Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

So from the comment to my last blog entry you can see that there is a demand for specific recipes.  I am not a native Korean cook, and I won’t make any claims about the authenticity of my recipes.  I am only going to tell you how I I have learned to make this from Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim.  She sometimes teaches about food and food preparation right at her school, Jung SuWon, or in more depth and detail, at the Self Discovery programs. 

For the freshly made rice – I use a rice cooker.  Simply go by the instructions that come with the cooker.  Get a cooker the size you need – if you have a big family, get a big pot.  If it’s just you, get the smallest one.  Fresh cooked rice is always a lot better!  Once you are familiar with the basics, try adding some brown rice and beans, barley, are some of the possibilities. 

For the radish soup, start with some soup meat.  First, slice the meat or cut into small pieces.  For each person, about 1/4  cup is plenty.  Boil it in some salted water, enough to cover the meat.  Boil only until the dirty foam comes up, then rinse.  For most recipes that involve meat, I treat the meat this way.  Grandmaster Kim explains that this pulls out all the pollutants, antibiotics and other things that aren’t good for you.

Put the meat in water, add coarsley chopped garlic, dried anchovies, and sliced Korean Radish.  These are the big, plump, white radishes.  Cook until radishes are tender, then add salt and pepper and a touch of Korean Soy sauce.  You can also add a spoon of finely chopped green onions for the final touch. 

As for the fried fish, I like to use the smaller King fish, available in Korean stores.  You can of course use other fish, but this and mackerel seems to be the more authentic ones.  Ask the store person to clean the fish for you – they usually do that free of charge.  At home, make 3 shallow incisions on the top of the fish, then coat it with flour seasoned with salt and pepper.  You can then fry the fish in a pan, on both sides, which will take about 15 – 25 minutes depending on the size of the fish. 

Or, you could put the fish on aluminum foil, and put some crushed garlic and soy sauce on the fish, close the foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375.  Again, the timing depends on the size of the fish. 

To serve and enjoy your Korean breakfast, you would put some kim chi (of course you picked up a jar when you purchased the fish, right? ) in a little bowl, then you take some rice in a bowl, and some soup, and arrange the fish nicely on a plate.  Eye appeal is important at the Korean table, and Grandmaster Kim also emphasizes that in order for your body to enjoy the meal, it should look nice and inviting. 

So go ahead and start your day with a delicious, light, yet satisfying meal!  And by the way, this tastes good any time of day, too!

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A couple of friends called me to remind me that while it’s nice getting so many dinner and a couple of dessert ideas from my blog, I haven’t said anything about breakfast or lunch yet.

Well, number one, I haven’t been blogging for that long, so give me a break please!  And for number two – my philosophy about breakfast is – its the first meal of the day, and whatever you happen to eat first you call it breakfast!  How did we ever come up with the rule that you should have cereal or some eggs in some form for breakfast!  As long as it’s nutritious and balanced, anything goes!

My mother, on the other hand, had different ideas.  When I grew up, I got my birthday cake in the morning!  Her idea was that if you have to “sin” in the food consumption department, it should be first thing in the morning so that you got all day to make up for it – eat healthy stuff, work out – in short, make up for the hunk of cake you just had.   Cake after dinner?  Dessert after dinner?  Never!  It just turns into fat instantly!

So, what should I tell you?  I asked Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, of course, what an acceptable breakfast would be.  It turns out that I wasn’t too far off.  As long as the food is fresh, nutritious, and well balanced – go for it!  She recommended I try a Korean breakfast.

I remember a few years ago I was in Korea, and in the hotel they had three breakfast options:  Continental breakfast, American Style, and Korean.  Of course I ordered the Korean breakfast.  In came a tray, and the smell was overwhelmingly good and appetizing.  I received a small bowl of radish soup, very light and very good, a bowl of fresh steamed rice, cooked to perfection, sauteed fish, and of course, various kim chees.  (For those not knowing:  Kim chee is the Korean version of very spicy pickled cabbage.  Stay in tune, I’ll blog about that very soon!)

It was one of the best breakfasts I ever had.  Light, yet satifsying, and I didn’t feel hungry for several hours.  It’s something you’d want to have before going to Jung SuWon, especially before a testing, when you need good nutrition without being weighed down.

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