- Winter in South Korea can be pretty cold, but these spicy foods will keep you toasty
- We may not be able to travel, but at least we can enjoy the best part - food - at home
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.
- Serve with hot rice, and enjoy.
Fried rice cakes – makes 2 skewers
8 cylindrical rice cakes
6 string cheese sticks
1 tablespoon butter
Condensed milk (for serving)
- 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.