Archive for February, 2014

Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. Our community gardener Fabrice and Orn prepared a few jars of Kimchi, using fresh produce from the greenhouse. We waited impatiently for a few weeks, before finally we could taste the famous pickle during Greenhouse Open Day lunch on 2nd February. It was served together with delicious Korean meal of pork and chrysanthemum green, cooked for our greenhouse volunteers by food hero Heyon. You will find all recipes below.


Kim chi

Kimchi, pickle Gangham style!
4 Chinese cabbages
2 bunch of spring onion
1 Apple pear or Asian pear
1 Apple
1 Korean radish
1 Bulb of garlic
½ onion
2 tbsp. of chopped ginger
Course sea salt
3 tbsp Fish sauce or anchovy sauce
2 tbsp of sugar
3 tbsp of Korean chilli flake

You will need a large shallow mixing bowl to soak the cabbage.
If you don’t have it, use your kitchen sink. Wash the leaves carefully before soaking.
Mix 2 cups of salt in the water. Chop cabbage leaves to bite size pieces, cut leafy part into bigger bits than the white stem part. Add the cabbage in the salted water and mix well. Press down on top to wilt a little.
Let it soak for 1 hour, then turn them around so the top side will go to the bottom, and continue to soak for another 1 hour. Rinse 3 times and drain well. Press firmly on the top to get rid of extra water. Set aside.
Finely chop pear, apple, ginger, garlic, onion then blend them all together well.
Combine the blended mixture with sugar, fish sauce, 1 tbsp of salt, Korean chilli flake in a bowl. Mix well and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Cut spring onion and slice Korean radish, then put them in the bowl with the cabbage.
Add the mixture sauce and mix all well.
Keep in the jar at room temperature for 2-3 days then put in the fridge. Last up to 3 months. Older Kimchi taste stronger, and is best to use for cooking rather then a side dish.


Korean ready

Pork Bulgogi (돼지불고기 Dweji bulgogi)

Servings: 2-3
Prep Time: 15 min Cooking Time: 10 min Difficulty: Easy

1 lb thinly sliced pork neck butt/leg/shoulder
2 T soy sauce
2 T Korean red pepper bean paste
2 T cooking rice wine or mirin
3 T sugar
1 T sesame oil
1 T sesame seeds
1 T chopped garlic
1 T grated or chopped fresh ginger
1 T chopped green onions
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1~2 tsp Korean red chili powder (고추가루 gochukaroo)
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Make the marinade by mixing all of the ingredients above.
2. Mix the pork and the sauce together and let it marinate for at least 15 min. or more. It can marinate in the fridge for up to a day.
3. BBQ the pork over a grill or cook the pork in a hot frying pan. Turning them over when it starts to brown.
4. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish.
Serve pork bulgogi with some rice, fresh vegetable side dishes or with some ssam and ssamjang. It’s also a great dish to have with any jjigae or soup.

Storage – freeze either cooked or uncooked pork bulgogi for later.
Variations – add sliced onions, carrots and mushrooms if you want to add some vegetables to the dish.
Korean - prep

Chrysanthemum Green 쑥갓 Namul


1 Bunch Chrysanthemum Green (we grow them in the greenhouse!)
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1-2 teaspoon Roasted Sesame seeds
1 Small Spring onion, chopped

1. Boil water in a pot. While boiling, wash the chrysanthemum Green. Add the chrysanthemum green to the water and boil for 2-3mins.
2. Take the greens out from the water and squeeze out any excess water. Put them in a mixing bowl.
3. Chop the greens in about 4cm lengths.
4. Time to season! Add salt, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds and spring onion, gently tossing the greens.

Garnish: A bit of spring onion and sesame seeds on top is the traditional Korean way to garnish namul.


Korean - sharing



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We are back!

We have plenty of tasty recipes to share, following series of Food Heroes and Intergenerational Cooking Project.
We start in sunny Italy, with hearty red and white lasagne, cooked by our Food Hero Alessandra on 7th of December 2013.

Alessandra - Italian - 7Dec13 (8)

RED LASAGNE (serves 10-12)
Two packets of fresh lasagne sheets (500g)
For the meat sauce:
One bottle of Passata (700g) and one carton of chopped tomatoes (400g)
500g lean beef mince
50g pancetta cubes
Two small carrots
A couple of tbsp finely chopped onions if liked
Salt to taste
Fresh or dried herbs if liked (oregano, marjoram, sage)
200g grated hard cheese (parmigiano, pecorino or grana)
For the béchamel (white sauce)
1 litre whole milk
100g butter
100g plain white flour
Salt and nutmeg to taste
First prepare the meat sauce: fry in olive oil the onions if using until soft, add the pancetta until slightly browned, add the beef, mix well and brown. Add finely chopped carrots, and herbs if using, salt conservatively (a final taste when ready and adjust if required). Simmer at medium heat for 20-30 mins whilst getting the rest ready stirring occasionally so not to burn the bottom of the pan.
Take the lasagne sheets out of the packet but keep the films in between, place in an oven dish big enough to be able to submerge them with boiling water from a kettle (or follow packet instructions if preferred). Leave to soften.
Make the béchamel: melt the butter over very low heat, add the flour gradually incorporating with the butter to form a paste, add the cold milk little by little making sure there are no lumps. Turn on the heat, initially medium high then medium low just before boiling (must not boil). Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn, until of a custardy consistency, not too dense (it will become denser when cooling and it would be difficult to spoon over the lasagne layers).
Turn on a conventional oven, at 180 degrees.
Now take an oven dish large enough to take two lasagne sheets side by side. Wet the bottom with a little tomato sauce then start layering: lasagne sheet (just shake off excess water, no need to dry), tomato sauce, béchamel, parmesan. Repeat until the last lasagne sheet. At the top put sauce and/or béchamel topped with cheese (whatever is left). Don’t over-spoon the sauces – they should last till the top layer. Place in the hot oven for 40-45mins until the top is nicely browned (not burned!). reduce the heat after 30mins if you think the top is getting burned, and if necessary place a sheet of foil loosely on top to avoid burning. Leave out to rest for at least 10mins before digging in otherwise the layers will fall apart. This dish is always even better the day after. it’s perfect for batch cooking as it freezes very well and can be defrosted in the fridge overnight then re-heated in a hot over for 30mins until piping hot.

Alessandra - Italian - 7Dec13 (5)

WHITE LASAGNE (serves 10-12)
This is an alternative to the traditional meat sauce lasagne and can be adapted according to taste to include pancetta with the veg, shrimps or ham in between layers if liked. This recipe is suitable for vegetarians (I hope).
2 packets of fresh lasagne sheets (500g)
For the veg mince:
500g mushrooms
4 medium courgettes
Salt and pepper to taste
For the béchamel sauce:
1 ½ litre whole milk
150g butter
150g plain white flour
Salt and nutmeg to taste
A packet of grated mozzarella
200g grated hard cheese (as above)
Finely chop mushrooms and courgettes, fry in a little olive oil for 5mins until softer but not cooked through, salt and pepper to taste.
Place the lasagne sheets in a dish and pour boiling water over as above. Leave to rest.
Prepare the béchamel (as above) to the same loose but not runny consistency. Add the veg and mix well.
Turn the oven on 200 degrees.
Start the layering after oiling slightly the oven dish: lasagne sheet, béchamel with veg (distribute the veg as evenly as possible), spread a handful of grated mozzarella and a good tbsp of grated hard cheese (you’d add any other ingredient here if wished, such as shredded ham or shrimps or smoked salmon trimmings). Repeat to the last lasagne sheet, top with béchamel, mozzarella and cheese.
Pop in the oven for 30-40 mins until the top is nicely browned. Rest for 10-15mins before serving.


Alessandra - Italian - 7Dec13 (1)

Grazia, Alessandra!


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