Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Banchan recipe: Spicy Bokchoy!

I don’t remember seeing bokchoy in Korea when I was growing up there in the 1980s and 90s but now it is getting popular as more and more people around the world begun to know about it and cook with it. It’s not uncommon to see this veggie in even american and european restaurants these days and I think it’s because it is such a versatile vegetable. It has two opposing qualities: delicate and tough at the same time, sorta like cross between napa cabbage and spinach, with a slight bitter after taste. It’s important to blanch this veggie enough for the bitterness to come out yet maintaining a firm texture. I use it for all kinds of cooking including stir fry, steaming, blanching and also a great addition to noodle soups. 

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

New banchan recipe: Seafood scallion pancake

Seafood scallion pancake seems to be everyone’s favorite appetizer when I bring my friends to Korean restaurants. It’s easy to share and c’mon, who doesn’t like fried pancakes? This pancake batter can be used to make variety of other “Jeon” (Korean word for pancake), including kimchi pancake, chive pancake, fish pancake, squash pancake which I’m going to show you how to make in the near future. By the way, flipping a big pancake can be hard not to mess up first time. So don’t be disappointed if it breaks apart when you flip them, it’s still going to taste good! And you can always divide the batter and make couple of smaller pancakes for easier flipping too.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Korean Recipe: Steamed Egg in a Bowl!

In case you are wondering what the Korean traditional earthenware pot (Ttuk-Bae-Gi) looks like, I’ve put some pictures of it above. This egg dish comes out freshly made in a korean earthenware pot if you go to traditional Korean restaurants and it is one of the most savory, comforting food ever. It’s piping hot, the egg soft, airy and salty. The whole pot is gone into my belly in a blink of an eye. There are many different ways to make this dish and you can even microwave it for 3-4 minutes instead of steaming it and get a similar result but I think steaming makes it have better texture. Some people put it in a rice cooker when they are making rice, too. When you make a bigger portion of this recipe, remember to increase the cooking time accordingly. You can easily buy regular earthenware bowls at any kitchenware stores like Crate and barrel, Pier 1 import…etc.
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Friday, August 1, 2014

New Recipe on my Banchan Tumblr: it's Pan-Fried Tofu!

Tofu is one of my go-to food when I don’t have much time to cook but still want to eat yummy, healthy food. You can eat the soft (silken) tofu straight out of the package with the same sauce from this recipe which would be even healthier and quicker meal. But traditionally, Koreans usually cook the tofu, by either pan frying it like this recipe, putting them in casseroles, or steaming them. There are so many yummy recipes using different type of tofu in Korea that I could even make a recipe book just devoted to tofu! Follow BanChan In 2 Pages for a new recipe every week!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Painters of Quebec

I went to Quebec city for a couple days and discovered so many great painters from Quebec. Quebec city is full of art galleries in between all the touristic souvenir shops and I had a lot of fun talking to the gallery owners to learn about the history of fine art scene in Quebec. I noticed that there are handful of painters that were commonly featured in all the galleries, whose styles reminded me of the post impressionists like Cezanne, Monet and Sargent. But their landscapes were rougher, often featuring harsh winter scenes of Quebec. Their bold strokes and subtle and beautiful colors really captivated me. Most of them were born in the late 1800s and now all dead but some "young" artists had picked up their trails.

René Richard

Francesco Iacurto

Lucie Michel

Henri Leopold Masson

 Albert Rousseau

Stanley Cosgrove

Miguel Forest

Jean Paul Lemieux is one of the most sought after painters from Quebec. His paintings stand out from the rest because of his quirky figures. They kind of remind me of Balthus and Munch, a bit naive and creepy. Towards the end of his life, Lemieux often painted ghosts roaming around the Quebec city.

Friday, July 4, 2014