Genius Soy Sauce


mixture ) and brine. The mixture of meju (freshly boiled and mashed soyben) is left for 2-3 months outside in the cold winter months in Korea until the liquid becomes black. The taste is richer and saltier, also the colour is much lighter than regular soy sauce.

How to use them

This is for seasoning soup, boiled vegetable called Namul and salads called Muchim .

2. Jin Ganjang (a mix of chemically produced soy sauce)

This mass produced  soy sauce is called Ganjang, Whe-Ganjang or Jin-Ganjang : It is similar to the soy sauce you see on every supermarket shelf

How to use them

They make a great marinade or can be splashed into stews or used in sauces for meat and vegetables such as, stir-frying, braising, marinating and grilling or dipping sauce.

3. Mat Ganjang or Jorim Ganjang  (flavoured or seasoned soy sauce)

This  is the most commonly used in Korean dishes. It is much less salty compared to regular or Guk Ganjang. This is regular sauce diluted  and boiled with  some vegetable and some dry fish and starch syrup or sugar added. It is easy to use in any Korean dishes for seasoning.

4. Sempio soy sauce for soup base (soba)  

There are many flavoured Soy sauces for cold noodles or Japanese soba. This Sempio brand which I got from a Korean supermarket in the UK  worked well  for my Genius Soy Sauce. Japanese Tsuyu Soba sauce is similar.

To make Genius soy sauce  What you need to buy is

Mat Ganjang 맛 간장 or Jorim Ganjang 조림 간장 (flavoured or seasoned soy sauce) and add Korean Sempio soy sauce for soup base 

You can use this sauce for  salad , in bibimbap, with pan-fried fish, pancake or as dipping sauce for spring rolls.

Why is soy sauce black when soybeans are not? In making soy sauce, protein from soybeans breaks down into amino acids. This reaction results in a black coloured substance.

Eating and Drinking Manners with Elderly Koreans

Korean Confucianism puts a premium on respect for the elderly and for extended family ties. These days in Korea, societal pressures have torn apart the traditional concept of the extended family. However I was lucky to be able to learn table manners from my large family especially from my grandmother.

Age is still important and respected in Korea, therefore the most eldest in a group will start the meal first by lifting his (or her) chopsticks and taking food first and then the others may follow. Although this custom has been a little eroded nowadays, many Koreans households still follow these traditional Korean manners regarding eating.
Continue reading “Eating and Drinking Manners with Elderly Koreans”

Toran Jeon (Jerusalem Artichoke pancakes)

This quick and easy, healthy pan fried Jerusalem artichoke pancake is bursting with fresh flavour.

In Korea we use the vegetable called Toran but Jerusalem artichokes are a great alternative.

Have you ever used Jerusalem artichokes as an ingredient?They smell like mushrooms and have the most amazingly crisp and earthy texture I have ever tasted so far in England.

You can eat them raw, stir-fried, simmering in soy sauce or bake them in puff pastry.

For the pancake batter, combine all the listed ingredients with the cold water, whisking thoroughly until you see no lumps.

Mix with a spoon and set aside for a minimum of 1 hour.

Chop all the vegetables and chicken into small pieces and place them on a plate.

Add toasted the sesame seeds,sesame oil,soy sauce,sugar, ground white pepper, lemon juice, fresh Thai chilli and pinch of salt to the Chopped vegetables.

Add all the mixed vegetables into the pancake batter and mix with a spoon.

Keep the batter in the fridge a minimum of 1 hour (overnight if possible) before making the pacakes.

Preheat a non-stick pan with a tablespoonful of olive oil on a low heat for a minute.

Scoop a spoonful size of the mixture (use a small round shape) and spread it thinly in the pan.

Fry on each side until the pancake becomes golden using between a low and medium heat.

This should take around 5-10 minutes to do both sides.

To serve, place the pancake onto a plate, optionally with a separate soy dipping sauce.

For the sauce simply mix the ingredients indicated below, ideally do this the day before an leave to stand.

Tip: If you can make this batter before a day and keep it in a fridge then the batter will settle nicely and smell and taste great.

Preparation time :  1 hour
Cooking time : 20 to 30 minutes
Servings :  4-6Ingredients For the pancake batter

  • 1 egg
  • 6 tbsp rice flour
  • 4 tbsp plan flour
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1tsp white sugar
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp ground ginger powder
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 65ml water

For the Jerusalem Artichoke with seasoning

  • 40g baby sweet corn, finely chopped
  • 20g carrots, finely chopped
  • 40g leeks, finely chopped
  • 100g Jerusalem Artichoke, finely chopped
  • 100g Chicken breast, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh Thai chilli , finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt

For the Yangnum (dipping sauce)

  • 5 tbsp, light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp, honey
  • 1 tsp, finely chopped chives
  • 1 tsp, white sugar
  • ½ grated garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp, sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp, toasted sesame seeds
  • ¼ tsp, ground white pepper and a little bit of fresh chilli.

Tteok galbi(Grilled short Rib Patties)


Tteok-galbi was a Korean royal beef dish once enjoyed by Kings and queens.

This is very popular among Koreans.
There are many places that specialise only in this dish and traditionally this is cooked on the grill or griddle. When you pass the places where “Tteok –galbi” is being sold it will make your mouth water from the delicious barbecue smell.

Tteok-galbi, Galbi means “rib” and Tteok means “rice cake” but we do not use rice in this dish at all. 

Galbi has a moderate degree of fat so when you barbecue it renders the fat down to produce a tender, moist, chewy and crisp taste. However I used  a normal minced beef but if you can use rib minced beef, it would be nicer.This dish is a great entrée or as finger food without soy sauce because it takes so little time.

Tteok galbi 2Prepare all the ingredients.

  • You can use red wine instead of sake.
  • You need to use toasted sesame seeds because it gives a crispy aroma and taste
  • If you use normal soy sauce then try less and add some salt if necessary.
  • If you can find minced rib beef this is the best option.
Tteok galbi 3Finely chop all the vegetables and put aside in a wide bowl and mix all the ingredients well.
Tteok galbi 4
Tteok galbi 5
Try a sample and taste it and if it is necessary then season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Tteok galbi 6
I wanted to keep some of “Tteok galbi” as emergency food so I have used a (recycled) finger food package for keeping the food in a good shape.

You can keep them in a freezer and  you can use them for a lunch box.

You can have them without sauce but you might need to add some salt and a little bit of chillies and sugar.

Tteok galbi(Grilled short Rib Patties)

  • Portion: 4-6 people
  • Type : Entrée
  • Time : 30-40 minutes


  • 400 g minced beef
  • 70 g carrots, finely chopped carrots
  • 40 g onions, finely chopped
  • 40 g Romano peppers or baby corns , finely chopped
  • 20 g spring onions or leeks, finely chopped
  • 100 g cooked chestnut, finely chopped
  • 40 g pine nut, finely sliced
  • 20 g parsley, finely chopped
  • 20 g dill, finely chopped
  • 1 medium hot green or red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2/3  tablespoons grated garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon, toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon, light Soy sauce  or 10ml, soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons, sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon, sugar
  • 2 tablespoons, sake or red wine
  • 2 tablespoons, corn flour
  • ½  tablespoon, ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon,  white pepper
  • Pinch of salt if you need after tasting.
  • freshly ground black pepper, if you need after the sample


  1. Prepare all the ingredients and  finely chop all the vegetables
  2. Put the all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix them together and leave it 10-20 minutes.
  3. Fry a sample and taste it. Season with black pepper and a little more salt or sugar as necessary.
  4. Heat a frying pan over a medium low heat with a good drizzle of olive oil. When hot, add the patties and fry for one minute each side twice.
Tteok galbi 7Soy honey and herb sauce

  • 1 tablespoon onions, finely chopped
  • 1/3 teaspoon red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon tossed sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • A pinch of white pepper
Tteok galbi 8This was our main meal with rice.

Mandu (Korean spring rolls)

Mandu Big
This is a fun dish we make with our family or with friends. You will be surprised how healthy, inexpensive and easy to make these pan fried spring rolls or dumplings are! They can be fried, steamed or added to a soup. You can freeze uncooked Mandu  if you do not want to use them immediately.

I used a pastry wrapper called “ Mando Pi “, made from flour and water, which you can buy frozen from a Korean supermarket. Here I used only one pack of Mandu Pi which used about 1/3 of the filling. The rest I used with puff pastry to make tarts. Mandu Pi comes frozen so it must be left at room temperature for at least five hours to defrost.
Ingredients from the Korean supermarket

  • 80 g Korean Buchu or Chinese Kow choi (a vegetable like a leek), normally sells 200-300g for a bundle
  • Frozen Mandu Pi wrappers – one pack (30 pieces) or three packs for 90 pieces
  • Korean cooking wine, called Cheong ju or you can use Japanese sake.
  • Toasted sesame seeds
Mandu 2Mandu 3Ingredients

  • 200 g Chicken breast, finely chopped
  • ½ Tofu, squeezed all the water, squashed
  • 80 g Korean buchu, trimmed finely chopped
  • As an alternative to buchu use 60g leeks (the soft inside skin) and 20g chives, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 50 g baby corns, trimmed finely chopped
  • 50 g carrots, trimmed finely chopped
  • 15 g Parsley, trimmed finely chopped
  • 1 table spoon, grated garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 medium size red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2/3 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 table spoon Korean cooking wine, Cheong ju  alternatively  any rice wine or Japanese sake
  • 2/3 table spoon cooking salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white to seal the Madu Pi or if you want to  make 90 pieces of Mando then you need 2 egg whites.
  • 3 packs of Madu Pi if using all the filling for spring rolls
QMandu1Use a half a pack of tofu cut it into four pieces. Wrap it in some layered kitchen towels and press and squeeze to release all the liquid into the towels.

Do not worry about of the shape of the tofu because next we break it up into very fine pieces.
QMandu2In a large mixing bowl, combine the smashed tofu, chopped carrots, baby sweetcorn, parsley and chicken breast.

Add the grated garlic, red chilli, 1 egg york, white pepper, the cooking wine, salt, sesame oil, sugar and toasted sesame seeds.
QMandu3Mix with a spoon to combine.Pan fry a small sample and taste adding salt, pepper or sugar if desired .
QMandu4Cover with a chopping board with baking paper and then lay one Mandu Pi on it.

Place a spoonful of filling in the centre of the Mandu Pi and then paint the edge all around  with egg white to seal.

Fold in half and press the edge firmly to stick it.Repeat to make as many rolls as you want.
Put one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add some of your Mandu then leave them frying with a closed lid for 1- 2 minutes over a low heat.

Turn them over and fry for another 2 minutes.Open the lid and pan fry them for a further 3-5 minutes with a medium to low heat until they go brown in colour, not forgetting to fry both sides and the thick edge as in the picture.Try to cook with a low heat.

Alternatively you can steam or boil the dumpllings as you wish.
Mandu 4
Another use for this filling is to use puff pastry to make a tart. (Korean Mando fillings meet with a Western puff pastry).

After baking the puff pastry, do not forget to garnish with some chilli sauce to give a little kick in your mouth.

You can taste the harmony between oriental and western ingredients.

You can freeze the uncooked puff pastry tarts if you do not want to bake them immediately.