Posts Tagged ‘Food’

I had a slightly disappointing experience with Korean beef at a local street food festival – it wasn’t bad, just a bit bland. I’ve never cooked Korean before, but it uses many of the same ingredients and techniques as Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian, so I thought I’d see if I could do better…

Serves 2


300g or so good beef steak  – you could use chicken, or tuna, or even tofu I reckon
1 clove garlic (or more!) a chunk of fresh ginger, one green chilli, crushed and finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Soy sauce
Salt and pepper
Sesame seeds

Slice your beef to about 1cm or 1/2 inch thick. You want it thin enough to cook quickly, but not dry out – and thick enough to get on skewers, but not big chunks of meat.

Mix all the other ingredients for the marinade into a thick paste – you want it clinging to the meat, not dripping everywhere. Leave for as long as you’ve got. Many say marinate overnight, but half an hour will do, in my experience.

Meanwhile, we want to rustle up some quick kimchi, which is the traditional accompaniment to many Korean dishes. This is usually fermented, like a chillied sauerkraut if you will, but it is possible to make kimchi within 30 minutes all from scratch. Koreans call this fresher type of kimchi, “Gutjeori (겉절이)”, which translates into briefly salted kimchi. (Note: kimchi can be bought vacuum packed or in jars in most Chinese supermarkets, and will keep for a few weeks in the fridge – but it’s good to make your own!)


Chinese leaf type cabbage
Garlic, ginger, and half an onion
1 tbsp Fish sauce (again, a Thai Nam Pla or Chinese one will do fine, if that’s what you have in the cupboard, or a spoon of shrimp paste and a little water)
Chilli flakes to taste
1 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Apple juice (optional, but it adds a nice sweet/tart note – you could use OJ or squeeze a fresh lime and only a Korean pedant would complain…)

Cut off the stem part of the cabbage, cut the cabbage leaves vertically into 2-4 sections, depending on size, and horizontally if needed. Now, the important part – soak this cabbage in express salt brine.  Mix 1/2 cup of sea salt with 5 cups of water. Bring it to a full boil, stir to dissolve all the salt, then let it cool down just a little, about 5 minutes.

Pour the hot salt brine over the cabbage and stir well. Let it sit for 10 minutes, stir again and leave for another 5 minutes, then drain thoroughly.

While the cabbage is soaking, combine some garlic, ginger, and half a diced onion in a blender. Add fish sauce and apple juice and puree all together until smooth. Add red chilli flakes (or a shake of chilli powder), a sprinkle of sugar, then combine the cabbage and the kimchi sauce. Take a piece and taste. You can add a little more salt or anchovy sauce if needed. I added some sliced fresh red chillies, but you don’t have to!

Cook the beef skewers (in batches if necessary) under the grill, set as high as it will go, for around 2 minutes each side, adding some of the marinade towards the end so the beef doesn’t dry out. When cooked, garnish the bulgogi with more sesame seeds and spring onions.

I also did a little pak choi and cloud ear mushrooms, as I had some in the fridge. Feel free to improvise and stir fry any veg you have lying around – it all adds colour, texture and vitamins to the finished dish.

You can serve with a wheat noodle (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, whatever…) if you like, but Koreans traditionally love to eat bulgogi by placing a small amount of steamed rice in a lettuce leaf, a slice of bulgogi and small amount of kimchi. Roll up and eat 🙂



Adventures in Ale – British Beer

The Feathers Inn, Hedley on the Hill, is featured in the Times Top 20 Gastro Pubs; they’ve received gold in the North East Tourism Awards; came runner up in the Observer Food Monthly Best Sunday Lunch 2012 category; scooped Great British Pub of the Year 2011, as well as receiving countless others accolades. It’s safe to say the Feathers is a culinary gem in the north of England.

Adventures in Ale is a collaboration between Rhian Cradock, chef and owner of the Feathers, and highly acclaimed beer aficionado Andrew Mitchell, which tonight  is set to showcase both British ales and the delicious foods which complement them. I’ve been asked by Mitch to be official photographer for the night, with payment in food and drink. It took me about a naonsecond to agree!


Ilkley Rhubarb Saison 5.9% – Brewed using world-famous Yorkshire rhubarb, there is earthy spice, and fresh vanilla from this naturally hazy saison. Refreshing on the palate, with a long, satisfying bittersweet finish.

Served with Salt and vinegar North Sea herring, pickled Yorkshire rhubarb, pink fir heritage potato salad, sweet mustard dressing


Wild Beer Co Ninkasi 9% – Named after the ancient Greek goddess of beer, this is an equally divine Belgian-style beer with a copious amount of New Zealand hops, freshly harvested Somerset apple juice and wild yeast. On the nose there’s a bouquet of playfully aromatic notes, a further cascade of striking and sensuous flavours alongside a champagne-like spritziness.

Served with Steamed west coast razor clams with, wild fennel, three corned leek and meadowsweet


Magic Rock High Wire 5.5% – High Wire is our tribute to the pale ales of the West Coast of America; beers unapologetically hop-forward in character. Let your taste buds walk this test of balance. Mango, lychee and lip-smacking grapefruit flavours harmonise against a smooth malt base, culminating in a crisply bitter finish. Are you ready for our tightrope of taste?

Served with Butter poached English asparagus with Wylam duck egg and garden sorrel


Anarchy Sublime Chaos 7% – Brewed in collaboration with coffee roaster HasBean this is a dark, voluptuous stout infused with Ethiopian Guji natural coffee beans, delicately balanced with New Zealand hops.

Served with 24 hour braised ox cheek, wild garlic and barley pilaf, and malted onions, with a Sublime Chaos jelly


Thornbridge Raven Black IPA 6.6% – Five malts and six hops combine to provide bitter chocolate flavours with dark roasted fruits. Voted World’s Best IPA 2012 and 2013 at the World Beer Awards.

Served with Middle White pig’s blood, bitter chocolate mousse and almond biscotti


Hardknott Granite 2013 12.7% – A “vintage” barley wine beer, with aromas of dark fruit, liquorice, caramel, spicy cloves and figs and flavours of currants, molasses, juniper berries and dry sherry.

Served with 5-year-old Doddington’s cheese, air-dried Hedley roe deer, crisp rye bread, homemade quince cheese


This looks like a truly amazing menu, and I cannot wait for tonight! I’ll report back with a few thoughts, tasting notes and photos tomorrow.

Andrew and I are due to resume our quest to drink our way round the Metro system on Sunday, so keep an eye out for a new post on next week.

P 😉