참기름

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.

www.cj.co.kr for more information – although the site is in Korean!

한국식소금절인쇠고기

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)

Method

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.

CornBeefPresented

할머니스타일김치살마

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

할머니김치살마

Ingredients

FILLING

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

SOUP

20 Korean Anchovies

2L water

2 Tbsp black pepper corns

2-3 Large Smoked Bacon Ribs

100g thinly sliced Kimchi

MASH

2 large potatoes – skinned and chopped

50g salted butter, dash of milk

CABBAGE ROLLS

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

METHOD

  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.