“Shab-Shab” Japanese dish the Korean way

Donglim Knot Workshop Seoul

Donglim Knot Workshop Seoul

I had to laugh.Twice. I told my daughter that the Shabu dish we were having in Korea is truly a Korean dish which I would love to have again and she said: “Yes, only it is not Korean but Japanese”. Then Fae posted the Shabu-Shabu with Spicy Soy Milk Broth out of the blue and she had to help me decide whether the dish I had was the traditional version or not because due to language problems I transferred and plonked the cooked part of it into the “sauce bowl” on the table only to realise that as Fae explained, the sauce was meant to be a “dipping” sauce. What the hell, I was was having a ball with this experience, dipping or not!

Condiments with Shabu-Shabu dish

Sides with Shabu-Shabu dish

The experience is what counts and the Shabu Salad Bar was a family type of buffet establishment in Ulsan City where you paid a price per head for the full spread and the only choice you had to make on ordering was the type of beef you wanted, the rest was on display to eat as much as you like, including all sorts of random sides and condiments.

Australian beef

Australian beef

We chose Australian beef and the sides of battered sweet potatoes and root type vegetables with salads from the buffet were great.IMG_7098 The pot of stock is brought to the table, cooking away on an induction plate on the table and you go choose fresh ingredients to make your own broth.The beef is extremely thinly sliced and immediately cooks when it hits the boiling stock and from there on you eat it by dipping it into sauces on the table.IMG_7100 That is where I went wrong-the dipping part for me was transferring whole portions into the dipping bowl and and eating it from there-delicious anyway.Language problems, what can I say!Traditional Japanese Shabu Fae has a comprehensive explanation of the dish and ways to prepare it at home. Other thing I just loved over there were pickled peanuts-soft and sweet with a honey like consistency and pickled cucumber, will I have to read up about more as I never had that before.

Sweet Pickeled Peanuts

Sweet Pickeled Peanuts

Since I came back from cold Korea, a short weekend trip away and a week’s business trip thereafter brought me right into February and I still need to remove the last remnants of Christmas from my home while I have a summer feeling of note!

Die Hoekie Paternoster

Die Hoekie Paternoster

Anything nautical is catching my drift at the moment. The weekend trip was to Paternoster in the Western Cape and the laid back town where “dressing up” means putting on shoes, is what I craved Polianthus-you are so right again. Eating fish and seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that’s how we rolled!

Clever art

Clever art: Die Hoekie Paternoster

Random Photo:

My motto for 2015:

Courtesy The Noisy Oyster Paternoster

Courtesy The Noisy Oyster Paternoster-my new motto for 2015

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Eating chilli con carne with sweet potato chips

Chilli Con Carne & Sweet Potato Chips

Chilli Con Carne & Sweet Potato Chips

This post is not about a recipe at all, more about the way I like eating this dish. It all came about in South Korea last year when I had one of those days that I did not feel like eating authentic Korean food. I just booked my tickets to go there again and maybe that is what made me think of the chilli con carne I had there of all places. It is exceptionally cold over there in Dec/Jan and I was in the mood for a hearty, warm, filling something that day, very hungry as always.

Sweet potato chips

Sweet potato chips

We were in a food court of a very big shopping centre and there were hundreds of Korean and Asian dishes to choose from which I normally did, but as I said, not really in the mood for it that day. I spotted an American Diner type place with burgers and of all things between all of the normal fast foods also a chilli con carne (originally a dish from Texas USA according to Wikepedia), served with freshly grated cheddar and crispy french fries. Chilli served in a bowl, topped with the cheese and dipping the chips in the sauce and melting cheese and there I just knew: I will forever remember that meal and will eat it like that forever more!

Dippin' n scoopin'

Dippin’ n scoopin’

Exactly like I made today, but I used sweet potatoes baked in the oven instead of french fries. Try it, fork in hand and dipping and scooping away.

Tex-mex!

Tex-mex!

I served it with guacamole as an extra and I mixed smashed avocado, lemon juice, white pepper, red spring onion and full cream cottage cheese to make a thick guacamole. Another thing I can eat by the bowl full. I would imagine if you combine the meal with tortilla chips or wraps it would not be half bad but it hit the mark, just as I served it.

Guacamole

Guacamole

Food memories. I wonder what my next trip there will bring me on that front, other than spending time with my one and only precious girl.

Hope you had a good Sunday.

Random Photo:

My African Violet is blooming!

African Violet

African Violet

Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends

Eisbein and Rhubarb Epic

I grew up in a home where nothing was boiled and never did meat touch water in the cooking process, ever. I bought lovely smoked Eisbein and all the recipes I found wanted me to boil the meat first for a few hours before roasting it. No, not in this here house. This particular cut of the pork shank is of German origin and can be fresh but is usually pickled or smoked.

Roast Eisbein and baked apples

Roast Eisbein and baked apples

The name however is Nordic in origin and means “pork knuckle” . In Swedish it is Islaeggor and in Norwegian it is called Islegg. Directly translated into my Afrikaans home language therefor: Ysbeen! The interesting part is that it has nothing to do with the “Ysbeen” in our bodies, but the name stuck because they used to make ice skates of the knuckle bone in the Nordic countries. There you have it!

So upwards and onwards and hell bent on not boiling anything and definitely not my smoked Eisbeins, I googled and found the passionate blog of The Rider who also did not boil his meat but instead did a barbeque and smoked it in a Webber. We corresponded and food friends made, I told him smoking and Webbers are out of the question as it is not going to go down well in an apartment block where no such shenanigans will be allowed. The poor man was having a gall stone attack at the other end of the country after his indulgences with the exact same Eisbein culprit went too far for his doctor’s liking (oh what we would do for good food…). I hope he is alive and well and firing up the Webber again as we speak.

Investigations done, I  found a recipe for pork fillet by Jamie Oliver which he combined with rhubarb of all things and I had rhubarb in my fridge!

Preparation: I formed a bed of onion, garlic and rhubarb. No water no oil no nothing, the meat has enough fat and juices.

Tucked in on a bed of rhubarb

Tucked in on a bed of rhubarb

Oven: The Eisbeins went into the oven, covered with foil. Bake it at low heat (140 C) for 3.5 hours. I added carrots towards the end. Roast : remove foil and roast for another hour or however long you want on n higher heat or if you do not have another hour, grill it at high heat until you have hard crackling. Be around and look often if on a high heat so you do not overdo the roasting and burn the crackling part.

Eisbein & roast veg

Eisbein & roast veg

In other words, take your merry time on a Sunday or whenever because it is so worth it. No need to boil anything and the meat was soft and juicy. The rhubarb with smoked pork is an absolute winner, it has the same tartness as the baked apple. Next time I will put in the rhubarb much later as mine disintegrated into a sauce ( nice) but lost its pink colour and I am all about colour as we know.

imageI served it with baked apple slices and pickled radishes instead of the normal sauerkraut.

Baked Apples: Place sliced and cored apple on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and butter and bake till you have a soft apple.

Random Photos:

I miss Europe. Do I feel a trip comming on…..?

Mont Martre, Paris

Montmartre, Paris

Walk- about

Walk- about