Gaerun Toast (Korean Egg Toast)

(recipe by The Venerable Heather Jeong)


4 slices white bread

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

3 eggs, beaten

3 tbsp, finely chopped

1 tbsp carrots, finely diced

salt, pinch

black ground pepper, pinch

2 slices ham

2 slices tasty cheese

1 tbsp Korean ketchup

2 tsp mayonnaise, optional

½ tsp raw sugar, optional


  1. In a heated frying pan add 1 tbsp butter and ½ tbsp oil, taking care not to burn the butter. Add 2 slices of bread and gently toast both sides of the bread over medium heat.  Remove from heat and repeat with the rest of the bread slices, 1 tbsp butter and ½ tbsp oil. Set aside 4 slices of toast. Wipe off oil from frying pan.
  2. Combine eggs with carrots, onion, 1 tbsp cabbage, salt and pepper in a bowl. Heat the same frying pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp oil. Pour egg mixture into the pan and spread the mixture out into a round shape. Turn the heat to low and gently cook the eggs into omelette consistency, tucking the ends in to make a square shape omelette. Flip the omelette over to cook the other side. (Making egg omelette should take about 2-3 minutes over a gentle heat). Set aside omelette. Divide omelette into two portions.
  3. Return 2 slices of toasted bread to the same heated pan, and over a low heat add 1 slices(sic) of cheese, 1 slice of ham, 1 portion omelette, 1 tbsp cabbage, ½ tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tsp mayonnaise, ¼ tsp sugar to each slice of bread. Top the toast with the remaining bread and flip over to gently heat the other side. (filling the sandwich over a gentle heat should take about 1 minute). Remove toasted egg sandwiches from the pan and cut toasts in half diagonally.

I tried this recipe over the weekend, although I used chicken loaf instead of ham, and cauliflower instead of cabbage. The sandwiches still proved a hit with my 7 year old, and probably would have with my 3 year old but he was too excited with seeing his cousin.

A particularly indulgent version of Gaerun toast might involve crispy bacon, instead of ham, Gruyere cheese instead of plastic sliced cheese, and for the ultimate indulgence – blue cheese sauce as well as the tomato sauce and the mayonnaise.


깡패 or The Incident with the Sandwich and the Bully or Something On Being A Hated Migrant in a Land Of Migrants

A public school somewhere in Sydney, 1982. Probably near you. 

He grabbed her sandwich, snatched it away – wax paper and all.

“What’s this – slope?” He demanded, brashly.

Hyun-jung looked on with horror. She straight away thought of the horrors she’d seen in her life remembered that day those army men had come to her village, when she was “back home”.


“Passed through”? – hardly! It was more like bullying, heckling, intimidating whoever they could, whenever they could.

The North Korean army doing North Korean things. Because power over another human being makes a person so strange things. They were looking for somethin – she remembered fearing for her mother, her father. And then thought of her older sister.

Sun-hwa. Sun-hwa? Sun-hwa!

What did they want with her.

Hyun was only 9 at the time, but she remembered. 

She thought she saw her sister near the rice storage hut, just at the village entrance. She called out to her sister – those soldiers, those men – what were they doing? They seemed to be smiling, like great apes. One of them walked towards her, he was pulling up his belt with one hand, using the other to block her view…Sun-hwa!

“It’s alright, I’m alright” she remembered her sister yelling… And screaming “Find mum and dad – go to the school!” 

And then –  those army men with their helmets and guns, heavy eyebrows and loud voices were gone…

“What is it wop?” Don’t look like no sandwich I’ve ever seen –

He held her food out for display, like it was infected. 

“Yuck, there’s omelette in here. What is this, Chink?” the bully demanded.

“I’m Korean” responded Hyun-jung, meekly.

“What did you say, you slope eyed freak”

And he stood over her, pushed his head out, waved his finger in her face

“I’m Korean – not Chinese” she said, gently.

He thrust the sandwich toward her face – held her in a moment of intimidation and fear. And then suddenly, callously he flung it over the long school benches. She flinched. It was the reaction this bastard wanted. 

Hyun-jung just wanted to cry. Maybe a tear or two trickled out.

But she didn’t want the school bully – getting the better of her.

“Why did you do that?” she asked, remembering her in breakable spirit as a Korean. 

“Because I can – and what are you going to do about it  wop?” – he said – threateningly.

Hyun-jung couldn’t remember exactly what happened next.

She just remembered the bully sprawled on the ground next to her crying – and all the kids running over – faces filled with elation. 

“H – what did you do?”


“What happened here?”


“Where did you learn to kick someone in the head like that?”

The bully never took her lunch – or tried to intimidate her or make fun of her “omelette in a sandwich” again.

And Hyun-jung was never, ever embarrassed by what her mum put in her lunch box.

(this story linked to the Gaerun Toast recipe)

카라멜 뿌린 소금절인 무 – Salted Radish Caramel

(Inspired by 동치미 Water Kimchi – Recipe by 선생님 Heather Jeong at the end.)

Radish Water Kimchi is another of the amazing tastes among the many offered by Korean cuisine.
This favorite of Northern Korea is a refreshing drink – and would serve well as an aperitif – a small drink to stimulate the taste buds before the meal.

Dong Chi Mi might be described as “small salty drink” – the vegetables used in the making – radish, onion, ginger – impart a slightly sweet snap that makes the experience less like drinking “sea water”.

The use of apple or pear is key to enhancing this sweet snap.

K-food combines the tastes of sweet and salty. The idea of “salted caramels” is not new, even in western cooking. (see under McDonalds caramel Sundae)

The twist in my recipe involves using a sliver of dried radish as the center of the candy.

You Will Need

Radish say about as big as your fist.
Salt enough for sprinkling – and a bit more for drying.
Sugar – 500g – brown is best
60g unsalted butter

300mL heavy cream

Chop the radish into sliver size squares
Throw a generous amount of salt over the radish.

Leave in a well drained container overnight in the fridge.

This will dry out the radish


Caramel Collage

Melt butter in medium frying pan over a low heat .

Slowly add sugar, letting the heat dissolve the crystals.

***Heat the mixture to above 160 degrees centigrade.****

This is important for the setting of the candies!
Gradually stir in the cream

Place a single dried radish square in each section of an ice cube tray or similar.
Pour caramel into tray – like you were making ice.
Let set in fridge.

Push candies out of tray.

Wrap in wax paper or similar.

Twist and distribute!

동치미 (Radish Water Kimchi)


1 Large Korean Moo (radish), peeled and cut into blocks

Half Cup coarse grain sea salt

5 cloves garlic, sliced

2 cm ginger

2 salt pickled green chilli

1 Korean pear or apple, peeled and quartered

2 green onion, white part only

1 onion, peeled

2 ½ L filtered water


  1. In a large good quality Tupperware (container), place ¼ cup of salt.  Add in Korean radish and  roll it in the salt. Leave the radish in the salt for at least two hours.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently toss. Leave for about 20 minutes. Add rest of the salt to the lukewarm water. Leave to cool. Pour over the radish and the other ingredients. Water should tatse slightly salty. Add more salt if necessaary.
  3. Cover Tupperware (container) with a lid and leave to ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days. Place  동치미 in the fridge thereafter.

Tastes like nothing I’ve ever tasted!

Squirrelling Away Acorns For Making Jelly – 도토리묵무침 (recipe by Heather Jeong)

(Notes from this weeks lesson at the Cultural Office)

Korean food is startling because of its variety.

This weeks lesson involved a food borne of necessity and ingenuity.

Not the tastiest foodstuff but ask any Korean and they’ll recognize the word “mook”- ” 묵 ”

The famous acorn jelly.

A food that originated from hard times, lean times. You find what you can, wherever you can – even on the ground!

Squirrel At Work

Squirrel At Work

Acorns! – usually eaten by squirrels. (See stock photo of squirrel enjoying an acorn “in a squirrel style”)

Probably not great eating – in terms of flavour – although some outspoken girl squirrel may disagree.

“It’s what I like to eat, it’s not nothing. Is a delicious nibble. ” her little voice might squeak – probably in Korean, if I let my wild   squirrel imaginings scamper out of control. Anyway…

If you grind those nuts up, mix with water – and heat and stir for one half hour – you “break the peptide” – the protein chains holding the water making thicker and thicker “goo” – let it set overnight – and you have firm yet wobbly dark brown jelly, ready to shape any way you     please. (Again, see photo)

Enticing Chunks Of Goodness

Enticing Chunks Of Goodness

Today’s lesson bought to us by our respected teacher Heather Jeong – might be called “Korean food in a vegetarian style”. (see header)

One recipe is “Acorn Jelly Salad” – Dotori mook muchim.

Involves another unfamiliar ingredient – chrysanthemum leaves.

“Probably taste a bit flowery” I quip, slightly repulsed by the thought of the acrid taste of plants that bear flowers.

“Remove the stems” 선생님 (much respected) H. Jeong advises,

“This is how you eat Chrysanthemum” she struggles to say  – is a difficult – 힘든 – word at the best of times. (no disrespect to teacher)

선생님 (respected teacher) holds up the variegated leaves, split in three, and folds them back – and in three again and so on.

In Korea we call it  국화 (kuyk hwa)

Flowers just as pretty but easier to pronounce.

“This taste like celery” C1 insists.

And C2 sitting next to her agrees. “It does taste like celery!”

For mine it tasted like Chrysanthemum.

I’m not convinced – it’s not as sharp as I thought.

“I’m not convinced” I say out loud.

Not as sharp as celery leaf at least.

“It tastes like grass” C1 asserts.

We three pause to look at each other – and wonder how C1 knows what grass tastes like.

There is an awkward silence.

도토리묵무침 (recipe by Heather Jeong)


400g carton 도토리묵 (acorn jelly) sliced into 4cm by 3 cm rectangles

1 cucumber, julienne

2 sheets toasted nori, crushed

5 kaettnip (wild sesame leaves) julienne

¼ cup chrysanthemum leaves, ripped

¼ onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp sesame seeds


½ garlic head, minced

1 green onion, chopped

3-5 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp fish sauce, necessary

1-2 tbsp kochugaru

2 tsp sugar

1-2 tbsp brown rice vinegar

1 tbsp plum vinegar

2 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Mix alll the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Put dotori mook (acorn jelly), cucmber, onion, kaettnip (wild sesame leaves), chrysanthemum leaves in a bowl.

Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and gently mix. Sprinkle nori and sesame seeds on top.


Mook in a bright orange bag


Korean Corned Beef (with Sesame Sauce)

(Thank you to my wife Sandra for helping me create Steve’s Korean Kitchen.)

This recipe is based on a recipe I learnt from my mother, which she learnt from her mother. Corned beef is a wonderful taste memory from my childhood. The meat tastes better and better as it ages – although it rarely lasts very long!

Traditionally, corn beef is served with a white sauce based on flour, butter, milk and pepper. Adds a bit of zing to the corned beef.

Here I’ve created a bright and deep orange colored sauce – not at all traditional. But a sauce that captures the warm nutty delicious flavor of 참기름 with a combination of sweetness from  막걸리 and saltiness that is typical of Korean cuisine. Combine this with the two mainstays of Korean food – 고추장 & 고추가루 – and you have a taste that goes nicely with corned beef.

 Steve’s Sesame Sauce

50mL Garlic sesame oil (make this by placing 6 cloves of garlic in 50mL sesame oil and allow it to stand for 4-5 days on a window sill for sunlight)

150mL  anchovy stock

3 tbsp 고추장

1/2 tsp 고추가루

3 tbsp 막걸리  (more to taste)

Generous splash orange juice.

2 Cloves marinated garlic

2 tsp potato starch (to thicken)

Salt to taste

1. Combine the garlic sesame oil, anchovy stock, 거추강, 거추가루,

2. Using a blender create a sesame oil sauce of bright orange (color is breathtaking!)

3. Add salt to taste.

4. Put in gravy train, put to side.

Corned Beef

12 clove buds

6 cloves of sesame oil garlic

500mL anchovy stock

2 tbsp brown sugar

3 celery stalks with heads (this matters a whole bunch!)

4 peeled carrots

1kg silverside (what my mum always called corned beef)


1. Combine all ingredients in the pot.

2. Cook for just over an hour.

3. Warm the sauce, slice the meat

4. Serve with carrots, chopped celery.

5. Drizzle plenty ‘o’ sauce on the meat.

Makes for a pretty picture. olive green, burnt orange, deepest pink and china white.

Enjoy with a beer, or a glass of wine.


스티브의 지글지글 소시지

Steve’s Korean Sausage Sizzle

Grab a beer, fire up the barbecue.
You need:
-6 Pork sausages
-4 large white onions, chopped into rings
-350 g kimchi,
-2 bottles beer (little creatures)
-tsp 고추기름 (Korean Chilli Powder)
-6 hotdog buns
-6 tbsp sesame oil
It’s a lovely, sunny Sydney day, plenty wide open blue sky.
Here’s what you do.
Drain the kimchi, slice the kimchi
Eat some kimchi, cause you know you want to.
Keep the marinade juice!
(Do not discard the marinade)
Cook the sausages in the marinade and sesame oil.
Caramelize the onions with sesame oil- till they’re soft and translucent.

Add sliced, drained kimchi cook towards the end. Cook the kimchi “aldente”
Serve cooked sausage, cooked onion and kimchi on hot dog rolls

Add Sauce – if you like sauce –
Looks like this- equal parts tomato sauce, 고추장 Korean chilli paste –

teaspoon honey – yum!

Enjoy the taste!
Kick a footy!
Vote liberal-national!


Note to this recipe:

Kimchi is an essential part of Korean cuisine.

It is a strong, almost formidable delectation, indomitable like the Korean people themselves.

A hearty taste, Kimchi is an irrepressible force that somehow keeps you coming back for more.

Packed with solid robust flavours it is a food you’ll return to again and again.

So in looking for a signature dish that would enhance the already robust flavour of Kimchi I chose Croatian sarma. A dish of meat,  rice and cabbage rolls served in a reassuring soup.

I was priviledged enough to be taught how to make Sarma by my mother in law – before she moved on to the next life. Sarma is a glorious flavour, and I hope this version is in some way close to that delicious flavour our “grandma” produced time and again. It was truly delicious.

The idea of adding something spicy and salty to an already fantastic tasting dish was with me even then. I have a tragically nostalgic image of my beloved mother in law  “Baka” (Croatian for Grandma) telling me “It’s not  sarma if you add anything to it.”

May her soul rest in peace.

So in combining kimchi with the Croatian technique of making sarma, in creating sarma with some Korean cooking  techniques – I would like to present:

Baka’s Kimchi Sarma




250g Spek – juniper flavoured ham that is both salt cured and smoked, and popular in Croatian cuisine.

250g Pork Neck Mince

250g Beef Topside

Large Bunch Chopped Fresh Parsley

Half head Garlic

200g Arborio Rice (medium grain)

1 egg

1 tbsp vegeta

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp 고추장Korean chilli paste

250g Kimchi – well chopped


20 Korean Anchovies

2L water

2 Tbsp black pepper corns

2-3 Large Smoked Bacon Ribs

100g thinly sliced Kimchi


2 large potatoes – skinned and chopped

50g salted butter, dash of milk


3 large leaves of preserved cabbage “kiselo kupo” or “sour cabbage”


  1. Stock

Chop the anchovy heads, remove intestines. Put into boiling water with mixed peppercorns and smoked bacon ribs. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain the peppercorns and the anchovies, return the remaining stock to the heat.

  1. Mash

Cook potatoes until soft. Mash with milk and butter. Set aside.

  1. Filling

Chop the speck and the gimchi well, combine in a bowl with pork and beef mince, plus the chopped parsley. Add the paprika, vegeta, gochugang and rice. Combine one egg and a generous amount of salt – mix well by hand.

  1. Cabbage Rolls

Use the inner leaves of a large head sour cabbage, cut away the thick middle lining and make 2 squares.

(You can use this cabbage in the soup)

Roll out a tbsp of filling, and wrap in a cabbage roll – is a good idea to use a toothpick to hold it together.

  1. The Dish

Put the cabbage rolls in the soup, simmer for about 15 minutes. Add chopped kimchi and excess cabbage – cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the ribs, the cabbage rolls – taking the toothpicks out – serve with mash potatoes and a generous amount of soup stock.


ImageYou will need:  – whole chicken (asked my Korean friend Lee “Will organic chicken be OK?” He looked at me with that Korean look ‘As long as it’s [chicken] you still get soup at the end, so OK’

– 12 cloves garlic – more is good

– 12 dates (seeds in, seeds out – again see that “Korean look” above)

– good handful sweet rice, soaked in water one to three and a half parts, two hours.

Lee: “It must be this “special” type of rice – points to screen – looks at me in that “We are talking about rice and I am ASIAN – therefore you need to get this right” kind of way.

Me: “It’s just rice, isn’t it?”

Lee: [shakes head]

– 3 whole ginseng roots

– 3 dong quai roots

– white onion, spring onion (chopped – only chance!)

Note: this soup works best when you use whole ingredients – so no chopping, excepting above!

Fill the chicken with half the garlic, half the dates (eat the rest), sticky rice, ALL of the ginseng.

Does the order matter? Rule 2: No, it’s just CHICKEN SOUP – hearty, robust, heart warming.

Place chicken in a ceramic bowl – add enough water to cover the bird – plus the rest of the garlic, and any indiscretionary dates or ginseng – as well as the dong quai and the onion combination.

Q:How long do you cook it for?

A: Until it’s cooked! (See Rule 2 above)

samgyetang is a Korean summer soup – although it would work well in winter, too.

Believed to prevent illness – “…runny nose? feeling miserable? Try some delicious ginseng chicken soup. 감사함니다 !”

Click here for a link to a “proper” recipe – as created by the venerable Heather Jeong.