Tag: Snack

Brooklyn Bagel Cafe

Last weekend I decided to embrace the spring weather and get my fat arse out for a workout. Much to his dismay I dragged TFB out with me too. After a bracing walk around the park and quick sop at the HBC Ogari fruit and veg lady we headed back down. For being so virtuous I thought we were both in need of reward so we stopped by Brooklyn Bagel cafe on the way home for a treat. The small store is located at the far end of the main drag of HBC almost opposite the CU. Up at the counter is a menu and a refrigerator full of different cream cheeses and 8 different flavours of bagels. The cute cafe has seating inside and out which is always a plus on a sunny day.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for one of the sandwich style bagels and settled on the Chicken Salad (4,000). The best thing about this sandwich is that they let you choose your bagel, and after looking at their selection I went for the everything bagel. The bagel was nice enough, and it came stuffed with a rather nice chicken mayo and a little bit of salad. For 4,000 it was definitely a bargain, you rarely find a sandwich that is under 5,000 these days and although it was small I think most people would be satisfied.

TFB true to form opted for the Salmon with cream cheese (6,000), probably because he knew I wouldn’t ask for a bite. He got his salmon on a jalapeno bagel which personally I thought an odd choice but each to their own. I didn’t actually try this, as you know my feelings about salmon well, especially stuff at the cheaper end of the scale. But he said it had a nice flavour, and there was plenty of salmon with a little bit of zing from the red onion. He agree that the bagel was decent for the price, though wouldn’t have noticed that it was jalapeño flavoured.

Overall I cant say its the best bagel I’ve ever had, or even the best one I have had in Seoul, so I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. However if you are in HBC and in need of a sandwich style snack on a budget or fancy picking up breakfast for you and your latest Tinder hook up then its worth swinging by especially if you are up early or on a walk of shame because it opens at 7am.

Brooklyn Bagel Cafe is located at 44 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6). Walk straight out of exit 2 for about 200 meters and take the first left and walk straight along the road with all the kimchi pots. Keep walking straight along this street past Phillies and Casablanca, you will see Brooklyn Bagel Cafe up ahead on the right hand side next to 8 Piece. For more information you can visit their facebook page. They are open every day from 7am-8pm.

Boni Bola

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It’s been a good year all round for pastry lovers. First I found Da Korner and their fabulous empanadas, then The Little Pie and Pie Face with their glorious meat pies, and now Boni Bola! A few days ago I was heading to Homeplus in Hapjeong to stock up on a few Christmas essentials, when I stumbled across this tiny little store selling empanadas. The thought of an empanada always gets my juices flowing so I was powerless to resist, especially after taking a closer look at the menu and discovering they were only 2,000 won each.

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Da Korner

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Empanadas have long been a favourite food of mine ever since I spend 3 months pretty much living off them whilst travelling in South America. Cheap and delicious they were sold everywhere and I had so much fun trying each country’s different version. I still yearn for them to this day. Occasionally I make my own at home, and even more occasionally I will stumble across a restaurant in Seoul selling them. (more…)

Nalari – 나라리

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If you’ve been paying attention to Seoul’s foodie scene you would have noticed that churros are yesterday news and the whole nation has been going crazy for croquettes. The Korean croquettes are more or less a savoury doughnut which is then filled and rolled in panko crumbs. The interest in these babies has skyrocketed of late, just check out this queue at Busan Station! (more…)

Spring Rolls

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It seems insane to me that I have never posted a spring roll recipe because I love those little suckers more than life itself. I would never have an order of Chinese food without them and a pack always makes its way into my basket when I’m shopping at home. But sadly they are not as popular in Korea as they are in the rest of Asia. You can find them in your local Thai restaurant, but when you enjoy eating them as much as I do you have to make them in bulk. They call be a a bit fiddly, but once you get in the zone you can churn them out by the dozen. Sit in your living room to roll them out while watching an episode of your favourite show and in no time you will have a pile of the little beauties. I got my spring roll wrappers from the foreign food market in Itaewon. They usually have 3 or 4 sizes. I chose the medium sized ones. Obviously the bigger the wrappers the bigger your rolls will be. I only used about half of the packet making these, so they go a long way and they only cost about 5,000. You can also use them to make samosas. Use whatever veg and meat you like, I just used up all my leftovers.

Ingredients

½ a packet spring roll wrappers

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1/2 a carrot

A small wedge of cabbage

100g of shredded chicken

2 eggs beaten

1/2 an onion

2 inches of ginger

3 cloves of garlic

1 packet of instant noodles

A bunch of cilantro leaves

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame seed oil

900ml of soy bean oil (for deep frying)

Directions

1. The first step is to finely slice your vegetables. Get them the peppers and cabbage as thinly as possible and grate the carrot.

2. Boil the noodles until soft then drain.

3. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger for a minute or two to soften, then add the rest of the vegetables. Fry on high for five minutes until softened. Add the drained noodles, chicken, cilantro, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and sesame oil, and mix. Turn off the heat and put into a large bowl.

4. Peel off one spring roll wrapper and put it out on the chopping board. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into the middle of the wrapper. Like below. Fold the top edge up, then wash the three remaining sides with the beaten egg. Fold the two other sides in and roll until you have a neat little spring roll. Set on a clean plate and repeat until all your mixture has been used.

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5. When all of the spring rolls have been made, heat the oil to 190 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer let it heat on medium for about five minutes. Carefully put a spring roll into the oil, if it sizzles and floats to the top then it’s hot enough, if it doesn’t, turn it up a little higher and wait until it reaches temperature. Cook them in batches of about 5 for a couple of minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan when they are done and let them drain on kitchen paper. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce and enjoy!

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Roasted Chickpeas

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These were a little recipe I came across on pinterest. With always an abundance of chick peas in my house, I thought it would be churlish not to have a go and I was rather pleased with the results. They were crunchy and tasty and made a nice cheap alternative to nuts. 4 of us went through a bowl in no time whilst playing a game of monopoly, so they will definitely be served again some time soon.

Ingredients

400g of chickpeas

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of Mexican seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

If you are using canned chick peas drain them and if you are using dried you will need to soak and cook them first. You need to make sure that your chickpeas are extremely dry. Pat them down with kitchen paper several times. The drier they are the crunchier they will be. Spread them on a baking tray and bake them in a single layer at 190 degrees Celsius for about 20-30 minutes. You will see the steam escaping as they bake. Once they are almost done, take them out and coat in the olive oil, salt, pepper, and Mexican spices. Bake for another 10-20 minutes until crunchy the whole way through. You may want to keep an eye on them towards the end to make sure they don’t burn. Serve straight away or store in an airtight container for a day or two. Voilà roasted spicy chickpeas.

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Cilantro Hummus

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After trying the wonderful flavoured hummus of Hummus in Korea, I thought it was about time I started doing a bit more experimenting myself. I have made a spinach one before and a red pepper I never posted but I wanted to get more creative. I had a large bunch of cilantro in the fridge that was coming to the end of its life. I threw it into the blender and it totally tantalized my taste buds. Cilantro is not as hard to find as you would think. The Korean name is 고수 (go-su). It usually comes in large packets, cling filmed on to a white tray. The cilantro has long roots on it, which is always what used to throw me off.

Ingredients

Hummus

400g of Chickpeas (soaked weight)

A large bunch of cilantro

2-4 tablespoons of olive oil

1-2 tablespoons of cumin

1-2 lemons

1-2 tablespoons of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper pepper

Tahini

100ml of olive oil

3-5 cloves garlic

100g of sesame seeds

Directions

The first thing you need to do is soak your chickpeas. This can take between 6 hours to overnight. The longer the better in my opinion. After they have been soaked, you need to cook them. This can take a while. I usually cook mine in the rice cooker because you don’t have to top up the water as often and they won’t burn. If not you can cook them in a pan of water, they will take between 2-3 hours. Or you can skip this step and buy a can. When your chick peas are done, drain them but make sure you keep hold of that water, you will need it for the hummus.

The next step is to blend the chips peas, you may need to do this in a couple of batches depending on the size of your blender. If they are too hard to blend, use a little of the hummus water to get things going. Some like their hummus chunky and rugged others like it smooth and silky, so blend until you get the consistency you’re happy with. If you want want an ultra silky hummus then peel off all of the skins of the chick peas before blending. It’s a pain in the ass so I never do it. Also my hummus is generally made in industrial style batches so it would probably take me a month to do it, plus I’m very lazy.

You can buy tahini in the foreign food mart in Itaewon and on iHerb and various other stores. It’s also very easy to make. Just place the garlic, sesame seeds, and olive oil in a blender and blend for a few minutes until the seeds have been pulverized.

Once the chick peas are blended place in a large bowl and stir in the tahini and lemon juice. Then the salt, pepper and cumin. Hummus is a very personal food, so start by adding a little of each at a time until you get a taste you’re happy with. A lot of factors can affect the taste of hummus so you rarely use the exact same amount of each ingredient every time. I always get the best results when the chick peas are warm.

To make the hummus cilantro flavoured, blend your cilantro with a little olive oil until you have a vibrant green oil then stir into the hummus. Use as much or as little as you need. Serve with your favourite dipping apparatus and enjoy. Voilà cilantro flavoured hummus.

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Spinach Hummus & Homemade Tortilla Chips

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After making a big batch a dips last week I found myself chip-less. How was I to enjoy my delicious dips? Walking to the store in the blistering heat seemed like such a big effort so I thought why not try and make some myself. I had plenty of tortillas in the freezer so I set about making some  tortilla chips to go with my lovely scrummy spinach hummus. I also took these to the Vegan Potluck and they went down a storm.

Ingredients

Spinach Hummus

300g dried chickpeas or  2 cans of chickpeas.

3-5 tablespoons of Tahini (buy it at the foreign food mart in Itaewon or make your own, it’s really easy just blend sesame seeds with olive oil)

200g of fresh spinach

200 – 300ml Olive oil

3 – 5 cloves of garlic

The juice  and zest of 1 or 2 Lemons

2 -4 tablespoons of cumin (foreign food mart or Gmarket)

1-2 tablespoons of paprika (foreign food mart or Gmarket)

Lime and Coriander Chips

4 tortillas

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of lime juice

1 tablespoon of Mexican seasoning

1 bunch of coriander (cilantro)

1/2 a teaspoon of salt

Directions

Soak your chickpeas over night or for several hours in cold water, do not add any salt. Cook your chickpeas in boiling water for 2-3 hours or until they mash easily with the back of a spoon. I use my rice cooker to cook them as you don’t have to worry about topping up the water, just give them a lot at the beginning and they will be fine.  Once your chick peas are done, strain them but reserve some of the water for later. If you are using the canned chickpeas you can skip the cooking stage.

If you are making your own tahini, blend the olive oil and sesame seeds until they form a paste. Then add the garlic and blend again. Finally add the spinach. Keep blending until you have a lovely vibrant green paste. I prefer to use fresh spinach as frozen or cooked is too stringy and will cause problems for your blender unless you have a very good one.

Blend the chick peas in your blender with a little of the extra water,  until they start to resemble the consistency of hummus. Everyone has a different preference about how they like their hummus, some like the runny oily kind whilst others prefer it thick. It’s really up to you, whatever floats your boat, so add more or less water depending on how you like it. Once your chickpeas are blended, add the tahini and lemon juice. Then you can start to add your salt and spices, a little at first stirring them in until you get the taste you want. You also might want to add more tahini and lemon juice too. Hummus is one of those recipes that is hard to pin down. I generally make it the same each time but the results always seem to vary. As long as you get all the basics in there though it should turn out well.

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To make the chips cut your tortillas into triangles. The tortillas I use, are the large ones from Costco so I usually get about 10-12 chips from each one. Place the olive oil, lime juice and coriander in your blender and blend until you have a green paste. Then stir in the salt and Mexican seasoning. Using a brush or the back of a spoon coat one site of the triangle then lay on a baking tray. Try not to overlap the chips. Bake in the oven for about 2-4 minutes. Times will vary depending on the size so make sure you keep checking on them. They are done when they are golden in colour and the paste is dry. Store in an airtight container and they will keep for at least a week if you can resist eating them. Voilà home-made chips and a dip. Perfect for any party.

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Pearl Couscous Salad

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In keeping with my new plan to bring you a few healthier recipes, here’s one I whipped up the other night. We have regular couscous quite frequently for lunch or dinner in our house but I fancied a change. Whilst browsing on iHerb I came across this pearl couscous. It’s very similar but much bigger and has a slightly different texture. It’s quick and easy to make and the perfect side dish to take to all those barbecues you will be invited to this summer. If you are unfamiliar with iHerb then I urge you to check it out, they have all manner or grains, herbs, spices, etc which can be delivered straight to your home. You can also use my code MRV792 for $10 off your first purchase.

Ingredients

1 cup of pearl couscous

1 1/4 cup of water

1/2 a courgette

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1 aubergine

8 cherry tomatoes

1/2 a red onion

5 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of mixed herbs

A few fresh basil leaves (optional)

Directions

Chop your vegetables into small pieces, then put them in an oven pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with mixed herbs. Roast them in the oven for 10 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius. After 10 minutes check if they are done, if not give them a good mix and put them back in for another 5-10 minutes. To make the couscous bring your cup and quarter of water to the boil in a small saucepan. Add the cup of couscous to the pan, turn down the heat and put on a lid. Cook until all the water has evaporated and the couscous is soft. Stir in the roasted veg and serve. Top with fresh basil if you have some. You can eat this warm or cold, as a side, or on its own. Voilà pearl couscous salad.

Lamb Quesadilla

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I have had a bag of lamb mince in my freezer for a few weeks now. After endless questions from my boyfriend asking when we would be eating it, I decided it was high time I put it to good use. I did have designs on making some kind of meat balls or koftes with it, but as I was preparing things I accidentally threw it all in the pan, forgetting that I  needed to form the koftes while the meat was still raw. Ever the resourceful girl, I decided to pull out some tortilla wrappers from the freezer and make quesadillas. They actually went down a treat, served with some guacamole they were perfect.

Ingredients

250g of lamb mince

1 onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 red pepper

1/3 of a very large courgette

15 cherry tomatoes

200ml of tomato juice

100ml of orange juice

1-2 tablespoons of Mexican seasoning

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 large handful of cilantro (고수)

6  large tortillas (Costco)

200g of grated cheese (I use the Mexican medley from Costco)

Directions

To make the lamb filling finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in a glug of olive oil for a few minutes until it has softened. Add the lamb mince and cook until it has browned. While the lamb is cooking chop the tomatoes and red pepper and add them to the pan. Next grate in the courgette and cook for a few more minutes before adding the cumin and Mexican seasoning.  Then, add the bottle of tomato juice and orange juice along with half of the chopped coriander. Cook on medium to high for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has thickened. Finally, add the second half of the coriander and stir. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

To make the quesadillas put a tortilla into a clean dry flying pan, sprinkle on some cheese, top with the lamb and sprinkle on more cheese and top with another tortilla. Cook on low to medium until the cheese has started to melt and the bottom tortilla is lightly golden brown. Flip the whole thing over to brown the other side for a few more minutes. When it is done, slide on to a plate and cut into triangles. Serve with a delicious homemade guacamole. Voilà lamb quesadillas!