With the recent, more-than-well-deserved, fantastic comeback of BLACKPINK, the Korean Hallyu wave is not stopping its extensive influence on Asia and other parts of the world. With the unstoppable Korean wave, Outside thought it would be great to share with you guys five recipes for famous Korean dishes, well-loved in both dramas and by K-pop idols. It’s like being back in Korea again in the comforts of your own homes. Just like what BLACKPINK says it… how you like that?
The first recipe we are featuring is none other than Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls, fondly known as Gimbaps in the native language. Similar to sushi, they are long rice rolls with numerous fillings and are eventually cut into smaller pieces for easier consumption.
For this recipe that is derived from Serious Eats (by Jung SeoYoung), you’ll need:
- 1 large (12-ounce; 340g) cucumber
- Sea or kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan
- 6 long strips ham for kimbap (each about 1/4 inch or less thick)
- 1 medium (8-ounce; 240g) carrot, julienned
- 3 sheets flat odeng fishcake, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) grain syrup or oligosaccharide syrup (sold as “oligodang” at the Korean markets)
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce
- 1 whole danmuji (pickled radish) or 6 pre-cut long danmuji sticks for kimbap
- 6 long pieces Korean braised burdock root for kimbap
- 3 long strips of artificial crab meat (surimi in Japanese), cut in half lengthwise for a total of 6
- 3 cups cooked short-grain (sushi) rice, hot (see note)
- 1 ½ tablespoons (22ml) sesame oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 ½ tablespoons crushed roasted sesame seeds
- 6 square sheets gim (sold as nori in Japanese) for kimbap or sushi
- Plastic gloves
- Trim cucumber ends and cut it in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds from each half. Cut each half lengthwise into three long strips to make 6 strips total. Place cucumber strips on a plate. Sprinkle some salt over them and toss them to even out the salt.
- In a small bowl, beat eggs with a pinch of salt. Lightly grease a 10-inch nonstick skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until warmed but not sizzling hot. Add half the egg, swirl to cover the entire bottom of the pan and cook until the egg has just set on top. Using a rubber spatula, carefully free the egg round and transfer to a work surface to cool. Lightly re-grease pan if needed and repeat with remaining egg. Wipe out the skillet.
- Slice egg lengthwise into thin strips. Set aside.
- Rinse cucumber under cold running water, then pat dry with towels, squeezing gently to remove excess moisture. Using the same skillet, wipe it lightly with more vegetable oil and set over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add cucumber and cook until just slightly softened, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
- Add ham strips and cook, gently stirring and tossing, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Add the carrot to the skillet with a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring and tossing, until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes; if you need to add a little more oil to the pan, you can do so at any point. Set aside to cool.
- Lower heat to medium. Add fishcake strips to skillet along with oligosaccharide syrup and soy sauce and cook, tossing and stirring, until the fishcake has softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix rice with sesame oil, crushed sesame seeds, and 1 teaspoon salt. Divide rice into 6 even portions.
- Set a kimbap/sushi rolling mat on a work surface. Set a sheet of nori on top of it. Wearing plastic gloves, place a portion of rice on the seaweed sheet and use both hands to spread it evenly all over, leaving about one or two inches of the sheet exposed at the top edge. Dot a few rice grains along the top edge (they will help it stick together later).
- Arrange your fillings across the center of the rice: 1 cucumber stick, some egg strips, 1 ham strip, one-sixth of the carrot, some of the fishcake strips, 1 danmuji strip, 1 burdock strip, and 1 crab stick strip.
- Roll the bamboo mat up and away from you, curling the seaweed sheet and rice around the fillings; use the fingers of both your hands to hold the filling in place as you roll with your thumbs. Secure the roll with the exposed flap of seaweed sheet. Once the roll is sealed, gently squeeze, pressing gently on the top and sides, to compress the roll slightly and seal the edge; if it doesn’t seal well, you can also wet the seaweed at the seam to help it adhere.
- Repeat with remaining seaweed sheets, rice, and fillings.
- Lightly brush rolls with sesame oil and lightly rub a sharp knife blade with it as well. Set 2 rolls next to each other, then slice them both into 1/2 inch thick pieces (it’s easier to cut through 2 rolls at once than it is to do one at a time).
Now with this recipe, you can enjoy your gimbaps at home just like how Jimin and Jungkook did! Or you can simply derail from the recipe and just add in 4 hams and some fishcakes, which was what Jimin did for his gimbap (and praised by Jungkook to be a ‘kids’ favourite) if you are feeling adventurous.
Kimchi Fried Rice
If we are talking about Korean recipes, there’s no way we can ever leave out Kimchi Fried Rice. It’s easy, it’s delicious… and it’s J-Hope’s favourite!
For this recipe that is tried, tested and improved by our own Outsider, you’ll need:
- ½ bowl of cut kimchi
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1 serving of cooked rice
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon of gochujang
- Remove 1 clove from your garlic and start chopping it into small dices.
- Scoop out enough kimchi to fill up ½ a bowl. Use a kitchen scissors to start cutting the kimchi up into smaller pieces.
- Next, using the back of the spoon, press against the now-smaller kimchi pieces to squeeze out the kimchi juice in the bowl. After squeezing most of the kimchi juice out, make sure to separate the kimchi from the kimchi juice by putting them into another bowl.
- Heat up your frying pan at medium heat. Once it is hot enough, put in a tablespoon of butter to grease and coat the pan. If you don’t have butter at home, cooking oil is fine. Butter is recommended to bring out the aroma of the fried rice.
- Put in your chopped garlic and stir for a while. Once the smell of the garlic is evident, put in your kimchi and start frying.
- Transfer your cooked rice over to your frying pan next and mix it well with the kimchi. Now is the time to pour in your kimchi juice too.
- Coat your rice evenly with the kimchi juice, and put in ½ teaspoon of gochujang.
- After mixing your rice well with the gochujang and kimchi juice, pour in 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and coat well.
- Turn off the heat.
- Optional: Fry a sunny side egg to pair with your kimchi fried rice and viola – enjoy your meal!
Next up on the list is Bibimbap – a healthy, wholesome rice dish that everyone loves (unless you dislike vegetables).
Are you waiting eagerly for the recipe like Do Bong Soon’s Min Min?
Before we jump into that, let’s talk about what we need first, as derived from Love and Lemon’s recipe:
- ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1¼ teaspoons sesame oil, divided
- 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 4 cups baby spinach
- ½ teaspoon tamari
- 2 cups cooked short-grain white rice
- 2 fried eggs, or 1 cup cubed baked tofu
- 4 ounces sautéed shiitake mushrooms, optional
- 1 tub of Gochujang sauce
- Sesame seeds
- Sea salt
- Kimchi, optional, for serving
- Chopped scallions, optional, for serving
- In a small bowl, toss the cucumber slices with ½ teaspoon rice vinegar, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Drop in the bean sprouts and cook for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
- Heat ½ teaspoon sesame oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until a little bit soft, and then remove from the pan and set aside. Heat ½ teaspoon more sesame oil in the skillet and add the spinach and tamari. Cook, tossing, for 30 seconds or until just wilted. Remove from the skillet and gently squeeze out any excess water from the spinach.
- Assemble the bowls with the rice, cucumber slices, bean sprouts, carrots, and spinach. Top with a fried egg or baked tofu. Add the mushrooms, if using. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle generously with the gochujang sauce. Serve with kimchi and scallions, if desired, and the remaining gochujang sauce on the side.
Wait! One step is still missing… that’s right – all you need to do now is just some feisty stirring and you can start gobbling down your masterchef creation.
Sundubu-jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew)
According to an article by ABS-CBN, the sundubu-jjigae in Itaewon Class may be the real star of the show, together with soju. Of course, who can deny that when sundubu-jjigae is always a go-to soup dish whenever you step into a Korean restaurant?
Wondering how you can make your own version of Itaewon Class’s sundubu-jjigae? We’ve got you covered! This recipe is done up by Klook, and here’s what you need:
- 1 tablespoon (increase depending on preferred level of spiciness) of Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) OR 2 tablespoons of Gochujang
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ¼ of White onion, diced
- 2 Green Onions (separate white and green parts)
- 3 anchovies in olive oil OR 1 ½ cup anchovy broth
- 4 oz. of your choice of beef or pork (optional)
- ½ cup of fermented kimchi, chopped into small pieces
- 1 ¼ cup of beef stock or anchovy broth
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 12 oz. of silken tofu
- 1 egg (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a Korean clay pot (or dutch oven) if available, add in your 1 tablespoon of gochugaru and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. If you do not have gochugaru, add in two to three tablespoons of gochujang depending on your preferred level of spiciness.
- Add in your 3 fillets of anchovies (soaked in olive oil) into the pot. If you do not have anchovies, skip this step and add in anchovy broth later into the recipe (step 7)
- Add in your 2 cloves of garlic, ¼ cup of diced white onion, and 2 green onions (only the white part), chopped.
- Mix everything together and put on the stove at medium heat for about 5-7 minutes.
- Once it starts to bubble a little bit, increase to medium to high heat and add in your 4 oz. of meat, cut into half-inch cubes/slices (beef or pork, up to you!) Cook the meat for 3-5 minutes until no longer pink. Adding meat is also optional, you can skip this step if you don’t intend to add meat into your sundubu-jjigae.
- Add in your ½ cup of fermented kimchi (chopped into bite-sized pieces).
- Add in 1 ¼ cup beef stock OR if you don’t have anchovies, use 1 ¼ cup anchovy stock instead.
- Season the broth with 1 teaspoon of salt and bring soup to boil.
- Add in 12 oz. of silken tofu; be careful not to break down the tofu too much! As it is very soft, it will easily melt into the soup. Break the tofu into minimum 2.5-inch cubes to still get those delicious tofu chunks.
- Bring the soup to a boil; let boil for 2-3 minutes. Add in green onions on top (optional).
- (Optional) While it’s boiling, crack an egg on top and season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve while slightly boiling.
If you’ve whipped this up for dinner, why not complement the soup with soju? The pairing is also known as a match made in heaven, together with angellic Suzy.
Tteokguk (Rice Cake Soup)
Still can’t get over the ending of Hotel Del Luna? That’s the same for us too. Sadly, all good things come to an end… but it doesn’t mean we can’t relieve our favourite scenes from the show. One of it has to be the scene in the tteokguk restaurant, where Chan-Sung claimed that he’d eat the rice cakes and Man-Wol’s earrings to “gain age” (it is believed that you’ll gain a year of age if you eat the rice cakes).
If you’d like to gain a year of age too, take a look at this recipe from Kimchimari. First, here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 lb rice cake slices/ovalettes for soup (떡국떡 Tteokguk tteok)
- 8 C anchovy stock (see my tips page for making anchovy stock)
- 2 green onions
- 1/2 sliced onion (optional)
- 1 julienned carrot (optional)
- 1 T chopped garlic
- 1 T gook kanjang (국간장)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper
As for garnish, you’ll require:
- toasted seaweed (gim 김) crumbles or strips
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp oil for frying
- 1/2 lb beef stew meat/brisket or ground beef (optional)
- seasoning for the beef:
- 4 tsp soy sauce (Kikkoman)
- 4 tsp sugar
- 1 T rice cooking wine
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Prepare the anchovy stock – see My Tips page (under Korean Ingredients menu) on how.
- Rinse and soak rice cake in cold water (especially if the rice cake is frozen) for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Whip 2 eggs in a bowl and season with some salt and pepper.
- Drizzle oil in a non-stick frying pan and heat on medium high heat. Pour egg into the pan and immediately lift the pan off the heat. Swirl egg around the pan to spread it evenly to make a thin crepe like pancake. Put the pan back onto the heat, lower the heat to medium and when the egg is almost cooked like the picture below, turn it over.
- When the egg is all cooked, take it out of the pan and let it cool on your cutting board. When it is cool enough to handle, fold it into overlapping thirds (tri-fold). This way, you can cut the strips more uniformly.
- If you are working with a piece of brisket or stew meat, slice the meat into thin strips and season it with soy sauce, sugar, mirin, garlic, pepper and sesame oil. Mix it well.
- You can also use ground beef instead – this will save you the extra work of slicing the beef. Cook the beef in a frying pan on medium high heat until fully cooked. No need to add any extra oil.
- Heat anchovy stock in a pot over medium high heat. Season soup by adding salt, gook kanjang and chopped garlic. You can also add sliced onions and carrots to the soup to add some color and additional nutrients. Bring to a boil.
- Drain rice cake slices and add to the boiling soup. Cover pot and cook for a few minutes. When rice cakes float to the top, they are now cooked and ready to eat. Turn off the heat, sprinkle some black pepper and add sliced green onions.
- Taste soup and adjust seasoning if needed. Add more salt if needed. Ladle rice cake soup into a bowl.
- Garnish with beef, egg, green onions and roasted seaweed. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and extra black pepper if you’d like and there you go!
We hope you’ve had a great time looking through all these hunger-inducing recipes. They should be pretty simple for you to whip up as long as you have all the necessary tools and ingredients. But, if you’re missing some in your kitchen, why not engage our community taskers to get them for you via the Outside app? It’s that easy!
Branches of Korean supermarkets to get Korean food and ingredients:
Some of the items (such as cooking commodities) can be found in NTUC outlets too.
Outside is a community-tasking app that connects users to help each other out for their daily inconveniences. Since its launch in 2017, the app has gained recognition for its work through media features and competitions, where it has won multiple awards. Currently, the app boasts over 10,000 users and is officially supported by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)’s #SGUnited and Majurity Trust’s #SGStrong.