Japchae (Korean Noodle)

Allie had been a good good friend of mine. Having stayed in Vancouver for a few years, she will be returning to Korea at end of this year. Before leaving, she invited Helen and I to her house for a authentic Korean homemade dinner. She showed us how to make Japchae, a very popular Korean noodle dish. The recipe is at the bottom of this blog entry.


Allie also served some black rice which her husband brought all the way from Korea during his last visit. I have never see or heard of black rice until now. It tastes the same as the normal rice, looks different (of course) but have a rougher texture. It is known to have high nutritional value.


Allie also made a Seaweed Tofu Beef Soup. Allie told us that this is very popular among Korean ladies. It did not occur to me to ask her then why it is popular among ladies only. Any Korean reader here knows why?


She also prepared an Apple, Tomato, Romaine and Chicken Salad. She used Balsamic Vinegar as dressing. The chicken used is roasted chicken. I like this, more because of the apples used in it.


Lastly Allie prepared some “Thousand Year Eggs”. This is not Korean but Chinese.


I love the Japchae the most. It is kind of similar to the Chinese Dry Glass Noodle except that it uses a sweet sauce. Korean dishes commonly uses corn syrup and sesame seed oil which gives that sweetness in the dishes. There is quite a bit of steps in making this but it is worth the work. Try it out.

Despite her busy schedule preparing for the move home, she found the time to share this meal with us. I am going to miss having her around the neighborhood.

Here is the recipe for making Japchae.


  • Potato noodle, boiled for about 6 minutes and rinse in running cold water
  • Rice cake, boiled and rinsed in running cold water
  • Green, Red and Yellow sweet peppers, thinly sliced
  • Shiitake mushroom, thinly sliced
  • Beef, thinly sliced
  • Spinach, blanched
  • Seasonings include soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking syrup and brown sugar

Please click on the link below for the instructions.

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Middle Eastern Flavour Pork, Chickpea and Couscous Casserole

Andrea made this Middle Eastern Pork, Chickpea and Couscous Casserole as her second dish in the South Arm Community Kitchen.

This is a one-pot party dish which features easy-to-use couscous and nutrient-packed chickpeas. This dish is highlighted by the rich flavours of cumin, coriander and zesty orange.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb lean boneless pork loin or pork tenderloin, cut in thin strips
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 large sweet green or red pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, cut in wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (19oz/540ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1 piece of leek, cut in thin strips
  • 1 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander or parsley


Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Vegetable Pancake

Minoo made a Vegetable Pancake in her cooking class at the Caring Place. If you have problems getting your kids to eat vegetables, like mine, the Vegetable Pancake is a good way to get them to eat it. This pancake is crispy which somehow camouflages the vegetables in it.


The tuna topping gives the Vegetable Pancake an extra edge. I think it’s a brilliant idea Minoo had of the tuna topping. I can imagine how rather ho-hum this would be without this extra topping.


  • 2 potatoes peeled
  • 1 onion peeled
  • 2 carrots peeled
  • 1 cup Biscuit or pancake flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry or fresh herbs like rosemary, thymes, sage (optional)
  • oil for frying


  • Mix a can of fish (salmon/tuna/sardines) with some mayonnaise and green onions (optional)
  • Crush a can of beans (chickpea/navy beans/kidney beans) and add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1-2 teaspoons of chopped garlic


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Yam with Cheese and Bacon Bits

I’m back. :-)

Lorna cooked up a storm in the South Arm Community Centre cooking class. We used to only make a dish or two during the classes. This time she made a record breaking four dishes. I like this because it gives me more materials to blog about! When we first started our blog, we always mulled over what we want to blog for the next day but today, we had almost one month worth of blog postings waiting to be posted. So, Ben had been insisting that we release more blog entries every day but no-can-do!

I digressed, the dishes prepared were:

  • Banana Shrimp Cake
  • Fried Fish Fillet with Guava and Fermented Soy Beans
  • Arctic Surf Clams, and
  • Yam with Cheese and Bacon Bits.

Just the names alone sounds so appetizing, doesn’t it? Well, it sounds good, it looks better and let me tell you, it tastes great!


We had a mini buffet after the cooking class. All the dishes were so absolutely yummy. I was so full that I had to skip my dinner that day.


The first dish is very simple and quick to make — it is called Yam with Cheese and Bacon Bits. Lorna told us that she makes this as breakfast for her family.

The whole yam is microwaved until it is soft and is then top with cheese and bacon bits. If you have more time, the yam can be baked in the oven until it caramelized and becomes very sweet.


I will post the recipes for the rest of the cooking Lorna demonstrated over the next few days. Lorna, thanks for sharing such great recipes. We surely learned a lot today.

Korean Sushi Rice

Allie’s husband, Duke came over from Korea for a two weeks vacation this summer. As he always does, he brought over lots of goodies from Korea. Allie gave us some Korean seaweeds and snacks. Allie, Duke, thanks for the stuff. We always enjoyed getting this from you and learning more about the Korean culture first hand.

Korean seaweed is somewhat different from those Japanese types which are commonly found in the groceries stores here. This one is seasoned and more flavourful with a tinge of salt.


Last week, I made a simple lunch of Korean Sushi for Arkensen and Nanzaro. The boys can eat gobs and gobs of sushi. I cooked some Japanese short grain rice (sushi rice) according to the package instructions. I then seasoned the rice with some seasoned rice vinegar. Simple and fast.

I fried a few very thin omelette and cut them into small pieces. The seaweed came in large piece and I just cut them into two inches squares.


Allie had showed us how to eat with the Korean seaweed a few months ago. You put some rice on the seaweed and top it with the omelette or any other meat like Korean beef, etc and eat it just like that. Yup, you use your hands.


Potato Puffs

Zee came to my kitchen to show me how to make a simplified version of samosas. I am going to call it Potato Puffs. We only use potatoes as filings but you can make it with other filings like chicken, beef, fish, etc.

The Potato Puffs is crispy on the outside and the potato filing is soft and of the right spiciness. My family loves it, especially Arkensen. He ate the most of it.

It’s kind of like the curry puffs we find in Malaysia. The difference is that the curry puff in Malaysia is deep fried while the Potato Puffs is oven baked which is more healthy.



  • 1 box of puff pastry from the frozen section of the groceries stores where you find pie crust, etc
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 piece cinnamon stick
  • 3 black cloves
  • 6 whole peppers
  • 2 white cardamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley and green chilie paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • chilie powder to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crush tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 egg


Click on the link below for instructions.

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Shao-Zi Noodles

Shao-Zi Noodles is the second dish which Julie showed us in last week’s cooking club meeting. Julie prepared the dough ahead for making the noodles. She told us she used 4 cups of flour with 1.5 cups of water and some salt (probably 1 teaspoon) to make the dough for the noodle.

The star of this dish is the meat sauce. Julie told us that the meat sauce can be made in big batch and store in the refrigerator for a few days. The noodle dish can be prepared easily using the prepared meat sauce.



  • 1 lb Lean ground pork
  • 1 lb spiced bean curd, diced in small pieces.
  • sweet bean sauce
  • soybean paste
  • hot bean paste
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • sugar
  • corn starch
  • for decoration, thinly sliced carrot, cucumber or celery


Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice

Today’s Community Kitchen cooking class was led by Wonnie. Although Wonnie is a quiet and unassuming person but she led the class well today.

Wonnie made two dishes today. The first dish is Tofu pudding. I had featured the Tofu Pudding recipe in my blog sometime ago and so I would not describe Wonnie’s recipe. Click here for the tofu pudding recipe.

Now, the second dish that Wonnie made was Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice.


The Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice is very appetizing with a mild tanginess and spiciness from the kimchee. We all enjoyed it very much.


  • 4 cups cooked rice, preferably overnight rice
  • 100g kimchee, shredded
  • 100g minced pork
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • dried seaweed shreds


  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon oil


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Hong Kong Style Fried Rice

Vannessa, the leader of the South Arm Community Centre cooking club, shared with us two recipes this week. Vannessa is originally from Hong Kong. She shared with us Hong Kong Style Fried Rice and a Bake Salmon recipe.

This is the recipe for the Hong Kong Style Fried Rice. Fried rice originates from China and is made typically from cold leftover rice and leftover ingredients. Most regions in China has their own way in making fried rice with the most well known from Fujian and Yanhzhou.



  • 3 cups of rice, cooked and left overnight in the refrigerator
  • 5 eggs
  • a can of pineapple, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup of green peas, blanched in boiling water
  • 1/2 lb BBQ pork, cut into bite size pieces
  • Soy sauce and salt to taste



Click on the link below for Cooking Instructions.

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