kimchi jigae is the essence of moisture, and moisture is the essence of life
Saturday afternoon we decided to concoct some jigae to help us gear up for some nighttime groovin' at Club Eden for Balapalooza.  Even though clouds are filling the sky, spirits are high (as well as appetites).  All I know is the smell of searing marinated pork gives me what they refer to as a broner.  Yep, I said it.  Hunger is our middle name.  Thanks to David's brilliant recipe,  some piping hot red stew will be shoveled shortly!  We are kicking it into full swing for the Spring season and running our stomachs through the guantlet of spice.  One day we will become champions of the chili... true masters.  Good for vitality!
Soundtrack:  Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame.  A bizarre, yet intoxicating blend of Beatles, Neil Young, Warren Zevon, complete with a raw and fresh feeling.  This is what they call an addicting album.  Excellent for singing along to, Dr. Dog can also be enjoyed in a relaxed state.  Shame Shame is a complete work of art.   
Result: Sweet and spicy hot made this soup a delicious meal on the dark, rainy day. We likey better than some of the Korean versions! Supatasty!


-         300g of pork belly

-         ½ a small onion thinly sliced

-         5 cloves of crushed garlic

-         8 oz of tofu chopped into 1 inch cubes

-         3 sprigs of green onion roughly chopped

-         ¼ of a head of cabbage cut into bit sized squares

-         100g of kimchi (with juice)

-         3 tbsp of hot chilli paste

-         1 ½ tsp of hot chilli flakes

-         2 tbsp of soy sauce

-         5 cups of water



The first step is to marinate the pork. Start by trimming the fat off the pork, leaving as much or as little as you want. After the fat is trimmed, cut the pieces into bite sized squares. In a bowl, combine the pork with the five cloves of crushed garlic, the hot chilli paste, and the hot chilli flakes. Let the mixture marinate in the fridge for around a half hour.

While the meat is marinating, an optional step is to fry up the tofu before you put it into the soup. It gives the tofu more flavour and body. To do this, heat a small frying pan and fry bite sized pieces of the tofu in cooking oil until it begins to brown on all sides.

            Next, chop the onions into long thin slices and toss them into a large, heated saucepan to begin softening. After a few minutes toss in the pork mixture and fry until the meat begins to brown. After the browning has started, add the kimchi and its juices (ensuring the kimchi has been chopped) and toss with the pork for a minute or two. Then, add all of the water, tofu, cabbage and soy sauce. The soup should simmer for around another half hour. A few minutes before its ready, roughly chop the green onions and add to the soup. After they boil in for a few minutes, the soup is ready to serve over or alongside rice and enjoy!

fyah, fyah, fyah, light up ya lighta! (Jae Yuk Deopbab)
 Ready to sweat?  

First time I tried this dish I looked like Patrick Ewing in the 4th quarter.
 Jae Yuk Deopbab is fiery, zesty and explosive, while at the same time hinting at sweet.  If the brilliant red coloring isn't enough of a spice warning, the chili smell will bring your senses to attention immediately.  A Korean staple and my "go-to" choice at any restaurant in Seoul, Jae Yuk Deopbap delivers satisfaction to any spicy food aficionado.  It's a pork based dish, packed full of veggies and served on top of rice.  March madness is finito and spring is getting me into wild mode.  New tunes, new recipes, new chingoos, newly freed spirit from the winter hibernation.  It's a good equation.  Clare, 'cam sa ha mi da' for the excellent recipe.  "More fyah!" - Capleton
Soundtrack:  John Butler Trio: Live at St. Gallen, PURE FUNK, and Putumayo: Cuba (Jordo, congrats on the summer gig, mate!)  Acoustic soul with funky hand percussion that makes me wish summer weather would arrive this instant.  Close your eyes and imagine a nice summer music festy.. yee haw!  PURE FUNK.. enough said.  As for the Cubano, the brass and keys make you move without even thinking.  Commence domination!

Result:   Almost-pleasant burning sensation on the lips and a delicious taste!  We likey.  Can you handle the zest?       

  • 600g of pork belly
  • ½  a large carrot julienned
  • ½ red bell pepper julienned
  • 1 small onion sliced thinly
  • 2 sprigs of green onion
  • ¼  of a head of cabbage chopped into squares
  • 1 ½ cups of rice to cook
For Sauce/Marinade
  • 3 tbsp of gochujang (red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp of soju (sub with watered down vodka if you can’t find soju)
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5 cloves of crushed garlic

Sauce: in a small bowl thoroughly combine all of the sauce ingredients and set aside. This will serve as a marinade as well as the sauce for the dish.  Next, trim as much of the fat off of the pork belly as you wish. I know some people love the fatty stuff more than others, I prefer to make mine as lean as possible! After the pork is trimmed cut it into bite sized squares and mix everything into the marinade. The mixture should set and settle in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Cookin’: Drizzle some olive oil into a large frying pan and put the slivered onions to sauté for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes drop in the pork and every last drop of the marinade. Fry the meat until it starts to brown, then add the rest of the vegetables (carrots, red pepper, cabbage, but not the green onions). Cook everything, covered, for another ten minutes stirring every few minutes. After ten minutes add the green onions and cook for another minute or two until the green onions are softened. Serve on top of white rice and beware of fire!

roots, reggae and 찜닭 (jjimdalk)
Spring is on the way and we were in need of some positive vibrations, taste bud stimulation and culinary domination!  Jjimdalk is a wildly popular traditional Korean dish that blends is powered by a sweet and chili-infused sauce.  Wicked roots reggae beats fill the background and Tenor Saw's pure and powerful voice carries throughout the place.  Nothing compares to good smells and good sounds together.  It's a serious positive force to reckon with.  Choppin', choppin', boilin' and choppin'.  Office-tel kitchens are not for the claustrophobic, that is for sure.  Wowza!  Time for a sweet and dandy dance break.
Soundtrack: ROOTS REGGAE..  Lee "Scratch" Perry - Super Ape, Barrington Levy - Robin Hood, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant - Bass Chalice, Toots & The Maytals - Funky Kingston, Tenor Saw - Fever, Anthony B - So Many Things.  Reggae music in the old style puts me in such a happy mood.  Look up these albums and get the vibes alive!
Result:  Besides the super strong ginger taste, it came out beautifully.  The chicken was falling off the bone and the potatoes were packed with flavor.  The spice was not overpowering, but definitely present.  Overall, a great success.  Jjimdalk has a truly unique flavor that's tough to compare to anything from back home.

Makin'   찜닭 :
- 1 whole chicken chopped into pieces
- 1 large potato
- half a large carrot
- 1 small onion
- small bunch of spring onions
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 2dried spicy red chili peppers
- 1 green chili pepper
- 1/2 an apple
- 250 grams of glass noodles
For Sauce:
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 1/2 cup of soju
- 1/2 cup of sugar syrup
- 2 tbsp of rice wine
- 3 tbsp of sesame oil
Hana, Dul, Set!
1. The first thing you need to do is prepare your glass or starch noodles well in advance. They need to soak in cold water for 2 hours before you add them into the final product.
2. When your ready to begin the jjimdalk start boiling a large pot of water. Once boiling, drop in the chicken for a quick fix, only one to two minutes. Drain out this "dirty water" and refill the pot to begin boiling again. While the pot is getting ready to boil again, you should start to prepare all the veggies.
3. Roughly chop the potato, carrot, onions (both kinds), chili's (both again) and apple. Thinly slice the garlic and dump everything you've got into the bot with the chicken. Make sure there is only enough water in the pot to barely cover the ingredients, as you want a lot of this water to evaporate away.
4. Once the pot is well on its way boiling, add all of the sauce ingredients right inside. This whole mixture now needs around 40 minutes to boil together until the chicken is deliciously tender and the potatoes and carrots soft to the touch. After 40 minutes add the prepared glass noodles to the mixture and make sure they become covered with sauce.
5. SERVE IMMEDIATELY!  This dish is best eaten right away and does not store well as leftovers so make sure your feeding your best and closest friends with this one! Many thanks to Kim and Emily from our Gayang volunteer class for their homemade Jjimdalk recipes!

She's so hot, like a curry.
Koreans love to eat pumpkins.  Throw in some carrots, potatoes, onion, chicken, bell peppas and some curry powder and we are in business.  It's a gloomy day here in Seoul.. dark skies and a constant drizzle.  In other words, a perfect day to dive into a Korean curry recipe that requires nearly 2 hours to complete.  Many thanks to Jordan from volunteer class for showing us the ropes and sharing this culinary delight with us.  Also, thank you Emily for the ultra tasty pumpkin soup.  I just had a bowl and it was insanely good.  Okie doke, back to the curry.  Thanksgiving-esque aromas fill the air of the tiny studio apartment and my stomach growls like a wild thing.  Wacka-wacka!  This is by far the most time and labor-intensive recipe we've taken on so far, but if smell dictates anything it will be delectable.  It looks warming and natural, like something Yoda would eat or a dish on the menu at Hogwart's.  Bubblegloop swamp?  "Let the feast.. begin!" - Dumbledore   

Result:  Boom-boom!  Decent amount of kick with a sweetness to it that reminded me of a 4th of July bbq.  The pumpkin base along with the potatoes are carrots even out the flavor.  It harmonizes like Crosby Stills Nash & Young! 
Do it.. nah-nah-nah, really.. DO IT:


½ a small pumpkin

2 small potatoes

½ a sweet potato

1 small onion

½ a red pepper

½ a green pepper

1 medium sized apple

2 chicken breasts or the equivalent of beef

1 cup of curry powder


Directions: To start yourself off and make life simple and easy you should start by cutting all of the ingredients in small chunks (make the chicken pieces slightly larger than the vegetables and the onions slightly smaller).

  1. The first thing to do is peel and chop the pumpkin into small pieces and prepare a large pot of water for it to boil. Let the pumpkin boil for about 10 minutes on its own, then begin the next steps.
  2. In a medium sized skillet heat up a few drizzles of olive oil and toss in your chopped up chicken pieces. Wait for them to cook evenly on the outsides and then toss the chicken into the pot with the pumpkin.
  3. After the chicken, put more olive oil in the pan and toss in the onions, carrots and potatoes. Let these fry together for around 5-7 minutes and toss them into the pot with the chicken and pumpkin. Make sure that there is still enough water in the pot to cover all the ingredients.
  4. The last step is to add the red and green peppers and apple into the big pot. Let everything boil together for 10 more minutes then add in the curry powder.
  5. Once the curry powder has been added you need to keep a much closer eye on your pot. The curry will need frequent stirring to keep the bottom from burning and sticking. The curry will need to boil for another 20 or 30 minutes, depending on how big or small you cut all the ingredients. To test if you curry is done, try an apple and make sure it is tender and well cooked. Now enjoy.. or else you is die! A great thanks to Jordan for teaching us this wonderful recipe!

Kimchi Pajan (pancakes, yall!)
Full steam ahead!  We're used to pancakes with fresh maple syrup, but over on this side of the globe they do them a bit different.  Instead of sweet and buttery, they whip up savory veggie pancakes that pack a wallop of spice.  Getting off work at 10pm, our stomachs were growling and we needed a quick fix.. Kimchi Pajan was the perfect solution.  Traditionally served as a side dish with any of the large wealth of Korean main dishes, these pancakes are a brilliant orange color accented by the green chives and zuchini.  Super taste.  Crispy and fluffy at the same time, the texture compliments rice dishes perfectly.  Experimentation is key!  Toss in any sort of veggies or spicy seasoning.  Here-here-here we go... 
 Sountrack:  Major Lazer (, Jack Penate (, Norwegian Recycling (  Boomin' dancehall riddims and feel good tunes!  Groovin' around the mini kitchen with the aroma of zuchini and chile in the air was a satisfying feeling.
Result:  "RICH AS SPICE"

- 1 cup of wheat flour
- 1 cup of Korean pancake mix (or any type of non-buttermilk pancake mix)
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 2 eggs whipped
- 1 cup of shredded zucchini
- 1/2 cup of shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup of chopped scallions or green onions
- 3/4 cup of Korean chili sauce

How to!
To start, have a medium saucepan warming on medium heat on the stove. In a large mixing bowl beat the two eggs together. Once fluffed add the pancake mix, flour and water and whisk until well combined. Next, add the carrots, zucchini, onions, scallions and chili sauce and mix until the chili sauce is well-blended into the batter. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to your pan and spoon in enough of the batter to cover the bottom of the pan. After about 4 minutes the pancake should be ready to slip. Check to make sure the bottom has been slightly browned before you turn it! This recipe should make 4 pancakes. Boom-Shacka-Lacka!

Dolsut Bap Recipe
- 2 cups of white rice
- 300 grams of bulgogi (shredded beef)
- 1 carrot julienned 
- 1/2 cup of enoki mushrooms
- i garlic clove (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 an onion sliced or chopped
- 1/2-1 cup of bean sprouts (as much or little as ya like)
- Korean red chili sauce 
- 2 tsp sesame oil

Materials: Medium saucepan, rice cooker (or pot), two Korean hot bowls

How to!
To start, make sure your rice gets cooking in your rice cooker; two cups of rice, four cups or water, salt and a splash of oil. After the rice gets going begin cooking the bulgogi on medium heat in the saucepan. After the bulgogi begins to brown, add the onions and carrots and continue to cook for around 10 minutes.  After the bulgogi, carrots and onions are finished cooking, begin to heat up the two hot bowls on med/high heat for around 5 minutes. To test your hot bowls put a few drops of water in the bottom and make sure you see it sizzle! When hot, put one teaspoon of sesame oil in each hot bowl and begin to build. Start with half the rice in each bowl and top with half of everything else; the bulgogi mix, mushrooms, bean sprouts and garlic. To finish, drizzle as much or as little chili sauce as your taste buds can handle and start to mix! Next step, domination. Enjoy! With this dish you can feel free to put your own spin on it, using various vegetables and sauces. Try this dish and let us know what you think! 

Seoul Food
 Today we embark on our palette expanding quest of tastiness.  First on the menu, dolsut bab.  Basically, a super hot volcanic style bowl full of rice, various vegetation and topped off with flavor-packed marinated beef called bulgogi.  We are Cormick Barnes and Danielle Giacometti, two ESL teachers in Seoul, South Korea, who have constant hunger for new tastes and a love for all things culinary.  Fueled with a constantly changing soundtrack of good tunes and with immense help from our Korean students and friends, our mission is to bring Korean family recipes to the English speaking world!  Get ready for some SERIOUS color and spice!  - Cormick and Danielle

Bulgogi smells nicuh!

Soundtrack:  new Matty C tunes (, Iration ( and Tryo ( for post-cooking clean-up.
Result:  Genius!  Excellent blend of sweet, salty and spicy.  Not to mention the sizzling effect, crispy rice and juicy beef all complimenting each other texture-wise.  The recipe will be up soon.  Anyang!


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