Saturday, 3 March 2007

Riding the Hallyu wave

Posted by Bonita


I must admit to being part of the “Hallyu” bandwagon. It goes back to late last summer, when I pulled out one of my favourite Korean dramas, Full House, and before I knew it, I was riding the Korean Wave like thousands of other Asians (and non-Asians) out there. Dozens of K-pop songs, dramas and movies later, I still find myself riding the wave. Perhaps my love for all things Korean was only fuelled by my whirlwind trip to Seoul, South Korea this past December. Whatever it is, I’ve turned my Hallyu obsession onto food.

I was lucky enough to be able to try quite a few authentic Korean dishes during my short stay in Seoul. One of my favourites was Bulgogi, marinated slices of beef which are usually grilled and then wrapped in a leaf of lettuce with some rice, kimchi and ssamjang. I was actually craving this dish one day, and so I ended up spending half the day searching on the internet for a recipe that I would be satisfied with. While the recipe I’m currently using is not 100% authentic, it comes close. The only main thing it’s missing is pear purée, but even without it, the dish is absolutely delicious! Since I don’t have a grill in London, and I’m sometimes too lazy to drag out our electric grill pan when I’m at home, cooking the beef over the stove works well. I also like to cook the beef slices with some sliced onions and mushrooms.


Since I wanted to make Bulgogi for my parents last night, my mom and I decided to make a Korean meal. Therefore, along with the Bulgogi, my mom made Pajeon with shrimp and crab meat (a seafood version!) and a variation of Japchae. Definitely brought back memories of being back in Seoul!


As much as I would have loved to make a Korean sweet for dessert, I decided against it since we still have so much food sitting around the house. However, I did make egg tarts again earlier in the day since I still had some egg mixture leftover from earlier this week. This time, I rolled out the dough thinner and cut them larger so that it would fill the whole muffin cup, and thus hold more egg mixture. This proportion seemed to work out nicely; you get enough of the pastry to hold everything in but it doesn’t overpower the egg custard. I’d definitely like to add more eggs to the egg custard mixture next time, but I’ll have to wait until the summer to experiment some more. I’ll most definitely miss my kitchen back home when I head back to London tomorrow!


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