Making a fuss about dipping sauce since ’03.

Get it right and the flavour is transcendent.
Works like a passionate romance, like a well kempt marriage (such a thing exists!)
Right there – the magic happens – it’s in the snap of the vinegar. It’s in the umami (pleasant savory taste) of just enough soy. It’s in the sting of the chili – just a touch of the super hot – stimulates the mind. Sugar – of course. Salt is the devil in the detail. Rings of chopped spring onion. And the nut flavoured fumes of sesame oil. 

Steve’s Korean Dipping Sauce ’03
1 tbs Korean sesame oil
4 tbs Soya sauce
3 tbs Vinegar
1 tbs Mild Chili Powder
1 tsp Hot Chili Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar 
Spring Onion, chopped

Combine ingredients in a bowl.

Pick a dipping thing – my preference is fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. (Luke Nguyen’s recipe is here). Or salted crisps.



불고기 김치 고즐래매 – Bulgogi Kimchi Gozleme

This recipe combines three crowd favourites into tasty, bite sized morsels.

OK – several bite bite-size, but delicious pieces, nonetheless.

Bulgogi – that much venerated staple of Korean eating – where the combination of soy and sugar, pear and garlic creates a sensation like you were really there – like you were a part of the Korean culture.


Imagine a street near a bridge as an etching against a pale grey sky, a travelers inn, darkened room, table near window. Rain. Bamboo wall and big leafed long stemmed bright green plant for privacy. You feel like the only one – and for a moment…

There is a recipe for bulgogi here – points to elsewhere on this same site  – hopefully the address won’t explode, or the redirection loop police arrest me!

There’s no recipe on my site for making kimchi – the next well favoured ingredient – quite yet!

But I came across a version from the much respected teacher Heather Jeong – and I’ll post that next. My version of kimchi includes one of Australia’s cultural icons – Vegemite. Kimchi and Vegemit lovers of the world – united!

The third element is gozleme – my attempted Hangul version –고즐래매– spelled like it sounds. Here is the dough – made from scratch – not a quick process!

Mixing, kneading, proofing overnight. Even added some roasted sesame seeds for a bit of extra crunch. The kids got to use the rolling pin for the first time. There’s Maddy – her sleeves rolled up, ‘kerchief in her hair, flour all over her hands. I asked how she was going. Crinkled her little nose, gave me that certain sideways look –

“Is this how you do it, daddy?”

We flattened, and flattened, I sliced the dough up into oblongs (Only daddy can use the knife) Painted on a bit of sesame oil – has a nice orange hue – right then Dylan, our ever hungry 3 year old pipes up

“Can we eat it, daddy? Can we?”


Gozleme dough recipe

2 cups unbleached plain flour
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
lukewarm water

1 tsp yeast

100 g roasted sesame seeds

200 mL Sesame Oil

  • Sift the flours and salt, add the yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Using an electric mixer – or dough hook – or similar – mix in the water – a little at a time. The more electrical the device you use, the less work you knead to do! Ha!
  • Place in a bowl, “wrapped in plastic” – and let the dough rise. Once the dough has doubled in size it’s ready for the next step.
  • Deflate the dough by punching it– then flatten and flatten again with a rolling pin until as thin as thick cardboard. Cut in 15 cm squares. Paint one side with sesame oil.

Bulgogi-Kimchi Mixture

  • 3 parts Bulgogi Meat – cooked
  • 1 part Kimchi – chopped
  • 1 part Mozarella cheese- grated
  • Extra soya sauce, extra sugar

Combine these in a frying pan. Heat the mixture through, until the cheese isn’t quite melted. Kimchi is great – but when you combine it with – rice, calamari, meat – and heat it up – there’s salty crunch, warming chili – the experience comes alive!

Place one tbs of this bulgogi mixture on one half of one square.

Fold the gozleme in half, covering the mixture. Paint canola oil all over the outside of the bread.

In a frying pan cook the gozleme on both sides till golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. No little accidents!

Sprinkle more sesame seeds, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon and you have –

불고기 김치 고즐래매

불칠면조미트볼 (Fire Turkey Meat Balls)

Meat Balls
Turkey mince 1kg
Cheddar Cheese 300g – grated
Mozzarella 200g – grated
1 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp 청양고추 (“The Fire”) – really hot chili powder
1 tbs 고추가루 – mild chili powder
4 tbs 고추상 – chili paste
50mL sesame oil
2 small onions – diced
6 spring onions – diced
6 cloves garlic – crushed
Half a Korean pear diced
Salt and pepper

Red Sauce
50mL sesame oil
3 cloves garlic – crushed
Korean vinegar – 100mL
Korean Soy sauce 200mL
6 tsp granulated sugar
4 tbs 고추상 – chili paste
4 tbs American ketchup
1 tsp 청양고추 (“The Fire”) – really hot chili powder

Making Fire Turkey Meat Balls
1. Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic cling wrap. Leave overnight in fridge.
2. Roll small meatballs (5cm diameter at most) using plain flour. Put in fridge for 10 minutes on baking tray.
3. Heat enough canola oil (500-750ml) to deep fry the meat balls for 4-8 minutes. Drain
4. Arrange the balls on a baking tray – put into pre heated oven 200 C for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Making the Red Sauce
1. Fry the garlic in Sesame oil, slowly adding sugar, soy and vinegar. Be careful the ingredients don’t burn.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, plus half a cup of water. Stir together.

Pour the sauce over the Turkey meatballs.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds for effect.

메리 크리스마스 ^^

막컬리 거스터드 (Rice Wine Rice Custard)

A family favourite at Christmas, rice custard (sometimes called chunky custard) was a popular dish at the end of the day.

Here I’m cooking with – “famous in Korea” 막컬리 or rice wine .

Rice custard is sometimes flavoured with cognac (Courvoisier for example)

So I went searching for “rice wine brandy”.

I get most of my Korean stuff at Go Mart in North Strathfield. I think the assistant was quite helpful – and I think she understood my idea.

“Rice wine custard? That makes sense.”
“But is there such a thing as rice wine brandy? Rice wine liquer?”
“I think it’s Soju you want”
So I guess you could flavour the rice wine rice custard with Soju. Now that would be an interesting!

150g rice

200 mL water
200 mL 막컬리

6 Scotch Finger Biscuits
100g unsalted butter
1 tbs sugar

3 tbs custard powder
1 tbs sugar
3 cups milk
1 tbs vanilla sugar
300g Sultanas

First, cook the rice.
I cheated and used a rice cooker.
If cooking rice the conventional way drain any
excess fluid.

Second, grease a baking tray.
Crush the biscuits in the tray, combine with melted butter and sugar.
Set aside in fridge.

Third, add custard powder, sugar, milk, vanilla sugar, sultanas

to the rice.

Stir and bring to the boil.Pour over the biscuit base in the baking tray.

Leave to set in fridge overnight.Reviews have included “If you like Makgeolli, then you’ll like this”
“Tastes like an old fashioned custard pudding type thing”


Sesame oil is the essential ingredient of Korean cooking.

Before I knew this cuisine, I had only ever used sesame oil by the teaspoon, a means of adding slight pungency to a Malaysian saté or Indian curry.

In Korea, sesame oil is used more like a soya sauce or vinegar, adding a good amount to cover the meat, more than I’ve  used before.

At our shop we have three Korean pharmacy students – much respected for their ability to understand both Korean and English. I am constantly reminded of the limitations of my Korean, and each day marvel at these students’ command of English.
So – in that spirit – I asked one of the students  용인 to translate the Hangul on the side of a 1L jerry can of Sesame Oil (pictured) – to find out exactly what makes the preferred Korean brand so unique.

Sesame oil in a 1L jerry can. Jerry was the name the British used for German soldiers in WW2. They always had these square metal cans on their persons.
Sesame oil in a 1L jerry can.
Jerry was the name the Germans used for British soldiers in WW2 – they always carried these handy square metal cans.

Beksul – since 1953

1. It tastes aromatic because we use 100% sesame oil.

2. We use the rapid freezer method which is applied by special permission– so the aromatic taste is fresh.

3. We cleanse the sesame seeds with pure water, roast them and                 squeeze them
to create a certain aromatic taste.                                           That’s why it tastes so good.

Storage: cap the bottle and keep out of the light. for more information – although the site is in Korean!

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)


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.