Sunday, 19 June 2016

A RIGHT ROYAL KOREAN FEAST

Friends coming over? No clue what to prepare food wise? So often, if friends or family are popping over for a feast or dinner party, it's so easy to stick to classics such as a Chilli Con Carne or Spag Bol, both of which are delicious in their own right, but don't push the boat out for creating a scrumptious feast that your guests have potentially never eaten.


As you're probably aware, street food has kicked-off over the last five years, especially in London, with more and more restaurants adopting a shabby chic vibe and a street food style menu. For that - we have to thank our overseas counterparts - with Asian countries in particular doing street food serious well.

For this meal, we're heading to Korea. I recently tried Bao buns from Yum Bun at a street food market and it was love at first bite. Pillow soft steams buns hug gloriously rich slow cooked meat (usually pork belly) covered in sauce and extra morsels (spring onions, peanuts, crispy onions).

For my Korean feast, the Bao bun or 'Hirata' bun takes centre stage. I've made these before myself and it takes a lot of effort, so instead, buy them from your local Chinese supermarket! You also need a steamer to cook them in, authentic bamboo steamers can be purchased from Ebay for about £10. Rather than pork belly, we're using slow cooked pork shoulder, which falls apart after 6-8 hours of cooking and lots of extras to make your buns super special. Chicken is on offer too, with the quickest marinade alongside home-made pickles and a delicious take on Nasi Goreng, using sweet potato noodles and friend crispy eggs.

It's easier than you think, I promise! Give it a go! The quantities below will be suitable for between 4-6 people to feast on.

FOR THE PORK 




Ingredients:
- 5kg pork shoulder 
- 400ml light soy sauce 
2 tbsp sesame oil
- 100 ml light soy sauce 
- 3 tbsp runny honey 
- 2 star anise 
- 1 cinnamon stick 
- 2 tbsp five space
- 300 ml chicken stock 

Method: 

- Place your pork into a slow cooker or casserole dish.
- Coat the pork in the honey and then the five spice. 
- Add the rest of the liquid ingredients and pop in the star anise and cinnamon
- The pork needs to be covered in liquid, if it isn't, add enough water to just cover the meat. 
- Cook in the oven for 5-7 hours at 130-140 degrees Celsius, depending on how hot your oven is. When the meat is ready, it will literally fall apart when a fork is pressed to it. Pull all the meet apart and drizzle some of the cooking liquor over it to keep it moist and most importantly, delicious. 

FOR THE CHICKEN 




Ingredients:
- 3 to 4 breasts depending on number of guests
- 4 tbsp onion granules 
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp runny honey 
-100 ml soy sauce 

Method:
-  Place the chicken in a freezer bag  and cover with a tea towel. Bash with a rolling pin to flatten and tenderise the meat. 
- Add all the ingredients to the bag and mix together to ensure the chicken is completely coated. 
- Mix together so the chicken is coated cook in an over at 180 degrees celcius for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. 
- Served chopped up finely, to fit into the buns well. 



FOR THE NOODLES 

Sweet potato noodles are actually made from the sweet potato starch. They have a very smooth texture and see through appearance. Buy them online or from your local Chinese supermarket. If you can't get hold of them, any fine noodles work well. 




Ingredients:
- 3 nests of noodles
- 100ml chicken stock
- 4 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
 - 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
-1 egg per person
- Siracha sauce (Korean chilli sauce)


- Cook your noodles for five minutes in boiling water. When soft, place in a bowl of cold water to remove excess starch.
- When cool, add all of the ingredients to the noodles, cover and let stand.
- Just before you serve your feast, the eggs need to be cooked. For that, heat some sesame oil in a pan, and crack in one egg at a time. They need to be cooked quickly, but on a hot heat to ensure that they become crispy but maintain a runny yolk.
- pour your noodles into a dish, placing the eggs on top. Drizzle over some chilli sauce and a sprinkle of coriander before serving.

FOR THE PICKLES 





Ingredients:
- Half a cucumber, chopped finely into half moon shapes
- One red onion, finely sliced
- Rice vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Sugar

Method:
- Creating home made pickles could not be easier! Place your vegetables into separate bowls. Onto each add 3 tbsp on vinegar.
- for the onions, add 1 tsp of sugar and 2 tsp of sugar to the cucumber.
- Finally add 1 tsp of sesame oil to each and let stand for around an hour. They are then ready!

FOR THE BUNS 
- Place your buns into a steamer for around 10 minutes.
- Serve when they are warm and fluffy!

EXTRA SERVING OPTIONS 





- I like to serve chopped spring onion, beansprouts and peanuts so that people can build their own buns alongside the pickles.

- Its also great to serve a sauce of mayonnaise mixed with Sriracha sauce and peanut butter mixed with soy sauce.

Give this hands on feast a go over the party season. I know there seems to be a lot of reading above, but honestly it is so worth it. The tastes are flavorsome, rich and delicious and there is nothing better than letting people build up their own meals, to suit their own taste buds. 







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