Korean Dinner

After a long day sale shopping just after Christmas we ended up at Koreana in Manchester and had a fantastic meal. I enjoyed it so much I was inspired to cook a Korean meal for our New Year’s Eve dinner. I have cooked Korean food before but I’ve branched out since then, made my own kimchi, and got Vegan Eats World, which contains a number of exciting looking Korean recipes.
The picture above is of the kimchi pancakes, which were my favourite part of the meal. We had them in Koreana and I didn’t think I’d be able to reproduce them as I’m traditionally pretty rubbish with pancake type cooking, but Terry’s recipe didn’t let me down and they worked perfectly.

The rest of my pictures are pretty appalling but I made the Bulgogi from Vegan Eats World – a stunning BBQ mix of seitan, mushrooms and tofu. The Dolsot Bibimbap, also from Vegan Eats World, but without the tofu, as there was tofu in the bulgogi. We also had this at the restaurant and loved it, but I think they must have flavoured the rice there and I’d do the same again next time. I really enjoyed the spinach, beansprout and spring onion toppings. I added the potato chorim from Asian Vegan Kitchen, which I made last time, and the courgette namul from the same book, just because I had a courgette that needed using.

Once again I really loved the Korean flavours from this meal. They’re totally different to other Asian cuisines with an underlying sweetness livened by an abundance of sesame and gochaguru (Korean chilli powder). All the dishes worked well together and Matthew opened a bottle of wine that went perfectly with them. Incidentally, we used to have to ask Tanners to send us their vegan lists, so we’re delighted they’ve started labeling the wines on their website.

I’ll definitely be cooking Korean food again – these recipes, and I’m looking for any other recommendations too!

Ingredient 2: Korean red pepper

This was a classic purchase of something that I’d been keeping my eyes out for for ages and then when I got it I didn’t know what I wanted it for. It smells delicious, nose tingling yet earthy. For my project I decided to make kimchi from Asian Vegan Kitchen. I love kimchi but recently whenever I’ve seen it for sale it’s included some kind of shrimp or anchovy.

I’ve never made anything that needs to ferment before but I bought a couple of jars, followed the instructions and it all went quite smoothly.

Today for MoFo I actually used the kimchi for the first time. I promise I won’t be using Herbivoracious everyday, but I saw this recipe and decided to try it. I made my own version of an egg to go on the top, by mixing up vegan mayo, sour cream, tahini, turmeric, yellow mustard, nutritional yeast and plenty of black salt. It’s not like egg, but the tahini gives it a richness that works especially well with the fried rice. I loved the fried rice dish but the kimchi isn’t fermented enough for me. It’s nice and spicy, but I like a really sharp ferment. I suppose that means leaving it out on the counter for longer when it’s first made?

Have you used Korean red pepper? What have you used it for?