Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Marinated Peppers in Olive oil and Herbs

This is a Mediterranean dish that is very versatile. It can be served with crusty baguette, roast meat, in salads or simply as an appetizer by itself. The colours of the peppers are beautiful - Orange and red peppers coated in a golden glaze of extra virgin oil and speckles of green herbs.

Marinated Peppers in Olive oil and Herbs
Ingredients( for 3 jars):
6 large peppers( I use 3 Orange and 3 Red peppers)
i cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbps dried parsley
I tbps dried basil
Juice of half lemon
Salt to season

Preheat the oven to 220 degree Celsius. Arrange the peppers on a baking pan, stem-side up. Leave enough space so that they don't touch. Roast them at 220 degree Celsius for about 15-25 mins, until the skin chars completely and blisters.

Remove them from the oven and place them in a big air-tight container or a sealed zipbloc bag. Let them sweat for around 15-20 mins.

Peel the skin. It should come off easily. Collect any juice that drips. Halve the peppers and remove all the seeds and stalks. Slice the peppers in 1inch strips.

Mix pepper strips, pepper juice, olive oil, lemon juice, herbs and salt in a bowl. Keep refrigerated overnight in 3 jars. It can be kept up to 2 weeks.

To serve: Let it sit at room temperature for 10 mins before serving.

Bon Appetito!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Beef Hor Fun with Shitake, Just any Chinese would love it

I missed Ipoh Hor fun from Singaporean hawkers. Ipoh is a city in the state of Perak in Malaysia, Singapore's neighbour country. As for Hor Fun, it is a flat rice noodle. In Singapore, Fresh Hor Fun can be bought from the local wet markets where most people shop for fresh produce. Wet markets are extremely crowded in the morning, not to mention the noise. It's not the place for the fainthearted.

Combing every parts of Seoul, I couldn't find any Chinese grocery store. Sadly to say, I was able to find just thin Thai Ricesticks in Walmart, Shinsegae and Lotte Mart. Call that lucky. Even though it's not the thick as Hor Fun, well, it's better than nothing!

With that Ipoh Hor Fun images floating all over my mind - the shredded chicken, the Chinese mustard greens, the dark Shitake mushroom gravy sauce over the Hor Fun - I was determined to make some something close to it to appease my desire.

Here is what I made:

Top: Beef Hor Fun with Shitake;
Bottom: Chinese Bok Choy with Fresh Garlic Oil

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Peppers and thoughts

Last Friday, I went on a pepper craze. I snapped up 8 red and orange peppers from my local food market because they were only 4 for 2,000 won.

The following Sunday, I roasted all of them in the oven and prepared my favorite pepper dish: Marinated Peppers in Olive oil and Herbs. It was kept overnight in the refrigerator.

The following Monday, I brought my Marinated Peppers in a plastic zipbloc lunchbox to a lunch picnic. On my way I went to Paris Croissant and bought a baguette with a prejudice that it would never be as good as the baguettes in France, that it would be soft and rubbery, that I was buying a substitute.

I was utterly wrong. When I sunk first my teeth into the slice of baguette I was eating, I could hear the crackling noise. The baguette was croustillant, just as any French would say.

Feeling excited as I anticipated how the baguette and my marinated peppers would complement each other, I topped my slice of baguette with a slice of red pepper. The juicy pepper melted away in my mouth as I took my first bite. The mélange was heavenly!

In the empty park, my subconsciousness told me that I wasn't in Seoul anymore.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Making Caviar d'Aubergine with Korean eggplants

It's summer time in Seoul, eggplants are plentiful at the local food market in Seoul. These eggplants are different from the European eggplants. The Korean eggplants has no bitterness, they are very slender and long with less flesh than the big fat monstrous European ones.
I decided that I would make Caviar d'aubergine, often called Poor Man's Caviar. I'm not a big fan of Russian Caviar or any kind of Caviar. But I love eggplants.

The making...

... My first attempt was distrastrous. The making of Caviar D'aubergine usually involves grilling the eggplant at high heat, charring the skin and removing the flesh.
So, I grilled eggplants and charred the skin. The catastrophe arrived when I tried to scoop out the flesh from halved eggplant. I couldn't. Because there wasn't much flesh left after grilling. The flesh was adhering to the skin. I attempted to skin it with a sharp knife. That worked but it took me a whole 30 mins, leaving the muscles in my arm aching. The result was a microscopic amount of flesh from 3 Korean eggplants. Not worth the effort, considering the time and the pain.

A few days after, I bought 4 eggplants from the local market again. This time, I peeled them first, cut them into 2 cm cubes and put it into a microwavable casserole(covered) which was set in my microwave oven on Hi-heat for 7 minutes. I then added a few more ingredients to the cooked eggplant and pureed them. Well, the end results was spectacular: 2 Jars of Caviar d'Aubergine, lasted for a week.

Anyway if you happen to live in Seoul, AND you want to make Caviar d'Aubergine, AND you can only find Korean eggplants, my advice to you is microwave the peeled eggplants!

The downside of microwaving is the slight compromise in taste. Give me the European eggplants juseyo!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Vermicelli Kheer

Vermicelli Kheer ( aka Payasam)
Originally uploaded by

An Indian dessert made with Vermicelli, milk, butter, cardamon, sugar and sliced almonds. I usually make it for Breakfast. Eaten warm or cold.
If you are interested to make some Kheer, here is the recipe.

Cooking time: 10 min

500ml of milk
1 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of chopped yellow vermicelli, available in Indian grocer.
2 tbsp of white sugar
Seeds from 3 cardamon pods, ground using mortar & pestle
6 almonds, sliced or chopped
handful of raisins

Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add vermicelli and coat with with the butter. When the vermicelli turns golden brown ( Be careful not to burn it), add milk, cardomon and sugar to it. Bring the kheer to a boil. Simmer it in low heat until it thickens (around 5 mins).
Serve it warm or cold. Garnish with sliced or crushed almonds and raisins.