Simple Homemade Korean Dishes

Featured image: Photo by Yeo Khee on Unsplash

Hello. I have been innovating my new dishes lately and adding my own twist to it. I enjoyed cooking and the luxury of having to eat what I cooked make me feel content. I know some may find cooking a hassle because of the effort required from preparation, cooking and risking yourself to oil splatter. But trust me, when you cook your own dishes, it can be much more healthier and nutritious as compared to takeaways or food deliveries. Besides, you know what ingredients you have put in the meal as well as the estimate amount the calories.

The first recipes I am sharing is Mandu Kimchi Jjigae (dumpling Kimchi Stew). This is a relatively popular dish among Koreans and well-loved among foreigners too.

Disclaimer: I am a person that cannot take very spicy food if not my gastritis would be triggered. So there are some ingredients I may have altered to my liking but I would provide options to include them in.

Homemade Mandu Kimchi Jjigae taken by me.

Abbreviation: tbsp = tablespoon, tsp = teaspoon.

My recipe for Mandu Kimchi Jjigae (2 servings)

This recipe is dairy-free.

Preparation time: 5 – 7 minutes

Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes.

Total time: 25 – 37 minutes.

Soup stock:

  • 1/3 cup of dried anchovies
  • 1/2 slice onions

Alternative: ready-made chicken/pork/beef stock

Main Ingredient lists:

  • 1/2 of a regular size zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium size carrot, sliced
  • 150g of kimchi, sliced
  • 8 big handmade mandu (handmade dumplings) Alternative: frozen pre-made mandu

Extra ingredients to add in: (optional)

  • 1 block of firm tofu, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp of gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 cup of kimchi juice

How to make the Jjigae base:

  • 2 tbsp of gochujang (hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp of soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp of sugar (adjust according to your liking)
  • Add in gochujang (hot pepper paste), soya sauce, minced garlic, ground black pepper, sugar and gochugaru (if available) and kimchi juice (if available) into a bowl.
  • Mix them well and done.

Cooking steps:

  • To make the soup stock, put some dried anchovies and sliced onion in a pot filled with 500ml of water. Allow it to boil for 15 minutes. If you are using ready-made stock, you can skip this step and pour the chicken stock in the next step.
  • After 15 minutes, lower the heat remove the anchovies and add in the sliced zucchini, carrot, kimchi and jjigae base into the pot.
  • Bring the stew to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, add in the mandu and let it boil for 5 – 7 minutes depending on the mandu size.
  • Turn off the heat and pour the Mandu Kimchi Jjigae in a bowl and serve! Optional: garnish with spring onions before serving.

Recipes for handmade dumplings:

Preparation time: 20 – 30 minutes.

Ingredient lists:

  • 220g of minced pork (Alternative: chicken/beef)
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp of corn flour
  • 1 packet of gyoza pastry

Extra ingredients to add in: (optional)

  • Spring onions, chopped
  • Korean Chives, chopped

Preparation steps:

  • Add in minced pork, shiitake mushrooms in a mixing bowl.
  • Add in the seasonings: sesame oil, soya sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt fish sauce and egg.
  • Mix the seasoning well with the minced pork and shiitake mushrooms.
  • Add in the corn flour and mix well. Leave it aside.
  • Prepare a tray or a large container where you can store your dumpling.
  • Shift the tray/container with a bit of flour to prevent the dumplings from sticking on the tray/container
  • Put a scoop of minced pork-mushroom in the centre of a piece gyoza pastry and start folding your dumpling. Placed the mandu on the tray once folded.
  • 1 packet of gyoza pastry should make about 25-30 mandu.
  • Keep the unused mandu in a vacuum tight container and freeze them immediately.

There are many ways to fold a dumpling, I pick the most simple one (circle in red).

Image credit: redhousespice.

I’ll provide the link on the various way to fold the dumpling: Ten ways to fold dumplings.

The second recipes I am sharing is the Korean Fried Chicken which is also a popular dishes that loved by local and foreigners.

Homemade Korean Fried Chicken Fillet with rice cake

My recipe for Korean Fried Chicken (2 servings)

This recipe is dairy-free.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes.

Total time: 20 minutes.

Main Ingredient lists:

  • 1 packet of fresh chicken fillets about 7 strips. Alternative: any other chicken part
  • A handful of tteok/rice cake (For frozen rice cake, kindly pre-soak in warm water)
  • 1 tbsp of korean sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 cup of potato starch mixed with rice flour (ratio 3:1)
  • Cooking oil for deep frying (I used canola oil).

Ingredients for Fried Chicken Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp of gochujang (hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp of soya sauce
  • 3 tbsp of tomato ketchup sauce
  • 1 tsp of korean sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tsp of brown sugar (white sugar is also okay)

Recommended ingredient to add in:

1-2 tbsp of honey (this will make the chicken sticky and nice gloss finish). In this case, I did not add honey because one of my family members is allergic to honey.

Cooking steps:

  • In a bowl, put chicken fillet, sesame oil, salt, pepper and grated ginger. Mix them well.
  • Add in a cup of potato starch and rice flour (ratio 3:1) into the bowl and coat the chicken evenly. Alternatively if you do not have potato starch, you can use corn starch.
  • Add cooking oil into a deep fryer/wok/pan. Heat the oil to about 175℃ (350°F). Slowly add the chicken fillet inside the deep fryer.
  • Cook till it’s golden for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the fried chicken and placed them on a kitchen paper or drain them on mesh strainer set in a bowl.
  • Reheat the oil to 175℃ (350°F) and fried the chicken fillet again for about 2-3 min.
  • Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  • Prepare the fried chicken sauce by putting all the ingredients and mix them well.
  • Pour the sauce into the pan and turn on a low heat.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer and add the fried chicken and rice cake.
  • Turn off the heat and coat the fried chicken and rice cake evenly.
  • Plate the fried chicken on a serving bowl and sprinkle some sesame seeds (optional).
  • Serve with rice or eat it alone.

Violà! You are done! 🙂

I hope you find some inspiration in my recipes or you can adjust accordingly to your preference!

A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.

Thomas Keller