When you travel to Korea, the first step for you to immerse yourself in the Korean culture is to experience the authentic taste of halal Korean food. Food and travel are like planes and airports. They go together side by side. Food is always the highlight in most of our travel journey. Eating what the locals eat helps us to understand a bit of the local culture.
In this blog, we will be sharing on the most important ingredient used in most of Korean cooking called Gochujang aka Korean Red Pepper Paste. So what exactly is Gochujang? It is basically a red pepper/chilli paste that is thick, savoury, spicy and pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chillies, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt. In some Gochujang, alcohol is added as preservative.
Gochujang can be used for marinating meat like Korean bulgogi, stirred into dipping sauces, or used for stews or soups. There is no halal Gochujang sold in Singapore's supermarkets. However, we are lucky as there are halal Korean restaurants such as Seoul Garden, Muk-bang Korean Restaurant and many more in Singapore where you can enjoy an array of Korean food.
But if you are feeling a bit adventurous and want to experience cooking Korean food yourself, we will share with you three simple dishes to make with Halal Gochujang which is imported from Malaysia (Follow our Facebook or Instagram for any pre-order updates on Halal Gochujang) and other halal ingredients that are readily available in stores.
The recipes provided below have been tried, tested and changed to suit our taste. Feel free to change the recipe accordingly to suit your taste. 🙂
Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew) - Serve 2 - 3
- 2 cups packed bite size of kimchi (you can find halal ones at NTUC)
- 4 ounces beef
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of Korean red pepper paste (gochujang) - adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup juice from kimchi (if available)
- 2 cups of beef / chicken / anchovy stock (we usually use 1 chicken stock cube)
- 6 ounces tofu
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the beef, kimchi and tofu into bite sizes.
- In a pot, cook the kimchi, beef, garlic and gochujang with medium high heat until kimchi is softened and the beef cooks through for about 10 minutes. Add kimchi juice and stock (or water with 1 stock cube). Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 20 minutes. Add more stock if necessary.
- Add the tofu. Salt and pepper to taste. Boil until the tofu is cooked through for about 5 minutes. Serve while bubbling over the heat.
Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake) - Serve 2 - 3
- 3/4 packet of tteokbokki rice cakes (you can find halal rice cakes at NTUC)
- Fish cake (up to you)
- 3 cups anchovy / chicken / beef broth (or water with 1 stock cube)
- 3 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup (or 1 more tablespoon sugar)
- Soak rice cake for about 20 minutes if hardened or refrigerated. Slice the fish cake into bite sizes.
- Add the stock to a large pan. Stir in the red pepper paste, soy sauce, sugar and corn syrup. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sauce ingredients.
- Add the rice cakes. Boil until the rice cakes become very soft and the sauce is thickened for about 8 - 10 minutes. Stir frequently so that the rice cakes do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the fish cakes. Continue to boil and stir constantly for an additional 4 - 6 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve immediately.
Yangnyeom Chicken (Spicy Fried Chicken) - Serve 2 - 3
For the Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken (about 16 drumlettes and wings)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- A pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 cup potato (or corn) starch (or deep-frying mix)
- oil for frying (about 5 to 6 cups)
Usually we just get CP Food Service frozen chicken wings which you can get at many halal supermarkets or NTUC and just fry them.
For the Sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 - 3 tablespoons hot sauce (can use halal Sriracha sauce) - add if you want them to be spicy
- 4 tablespoons chilli sauce / tomato sauce - if you want spicy (chilli sauce) or tangy (tomato sauce)
- 2 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Fry the chicken to crispy golden brown colour.
- Heat a pan over medium low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and then the mixture of soy sauce, hot sauce, chilli sauce, red pepper paste, sugar and sesame oil. Stir well. Simmer until it thickens slightly for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick.
- Add the chicken and stir well until the chicken drumlettes and wings are evenly coated. Serve while it's hot.
Below are some of the kimchi / rice cakes that we recommended to use for the above dishes:
Bibigo Kimchi (Sliced Kimchi) - available at any major NTUC
Bibigo Radish Kimchi (Sliced Radish Kimchi) - available at any major NTUC
Chongga Rice Cake (Stick Type) - available at any major NTUC
Chongga Rice Cake (Sliced Type) - available at any major NTUC
Try the recipes out and let us know! We hope that this blog will help you out in your cooking. Till then... 🙂