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February 2017 Archive

Add Kimchi for a taste of Korea

Add Kimchi for a taste of Korea

With Korean cuisine continuing to soar in popularity within western countries, it's about time you were able to bring the authentic and delicious flavours to your home. At Asian Home Gourmet we offer a specially created kimchi spice paste that can be added to just about anything.  

Kimchi is a traditional fermented side dish made of nappa cabbage with spice paste. The pickled vegetable can be added to many dishes, such as soup and stir fries. Here are a few of our favourite dishes that pair perfectly with the fiery pickle.

Bibimbap

Bibimbap is one of the most popular Korean dishes. The word bibimbap literally means 'mixed rice' is a bowl of warm sticky and crispy rice topped with meat, vegetables & a fried egg. A classic bibimbap would not be complete without the hero of Korea, kimchi. Add the fermented cabbage to give your bibimbap a tasty kick.

Spicy Cold Kimchi Noodles 

If you're in the mood for something easy and wholesome, then try this bowl of goodness.  Noodles, served with a juicy kimchi broth and meat of your choice with a variety of green crunchy vegetables like bok choy, broccoli and napa cabbage. You can use regular wheat noodles or an udon noodle to add extra texture and slurp-value to your meal.

Kimchi Seafood Hot Pot

A Korean hotpot is the perfect hearty meal for dinner. Add a variety of seafood like clams, crab, prawns and squid to make your hotpot fragrantly delicious. Don't forget your kimchi on the side, which will balance out the saltiness of the seafood and add a burst of spice and freshness.

(image credit: food52.com)

How To Eat Korean BBQ 101

How To Eat Korean BBQ 101

When you think of Korean cuisine, Korean BBQ would have to be one of the first things that pop into your head. From the wide selection of meats and side dishes, to the mixture of aromas that fill up the room, a Korean BBQ dinner is always a fantastic option.

The dining experience is very different to the other types of BBQ's you may be used to. Instead of having your meat and vegetables all cooked and ready to be served to you, you have to do some DIY cooking for yourself. The idea of having to cook your own food may be off putting for some people but there is simply no better way to dine out with your family and friends than at Korean BBQ. Here's what to expect: 


1.       Ordering the Meat

Koreans love their meat. The beauty of Korean BBQ lies in the different types of meats, cuts and marinades available on the menu. Knowing what type of meat to order first makes a difference. It is always a good idea to start with non-marinated cuts before you move to much richer and heavily marinated cuts. Non-marinated cuts that you might want to try out could include sirloin, rib eye steak and any other quality beef they offer at the restaurant you're dining at. If you're visiting Korea, make sure you do not miss out on the Han-u beef which is equivalent to Japanese wagyu beef. Another option is the samgyupsal, which is thin strips of layered pork belly. It is one of the most enjoyed meat dishes in Korean restaurants and at home too.

For marinated cuts, you have two different options. The bulgogi, your sweet soy-sauce based sauce, or a more traditional style of marinated cut. If you prefer beef, you can almost be sure to find kalbi beef short rib or bulgogi beef. Otherwise, there is also the marinated pork and pork ribs options for those pork lovers out there. We also offer the bulgogi marinade sauce here so you can marinate your own at home!


2.     Cooking the Meat

You are responsible for cooking your own meat. Use the tongs that are given to you to do all the turning for the meat and make sure it is cooked evenly. If you see a giant silver retractable pipe dangling from the ceiling, pull it down close to the food. It is a suction fan that will draw all the smoke from the cooking. Sit back and relax while your meat is on the grill. 

3.    Wrap and Sauce

Your servings of meat will always come with two things - ssam, some green lettuce and ssamjang, dipping sauces. You will most likely be given doenjang, a typical soybean paste and gochujang, Korean chili paste. To eat it like a real Korean would eat their meat, place a lettuce in your palm and place a piece of meat on top of it. Depending on your preferences, you can add extra ingredients on the side like minced garlic on top of the meat. Last but not least, smear the sauce on top, wrap the leaf into a small ball and eat it in one bite. This is what Koreans call a ssam-bomb.

4.       Alcohol

It is not the full Korean BBQ experience unless there is some alcohol on the side. This is what makes Korean BBQ so much fun. There are many different Korean alcoholic beverages options to choose from but if you're feeling like you want to try something trendy, make sure you get the somaek. It is a popular cocktail mixed with soju and beer that is popular among the younger population in South Korea today.

One last important tip, wear clothes that you don't mind reeking of smoke or overwhelming with sweet bulgogi because the smell will definitely not go away during the day!


(Image Source: koreaboo.com)

Knowing Your Fried Rice

Knowing Your Fried Rice

Rice is a basic staple food in Asia and significant to Asian culture, customs, traditions and spirituality. It is also important for agricultural purposes, where rice production continues to increase in Asia.   

One well-known and enjoyed rice dish is fried rice. This Chinese homemade dish consists of steamed rice, preferably leftover rice, mixed with other ingredients such as vegetables and meat depending on personal preferences, and flavoured with soy sauce. It is then stir-fried in a wok and ready to be served.

There are many other popular varieties of fried rice from all around Asia that have their own unique taste and ingredients. Here are some to try out at home:

Yangzhou fried rice is a traditional Chinese rice dish made with eggs, cooked shrimps, diced char siu and spring onions. Recreate this dish using our spice paste for Cantonese Stir Fried Rice.

Omurice, or Japanese Omelette Rice, consists of an omelette made with fried rice and topped with lots of tomato sauce.

Hokkien or Fujian fried rice is a popular Chinese-style wok fried rice dish served in plenty of Chinese restaurants. It is made with mushrooms, carrots, broccoli stems and shrimps, with thick sauced poured over rice.

If you like Korean food, you will enjoy the simple, yet popular Kimchi friend rice or Kimchi Bokkeumbap - made kimchi and fried egg on top.

For an Indonesian twist to fried rice, you cannot go pass Nasi Goreng, traditionally served with fried egg. What differentiates this rice dish from other rice dishes is the dark brown colour coming from the soy sauce used. Recreate this dish using our Indonesian Nasi Goreng Sambal Fried Rice paste.

Khao pad is a Thai fried rice dish consisting of shrimps, chilies and fish sauce. Pineapple is also added to this dish to add some sweetness to compliment the shrimp and spices. Recreate this dish using our Thai Pineapple Rice paste.
(Image credit: foodtolove.co.nz)

Healthy Snacking: Edamame

Healthy Snacking: Edamame

Edamame, also called edamame beans, are soybeans which are picked straight off the plant before it has ripened. Compared to mature soybeans which are brown and dry and perfect for making tofu, these premature soybeans are still green in their pods and great for snacking on. It is a popular Japanese appetiser that is usually served before a meal or on the side of the main dish, or for just nibbling on anytime when you feel a little bit peckish.

These sweet green pods have had a long history of its own. The word 'edamame' was first documented in 1275 in Japan when a Japanese Buddhist monk name Nichiren Shonin wrote a note thanking a parishioner for the edamame he had left in the temple. Its name directly translates as 'stem bean' as it would usually be sold while still attached to the stem. It has also been referred to with different names like 'Maodou' in China and sometimes used for medicinal purposes.  

Unlike packets of chips or flavoured crackers that we pick up when feeling peckish, edamame is considered a healthy alternative as research has shown that there are many health benefits of consuming soy. It contains a variety of vitamins including vitamin E, C and B-6, magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper. It also carries a compound called phytoestrogen in the soy which is linked to a decrease risk of cardiovascular disease, breast and prostate cancer, depression and bone mineral loss.

Getting your hands on these snacks are very simple. You can usually find them in the frozen vegetable section at an Asian supermarket and they come either with the pods or shelled. They are already cooked so all you have to do is just thaw it - boil, steam or even microwave them before serving. Edamame can be added into soups, stews and salad dishes. If for snacking purposes, try sprinkling some salt onto the outer pod to help bring out the flavour, but you only eat the beans that you pop out from the inside of the pods. Alternatively, you can cook the beans in salted water to achieve the same effect too!

(Image Source: coach.nine.com.au)

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Add Kimchi for a taste of Korea

Add Kimchi for a taste of Korea

With Korean cuisine continuing to soar in popularity within western countries, it's about time you were able to bring the authentic and delicious flavours to your home. At Asian Home Gourmet we offer a specially created kimchi spice paste that...

» Read more

How To Eat Korean BBQ 101

How To Eat Korean BBQ 101

When you think of Korean cuisine, Korean BBQ would have to be one of the first things that pop into your head. From the wide selection of meats and side dishes, to the mixture of aromas that fill up the room, a Korean BBQ dinner is always a fantastic option.

» Read more

Knowing Your Fried Rice

Knowing Your Fried Rice

Rice is a basic staple food in Asia and significant to Asian culture, customs, traditions and spirituality. It is also important for agricultural purposes, where rice production continues to increase in Asia.   One well-known and enjoyed rice dish is fried...

» Read more

Healthy Snacking: Edamame

Healthy Snacking: Edamame

Edamame, also called edamame beans, are soybeans which are picked straight off the plant before it has ripened. Compared to mature soybeans which are brown and dry and perfect for making tofu, these premature soybeans are still green in their...

» Read more