Baba Ganoush and Flatbread

I was at my favorite Korean supermarket yesterday and managed to get 7 aubergines (eggplants) for 1,200 won. How could I resist such a bargain? So I decided to make baba ganoush, a yummy eggplant dip. After the sucess of pizza dough I thought it would have a crack at making some flat breads too. This recipe is very easy to follow although with the dip you can alter it to suit your own tastes.

Baba ganoush

Ingredients

7 aubergines

3 table spoons of tahini (you can buy this at the foreign food market or make it yourself, its just sesame seeds and olive oil blended together)

2 tablespoons of sour cream (optional)

2- 6 cloves of garlic

lemon juice

salt

table spoon cumin

Directions

Slice your aubergines down the middle and drizzle with olive oil, then roast them in the oven for 20-30 minutes until they are soft inside and the skins are crinkly. I also roast the garlic at the same time. After they have cooled scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork, or you can do this in the blennder. The more traditional way is to just use the pulp inside, but i don’t like to waste the skins so i usually blend them up too (I dont think it really affects the taste either way). Add the roasted garlic and tahini and blend again. Then stir in the cumin, lemon juice and salt to taste. Drizzle with olive oil, paprika and some chopped fresh herbs to make it look pretty.

Flat Bread

Ingredients

500g of flour (I used the one for noodles and dumplings)

2 tablespoons of oil

10oz of water

8g pack of yeast (found in most Korean supermarkets)

2 tablespoons of salt

1 tablespoon of mixed herbs

1 tablespoon of cumin

Directions

Stir the salt and instant yeast into the flour and mix well. Add the oil and water until the flour becomes dough like, you may not need all of the water or you may require a little more. When the dough is in a big ball and clearing the sides of the bowl and the bottom you have the right consistency and its time to start kneading. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes to make it more elastic. If you want to make pita breads in the oven then , leave the dough for an hour or so to proof. However if you want to make flat breads and cook them in the frying pan as I did you can start straight away. Take a small ball of the dough and roll out thinly on a floured surface with a rolling pin (if you dont have a rolling pin you could use a can of something heavy, although I think its well worth the 2 dollar investment at Daiso). Dry fry the flat bread  for a minute or two on each side until its lightly browned and cooked through. Then serve with your delicious dip.

High Street Market

I had passed this store a number of times before I finally ventured in and I’m very glad I did. It has a wealth of foreign food and deli items. Fresh coffee beans, meat, cheese, and wine can all be sourced here to make the perfect brunch. Laid out like a deli you would find at home, it’s so  much more stylish than the foreign food mart where everything is crammed in. This is the kind of store that you have been longing for and now its right here in Itaewon.

The main pull of High Street Market compared to the foreign food mart is their meat counter. They have a buffet of meat produce available. Lamb, turkey, pork chops, and a variety of different cuts of beef can be found in abundance here. They have all manner of cold cuts such as smoked turkey, roast beef, and pork  meats all ready to make your favourite sandwich or sub. It beats the plastic ham they sell in Homeplus any day of the week!

The cheese section in this store is also rich and plentiful (Brie, Gouda, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Gorgonzola, Bleu, Gruyere, Red Leicester, Fresh mozzarella and Parmesan) , they seemed to have everything I could think about wanting. Imported cheese is expensive in Korea full stop, but I generally think its worth paying for, in the end its only the cost of a cocktail or two so I’m usually happy to indulge myself.

Another great thing about this store is they have plenty of baking equipment which can be at times difficult to source.  Homeplus doesn’t have everything ,especially when it come to items that Koreans have no need for so its nice to know you can get everything you need in one trip.  There are also all the baking ingredients you would require, like whole-wheat and rye flour, a whole shelf devoted to Betty Crocker and a variety of other baking products we take for granted at home but just can’t seem to find here in Korea. Although some of these things can be found in the foreign food market it can take ages to walk around picking everything up as nothing is laid out as conveniently as it is at this store. It really is a shopper’s paradise.

The most exciting part for me was all the sugary treats. It’s a sweet lovers dream, they have a large variety of chocolate ( a fair few from my post here) and sweets and candies galore. There is something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

There are also plenty of ready to eat products at this store. They had a rather extensive list of sandwiches which are made to order which you can eat in the small cafe within the shop or take away. I can recommend the cookies too. Also available are home-made lasagna, hummus, coleslaw and tzatziki but I didn’t try them as I’ve made most of them myself. Check out my coleslaw recipe and Lasagna recipe. Hummus coming soon…….

High Street Market sets itself apart from other some of the other foreign supermarkets in the area by providing a delivery service. So you don’t even have to leave the house to get a taste of home. Free delivery is even included on rainy days, what could be better?

If I havent convinced you  so far to pay them a visit then this picture should do the trick. 3 different varieties of salt & vinegar crisps, what more could a girl ask for?

High Street market is located in Itaewon, come out of exit 2 and keep walking up through Itaewon, its towards the far end, next to the IP Boutique hotel (map below). Opening hours are 10am – 9pm . Phone number 02-790-5450 . Full product details can be found on their website, as well as all information about online delivery.  http://highstreet.co.kr/

Halloumi Stuffed Peppers

Last week I went to foreign food mart when I had rather a lot to drink. I always end up buying far more expensive items when I am a little tipsy than when I am sober. Anyhow I woke up the next morning to find some halloumi sitting in my fridge as well as more salt and vinegar crisps than it is acceptable for one person to eat.

I’m actually very glad that I bought the halloumi, as it’s a treat I always enjoy when I’m on holiday. For those not aware of the deliciousness of halloumi its a gorgeous cheese from Cyprus. If mozzarella and feta had a baby, halloumi would be the result. It has the texture of mozzarella and saltiness of feta. I decided to make some delicious stuffed peppers.

Ingredients

Halloumi (mine came in a 180g pack but I only used 120g)

3 whole peppers (any color)

100g of couscous

A glug of olive oil

Directions

Start off by making the couscous. I made a simple one with just courgette in it, but you can see my previous recipe if you don’t know how to make it. Cut the peppers in half lengthways then drizzle them with olive oil and roast them in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until they are slightly soft. Fill the peppers with the couscous, then top with a slice of halloumi and put under the grill again until the cheese is golden brown. Drizzle with pesto and serve with salad. Voilà, another tasty treat.

My Thai China

Located in the alleyway behind the Hamilton Hotel is the delightful fusion restaurant My Thai China. The menu has a good balance between Thai and Chinese dishes. This second floor restaurant gazes down upon you looking warm and inviting to those on the outside. Take a journey up the stairs to find yourself in a Thai den of iniquity full of dark wood and flickering candles.

The menu is quite substantial and has a lot to offer, all the Thai favourites seem to be there as well as the more westernised Chinese offerings. We opted for the set  menu (55,000)which included spring rolls, the choice of two main meat/fish dishes as well as a rice or noodle dish and 2 complementary soft drinks. For an extra 30,000 you can upgrade it to include a bottle of wine.

The spring rolls were crisp and tasty and reminiscent of the ones I ate in Thailand. It’s very hard to find good  spring rolls in Korea but these guys cracked it. The sweet chilli sauce accompanying them was also very good. It had the right balance between chilli and sweetness, and it tasted homemade.

 

Next were our main dishes, we chose the fried chciken with mushrooms and cashew nuts and the fried shrimp with pineapple in red wine sauce.  The chicken was lightly fried without batter in a spicy sticky glaze, there was a generous amount of cashew nuts sprinkled on top of the dish. I really liked this dish, but my boyfriend said it fell short of the Kung Pao at Ho Lee Chow as he felt it was too dry, perhaps a little bit more sauce could secure them a victory.

The real star of this meal was the fried shrimp with pineapple in red wine sauce. It was so good I don’t even know where to begin. The king prawns were large and juicy and covered in a divine thick crispy batter. It reminded me of the same batter we get at home on our fish and chips, The pineapple was juicy and the sauce was a nice take on the sweet ‘n sour, I would have licked the plate clean!

Our last dish was the soy fried chicken rice but it turned out to be rather disappointing. There was far too much soy sauce for a start and it was too heavy on the garlic, both flavors I usually enjoy but they completely overpowered any other elements in the dish. I love fried rice but this one was worse than the Korean fried rice(볶음밥).

Overall I would certainly go back to My Thai China, it would be worth it for those king prawns alone, but there were plenty of other dishes on the menu I would like to have tried. The decor is dark and romantic, it would be a nice place to take a date and it’s not too expensive, our food could have easily fed three people.

To get to My Thai China come out of exit 1 and head for the alley behind the Hamilton Hotel, it’s just opposite Scrooge’s pub. It was quite busy on the Thursday night we were there so it might serve you well to make a reservation to avoid disappointment. Telephone number 02-749-9287.

Gazpacho

I was unsure about what I was going to make for dinner tonight, I was keen to make something new but I didnt know what. I decided to just go to the fruit and veg market and see if inspiration struck. It did, I couldnt belive my eyes when I saw they were selling 700g tubs of ripe tomatoes on the vine for 1,000 won (50p to those at home)I bought 3 packs. I realize that many of my recent recipes feature tomatoes but they are in season here in Korea and I’m a big fan of sesonal ingredients as they are cheap and plentiful. A quick search on my iPhone told me I needed cucumber and red peppers which I picked up at the veg market both 4 for 1,000 and a red onion which I knew the ajummas on the side of the road had, I got about 10 for 2,000 from my favourite ajumma, she even threw in a free nectarine.

This is the perfect meal to make, when the weather is hot and humid and you need cooling down. I can’t believe how quick and easy this recipe is to follow, dinner will be made in 10 minutes, it’s healthy, nutritious, and delicious. I’ve just eaten two bowls and it’s extremely filling and low calorie, a definite bonus after all my recent indulging, especially since its bikini weather.

Ingredients 

700g ripe tomatoes

1 red onion

1 cucumber

1-2 cloves of garlic (chop the garlic and pour boiling water over it first if you find the taste of raw garlic too strong)

2 red peppers

2 teapoons of white sugar

2 teaspoons of salt or celery salt (I used one of each)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoons of white wine vinegar or apple cider viner

2 generous glugs of olive oil

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped coriander (optional)

1 teaspoon of freshly chopped parsley (optional)

A little lemon juice.

Directions

Roughly chop the onion garlic, cucumber red pepper and  tomatoes (reserve 6 or 7 for the end)  and blend until smooth. If you do not have a blender just chop everything as finely as possible, although of course this will take more time. Pour this into a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, chopped herbs, and 1 glug of olive oil and sir well.  Chop the remaining tomatoes and add to the soup to give it some texture then drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top. Garnish with spring onions or fresh parsley or basil. This dish is traditionally served ice cold so leave it in the fridge for an hour or two or add few chunky ice cubes if your serving it straight away. Et voilà, a tasty summer soup in minutes!

Cupcakes – Life is just a Cup of Cake

Is there anything better in life than a sweet delicious cupcake? Perhaps not, but good cupcakes can prove very tricky to track down in Seoul. Cupcakes are becoming more and more popular in Korea and can be found in most food halls in big department stores. The cake parts are generally fine but icing is always very artificial and rather disappointing. I’ve tried making them myself but again I just cant get the buttercream right, I’m not sure if its the butter or the icing sugar which is causing the problem, I’m going home in a few weeks to visit and I plan to bring back an abundance of baking supplies so I can once again make yummy buttercream.

In the meantime I have had to wait until I visited Itaewon to get my cupcake fix. Life is just a Cup of Cake has, hands down, the best cupcakes I’ve ever had in Korea and possibly ever. The sponge is light and moist while the toppings are rich and sweet. Just writing this is making my mouth water again  just thinking about them, I really wish I had bought more than two now, though I fear if I had bought more they would be gone too.

I bought one vanilla as I always do, you may think this is boring and unadventrous but its so heavenly I cant resist. Vanilla is a classic for a reason and the the buttercream on this little beauty is immensely pleasurable. The topping is thick and generous with the perfect frosting to cake ratio, it’s sweet and buttery with the flavour of the vanilla complementing it nicely. It’s like eating a heavenly vanilla cloud.

My second choice was the red velvet. I’m fairly new to red velvet cupcakes, they arent really as popular in the UK as they are in the USA. So forgive me if you don’t agree but I think this one is perfectly baked too, there is a cream cheese frosting on this one rather than the buttercream but  it works well with the slightly sour chocolate flavour. There’s a good balance between the cake and the frosting. The cupcakes come in a variety of flavours, so far I’ve had the Chocolate, Very Berry, Peanut butter and Espresso and I can vouch for them all.

The cupcakes are all priced at 4,800 each which, for how perfect they are, I think is very reasonable. They also serve all manner of coffees and teas but I can’t honestly say I’ve ever had a drink there, all the surplus money I have had has been spent on more cupcakes, though the cafe is always busy and looks like an enjoyable place to while away the afternoon.

Life is Just a Cup of Cake is a hidden treasure nestled at the far end of Itaewon at Itaewon-ro 45 gil. If you come out of exit 2 and keep walking towards the far end past Rocky Mountain Tavern. It’s on the second left turning after the IP boutique just after Carne do Brazil and the 365 Bank. If you get lost you can call them on 02 794 2908 or details can be found on their website (Korean) http://www.cupcake.co.kr/  They also have stores in Sinchon and Sorae.

Noodle Box

I like noodles as much as the next girl, possibly more. However, I sometimes find noodles in Korea a bit disappointing. I have nothing against instant noodles and I do enjoy a ramyeon (라면) from time to time, but if only they had more flavors like the rest of the world, there would be a bit more variety. I love Japchae (잡채) and the cold noodles Naeng myeon (냉면), but fried noodles are where my heart truly lies.

 The noodles at Noodle Box come in a variety of Asian flavors – Pad Thai, Thai Chili, Pad See we, Pho Xao and Mongolian (prices vary from 5,700 – 7,300). They also have fried rice, spring rolls and sweet potato rolls which I was also eager to try but sadly I had another dinner to attend to a few hours later and didn’t have enough room. I opted for the Pad See We, which were flat Lo mein noodles with chicken. The noodles came in one of those delightful little boxes (so much more appealing than the foil containers we get in England). They arrived promptly and steaming hot. After a minute to let them cool down I dived in. Although they tasted slightly greasy as first they improved at I ate them (I think the excess oil had come from pouring them from the frying pan). There were generous chunks of juicy chicken breast and thigh and as well as egg, pakchoi, onions and garlic. They were cooked in a lovely sweet spicy sauce which was tres yummy.

The decor of Noodle box is that of a minimalist quirky cafeteria, with the mismatched chairs and tables. The server was friendly and ready to answer any questions. The noodles are available to eat in or take away (a bonus if you have just eaten but like to take home food for later like I do). They also serve beer if you like your noodles with a side of alcohol (lets face it who doesn’t). I will be sure to take myself back to Noodle Box and try out the rest of their menu. It makes a nice change from a sandwich if you’re looking for a quick snack to fill you up before hitting the pub, I’d also wager that they would taste amazing after too.

Noodle Box is in Itaewon. Come out of exit 3 and walk about 100 yards. It is 2 doors before Dunkin Doughnuts. You can call them on 02-888-952 or a full menu can be found on their website  http://www.noodlebox.co.kr/noodlebox/

Korea – The Land of Chocolate?

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Forget diamonds, I’ve always thought that chocolate is a girl’s best friend. It’s there when times are good and bad. It makes a happy occasion even better and cheers you up when you are blue. Sadly in Korea the majority of the chocolate you can buy here leaves a lot to be desired. To be fair once you leave Europe the quality of the chocolate goes dramatically downhill. Never fear I do have a few secrets up my sleeve for all the chocolate lovers out there, so be sure to read my guide before tucking into that Crunky.

Dove –  Dove is essentially the American version of our(UK) Galaxy. No it does not taste exactly like ours but its not a bad match, I would give it 7/8 out of 10. It’s also very convenient as they sell it everywhere, Home-plus, GS Mart, Family Mart etc. and it costs just 1,500 per bar. In my opinion it’s the quickest and easiest chocolate fix. 
Lion Bar – I was never a huge fan of Lion bars at home but since I found them in Daiso I have been consuming more and more. These are the real british deal so they get the definite thumbs up from me and priced at only 1,000 its an absolute bargain. You can also find them on Gmarket, 10 for 9,900.
Whoppers – These are the american version of malteasers, don’t get your hopes up too high as they don’t taste nearly as good.  I think its the chocolate rather than the inside, but if you have a craving for ball of honeycomb and chocolate then these are your best bet. They sell them in the convenience mart in Itaewon by exit 4 right under Nescafe. That little store is a treasure trove of foreign sweets and snacks, they have a lot of things that they don’t have in the foreign food mart so be sure to check it out. If your craving for malteasers cant be sated by whoppers they do sell them in most stores in China, so if you know anyone heading over, be sure they bring you some back.
Toffifee  – For a long time I forget about this little treat, they were very popular when I was young and then I didnt have them again for years. Although they are more toffee than chocolate they are still a delicious taste of home. These divine little pieces of toffee heaven can be found at Home-plus 5.000 – 7,000 for a 2 tiered box and Olive Young 3,000 for a small box. Olive Young is not just a store selling foreign beauty supplies, they also have all manner of imported snacks from around the world. So make sure to take a peek next time you pass by one.
Thornton’s – I was unsure about whether or not to give this one away as Thortons is my favorite maker of chocolate (luckily for you I am a very kind and giving individual). It was like christmas came early the day I went to the Itaewon convenience mart and found Thornton’s chocolate bars (including my absolute favorite the Alpini which is chocolate covered praline) for 1,500. I bought 5 and have been buying more and more ever since. I also popped into Olive Young and found them for only 1,000. I died and went to chocolate heaven. Be sure to act fast as I dont know how much longer these will be around, I certainly hope they are here to stay.
Milka – Oh Milka how I love you so, another one of my European favorites, I discovered they sell it in the Shinsegae Department store in Myeongdong  priced at 4,000 for a 100g bar. I have since found out that they have it on Gmarket for 2,200 for a 100g bar and that they have also have 5 different varieties.
TwixSnickers & Kitkat – Twix, Snickers and Kitat are again a small taste of home. Yes they are the american versions but beggars cant be choosers and they are all available in your local convenience store for 1,500.
Lindt – The most luxurious of all the chocolates even at home. Now its here in Korea. On Gmarket there are various bars for sale. White chocolate 4,700 100g , Milk 5,500 100g and dark 5,500 100g plus delivery fee.There are also Lindor truffle balls on sale in 4 varieties milk, dark, white and assorted  priced at 12,000 for a 200g box.
Cadbury – Sadly it is the Australian kind, which seems to taste nothing like our lovely British one but its still a familiar brand. I’ve only seen these in the Buy the Way stores, and not everyone has them so its just if you get lucky. There is also a Malaysian Cadburys which I think is better than the one from down under. It also comes in more varieties and is currently in the foreign food mart in Itaewon in 200g bars.
Toblerone – The Swiss staple can be found all over Korea, I’ve seen it in Family Mart, Home-plus, Paris Baguette, and on Gmarket. Hopefully it won’t take you long to track one down, it also come in three delicious flavours, Dark, Milk and White.
Reese’s Peanut butter Cups – I’ve found that Reese’s peanut butter cups pop up randomly here there and everywhere. I assume they come from the American army base and they can be found randomly in all the different stores in Itaewon selling foreign foods. The store in Hae Bang Chon had an abundance of them last time I was there, but I’m sure they will be gone the next time I’m back. So if you see them grab them quick they don’t usually stay on the shelves long.
Bianco Cuore – I first bought these in Paris Baguette and they were about 4,000 for a pack of 5. I then found them in Costco for 12,000 for a 1kg bag! The chocolate on them is really good and they have a crispy creamy inside. If you don’t live near a Costco you can find them on Gmarket  17,990 for the 1kg bag.
Werther’s Original Chocolates – First they delighted our taste buds with their hard toffees now they are wowing us with their chocolate. They have 3 flavours, milk, caramel mousse and caramel (I’m particularly fond of the caramel ones). You can buy them on Gmarket 4,000 for 125g bag or at Olive Young  4,800 for a 125g bag.
Ritter Sport – You can find the German giant of chocolate on Gmarket 2,500 and at Olive Young stores 2,800 for a 100g bar. It comes in a variety of flavours which should satisfy everyone’s needs.
Andes Mint Thins – If you like a minty treat then Andes mints can be found at Gmarket for 3,000 and Olive Young for 4,000. They come in the light and dark varieties and remind me of the after eights we have back home.
Guylian – As previously mentioned I’m a big lover of praline, so I’m a huge fan of Guylian Sea Shells. Though a little pricey for a daily chocolate craving they make a nice treat. The boxes come in various sizes (although the bigger the better in my case) and these Belgian beauties can be found everywhere from Family Mart to Home-plus.
If none of the above meet your chocolate needs then you can always order online from home. I use this site www.handycandy.co.uk  where you can get 1.9kg of chocolate or sweets delivered for £17.99 (around 30,000 ) they have a very large selection and if they don’t have your favourite, you can email them and ask them to find it for you. Delivery takes between 1-3 weeks. 

Chicken Goujons with Cheesy Coleslaw

I love KFC! I love KFC so much I could devour a bucket myself in one sitting (probably two). I can’t always manage all the chicken myself, I’m usually kind enough to pass on the legs and thighs to my boyfriend, though they are generally always minus the skin,( KFC chicken skin is one of my greatest pleasures in life and I would have to love someone an awful lot to be willing to share it with them. Luckily my boyfriend seems to accept this fault in me and I hopefully won’t grow into a fat, lonely old woman with nothing but a bucket of KFC chicken for company). But enough about me and on to today’s post.

As you probably gathered from above I’m rather partial to fried chicken, however this delicacy does not come cheap (yes its fine if you can be satisfied by a 3 piece set, but in the quantities I eat it’s rather costly).  It’s also very calorific which is why I usually confine it to weekends and special occasions (Mondays are special right?). In the meantime the craving for chicken, coleslaw and beans still lives on, I’ve found that this slightly healthier and much cheaper version I make at home usually does the trick.

Cheesy Coleslaw

Ingredients

1 carrot

1 onion

¼ – ½ of a red cabbage

10 tablespoons of mayonnaise

6 tablespoons of coleslaw dressing (salad cream if you are making it back home)

2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce

100g of grated cheese

6 spring onions

A pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Thinly slice the red cabbage and onions then put into a bowl (you can of course use white cabbage but I personally think red looks and tastes better).  Grate the carrot and mix with the cabbage and onion.  Add the mayonnaise, coleslaw dressing and sweet chili sauce and mix thoroughly. Stir in the grated cheese, salt, pepper and spring onions. If the mixture is too dry add more mayonnaise.  Voilà the perfect coleslaw, far superior to any one you can buy premade here in Korea.

Chicken Goujons

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts

2 beaten eggs

Seasoned flour (flour with salt and pepper in it)

Bread crumbs made from 3 slices of bread

1 table spoon of mixed herbs (add to the bread crumbs)

3 cloves of crushed garlic (add to the bread crumbs)

Directions

Slice the chicken breast into to fillet size pieces,  one breast  usually makes 3 or 4. I find it best if you put the seasoned flour on a plate (just enough to cover it) and have your beaten eggs in bowl and your garlic herb breadcrumbs in another already laid out and waiting. Roll the chicken breasts in the flour until coated.  Then dip the flour coated chicken into the beaten egg then roll in the bread crumbs, repeat this until all your chicken pieces are ready. Fry the chicken pieces in a hot frying pan with enough oil to cover the bottom. I generally just fry mine for long enough so they are brown on both side then finish them off in the oven but by all means keep them in the pan on a gentler heat until the chicken is completely cooked through. If you prefer you could also chicken legs or thighs but personally I’m a breast girl.

Potato Wedges

Ingredients

10 small – medium potatoes (normal or sweet, I used both) cut into wedges.

4 tables spoons of oil

1 tablespoon of mixed herbs

Salt & pepper

Directions

In a bowl coat the potato wedges with the oil then stir in the herbs, salt and pepper and cook in your toaster oven for 20 – 30 minutes until brown and crispy.

I usually make the coleslaw first and set it aside then start the wedges off first in the oven, whist I prepare the chicken, that way everything is ready at the same time. If you want to make this even simpler you can buy frozen breaded chicken pieces in Homeplus for those times your feeling really extra lazy (or you could just send out your boyfriend to get KFC, either way). You could also serve this with jacket potatoes instead of wedges, just make sure to add plenty of beans.

Lasagne

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Lasagne was one of the first recipes that I ever mastered. It was always my piece de resistance at university, when I would make it from scratch on a Sunday afternoon. At home over the years I made lasagne less and less as I mastered more interesting and exotic recipes although it’s always been a great fall back. Living in Korea I really began to miss lasagne, they have a microwaveable one they sell in Homeplus, although slightly enjoyable in a plastic kind of way it tastes nothing like a real lasagne should. When I finally found Lasagne sheets in the foreign food mart I knew it was time to make this delicious treat again.

If making this at home I would stick with the beef variety but as you know here in Korea beef is rather expensive unless you get some late at night in Homeplus that has been reduced. So at first I used ground pork but eventually moved on to chicken breast. I find that the combination of chicken and vegetables actually works rather well. I have given the recipe as I made it this time but you can add whichever vegetables you like or are cheapest. Purists just stick with the beef, onions and tomatoes but personally I think extra veg adds taste, bulk and nutrients.

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts / 500g ground beef

1 onion

6 cloves of garlic

100g of mushrooms

2 peppers (any colour)

30 fresh chopped cherry tomatoes or a can of chopped tomatoes

Lasagne sheets (I bought mine at the foreign food mart)

½ large courgette (Zucchini)

200g spinach (optional)

3 tablespoons of mixed herbs

3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce

Cheese sauce

50g butter

50g flour

1 pint of milk

50g cheese for the sauce

100g of cheese for the topping

Directions

Finely chop the onions and garlic then fry in olive oil for 5 minutes until they are translucent and slightly browned. Add the chopped chicken breast, the smaller the pieces the better. Fry until the chicken is cooked on the outside then add the vegetables. Fry for 10 minutes until they are starting to get soft, then add the chopped tomatoes, herbs and sweet chili sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes. Take a large lasagne dish (mine is a square dish 25cm by 25cm) and lay out your lasagne sheets on the bottom then top with a layer of the tomato chicken mix and then top with another layer of the lasagne and top with the tomato mix again. Lay out the last layer of lasagne sheets then top with the cheese sauce (directions below) and grated cheese and cook in the oven for 20 – 30minutes until the cheese is golden brown and the pasta is cooked through.

The cheese sauce is very simple to make, melt the butter in a saucepan then add the flour and stir until it forms a paste. Add the milk and stir continuously until the milk heats and the sauce begins to thicken, if it’s too thick add more milk until you reach the right consistency. Once the sauce is right add the extra cheese and stir until it’s melted.