Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lime -Honey-Garlic Roasted Butterfly Chicken

Since coming back from Korea, I noticed that I used honey in many recipes, both sweets and savouries . Korean love for Honey somehow influences me that my honey jar end up empty 2 weeks after I started using it. I now put in in my teas, my salad dressings, basically in almost everything , even to my face!  Don't ask.

This is just one of the many honey flavoured recipes I tried . 

I purchase two  fresh poussin from our local butcher last weekend. Each weighing between 400-500 g. 1 bird is enough one person, says our friendly butcher. But since we won't be having just the bird but side dishes as well, I cooked these spring chicken two ways and we enjoyed it two days in a row.
A hearty and nostalgic Tinolang Manok ( Chicken soup) on a particularly rainy day and this yummy  roasted butterfly chicken the next. 

I learned to butterfly a chicken by following tutorials on Youtube.  God bless the Internet!  Since a poussin don't have really thick and hard bones considering that it's a young chicken , butterflying it was quite easy. I was able to do it with my kitchen scissors. If you don't trust yourself with shiny and sharp kitchen utensils and know that you can't slice an onion without losing a digit,  ask your butcher to do the butterflying for you. If poussin is not available , simply use chicken breast or thigh with skin on for this recipe.
Making this dish is also extremely easy.

Good for 2 people  or 1 extra hungry person. 
 Just double or triple the recipe if you're feeding more.

1 poussin about 500 g,
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
chopped parsley


juice of 1 lime
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. turmeric powder

Let's get cooking!

 Mix marinade ingredients together. 

 Put your meat in the marinade. You can marinate the meat for few hours or even overnight .

Heat over to 190°c. Take chicken from marinade ( keep the marinade!) , put bird on a baking parchment lined baking tray, season with salt and pepper.  Bake until fully cooked. My poussin took about 31 minutes to cook. To test, prick the thickest meaty part  with tip of a knife, if  juice coming out is clear and not bloody, then it's done. Do not overbake it, nobody wants a  dry chicken.

While the bird is baking, put the marinade in a sauce pan. Cook it under low medium heat until reduce and thickens. You can use it as a sauce to drizzle the cooked bird. It's quite tasty!

Once the chicken is cooked, sprinkle it with toasted sesame seeds and chopped parsley. 

You can enjoy it with rice  . Today, we had some pan fried potatoes and green salad with this delicious chicken. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dak Galbi, my way.

Dak Galbi became my and hubby's favourite Korean dish during our holiday in South Korea last April. Don't get me wrong, we loved everything we ate during our 9 -day stay in Seoul and Busan. From the barbecues,  the stews, the kimchi, the bread and pastries, the Fried Chickens and even the street foods. However,  there's something about this cooked- on- the- table , spicy chicken dish that simply made crave us for more.

So when we landed back in Germany , I did what I do best, scourge the Internet for recipes of my newest food obsession and went online shopping for ingredients .

 I was so obsessed that I even made korean rice cakes (  Gareatteok ) from scratch since I can't find it in my place.

Unfortunately Sesame/ Perilla leaves is also not available in our area, I even bought sesame seeds for planting out of sheer frustration of missing an important ingredient . However,  I  can not   wait for months for these seeds to grow and give me a handful of its leaves.Patience is clearly NOT my virtue when it comes to food and cooking ,so I simply replace it with home grown herbs. I tried perilla leaves and it has its distinct taste. I used fresh sages, sweet thai basil and few mint leaves, it tasted pretty delish to me, FF and I had it twice since coming back home and we want to have it again next week!!

I also did not find Korean Curry powder so I ordered this Japanese Curry Roux from Amazon. I used my  cheese grater to turn it into powder like consistency.

Serves 2-3 people

400 g chicken, cut into strips, bone and skin remove.  
I used chicken breast
2 cups cabbage
1 small carrot
1 cup korean rice cake
1 cup sweet potato
1 medium sized potato
2 stalks spring onion
a handful of perilla leaves 
( I replaced it with sage, sweet thai basil and 4 mint leaves)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 cups cooked korean rice
( short grain rice/sushi rice)
3 tbsp. korean dried seaweeds
1-2 tbsp. oil for frying

1 cube. Japanese curry roux or
 if you got korean curry powder, the better
1 tsp. grated ginger
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp. Korean chili paste ,Gochujang
1 tbs. Korean chilis powder, Gochugaru
use more if you like it really spicy!
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. roasted sesame oil

1. Mix all marinade ingredients together . Take about 1/3 of it and use it to marinate chicken strips for at least 1 hour. Keep the rest.

2. Add oil in the pan.Add you cabbage, then put sweet potato, carrot , chopped spring onion, perilla leaves ( hope you got some).

Scatter sliced potato and rice cake over vegetables.

 Put marinated chicken strips on top of the vegetable. Add the rest of the marinade. Turn on the heat.

Cook under medium high heat. The water from the vegetable will keep the dish from drying. Stir once in a while to avoid the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Once the vegetables and chicken are cooked, add mozzarella cheese.  

If you want to eat Dak Galbi like the Koreans do, start eating while it bubbling and straight from the pan.  Enjoy it with lots of banchans /side dishes such as kimchi or lettuce leaves for wrapping. Eating is communal thing in Korea so sharing is the way to go. You can naturally scoop your portion into you plate/bowl if double dipping is not your thing but where's the fun in there?!😜

When there's almost nothing left on the pan but sauce and bits of pieces or veggies and meat. Dump the cold rice, add the seaweeds. Stir, stir, stir.

This is my favourite part of  Dak Galbi. I especially  enjoyed  scrapping off crusty rice at the bottom of  the pan!

Do try this dish and fall in love with Korean cuisine. If you're already at it , I wish you ', Bon Appetit! ''

Monday, May 1, 2017

Street Foods: Seoul

''Let's grab a little something from the street as appetiser before going to dinner.''  . I told FF after waking up from a 3 hour '' nap''. It's our first day in Seoul and although my heart is all wired up, excited and almost skipping for some action , the rest of my anatomy refused to bulge and was not up to the challenge. Long haul flight is starting to take its toll on our far- from- fit bodies. So after arriving in our hotel in Myeongdong at noon,   we score the neighbourhood for some noms and end up having some fried chicken;

Spicy , sticky and drenched in sauce for him.

Dry and garlicky for me. 

Apparently, Koreans drink beer when they're having fried chicken, so  FF did not need further excuse to gulp down some alcohol at midday . Like the old saying, When in Rome,  do as the Romas do or in this case, Koreans.  Lunch was Not bad but not as good as the very  first Korean Fried chicken we tried in Korean Town in Sydney.  Korean Fried Chicken is one of the many reasons why we decided to come to this country, after all. 

We shared a big bowl of Bingsu  topped with kinako powder from a famous Koread Dessert chain. You know, to err cleanse our palate. 😜 

We went back to our hotel, took a refreshing shower then have some much needed rest. The sun was almost down when we woke up, decided to have authentic Korean Barbecue since we're in Korea. But first ,we decided to try a thing or two  from the street food vendor.

The streets of Myeongdong is starting to fill up, food stalls are now blowing up steams , emitting delicious smells from all things fried and beautiful. 

Noodles are being tossed.

Crepes being folded.

Meat being seared.

Seafoods are steaming.

There's a palpable energy in the air, with vendors were  inviting, yelling and  foods were briskly and expertly prepared right before my eyes, it's almost overwhelming. 

I can't help but stop, look and listen.

''Oh look, Gyeran-Bbang( Egg Bread) !''I point excitedly at my husband, ''I read tons about it on the internet . Let's try some!''. It was surprisingly savoury and sweet, like cornbread only it's topped with egg and seeds. I loved it,  FF not so much. So he looked for something to please his palate.

 Peeking between pillars of of twisted potatoes  were cups  of golden brown  Shrimp Tempura. We love shrimp tempuras so we ask for a serving. 

 It was reheated in boiling oil and was served piping hot.  Too much breading that we could barely taste any shrimp.

 The smell wafting from this stall is just unbelievable. We were draw like moth to flame. One sniff is all it took.

A skewer of Honey Butter Garlic Shrimp cost a whooping 15 000 KW but it was a taste bomb. The shrimps were fresh and juicy , it was garlicky, buttery with a hint of honey. I'm loving this combo. My husband too!👍👍👍

''Oh Strawberry Mochi! How cute. Let's get one!", I exclaimed. ''That not an appetiser , that's dessert!'' he said.

We got one

FF keep on scouring the street for more savouries,and he stumbles on a guy busy grilling and torching lobsters. "That's not an appetiser, that's a main dish!", I told him. 

We got one, cost us 16 000 Won , it was filled with cheese , corn and sweetish teriyaki like sauce. It was delicious!👍👍👍

"Ah Fish-shape bread filled with red beans!" ( Bungeoppang),  I point excitedly. 

''But that's a...forget it'', he surrenders. 

And so we spent the evening filling ourselves silly with whatever catches our face our fancy. We totally forgot the Korean Barbecue we were so excited about.

We nibbled on crispy crablets, which were sadly dry it actually scratches my throat. These sea creatures still fight back even when it's dead and fried.

Scorch our tongue eating Hotteok, deep fried Korean Pancakes filled with nuts and cinnamon syrup.

Snatch some Odeng, skewered fish cake swimming in savoury broth. The broth is served in a paper cup for free ! It became one of my favorite Korean street food and try having it everyday, fortunately , they're everywhere.

FF also got himself some food- in- a -stick.

 He enjoyed Spicy Chicken Skewer ( Dakkochi)

While I nimble on grilled Rice Cake and Cheese, drizzled with sweetened Condense Milk. Not a big fan but many seems to enjoy it.

 With grease on our mouth, sauces on our fingers, we decided to call it a night. I can almost feel my arteries clogging from all the fried foods we ate . On our way back to the hotel, we pass by a stall manned by a young guy , surrounded by curious onlooker. Like a Kpop idol flocked by adoring fans,  I can't help it so I decided to join the fun.

Instead of an autograph , I got his signature dessert . Ice cream on a fish- shaped cone and topped with honeycomb.

Nothing send me to sleep faster than having 4 desserts in one night. Thank you, Seoul!
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