Bibimbap, korean mixed rice

Bibimbap from Tintin Sushi at Lysaker right outside Oslo, so not made by me, but eaten by me ūüôā

Mix some veggies, meat and rice, and bibbedi boobedi bap you have the ultimate korean comfort food¬†bibimbap(ŽĻĄŽĻĒŽį•)

Mixed rice, picture from my Norwegian blog Lizas matverden

Quirky as this dish might sound, bibimbap was listed at number 40 on the¬†World’s 50 most delicious foods by a readers’ poll compiled by CNN Travel in 2011. The name litterlally means mixed rice, bibim-mix, bap-cooked rice. It is said that this dish was traditionally eaten on the eve of the lunar new year to get rid of all the leftover side dishes from the previous year. It is also thought to have been eaten by farmers during farming season as it was the easiest way to make food for a large number of people. Another version¬†is that it originates from the traditional practice of mixing all the food offerings made at an¬†ancestral rite¬†(jesa) in a bowl before partaking in eating it. This made me think of an episode when a few ex-pat friends of mine went on a meditation trip to a Korean temple when I used to live in South Korea. The story goes that they did partake in such a rite and shared the ritual food. Unfortunately one of the ladies on this trip(not one of my friends), a picky eater refused to eat her portion of the food. This resulted in that her portion had to be shared amongst the others, so no food would go to waste. The ex-pat ladies did not have to partake in this, but the monks at the temple diligently ate the rest. When told this story, my reaction was, whaaat, she refused bibimbap. No matter the origines of this dish, I agree that this is a really nice dish.

Bibimbap made by me a long time ago.

If I do not make this myself, my go to place is a restaurant a just outside Oslo called Tintin Sushi, as they say on their own page, a hidden gem under the train station at Lysaker, they serve Japanese and Korean food. Not that many Korean restaurants in Norway and I am still waiting for a really good korean bbq place to open up.

This dish is quite easy to make, this can be made all vegetarian or with any kind of meat you like. I made this from how remember bibimbab from my time in south Korea, with a few changes. As happy and wealthy Norway has become, there are still a lot of ingredients that are hard to come by in this lovely country.

Ingredients, serves 4

  • 5 cups cooked rice
  • 12 ounces fresh bean sprouts
  • 8 ounces of spinach
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
  • ¬Ĺ pound beef, I used rib-eye
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 eggs, I scrambled the egg, but you can serve it fried or raw.
  • salt
  • strips of kim (roasted seaweed, in japanese it is called nori)
  • Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang), this is now available in Norway at some Asian stores.
  1. Cook the rice
  2. Thinly slice the meat and marinate i with garlic, soy sauce, honey or sugar, sesame oil and add sesame seeds.
  3. Quickly blanche the bean sprouts and spinach separately and drain
  4. Cut the vegetables in to match stick sized pieces and add a pinch of salt to them. Quickly saute the vegetables with a tiny bit of oil. You do not want them to get scorched.
  5. Saute the meat or if you use really fresh meat, you can use it raw.
  6. Scramble the eggs or fry them.
  7. Cut the kim into strips.
  8. Divide the rice into four bowls and add the rest of the ingredients on top of the rice with a dollop of the Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang).

Serve and enjoy.


Korean beef patty

Tteok galbi a tasty and delicious korean beef patty made from minced beef ribs and marinated  in a sweet, salty, and savory sauce before it is grilled. Tteok balbi is usually made with beef ribs, som chop and mince the meat on the bone. You can also cut the meat off the bone before mincing, then marinate and then pack the meat around the bone again.

This is a third of the recipe, for one person pluss:)

This time I made quick version and made it with ready-made minced beef and fried it a cast iron frying pan. This dish is really nice with my previous post, water kimchi and as I said in that post it is my favorite kimchi served at my favourite lunch place. Yes you guessed right this beef patty was one of the side dishes served. I eat this as I would eat galbi, wrapped in lettuce and with side dishes.

1 pound ground beef, the more fat the better
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup  chopped green onions or regular onions
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
Optional: to taste black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well, let the meat marinate for about 30 minutes.

Form into balls and flatten them then grill or pan-fry.

Serve the meat water kimchi and other side dishes.

Water kimchi

Fresh and crispy kimchi in a mild broth.

In Korean cuisine there are many different kinds of kimchi. One of the types or styles of kimchi is called water kimchi, mul kimchi in Korean(ŽŹôžĻėŽĮł. This type of kimchi is milder and not made with any seafood flavouring. Water kimchi can also be made with many different vegetables, but this one is what I know best. This kimchi was served at my favorite lunch place when I lived in Pusan South Korea. They served a quartered napa cabbage in its brine and then they cut it up in to smaller pieces with a pair of scissors at the table.

In this recipe I used regular radish instead of daikon and a firm crunchy pear instead of asian pear. The neighbourhood store does not have these two Items in stock, Besides the pink skin of the radish gives the brine a nice color.



5 cups water
1 Tbsp coarse salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 Tbsp gochugaru, red pepper flakes, you can skip this ingredients.


2 napa cabbage quartered
2 Tbsp coarse salt


10 red radishes
1 asian pear (2 cups), cut into cubes
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
3 scallions, cut into 5 cm sticks
2 chili pepper, thinly sliced


Quarter  napa cabbage  and place in bowl cut side up.
Sprinkle 2 Tbsp salt and let sit for 30 minutes

In the mean time, make the brine by mixing salt and sugar in water and mix to dissolve. Then add gochugaru and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Cut remaining seasoning vegetables and fruit and combine together in large bowl.

Squeeze excess water from cabbage but DO NOT rinse. Then combine with seasoning vegetables.

Place into air tight container

You can strain gochugaru/chili flakes from the brine or leave it in,  pour the liquid over the vegetables

Seal air tight and let sit in room temperature for 1-2 days for fermentation

Transfer into refrigerator and enjoy for up to one month

We enjoyed this for lunch with korean style meat patty and a few extra side dishes.


Hot and spicy chili pepper soup, ÔĽŅÔĽŅTteokbokki inspired

Are you feeling the chill, like we do in Norway right now? Why not try this hot and spicy Korean chili soup. It is perfect for this type of weather, chilly and humid.

I first encountered this soup when I lived in Pusan, South Korea but did not learn to make it untill I was back in Norway.

Korean chili soup, Tteokbokki

I was invited¬†to a cooking class held by the Korean embassy in Oslo. We made Japchea¬†sweet potato starch noodle stir fry¬†and Tteokbokki(ŽĖ°Ž≥∂žĚī)¬†a spicy korean rice cake dish.

Tteokbokki ŽĖ°Ž≥∂žĚī

This dish is Tteokbokki inspired, I have not been able to find all the ingredients like tteok and odeng, the rice cakes and fish cakes used. I did however find some doable replacements. I think I have to try to make tteok one day and make this soup properly.Tteokbokki, korean chili soup

The heat in this soup comes from the fermented chili paste used(gochujang,Í≥†ž∂Ēžě•)¬†and chili flakes.

Gochujang is a savory, spicy, and fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt.

The embassy chef instructed us on how to make this dish and showed us how to make the simple broth used. She boiled some dried anchovies in water and strained it and voila, broth.

Chili soup 2 agj


400 g rice flake/cake or of tteok
200 g fish balls or odeng(korean fish cakes)
3 scallions
2 eggs
2 tbsp chili pepper paste
1 tbsp chili pepper flakes
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
Anchovy stock or some light broth( 1 liter water 1 dl dried anchovies)

Anchovi stock agj

Boil the eggs for 8-10 minutes.

Make anchovy stock by cooking anchovies in water for about 10 minutes, remove the anchovies.

Add the seasoning to the broth.

Asian Fsh balls agj

Bring to a boil, when this is boiling add the fish balls and rice flakes. Turn down the heat to medium. Cut scallions crosswise and add them to the soup.

Chili pepper soup 3 agj

Let this boil for a minute or so, enough for the scallions to soften slightly but not lose its colour. Pour the soup into serving bowls and add the eggs, the serve and enjoy the heat.

Samgyeopsal, grilled pork korean style

Eating korean bbq is a very social way of eating you sit arround a table top grill and share food. You grill the food you want and help each other out, you talk and eat. It feels like you pick at the food and hardly eat anything, but you feel full.

Continue reading “Samgyeopsal, grilled pork korean style”

Persimmon, cinnamon and ginger drink, Sujeonggwa


When we ate korean bbq¬†during the warmer months in South Korea we always got a small cup of icy cold drink at the end of the meal.¬†Sujeonggwa žąėž†ēÍ≥ľ a sweet, lovely refreshing cold drink with the taste of cinnamon, ginger, a hint¬†of persimmon and always topped with three pine nuts, they say it helps your digestive system.

Continue reading “Persimmon, cinnamon and ginger drink, Sujeonggwa”

Tonkatsu, Japanese schnitzel or Dongas in Korean

Exploring some of my Japanese heritage, funny thing though, I was 14 when I first ate at a Japanese reataurant. My great great grandfather was Japanese, unfortunately I do not know his name, but my great grand father was Pedro Nakamura y Gonzales. There can’t be that many Filipinos back then with that name so if anyoneelse has ties to him or know of him please let me know. He was married to Gabina Platon Burgos. One of my many hobbies is geneology, but I am sort of stuck with my side of the tree. My childrens three on their father side I have been able to go back centuries.

Tonkatsu is the japanese version of a Schnitzel, made¬†with thin slices of pork sirloin. Originally these were made with beef and called¬†Katsuretsu. It is said¬†that the pork version¬†was invented at a restaurant in Tokyo called Renegatei in 1899. The dish¬†was seen as a “Yoshoku” a Japanese version of European cuisine. Some say that it was the Portuguese who brought Tonkatsu to Japan in the late 1800s. The portuguese¬†arrived much earlier and at the end of the 1800s. In this period of history many countries had attempted to get a foothold in Japan, so who brought the dish to japan is somewhat uncertain, my theory i that it was those who invented the wiener schnitzel.

Tonkatsu is usually served with thinly sliced cabbage and a dark sauce called Tonkatsu sauce, a type of mustard (Karashi) and preferably with a slice of lemon or two along with rice and miso soup.
When we lived in South Korea we got it served with kimchi and kim and the dish is called Dongas. Kim is the same as Nori, the difference between Kim and Nori is that Kim as a side dish is often toasted with a little oil and lightly salted.
We often bought kim in little rectangular pieces, you it by placing a pice on top of your rice and pick up a mouthful of rice with chop sticks. If you want to eat this with kimchi, HERE is a recipe.

Tonkatsu sauce

1 dl ketchup
1/2 dl Worchestershire sauce
1/2 dl sake
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp grated fresh garlic
1-2 tsp of sugar
3 tbsp mirin

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil and stir-
Turn down the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foam that forms on top and let the sauce cool slightly before serving.

500 g pork sirloin
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
4-5 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste
4 dl panko crumbs
Oil for frying, not olive oil

Cut the meat into thin slices, about 1/2 cm thickness. If you want you can give the pieces a couple of whacks with a meat tenderizer. Salt and pepper slightly or to taste.

Pour oil in a deep sauce pan and set on medium heat.

Beat the eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Put the flour and panko in separate bowl.

Flour both sides of the meat and make sure it is completely covered, then dip it in the egg and finally in panko crumbs
Fry until golden.
Keep the meat warm in the oven in an ovenproof dish at approximately 150 ¬į C while¬†you fry¬†the rest.
If you are going to eat this with chop sticks, cut the Tonkatsu into strips before serving.Plate the tonkatsu and serve it with rice and miso soup, and other side dishes you want.


Bulgogi is a popular Korean dish made with thinly sliced beef that is pre marinated with various seasonings on  a bbq pan and preferably over hot coal. The first time I tasted this dish was the hotel we stayed at when we moved to South Korea back in 2007, it was one of the fixed dishes at their breakfast buffet.

Since it is to cold to barbecue outside, I made this Bulgogi in a frying pan.

1 kg/2 lb thinly sliced sirloin or rib eye

4 stalks of spring onion

2 julienned carrots


1 dl pureed pear
1 dl applesauce
1 dl finely chopped onion
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon  grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 stalks of green onion

1 shredded carrots

Put all the ingredients in a blender/food processor except carrot and green onions and mash all ingredients into a puree.
Cut spring onions and grate the carrot.
Mix the meat, marinade and vegetables except the lettuce in a bowl and let it sit 3 hours or over night in the refrigerator.
If you keep it in the fridge you take the meat out a few hours so the meat has room temperature before bbq it.  Serve the meat on lettuce with carrots and spring onion.

Kimchi fried rice, kimchi bokkeumbap

This is a simple dish with few ingredients that is much loved by many Koreans, it is more like a risotto than fried rice because it is mushier. After my stay in Korea I have come to appreciate this dish.

1 liter cooked rice
2,5 dl chopped kimchi
1 tbsp vegetable oil
0,5 dl kimchi juice
0,5 dl water
2-3 tablespoons gochujang/chili paste
3 teaspoons sesame oil
100-150 g chopped ham
1 green scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
1 sheet of kim, roasted and shredded


Stir fry kimchi in a pan with a little oil for aboout 1 minute.

Add rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang. Stir all the ingredients together for a few minutes.

Add sesame oil and remove from the heat.

Sprinkle with chopped green onion, roasted kim and sesame seeds. Serve right away.

Easy and quick kimchi recipe

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings and staple dish number one. A few years ago when we had Koreans over for dinner, I had made some kimchi, they had not had any kimchi for over a week and finished everything.

There are many of varieties of kimchi made from chinese cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as a main ingredient. One of my favorite kimchi when I lived in South Korea was the one made with cucumber.

This variation is a very traditional kind made with chinese cabbage

1 kg Chinese cabbage
1.5 dl sea salt
Clean water
5-6 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
2-4 teaspoons shrimp paste
1-5 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
250 g daikon
4 scallions

Cut the cabbage lengthwise. Salt the cabbage, using your hands (gloves optional), massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then put the cabbage in a big container and add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy.  Let stand for 1 to 2 hours

Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3-4 times and drain in a colander for 20-30 minutes with the cut surface turned downwards

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl except the daikon and scallions.

How much chili you want to use is up to you.

Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage. Rub the seasoning paste on each of the cabbage leaves and try not to brake the cabbage, and put some shredded daikon and strips of scallion in between the cabbage leaves
The gloves are optional, but I highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smell.

Pack the cabbage back together and cut the cabbage into 4-5 cm wide strips. Try to keep the cabbage together when you put them in clean jars.
The reason why I made the kimchi this way is that it will look nicer when served. But you can cut the cabbage into smaller bits before you salt and soak. Put everything in a clean bowl and just follow the same procedure.

Pack the kimchi into jars, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of head space and seal the jars.

Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days, remember to put the jars on a tray with edges. When the vegetables start to ferment bubbles might develop and brine may seep out of the lid.

Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. This also releases gases produced during fermentation. Taste the kimchi and  when the it tastes ripe enough for your liking, put the jars in the fridge. The kimchi is ready to eat, but i is best after a week or two.