Tag Archives: Korea

Long time no blog

We’re back! It has been a long time since we posted anything, and a lot has happened since our last post…we’re sorry for neglecting our blog and all of our followers!

Where have we been?
We have realised that we don’t necessarily have the time to make 2-3 new recipes each week (we do still do that when we cook, but we like to perform a quality-control check on all our recipes and test them a couple times first – this takes time), so our blog is taking a slightly different direction. Our most popular and most fun posts (at least for us to write) have been our weekend and mid-week catch up posts, so we are going more towards being an active lifestyle blog, with vegetarian recipes as a smaller part of the blog.

What does this mean?
Well, for starters it means we will post more about our training, competitions, equipment, and goals. We will also give training tips and look at different methods of training for different goals and sports.

When will we start?
Today! We started our day with a steady 5 km run and then did an intense circuits session, so we will describe that a little in detail this evening 🙂

We really hope that we can keep up our blogging again now – it is something we both really enjoy doing, and we have been talking about starting the blog up again for aaaaaaaaages!

What have you missed?
Big news: we got engaged! I (Jason) proposed to Sofi at the top of the mountain on Jeju, Korea, after we cycled up it in the summer (one of our earlier training goals). Sofi not only got a ring, but I bought her a lovely new bike as an engagement gift as well.
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I also have a new bike…actually two new bikes! I took up cyclocross this season, and have even done a few races. And my beloved Tarmac had a fault in the frame, so I got a replacement frame and have upgraded a few parts as well.
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What are some things to look forward to?
Pictures of our bikes! (I think that’s fun anyway 😀 )
Sofi is running a marathon next year! This will be the source for a lot of her training information and tips, and I know she will do really well.
I will be focussing a lot on road racing (cycling) next season, but am also doing Vätternrundan (a 300 km cycle event around on of Sweden’s lakes) with my club and aiming for under 8 hours (or 8.5 hours depending on the consensus in our group in the spring).
We have a few training camps planned for both cycling and running, so will describe those in detail and hopefully have some pretty pictures 🙂

 

Sorry again for not posting regularly, but we hope this change in focus will make us more active beans!
/Jason

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Summer is here!

Summer is here and we will try to do some more blogging 🙂

Unfortunately we have had another long pause. I guess the past month has been too busy and we have not had the time to write as much as we would have liked. We have still been cooking though, but when there is less time our dishes become less extravagant 😉

So, a short recap of what we have been up to might be good. I (Sofi) have just finished work for the summer. I work as a teacher and now I have a whole long summer vacation to look forward to 🙂 Jason has to work for a few more weeks but then we are going on a long holiday together. We will go to England first for a few days and then we are off to Korea with my sister and her boyfriend. They are joining us for the first part of our holiday. We are going to Seoul first and then will travel to both Busan and Jeju. We hope that we can share some exciting food experiences when we are there. It truly is a different type of cuisine than what we are used to.

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2 years ago in Seoul

We went to Korea 2 years ago together and after coming back we both felt like there was so much more to see. So we are really looking forward to going back 🙂 If you are curious about Korea we think you should keep reading the blog and we will share our experiences.

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The past few weeks have been a lot about exercising. The week after we came back from Italy we ran the Gothenburg Half Marathon. I found it really tough, much tougher than I expected it to be. I have run the distance only once before. I enjoyed the experience and I will definitely run it again next year. Jason is a bit more uncertain because he felt it took too much time to train for it and he wants to focus more on his cycling.

The weekend after Jason’s sister Jasmine was here to visit us. The whole weekend was spent cycling 🙂 We are all doing the Ride London-Surrey 100 in August. Jason has cycled it twice and I did it last year, although a shorter distance due to heavy rain. The ride is 160 km and starts in London. You then cycle around Surrey and finish at the Buckingham Palace. It was a great ride and I am really looking forward to cycling it again.

On Friday we cycled to Kullavik. The weather was perfect and it was nice to show Jasmine one of the places we really like cycling to. On Saturday we went to a hill in Gothenburg to do some hill repeats, and then had a nice gluten-free dinner and face masks!

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Jasmine is gluten intolerant so we also made some gluten-free bars that we could take on the ride on Sunday. On Sunday we went for a long ride, 100 km in the wind. We cycled north and had a nice stop for coffee and sandwiches (gluten-free in Jasmine’s case, of course).

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The week after Jason took part in a cycling race here in Gothenburg. He has wanted to start racing and this year he will try to participate in a few races. He raced in the sports class. I went to watch and got to see him finish second, so proud 🙂 ❤
DSC07347gokart2IMG_20150608_220434Last weekend my friend Linnea came to visit us for the weekend. We have been friends for a long time and met my first year at university. That was a long time ago, 12 years to be exact 🙂 We have not lived in the same place for many years but we are still as close friends as we have always been. We just spent the weekend hanging out with our other friend Alexandra, eating and drinking.

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This weekend is the midsummer weekend in Sweden and we are going down to Skåne to see my parents and my siblings. Hopefully we can get some cycling in as well.

We hope you have a great weekend and there will be an update next week of course 🙂

/Sofi and Jason

 

 

Quick Vegetarian Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean fermented side dish. It is made out of different vegetables and various seasonings. It is traditionally kept in jars to ferment underground for months, but this recipe allows you to eat the kimchi after just 2 days. When we went to Korea last year we tried a lot of different kinds of kimchi.

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Sofi eating a traditional Korean meal that always includes a few different types of kimchi side dishes.

One of the temples we visited had a collection of fermentation jars.

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So now we wanted to try to make our own kimchi. It is really easy to prepare and make, then all you need is to wait for as long as you can before you eat the kimchi to make fermentation process as long as possible.

Our recipe is inspired by Jennie Walldén, winner of Sweden’s Masterchef 2013.


Ingredients
Cooking time: 1 hr 40 mins

  • 1 large Chinese cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 10 cm radish
  • half a cucumber
  • half an onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 spring onions
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 dl gochujaru (Korean chili powder)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs rice flour
  • 50 ml teriyaki sauce
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  1. Chop the cabbage into 4 cm pieces.
  2. Put the cabbage in a large bowl and add the salt. Mix thoroughly.
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  3. Put a heavy weight on top of the cabbage to draw out more water. Let it rest for 1 hr 30 min.
  4. Chop the radish, cucumber and carrot into matchstick-size pieces.
  5. Chop the spring onions finely.
  6. Grate the onion and garlic.
  7. Mix the water, sugar and rice flour together in a saucepan.
  8. Boil the mix until it is thick and smooth.
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  9. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  10. Mix in the garlic, onion, teriyaki sauce and gochujaru and stir thoroughly.DSC04916
  11. Put the mix in a large bowl and add the carrot, cucumber, spring onions and radish.
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  12. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly in cold water to wash off excess salt.
  13. Add the cabbage to the mix.
  14. Stir everything together with your hands to keep the vegetables from breaking. Use plastic bags on your hands since the paste is very strong.
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  15. Put the kimchi in mason jars, Don’t fill them up completely.
  16. Cover the top with cling film and close the jars,
  17. Leave them at room temperature for at least 48 hours, They can last up to 2 months.
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  18. Enjoy!

Chapssalddeok (Korean mochi) 찹쌀떡

You can’t celebrate anything without dessert, so for Hangul Day, we made some delicious chapssalddeok, a Korean sweet rice cake with a red bean filling. They taste unlike any typical western-style dessert and, once you get used to the red bean taste, are really moreish!

In Korea, red beans seemed to be in practically every dessert. So although it seems odd to have beans in a dessert, it really is very common in Korea (and East Asia as a whole).

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from Maangchi.


Ingredients Serves 8
Cooking time: 3 hours

  • 150 ml red beans
  • Water
  • 100 ml brown sugar
  • Salt
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbs rice syrup (or other syrup)
  • 250 ml sweet rice flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • Food colouring (you can use green tea powder as well)
  • 100 ml starch powder

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  1. Rinse the beans in a sieve under cold water.
  2. Cook the beans in 0.5-1 l water.
    Note: This is the most time consuming part, and you may need to add more water while the beans are cooking.

    1. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the heat down to let the beans simmer in the water for 2 hours or until soft. (You should be able to mash them gently under your thumb.)
    2. Once ready, pour the beans into a sieve.
  3. Mash the beans in the pan (or use a food processor).
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  4. Add the brown sugar, rice syrup, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Mix on a low heat for 5 mins.
  6. Roll the mixture into 8 balls and put aside.
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  7. Mix the rice flour, sugar, a pinch of salt, 150 ml water, and a drop of food colouring in a large bowl.
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  8. Cover the bowl with cling film, ensuring you leave a small gap to let the steam out.
  9. Put the bowl in the microwave for 3 mins on high heat.
  10. Stir the mixture and put back in the microwave for 1 min.
  11. Take the bowl out of the microwave and knead the mixture for 5 mins.
  12. Place the mixture on a work surface dusted with the starch powder.
  13. Wet your hands and spread the dough out into a flattish shape about 1 cm thick.
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  14. Divide the mixture into eight pieces.
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  15. Flatten one piece into a small circle, and place one of the red bean balls on top.
  16. Pull the sides over the ball and pinch the edges together.
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  17. Roll in the starch powder, and repeat for the remaining chapssalddeok.
  18. Enjoy!

Chapssalddeok

Hangul Day Celebratory Bibimbap! 비빔밥!

Today is the Korean national holiday Hangul Day. It is a celebration of one of the greatest achievements of mankind; the creation of the finest writing system ever, Hangul (한글)! (Jason is a bit of a language geek, so please excuse his enthusiasm if you think it’s too much.)

To celebrate this, we have decided to make what is probably the best and most well-known Korean dish: bibimbap. Bibimbap is a fairly simple dish to make but packs a lot of flavour.

Last year we spent two weeks in Korea, and tried a lot of different dishes. Jason predominantly ate bibimbap though, as it was always a guaranteed vegetarian dish. We used to make bibimbap before going to Korea, but after trying the real thing, our old recipes didn’t compare. We have since then, spent a lot of time making our bibimbap more like the ones we ate in Korea. We think this recipe is perfect!

Eating bibimbap after a long day hiking Bukhansan mountain.

Eating bibimbap after a long day hiking Bukhansan mountain.

Jason eating bibimbap in a more traditional restaurant, seated on the floor.

Jason eating bibimbap in a more traditional restaurant, seated on the floor.

As you can see, Korean meals are served with lots of small side dishes, the most famous of which is kimchi – fermented cabbage (or radish). In the second picture, you can see the bibimbap served in a stone bowl – this is called dolsot bibimbap, which is very hot and makes the rice nice and crispy.

The ingredients to a bibimbap are entirely up to you. We are making three traditional side dishes (namul) that form part of the bibimbap, as well as tofu, and usually some fried vegetables.


Ingredients Serves 2
Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Ättiksprit 12% (vinegar essence)
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Chili flakes
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cucumber
  • 100 g fresh spinach
  • 75 g bean sprout
  • 2 spring onions
  • 150 ml rice
  • 150 g tofu
  • Korean hot chili paste (gochujang) – available from most Asian stores
  • 2 eggs

Bibimbap ingredients


Prepare the namul:

  1. Set aside three bowls.
  2. Make the pickled cucumber:
    1. Finely slice the cucumber, with a knife or food processor.
    2. Slice one spring onion.
    3. Mix 1 tsp ättiksprit, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsk salt, 2 tsp chili flakes, and the sliced spring onion in one of the bowls.
    4. Mix the cucumber in with the mixture.
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    5. Place a heavy bowl on top, and put in the fridge.
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  3. Make the marinated spinach:
    1. Put the spinach in a sieve and pour 1 l of boiling water over the leaves.
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    2. Rinse with cold water.
    3. Squeeze out all the liquid, and put in one of the bowls.
    4. Slice one spring onion.
    5. Add 1.5 tsp soy, 1.5 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds, and the sliced spring onion, and mix thoroughly. (Place in the fridge if wanted.)
  4. Make the marinated bean sprouts:
    1. Place the beansprouts in a sieve and rinse them in cold water, and take off any green skins from the beans.
    2. Pour 1 l of boiling water over the bean sprouts.
    3. Rinse with cold water.
    4. Put the bean sprouts in the final bowl.
    5. Add 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds, and mix thoroughly. (Place in the fridge if wanted.)

Namul

You should leave the cucumber in the fridge to pickle for at least 25 mins. So you can leave it for longer or if you want to be quick, make the cucumber first and start boiling your rice once you are done with the other namul.

Make the bibimbap:

  1. Cook the rice.
  2. Cut the tofu and fry it in some sesame oil in a hot pan.
  3. Chop your vegetables (thin slices work well with bibimbap), and fry them separately in sesame oil in a hot pan.
  4. Once everything is ready, fry four eggs sunny-side up. (A runny yolk is best.)
  5. Serve the rice into four bowls.
  6. Put 0.5-1.5 tsp Korean chili paste on top of the rice (in the hole).
    Note: The chili paste is very hot so start with a little bit and add more while you eat if needed.
  7. Pour out any excess liquid from the pickled cucumbers.
  8. Place the namul, tofu, and any fried vegetables neatly on top of the rice, leaving a hole in the middle of them. Keep each thing separate.
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  9. Place the egg on top, in the centre of the bowl.
    Bibimbap
  10. Enjoy!

Jason, bibimbap