Bibimbap is one of the most well-known Korean dishes, but it's not the only one that will keep you warm!
Hongkongers usually love going to Korea this time of the year, but it’s absolutely freezing there. So it makes sense that a lot of the country’s cuisine consists of spicy flavours and warming stews. Even the desserts are dense to keep you cosy in the crisp weather.
These two recipes do require a few specific ingredients, like anchovy and kelp broth and Korean red pepper flakes and rice cakes, but you’ll definitely be able to get them at a Korean speciality shop.
Spicy soft tofu stew (sundubu-jjigae) – makes 1-2 servings
1 anchovy and kelp broth pack (looks like a tea bag)
2 tablespoons Korean hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ cup pork belly or other cut of pork, cut into small pieces
¼ cup chopped white onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 green onion, chopped
½ cup well-fermented kimchi, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 pack soft tofu
To make the stock, put the anchovy and kelp broth pack in 4 cups of water in a pot. Cover the pot and boil on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to boil for 20 minutes. Remove the broth pack and pour the broth into a heat-safe jug for later use.
To make the spicy soup base, mix the hot pepper flakes with the sesame oil in a small bowl, and set aside.
If you have a Korean earthenware pot, now is the time to use it. If not, a small regular pot is fine. Turn the cooker on medium heat. Add vegetable oil, garlic and white onion to your pot and stir for a minute.
Then add the pork and cook for three minutes, until it is no longer pink.
Add the kimchi and continue to stir everything together. The stronger the kimchi, the better the flavour of the soup.
Next, pour in ½ cup of anchovy and kelp broth, cover the pot and let it simmer for seven minutes.
Pour the spicy soup base in the stew and stir, then crack the egg in the centre of the pot and let it cook for another minute.
Take it off the heat, place on a heatproof mat and sprinkle the chopped green onion on top.
Soften the rice cakes by boiling them in water for a minute or two, then transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Remove and pat dry.
Prepare the skewers by alternating between rice cakes and string cheese. You should have 4 rice cakes and 3 pieces of string cheese per skewer.
Heat up the butter in a pan on low-medium heat. Don’t let the butter burn! When the pan is hot, add the skewers and let them cook for 2 minutes on each side. The rice cakes will be golden and the cheese will be melted and crisp.
Put them on a plate and drizzle condensed milk over the top. Dessert is served.