Bulgogi – get this right and you’ll be smiling for weeks!

The first Korean dish I learned to make was 불고기(bulgogi) – that flexible treatment of top quality meat, a marinade similar to what my mother would make. I believe she gave me an eye for adding just the right amount, covering the meat – perhaps a little too generously – certainly enough to give it a good flavour.


  • 1 kg of scotch fillet,sliced thinly into pieces 1cm x 5cm and 1 cm thick
  • ½ cup of chopped pear
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • crushed flesh of a couple of kiwi fruits
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • 3-4 tbs soy sauce (Korean, if you can get)
  • 4 tbs granulated sugar
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs sesame oil (Korean, if you can get)
  • A dozen perilla leaves

The proportions above are more of a guide. This is the “art and love” of Korean cooking – my style greatly influenced by Heather Jeong at Korean Cultural Office – links to cooking class.

Add the sugar, then add some more, to cover the meat.

Use plenty of soy, let the meat absorb the sauce, then add “a little too much”.

Pepper is a good friend of marinade. Remember – you’re throwing the meat on a BBQ or in a hot pan. So be bold!


Leave the marinade to marinate overnight. This could be the single most important thing you do as part of this recipe.

Fire up the barbie, wok up over a very hot heat, or get the frying pan out.

Heat is what you want – and plenty of it.

Use generous amounts of sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Wait until the oil is hot enough to make a bit of onion bubble.

Cook the bulgogi rapidly – pretend like you have the manual dexterity of a chef – or something.

The meat cooks pretty quickly, and because its top quality beef tastes good slightly raw.

Burn the sugar a little, wait till the juices disappear – 5 minutes or so.

Present the bulgogi wrapped in perilla leaf – YUM!

Tastes good with a bottle or two of CASS.  (describing CASS as Korean beer might be something like describing Fosters as Aussie beer?)



The Beauty Of Hangul

“Because the speech of this country is different from that of China, it [the spoken language] does not match the [Chinese] letters. Therefore, even if the ignorant want to communicate, many of them in the end cannot state their concerns. Saddened by this, I have [had] 28 letters newly made. It is my wish that all the people may easily learn these letters and that [they] be convenient for daily use.”
These are the words of King Sejong the Great – a visionary beyond his years. He was responsible for the introduction of a simplified yet elegant alphabet for every day use by all his subjects. From a lowly peasant worker to an educated noble, a farmer or a doctor.  The letters of Hangul 한굴- or symbols – demonstrate a certain austerity and balance not as readily detectable in other world languages, and certainly simplify the problems presented by the complexities of Cantonese or a similar language.  As a student of Hangul – the author keenly appreciates the symmetry of these symbols – and the ease with which it can be applied to any other language. Unlike Latin, or Arabic or even English – Hangul is a truly adaptable language.

For more information on Korean culture in Sydney visit +KoreanCulturoo on G plus

Sunshine Love 썬샤인 러브

Movie Review @Koreanculturoo May 8th, 2014

“Are you asleep?”
She asks her boyfriend. 
Gil Ho has his eyes closed, and is not moving – so is probably asleep. Probably. 
“Yes” he replies, eyes remaining closed. 
“How can you respond?”
Jeong Seok asks. 
In that endearing way lovers do. 
It’s this whimsical, earnest love affair that makes Sunshine Love such a successful story. 
Jeong Seok at the start is shown to be ugly – she wears big glasses, dresses plainly – but the intended revulsion must be her neediness. There’s a telling scene toward the beginning – when Gil Ho is so self absorbed and convinced of his inability to gain love.
Jeong Seok follows him about the University, perhaps all day. It’s late afternoon, and Gil Ho is heading home. She is there of course, he mistakes her devotion for an act of stalking. 
“Please go away? he asks, at polite distance. And not for the first time. 
“But don’t you love me?” 
Jeong Seok asks earnestly. 
He yells at her, unexpectedly – not the behavior of a well mannered civil servant. 
“F#ck off!” He screams. 
Is a tough moment in their relationship. 
The couple moves in together – and survive various challenges.

Jeong Seoks mother and her humorous, domineering ways – his not working full time – in a society where men are generally always the breadwinners. They argue, they break up. 
But Jeong Seok clearly pines for him, Gil Ho for her.



By the end they meet on a train platform – the film makers metaphor for departures and arrivals, and the choosing of direction.

The audience loves Jeong Seok – no longer the ugly duckling Uni student -she has blossomed into a fine young woman. Quite the catch. And though at first Gil Ho looks away – we – as the audience – hope he makes the right decision….

Sunshine Love was released in Korea in 2013.

Photo courtesy HanCinema.net