Back when I was studying in Brisbane, the weather (especially during Spring or Winter) is good for having Barbeque. My housemates and I would occasionally gather together and have a mini barbeque session at home. We would shop for groceries together, prepare the dishes, and then proceed to the balcony where we would enjoy our dinner, with a lovely serene riverside view. Ah, those memories are precious...
In Singapore, no matter that the weather is hot like crazy, I'll still crave Korean barbeque. Nothing beats having a full out feast on meats and vegetables. I prepared a feast for the family to dine at home one weekend instead of dining out.
Ingredients; Kimchi jeon; Banchans; Garnishes
콩나물 무침 (beansprouts banchan)
I was going to prepare some dried anchovies for side dishes too, but then I realised there's no dried anchovies at home. (*eh??) So anyway, since there are already four banchans (excluding my homemade kimchi), and I was going to prepare a Kimchi pancake, plus there is barley rice to accompany our Samgyeopsal, I decided one less banchan won't make a difference. ;)
Setting up the barbeque
My Korean housemate, Woo Aa, used to prepare a platter of mushrooms, thinly sliced onions, some sliced garlic to accompany the meats. There was once we found green peppers at the Korean supermart, Pam (my other housemate) and I were so excited as we are Korean drama fans, and we always see Koreans munching on those peppers while eating Korean food, so where else did the pack of green peppers go but our grocery trolley? :) The green peppers were really yummy, a little spicy (towards the top where the seeds were concentrated), and crunchy. It's like a carrot/celery stick I guess, to lessen the 'stuffed' feeling the meats give.
How I like to eat Samgyeopsal - Grill the meats (pork belly unmarinated, just seasoned lightly with salt and pepper over the grill) and onions and mushrooms. Heck, I even like to grill my kimchi (Woo Aa taught me this!). Next, take up a piece of lettuce, and using your chopsticks, dip the grilled meat into the samgyeopsal sauce, place it on the lettuce. Add some grilled kimchi and onions and a small silver of raw garlic. Wrap everything up and depending on your eating habits, either a) stuff everything into your mouth with gutso or b) if you're a dainty eater, bite half and chew delicately for a few seconds, then stuff everything into your mouth just cos it taste so damn good. Haha.
This is the second time I've made Kimchi pancake. The recipe is really simple. I got it from a Korean book,Discovering Korean Cuisine: Recipes from the Best Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles, I borrowed from the library. I like it cos there are only a handful of ingredients, and the method is really straight forward.
Kimchi jeon (adapted from the Discovering Korean Cuisine recipe book) - makes one large pancake
1/2 cup kimchi, chopped (*I added slightly more, about 3/4 cup?)
2/3 cup AP flour
1/2 cup water (*I replaced some of the water with some kimchi liquid)
1/4 tsp sugar
Place the flour, sugar and water into a bowl and whisk to mix.
Chop the kimchi and squeeze to remove the liquid. Add to the above mixture.
Heat the frying pan to medium heat, and add the oil.
Add the batter on the pan and spread the batter out thinly. Cook for a few minutes till the bottom is slightly crisp.
Flip the pancake over and add more oil to avoid pancake sticking onto the pan and continue to cook.
Continue cooking until both sides are brown and crispy. Remove from pan and cut into serving sizes and serve hot.
While not the best pancake I've ever tried, if eaten hot off the pan, it was crispy and tasty dipped into the accompanying dip I made. I found that this batter doesn't allow the pancake to remain crispy once cooled. It's fast to prepare, so until I find a better recipe, I'll just stick to this easy pancake recipe.
I'm proud I managed to prepare everything from scratch (yes, even the kimchi and the samgyeopsal dipping sauce too). There was slightly more than enough food for five people, and I just brought the leftovers to the office the next day and had bibimbap and samgyeopsal. (: