice on the highest heat for around 10 minutes with the lid on until the water is boiling (if the water begins to boils over then open the lid a little bit). After 5 minutes your rice water will start to boil and after 10-12 minutes  from the start (depending on your heat), your rice water will be absorbed by the rice.

Then turn down the heat to between medium and low and simmer it for 8-10 minutes.

Finally put your saucepan over the lowest heat then steam for 7-10 minutes with the lid on. When it is ready, stir the rice with a wooden spoon lightly to prevent the rice grains sticking to each other and to evaporate any excess moisture