Greg and I are very lucky to have many Korean friends in Kuching as there are quite a population of them here. Koreans are here to work and/or learn English. So I thought must also be kiasu a bit and start learning something Koreans from them. Language is really not my thing, so I settled on cooking. A while ago I took a few classes from Moon who insisted that she can't cook very well but can try. So we exchanged, I spoke English with her while she taught me cooking (as if I can speak anything else to her, so it was a good bargain for me!)
Koreans are very special. When I visited Moon's kitchen, almost everything is made in Korea. She actually transported a special chiller for Kim Chi all the way from Korea. Rice cookers are also from Korea. Even the kids' clothes, school bags & stationeries were all brought in from Korea.
This is one of the first few dishes I learned from her. Easy to cook yet so delicious.
180gm of Korean sweet potatos starch noodles, also called transparent noodles
200gm of beef like sirloin, rump (for panfry), sliced into strips
5-6 no of medium dried shitake mushrooms, soften with room temp water, squeezed water and sliced
1 bunch of spinach, cleaned and cut
1 no of medium carrot, peeled and sliced to thin strips
1 no of medium onion, sliced to rings
1/2 no green pepper, 1 no of egg (pan fry and sliced), some zucchini (all optional)
1-2 tbsp of Korean soya sauce
some roasted sesame
1-2 tbsp of sesame oil
vegetable oil for pan frying
1) Prepare marinade for beef: 1tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil, few shakes of black pepper, 1 tbsp of honey, 1 tbsp of honey, some salt, 1/2 teasp of minced garlic, 1 tbsp of cooking sake, 2 tbsp of korean soya sauce. Marinade and set aside
2) Prepare marinade for shitake mushrooms: 1 tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil, 1/2 tbsp of honey, salt and pepper and 1/2 teasp of minced garlic, 1 tbsp of korean light soya. Marinade and set aside.
3) Prepare a pot of boiling water. Blanch noodles for about 5-8 minutes. Drain. Wash under running water like washing clothes for about two runs or so to rid the starchy smell of the noodles. Drain well and place on a big plate.
4) Prepare another pot of water and blanch spinach with a little oil for about 2-3 min. Dish and marinade with some salt and sesame oil and sesame seeds.
5) Pan fry with oil all other ingredients, one at a time and arrange around noodles.
6) Add sesame oil, soya sauce, sesame seeds and salt to taste. Mix all ingredients well with chopsticks or tongs. Serve.
Serve with Kim Chi. We had this for dinner with Samgaetyang and Mrs Chung's Kim Chi. I learnt Kim Chi from Moon (I love Moon's version and she is from the romantic Cheju Island). The Koreans are so nice, they supply me with endless quantity that I never get a chance to properly make my own yet.
Like Japanese ingredients, we can hardly find Korean ingredients in Kuching except maybe at Choice Daily. Our supply are usual from Jalan Ampang, KL where there are many Korean residents. And the price in KL is definitely cheaper. For example, Sweet Potato noodles cost about RM25 in KK but only about RM10 -12 in KL.