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Korean Side Dishes

Korean Hamburger Yuk Sanju Chunyua

100 gr minced beef
100 gr minced pork
50 gr bean curd
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 scallion (minced)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper

3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 eggs slighly beaten
60 ml sesame oil for frying

Mix the meat with the other ingredients, except for the flour, eggs and oil for frying, knead well. Make 12 small hamburger patties and roll them into the all pupose flour to coat them on both sides.
Heat up the oil in a frying pan, dip the hamburger patties into the slightly beaten eggs and fry them in the oil untill the meat is cooked.

I heard that when you make these mini hamburgers you should make a small depression in the center of each one (both sides, with thumb and forefinger) to prevent them from shrinking. I never tried but it might work.

Korean hamburgers are small and therefore used as an appetizer or side dish. Of course you can make them as big as you like and eat them as a sandwich.

Vinegar Red Pepper Paste Cho Kochujang

4 tablespoons red pepper paste
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vinegar

Mix all the ingredients together and stir well. Instead of honey you can use sugar, but you have to stir untill the sugar has been disolved.

Spinach Salad Sigumchi Namul

1 pound fresh spinach
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
black pepper

Rinse the spinach a few times until no more sand is coming off the leaves. Steam the spinach untill tender. Put the spinach in a strainer and let it cool down. When it is cool enough squeeze gently as much water as possible out of it and cut the leaves coarsely.
Mix all the ingredients into the spinach and the salad is ready.

Glazed potatoes Gamja Jorim

1 medium sized potato
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
60 ml water

Peel the potato and cut it into small pieces (preferably the same size). Stir-fry the potato pieces in the oil till they get a little brown. Add the water, soy sauce and corn syrup and cook everything on a high fire until the potato is done and glazed in the mixture of soy sauce and corn syrup. Turn the potatoes frequently otherwise the glaze will not fully cover all the potatoes and your side dish might get burned.

If necessary you can add some boiling water when the pan dries out before the potato is fully cooked.

Fried Zucchini Hobak Gui

1 zucchini
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Ingredients for the Hot Sauce:
1 tablespoon red bean paste
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

Make the hot sauce by mixing all the ingredients together, stir well.
Slice the zucchini into circles of 1/4 inch thick and fry them briefly in the oil. Make a small tower of slices fried zucchini by sticking them together with the hot sauce.

Stir-Fried Green Peppers Gochu Bokkeum

225 gr. small green peppers
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Clean the small green peppers and dry them on a paper towel. Remove the stems and cut the peppers lengthwise into strips (2 inch). Stir-fry on high fire the pepper strips in a pan with vegetable oil. Add salt and pepper to season and sprinkle with sesame seeds to complete this side dish.

Korean Cabbage Kimchi

2 chinese cabbages
2 tea cups of coarse salt

1 white radish
150 gr. green onions
50 gr. mustard leaves
3 table spoons of salted and fermented anchovies
3 table spoons of salted and fermented small shrimps
4 table spoons of finely chopped garlic
2 tea spoons of finely chopped ginger root
1 table spoon of sugar
2 tea cups of red pepper flakes
1 tea cup of sweet rice paste


1) Trim off the old leaves of the chinese cabbage and cut the cabbages in half by inserting the knife about 10 cm from the cabbage head and splitting the rest with your hands.
2) Mix one tea cup of coarse salt and 5 cups of water to make brine. Soak the cabbages in the brine and sprinkle coarse salt on the thick stems of the cabbage heart. Soak for 5-6 hours.
3) When the cabbages are sufficiently salted, wash them in running water about three times. Drain the water of the cabbages by putting them on a wicker tray.
4) Trim an slice the white radish into thick strips. Cut the green onions an the mustard leaves into 5cm lengths.
5) Put the radish, green onions and mustard leaves in a large bowl, put all the other seasoning ingredients on top of it and mix it well.
6) Spread the prepared seasoning between the layers of the the cabbage and firmly wrap the stuffed cabbage with the outer layers of the cabbage. Put them firmly in a jar or plastic box. When the Korean Cabbage Kimchi is well fermented, keep refrigerated.

This recipe was used by the Songbuk-gu government for their anual kimchi making event. During this event 3000 kilo of cabbage was used to make kimchi for the elderly and poor people of the Songbuk-dong district.

Five-grain rice Oh Kok Bap

As this type of rice is served on January 15th of the Lunar calender it is a recipe serving 12 people.

0.5 cup red beans
0.5 cup green beans
0.5 cup black beans
7 cups water
2 cups millet
3 cups rice cake (made from regular and glutinous rice)

Put the red, green and black beans in separate pots filled with water and bring them to a boil. Boil them for 1 minute, then drain.

Put all the beans together in one pot and cover them with 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil and let them cook on low fire for 10 minutes.
Add the rice cake and the millet and bring everything to a boil again. Reduce the heat and let it simmer untill all the water has been absorbed.

Seaweed Soup Miok Guk

1 cup cut dried sea mustard (type of seaweed)
250 grams beef (for stew)
1 clove garlic
4 cups water
1 tea spoon soy sauce
1 table spoon salt

Soak the dried sea mustard in warm water for 30 minutes, then rinse and wash carefully. Cut the seaweed in small pieces since it increased its volume because it has been soaked. Cut the beef in small strips and crush the garlic.

Bring the water to a boil and add the beef. When it boils aganin remove the froth which floats on top. Add the rest of the ingredients, lower the flame and simmer for 15 minutes or till the beef is cooked.

This kind of soup is served to a nursing mother to restore them after childbirth. It can be eaten chilled and you can add then some cucumbers and some vinegar.

When I gave birth I also received this soup from my Korean landlady but honestly, I didn't like it very much. She also added Judas Ear which is very expensive here in Korea and that was what made her soup very special, she said.

Home made Red Bean Paste Kochujang

5 table spoons red bean paste (available at Oriental food stores)
5 table spoons soy sauce
5 table spoons hot red pepper (powder)
2,5 tea spoons sugar (powder)

Mix all the ingredients and stir well till the sugar has been disolved completely.

Serve red bean paste with bibimbap, fresh green onions, soups and every other dish which can use some hot spices.

Why do I use for this recipe ready made red bean paste from a jar? Because it is already fermented and it gives the special taste like the real Korean Kochujang which you get at restaurants. Also it is difficult to get the basic ingredients for the red bean paste (fermented bean paste powder, red pepper powder, salt and glutinous flour) in the Oriental shop I go to in the Netherlands.

Cucumber Pickles

It may take some days to get it right!

small and slender cucumbers (gherkins size)
soy sauce

Clean the cucumbers thoroughly with water (leave the skin on). Rub them with salt and rince them again. Put them in a plastic container.

To find out how much soy sauce will be needed cover the layered cucumbers with water till they are barely covered. Take out the water and measure it. Use the same amount of soy sauce. For every cup of soy sauce you take 1/3 cup vinegar and 1/3 cup of sugar. (example: 3 cups of soy sauce + 1 cup vinegar + 1 cup sugar)
Put the soy sauce together with the vinegar and sugar in a pan and bring it to a boil. Pour the boiling mixture over the cucumbers.
Put wooden chopsticks on top of the cucumbers and put something heavy (like a stone) on top of it. Let the cucumbers stand overnight!!!

Then, the next day, you take the cucumbers from the container, put the liquid in a pan and bring it to a boil and let it cool completely. Put the cucumbers back in the container (the ones that have been on top should be placed at the bottom and the bottom ones on top). Pour the cold liquid over the cucumbers. Let it stand for 2 days and repeat the second part of the recipe.

Serve the cucumbers in bite-size pieces and sprinkle some sesame seeds on them.

Sauteed Red Pepper Paste Pokkum Kochujang

100 gr. minced beef
125 ml red pepper paste
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
25 ml honey
50 gr sugar
1/2 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

Stir-fry the beef with the sesame oil and the garlic. When the beef has cooked add the red pepper paste and bring it to a boil, stir the whole time. When the mixture is boiling add the sugar and the honey and wait till it boils again. Turn off the heat and add the roasted sesame seeds.

!! Red pepper paste comes in a large variety. If you have already sweet red pepper paste use less sugar otherwise the mixture will become too sweet.

Stir-fried Cucumber

4 cups of sliced cucumber
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 ounces of minced beef or pork
1 spoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon sesame salt (optional)
a few red pepper strips

Seasoning for the meat:
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chopped green onion
a little bit of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine (sake)
a pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix the sliced cucumbers with the kitchen salt and let it stand for a while. In the meantime season the meat with the seasoning ingredients written above. To season the meat properly, use your hands and knead everything well. Go back to the cucumber: wrap the salted cucumber in a tea towel and sqeeze hard till the slices are crisp. Do not sqeeze to much because the cucumber will loose its fresh taste.
Put the meat in a pan and stir-fry it till half done. Then add the cucumber and when it becomes green add the pepper strips and the sesame oil. Stir once and remove from the stove. If you like you can sprinkle some sesame salt over the dish, but taste first if it does not become to salty.

Salted Egg (talgyal changjorim)

10-15 quail eggs
1 table spoon salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 table spoon sugar
2/3 cup water
1 table spoon ginger juice

Boil the eggs in salted water till the egg-shell breaks and peel them.
Put soy sauce, sugar, water and ginger juice in a pan and add the peeled eggs. Simmer the eggs on low fire till the liquid is almost evaporated. Turn the fire high and cook the eggs until they are glazed.
Let the eggs cool down.

To make the dish more beautiful, you can put some lettuce leaves on a plate and arrange the eggs nicely on top.

It is also possible to use 5 or 6 chicken eggs, hard-boil them and follow the same procedure. Cut the eggs in half before serving, it makes them easier to eat.

Another side dish with spinach Sigeumchi Muchim

Ingredients for 1 person:
150 gr spinach
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
a little salt

Wash the spinach (2 or 3 times untill there is no more sand between the leaves). Scald the spinach for 20 seconds in boiling salted water. After scalding rinse it in cold clean water and gently squeeze the water out of it. Cut the spinach in smaller pieces, tease it out and put it in a bowl. Add the sesame oil and salt and toss the spinach so that the oil and salt mix well. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and ready is this spinache salad.

Side dish with spinach

fresh leaf spinach (1 bundle, approx. 300 grams)
fish sauce (anchovis)
sesame oil
2 table spoons roasted sesame seeds

Clean the spinach thoroughly so sand and brown leafes are out. Boil water and add the spinach leaves, cook till soft. Let the spinach cool down in a sifter. Drain as much water from the spinach as possible by squeezing it with your hands. Put the spinach in a bowl and add some fish- and soy sauce to taste. Add also the roasted sesame seeds. Mix everything well by using your hands. In fact it is better to sqeeze the ingredients so the flavours will mix better. And ready is your Korean spinach side dish. Recipe by Ms. Lee.
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