Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The other day I made my first bibimbap!

I know there are more complicated ways of preparing the vegetables and meat(s), but I went for the slightly simpler route... I cooked the ground beef and seasoned it with a little bit of soy sauce, sugar, and pepper, and then boil carrots, soy bean sprouts, and shitake mushrooms (separately) in water that I dropped in a little bit of sesame oil. When the vegetables and mushrooms became slightly tender, strain and season them with sugar, hondashi, and sesame oil. I then chopped some kimchi and yellow pickled radishes, and also fried an egg to put on top of everything. All these delicious food ingredients on a bed of rice, with some bibimbap sauce (I got a little bottle from the Korean market... it was a combination of fruit puree and gochujiang)... and use your spoon to mix everything all together... voila!

Mine was a fairly simple version of bibimbap, but it was yummy and I loved it!

I've seen people use sliced beef (instead of ground,) other types of vegetables (such as cucumbers or other slightly pickled vegetables) and mushrooms for bibimbap. A lot of people also prefer a raw egg in the center (instead of a fried sunny-side-up.) But one of the great things about bibimbap is that you can use whatever meats and vegetables that you like!

The second time I made bibimbap I just boil and season all the vegetables and mushrooms together and laid them on rice. I figured I'd just mix everything up very soon after anyhow. :p It was not as pretty, but still delicious.

I love bibimbap!

Monday, May 14, 2012

korean jajangmyeon kit

The other day I was at the Korean market I spotted a Jajangmyeon kit. It looked very inviting, and I had been reading about it, so I thought I'd give it a try.

There were four packets in the kit - two packets of the noodles, and two packets of the sauce. The cooking instruction was simple and easy to understand:

One thing I did different from the instructions was that I boiled the sauce pouch first, and after that I used the same pot of boiling water to cook the noodles (because then I didn't have to wait for another pot of water to boil!)

The finished jajangmyeon was actually quite good!


Since this I had also tried making jajangmyeon from scratch, but I had not yet made it even comparable to these store-bought kits. Hopefully I can make decent jajangmyeon soon and post about this fun adventure!

Monday, May 07, 2012

polka dot mug

The cup I've been using this past week was this polka dot mug!

It's about 7 oz. in capacity. I use it for Americanos and I especially like to use it when I'm drinking this black sesame drink that I like to make in the mornings (as shown in the photo above.)

And it's such a cute cup!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

korean seasoned mung bean sprouts

I am NOT a big fan of bean sprouts of any sort. They taste "too raw" and the "sproutiness" scares me. My mom makes these little fresh spring rolls with bean sprouts in them all the time and almost everyone swears they are delicious... everyone except me that is, because I do not like anything with bean sprouts in them.

And those of you who have gone to eat pho with me know that you get to have all the bean sprouts to yourselves because I wouldn't add them to my soups at all.

As much as how I dislike bean sprouts, I was of course skeptical to try the seasoned bean sprouts that were offered as one of the side dishes at a Korean restaurant. I tasted a few sprouts and they were super yummy! I have since then been enjoying these bean sprouts every time I go to a Korean restaurant. 

Per my previous blog post, I have been learning about and tasting all sorts of Korean food. I am hoping I will be able to make a few dishes well, and when that happens I will certainly share my thoughts!

So back to the bean sprouts... I read up a few different versions of the Korean bean sprouts recipes and made my own last night!

They turned out very well!

They were tasty! When I talk to my parents next I will tell them I cooked bean sprouts and I enjoyed eating them. They will be proud!

After rinsing 1 1/2 lbs MUNG BEAN sprouts under the water, boil or parboil them for a couple minutes.

When I was at the Korean market there were both mung bean and soy bean sprouts. After reading up online I went for the mung bean ones for this dish.

Boiling or parboiling the bean sprouts helped remove a lot of the rawness/"sproutiness" that used to scare me!

After boiling the sprouts for a couple minutes, strain, and let cool.

You can cool down the sprouts faster by running cold water through the boiled sprouts, but I planned to use the "cooling time" to work on the seasoning, so I just let the sprouts sit in the strainer.

While the sprouts cool, lightly toast about 1 Tablespoon white sesame seeds.

I found an old jar of white sesame seeds in our cupboard, and while they were a bit stale, I was able to eliminate the stale scent after placing them in a hot pan for 30 seconds!

To make the seasoning "dressing," mix 2 Tablespoons sesame oil + 1 Tablespoon sugar + 1 Tablespoon minced garlic + the toasted 1 Tablespoon white sesame seed + (2 Tablespoons chopped green onions). Set aside.

I believe most recipes call for regular (or light/white) sesame oil, but I used black (dark) sesame oil because that was all I had at home. The darker sesame oil had a more pungent toasty fragrance, which I didn't mind, but regular sesame oil probably would have been even better.

Also, I didn't have any green onions at home, so I didn't add any to this batch. Chopped green onions would probably add another little layer of flavors to the dish.

After the strained sprouts were cooled, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon salt over the sprouts. Mix and let stand 5 minutes. The salt will slightly season the sprouts, and help "pulling out" excess water from them.

After allowing the salt to do its "thing" with the sprouts for 5 minutes, squeeze the sprouts to get rid of excess  liquid from the sprouts.

In a mixing bowl, toss together the strained and "squeezed" sprouts and the prepared seasoning/dressing. Chill and serve!

Simple and delicious!

Ingredients At a Glance!
1 1/2 pounds mung bean sprouts
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
(2 Tablespoons chopped green onions)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon sugar 
1 Tablespoon toasted white sesame seed

"Look Mom! I eat bean sprouts!"

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

things i have been doing these days

Things I have been doing a lot these days: making coffee (duh!) getting acupuncture (!) and learning to make, making, and eating Korean food!

I make coffee because I like it and it's also my job. I get acupuncture because I am enjoying the experience and the effects it has on me (yay!) I am learning to make, making, and eating Korean food because I am very interested (and obsessed?) with the Korean food and culture right now.

Fun stuff. Hopefully I will have some good insights to share soon!