whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘recipe

Fusion cooking: Kimchi quinoa kimbap 김치쿠이 노아 김밮

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I’m a bit of a mixed bag. More a mixed bag of nuts as I’m kinda nutty, more crazy than quirky.

I grew up in a very Australian household enjoying barbecues several times a week, salad optional; minimum 2 varieties of meat essential, vegemite sangas and sao’s with cheese and tomato. With my Scottish mum designated to preparing meals,(very typically reflective of most baby-boomer nuclear households) there was also a strong British influence. I have very strong and fond memories of casseroles, soups and mince and tatties; not to mention Coronation Street, Heartbeat and whisky.

By face value, I apparently have a very Korean face, but my fashion sense and makeup is not very Gangnam style, or actually my face – no plastic surgery here….yet!

But anyway, I’ve been described as a banana before, yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Actually a term of affection or endearment….not as derogatory as it sounds or to be confused with being FOB-by (Fresh off the boat – an Asian in a western country, not assimilating and acting, well, very Asian….I don’t make these things up!!)

So I thought it finally time to embrace my banana-like, Konglish, fusion culture and make food reflective of my own culture. To share my relatively new found love of Korean food mashed together with all the best, fresh elements of Australian food.

Kimchi quinoa 김치쿠이 노아 with sesame leaves 깻잎, tofu 두부, cucumber 오이 and lotus root 연근

Kimbap 김밮, directly translating to seaweed (kim) and rice (bap) is as revered as tteokbokki 떡볶이 in the hearts and s(e)oul of all Koreans, bringing back memories of childhood, picnics and uni days. Both are cheap, tasty eats available at all street vendors or quickly slapped together by mothers as a snack food with limitless variations.

Tteokbokki 떡볶이: soft, chewy rice cakes simmered in hot pepper sauce with fish cakes.
Pretty tasty. Extra tasty after soju.

Kimbap is the equivalent to a sandwich. Similar to sushi, (but don’t mention that to hardcore patriotic Koreans, may as well ask them if Dokdo belongs to Japan) Kimbap is rolled rice, usually short grain white rice seasoned with sesame or perilla oil and with a variety of fillings; usually the ubiquitous yellow pickle, sweet marinated lotus root, bulgolgi ham, egg, tofu and sarimi stick. Due to the heavy lashings of sesame oil, no other seasoning is usually required making it the perfect snack/meal on the run.

Traditional Kimbap 김밮: yellow= egg, orange = carrot, dark brown = marinated lotus root, pink/brown= ham, translucent yellow = pickle, green = ? cucumber? probably another bloody pickle?

Quality varies from the GS25 roll or Samgak kimbap 삼각김밥 (triangle kimbap); that’s been sitting there for god knows how long, to the skinny, uniform rolls at any street vendor, battered, deep-fried and deep-fried again as you please! New restaurants such as School Food are revamping humble Korean staple foods by substituting white rice for black rice and more gourmet fillings.

Fancy pants School Food kimbap


Still-life artistic triangle kimbap shot

And then, there’s me, committing cardinal Korean food murder, fusing together well-known foods from Australia, like quinoa and cashew chive pesto and salad fillings such as mixed greens and cucumber with traditional Korean ingredients. Yet to try a hamburger with the works style with beetroot, bacon and a fried egg, but never say never, right?

Some worked, some didn’t.

I liked them all, and so did some friends and random taste testers, but when you’re messing about with very traditional Korean food, with tastes that are ingrained and reliably taste the same wherever you go in Korea, there’s going to be some resistance.

It’s like changing a cheeseburger. Or leaving out the beetroot on a hamburger.

You’re messing with the food gods.

But it’s a start, and generally feedback was good, although the flavours need to be very strong for the korean palette. The kimchi infused quinoa was more popular, as there was some familiarity.

Looking forward to more experimentation with new flavours, bases and fillings, let me know if you wanna be a taste tester!

Kimchi Quinoa kimbap: Attempt #1
Kimchi and green pepper to be mixed with quinoa.
Marinated lotus root for filling

Added in green pepper, kimchi, sesame seeds and yellow capsicum to the cooked quinoa

Pressed out the kimchi quinoa onto the kim (roasted seaweed)
Added some marinated sesame leaves in soy sauce  깻잎 장아찌

Added the marinated lotus root 연근조림 – yeongeun jorim
Should have divided this quantity with cucumber to provide a refresher from the spiciness of the peppers and kimchi.

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling. Arg, is that Limp Bizkit? I don’t even like Limp Bizkit…..Except for that Faith cover.
I should delete that.

Continuing on…I don’t have a bamboo mat for ease of rolling, so you can sub with greaseproof paper or seran wrap just fine.

Second variation: quinoa cooked in coconut milk mixed with capsicums and a crunchy mix of toasted peanuts, sunflower and chia seeds.

Added lettuce, cucumber, carrots and sprouts

Kimchi variation #2
No peppers this time in the quinoa, added fresh sesame leaves, tofu, lotus root and cucumber.

Ta daaaa!
Make sure you cut the kimbap with an extremely sharp knife.
Running the knife under hot water will make your life easier

Bottom kimbap was quinoa mixed with cashew chive pesto and black sesame seeds with cucumber, carrot and tofu

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 5, 2012 at 07:30

Alripe then, what to do with an unripe avocado ey?

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Mmmmmmm, I love me a nice pair.

An avocado that is.

In Australia, they are a-plenty, as common as fluro at a festival, on-road SUV’s and overpaid tradie bogans pairing overpriced designer threads with a cheap-ass attitude and designer mullet. After 10 years of house sharing, with no less than 15 different sets of housemates, a regular wasted staple in the fridge, was the browning, slowly rotting, half carcass of a plastic wrapped avocado. They are literally an epidemic in any Australian share house fridge, tossed aside, bought in a bulk 3-for-$2 type scenario only to suffer an undeserved, ill-fated composted ending, if they’re lucky.

Avocado goes with everything, and makes any dish distinctly Australian. Crikey, cut it in half and it’s even a dish of its own. Have spoon, have salt, ta-da!! Breakfast! True Aussie avo grub would be to spread it on a slice of toast, add tomato if feeling particularly healthy and sprinkle with salt and pepper, add slices between the beetroot and fried egg on a works hamburger or wedge it under the smoked salmon on your eggs benedict when indulging in Australia’s favourite weekend pastime, Brunch.

Similar in colour to a bright green chameleon, Australia being the magical multicultural country it is, we’ve also made the avocado as interchangeable as the incognito reptile:

El Mexicano: Smash it and mash it, add some lemon and lime, chilli and salt, now it’s holy-moly-guacamole!
Turning-Japanese-a: Slice it and fan it over basically a small piece of good ole’ chicken schnitzel and give it a fancy name like “Chicken Katsu” and you’ve got a truly ‘Jonglish’ bit of aussie nigiri there.
Italiano: Spread it, slice it or dice it under fresh mozzarella with some ripe roma tomatoes and basil on some crusty ciabatta, with a balsamic/olive oil reduction and hey presto, gourmet bruschetta.  Save the avo, laughing cow wedge and tomato sauce for the “I’ve-come-home-alone-drunk-at-4am-in-the-morning-noone-loves-me-and-I-am-destined-to-be-alone-forever-but-damn-I-don’t-care-I’m-a-culinary-genius-right-now-om-nom-nom” (Anyone who says om-nom-nom deserves to be single)
Moroccan: Whiz it up in a blender with some milk and oranges, maybe a few obligatory chickpeas and there you have a favourite hawker food Moroccan avo shake.

But here in the land of South Korea, the avocado is quite an exotic being. Found only in fusion Korean food, the rich, buttery texture doesn’t seem to pair well with the spiciness and characteristics of Korean cuisine. It pops up at the better run mexican restaurants or typically in a california roll at a sushi joint, and also makes cameos on burgers menu-wide as Seoul is still in the (diminishing) throes of a burger show-down. All, at a price of course.

But, as I do like quite simple food, and tasting the individual flavours of ingredients, I longed for a fresh, perfect ripened avocado. I gazed longingly at them in the supermarkets, caressed them, only to then curse at myself for even contemplating paying ₩5,000 – ₩6,000 for one single avocado, and placing them back on the shelf. Only of course to get home, and feel unfulfilled with everything I had bought.

It’s not that I’m a tight ass, quite the contrary actually (figuratively, not literally, I do my squats and lunges), but it’s more the logistics of where that avocado has travelled from and how long it has been sitting there. As I mentioned before, they’re not really popular here, and therefore I doubt they have a high supermarket turnover.

They are also as hard as a rock. Which I am used to, you seen these rocks?!(mmm, an altercation that occurred in Seoul some time ago, but kinda went viral) but these ones are sitting in the chilled section, and well, they shouldn’t be. Once an avocado has been chilled, it is harder to get them to ripen, if at all.

But, anyway, my desire for an avocado became so overwhelming that I threw caution, and hard-earned ₩ to the wind and caved against all my better judgements. I proceeded towards the downward descent to avocado disappointment.

I put it in a paper bag. I put it in a dark corner of a cupboard. I impatiently waited, checking on the dear thing daily, waiting for telltale signs of redemption to ripeness, yet, *sigh* to no avail. After waiting a week, I decided this little baby wasn’t going anywhere so it was now or never.

As soon as I cut it, and the knife struggled, making a slight crunching sound, I knew it was doomed to fail. It was like slicing through butter. When I eventually pried it in half,  I did the whole “attack-the-seed-with-knife-and-one-miss-could-sever-my-hand-trick” only to have the knife brutally stay in the seed, laughing at me, all sinister like and shit.

So, after retreating the knife and entering submission, I cried and wailed at my loss. What could I do with this unripe avocado?

Well, the only thing I could do was turn it into some sort of mashed up spread/dip/guacamole concoction, but I could hardly scoop the bloody thing out, let alone mash the friggin thing.

So, I had a brain wave, that perhaps the micro waves could help soften the blow. And voila, it worked, however it did make the whole thing turn an unappealing baby poo green/brown colour, but it tasted amazing and most importantly, was not a waste.

Unripe Avocado Dip

Ingredients:
1 unripe avocado (of course this will work with a ripe one, but then just eat it in all its simple glory)
1 red chilli
1 tsp hot sweet chilli sauce
sprinkle rock salt
squeeze lemon juice

Method:
With avocado still in skin and seed in place (I couldn’t for the life if me remove it, it was that unripe) microwave on high in 30 second increments until it becomes pliable. Mine took 3x 30 second increments.
*It will brown slightly on the exposed edges. Mine was for my eating purposes only, so I didn’t care too much.

Attack seed with knife and remove.

Add all ingredients into blender and pulse the crap outta it.

Spread on toast, crackers, falafel topped with plain yogurt and sweet chilli or roll up in cabbage leaves with homemade hummus and vegetables. Recipes for these to follow soon.

Written by ayearinpatissiere

September 13, 2012 at 16:54