Friday, October 10, 2014

New Banchan comic: Soybean Paste Soup with Clams






If you have a king oyster mushroom left over from my last recipe, this will be the way to put it to good use. Deun-Jang-Gook or Deun-Jang-Jji-Gye means ‘soybean paste soup’ in Korean and it’s probably the second most missed food for Koreans in oversea after Kim-Chi-Jji-Gye. Japanese MISO paste would be probably easier to find than Korean soybean paste in American grocery shops and it’s fine to use them in this recipe instead of the Korean soybean paste. Traditionally, you basically need soybean paste (Deun-Jang) and zucchini and potatoes to make a very simple Deun-Jang-Gook, but adding the oyster mushroom and clam makes the broth so much deeper and flavorful. I made this recipe a few days ago and my mom told me it was the best Deung-Jang-Gook she’s ever had. Coming from her who has highly trained taste buds in Korean food, it must have really tasted good. So try it and see for yourself! This is korean comfort food at its best: Warm, savory and full of nutritions. Once you have this version of Soybean paste/ miso soup, you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Follow Banchan in 2 pages for a new recipe every week!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Seafood Mushroom Porridge Recipe






Jeon-Bok-Jook is the korean word for the abalone porridge and it is a special treat in korean cuisine. Abalone is very tasty but it can get super pricy and hard to find in a regular grocery shop. So I’ve replaced it with the king oyster mushroom which tastes so much like scallop, sometimes even better than abalone or scallop when cooked right! In the seafood mix, there are mussels, shrimps and squids in it which gives out enough seafood flavor in the porridge. This is a super simple recipe and the only thing to be careful about is to pay attention when you’re simmering the porridge. Do not leave the pot unattended! You should watch it bubble up and stir it so the rice and the glutenous liquid get mixed well and it’ll get thickened evenly. A bit of sesame oil and the york of the soft boiled egg add more rich and creamy flavor,  and the seasoned seaweed adds more seafoody saltiness and a bit a of crunch which goes so well with this porridge. This is one of my favorite savory treats. 
If you are a vegetarian or allergic to seafood, you can still make this by taking out the seafood and the fish sauce and replacing them with more mushrooms and the soy sauce. 
Follow Banchan in 2 pages for a new recipe every week!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Do you wanna be drawn?

I'm taking portrait commissions!
For more detailed overview of my work, Check out:

                                                   http://yourprettyportrait.tumblr.com/

Portraits are great gifts for everyone, including yourself. If you or your loved ones want to be drawn, just shoot me an e-mail to robinha81@gmail.com and I will see what I can do!
I have several styles and methods to draw with, and they are posted on this tumblr. The categories are:
- Digital flat color fashion portraits
- Pencil portraits on paper. 
- Water color 11” x 14” Fashion Portraits
- Water color croquis 9” x 12”
Please review your options carefully and write to me which style, size and how many people you want to get drawn.
If the number of the people to draw exceeds two people, or if what you are looking for aren’t specified on this tumblr, we can negotiate via e-mail.
You can send me a photo of the person you want me to draw, along with the detailed request and the shipping address. Please make sure the face on the photo is clearly shown and it is the angle you want to be drawn. In other words, send me your best angle! And it should be taken in day time, or indoor with the sufficient lighting.  
Once I’ve received good reference photos and the request is understood between us, I’ll e-mail you a confirmation of your order and the invoice. For the payment, credit card, paypal and chase quick pay are accepted. Once I receive the payment, I’ll start drawing. The final product will be mailed to you within 5-7 days in Priority USPS certified mail. 
If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.
Happy drawing!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Beauty and the beast






My favorite greek mythology is about Cupid and Psyche. I love their mysterious courtship. Psyche can’t see how Cupid looks like, but still falls in love with him and goes on to claim her love despite numerous obstacle his jealous mother, Venus throws on her ways. Psyche starts as naive girl and ends up a woman who takes charge and fights for what she wants. I was watching a stunning film by Jean Cocteau,”La belle et la bĂȘte” several years ago and I realized this fable is actually a variation on the story of Cupid and Psyche. And I dreamed about telling this story again in my own way someday. I wanted to make this story into a graphic novel, add more romance and adventure in the middle, sort of like all those fantasy comics I read when I was little. Oh, I love me a good fantasy romance comics!
In this drawing, I added the pomegranate, which is from another greek mythology of Hades and Persephone. In order to bound her to hell, Hades fed his unwilling wife pomegranate seed.
Here are a few snapshots of the work in progress. This time I made a sketch with a blue pencil, so it’s easier to distinguish ink line from the sketch when I do the line work. I imported this scan and started outlining on photoshop. Then I did a sepia monotone light and dark layer on top. I added very little color touches for the red of the pomegranate since the drawing is pretty complicated. Then I layered it with some painterly texture on top to give it more vintage feel. 

New recipe on Banchan in 2 pages: Chili Chicken Stew!






When the weather is getting chilly like now, there’s nothing better than this dish with a shot of soju for dinner. It warms you right up! This dish is full of everything tasty, big chunky juicy dark meat chicken, soft potatoes and deep, rich and spicy sauce that taste so yummy when eaten with rice. Soju is a korean liquor made with mainly potatos. It tastes somewhere between japanese sake and vodka. It’s used in Korean cooking a lot, especially in cooking meat. When heated with meat, the alcohol evaporates and takes away the gamey smell of the meat with it. So even if you are not into drinking this liquor, it’s good to keep a bottle for cooking purposes. And they are super cheap at Korean grocery shops, usually less then $7 a bottle.  It is the most popular drink in Korea and there are many different brands but most of them come in green bottles. You can use any brand for cooking. If you can’t find soju near you, no worries. You can substitute soju with sake or vodka. You can use many different types of chicken as long as it’s dark meat: bone-in chicken thighs, wings, and drumsticks…etc. Just make sure they are not too big, and you might need to cook them a bit longer in order for the chicken to cook through. I like to use boneless chicken thighs the best because they take less time to cook and also less messy to eat. 

Follow Banchan in 2 pages for a new recipe every week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby





It’s not supposed to be Mia Farror or Carey Mulligan from the movie, but Daisy from the book. I recently re-read this classic and I liked it even more than when I first read it in high school. I think I understand who these people are better now that I’m older. What a great book, it really transcends time.
Here are a few snapshot of the steps I took. First, I make a rough sketch with pencil. Then I scan and import it to photoshop. I do the final cleaned up pencil line and on to the color on Photoshop. I layer with water color texture on top to give more natural look at the end.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Banchan in two pages: Kimchi Stew




Kimchijjigae is probably #1 comfort food Koreans miss when they are living overseas. And most Korean people think their mother’s Kimchiijigae is the best, kind of like how Italian Americans think their mothers’ meatball or Lasagnia is the best. The main part of this super simple dish is Kimchi and depending on how old the KImchi is, the taste will differ dramatically. Months of fermentation will make the Kimchi leaves very soft and the juice will become almost effervescent which makes it heavenly when made into stews.
There are many variety in the protein content in this dish and the most beloved is the pork belly. But you can also use spam as I mentioned and also canned mackerel, saury or tuna. 
Kimchijjigae is generally quiet spicy, but you can make it even spicier by adding more chili flakes and fresh green chili pepper or jalapeno peppers. Fresh peppers add a punch of spiciness over the mellow spiciness of the aged kimchi.

Follow Banchan in two pages for a new recipe every week!