Korean Food - Sous Chef

Exploring Korean Food with Sous Chef

I was recently offered the opportunity to review a Korean Food Pack put together by Sous Chef, an online cooking shop with a wide variety of food and cookery equipment for food lovers. It is a place for cooks and chefs at any level to buy ingredients, equipment, tableware and gifts inspired by leading restaurants from around the world and international food. In my Korean food pack I received white sesame seeds, sesame oil, vermicilli noodles, Kimchi and a beautiful crafted plate.

Korean food recipe kit/food pack  - sous chef

One of the first things I couldn’t wait to sample was the kimchi which I opened pretty much straight away and ate some as a snack – which I know isn’t customary but I could not resist, I absolutely love it. Kimchi is a spicy and pungent condiment made from fermented cabbage and radises and seasoned with garlic, ginger and chillies. It is Korea’s national dish and can be made at home but obviously receiving it ready made saves a lot of time. It is sharp and is most commonly eating alongside main meals but I just enjoy the sharp, rich taste so much that I eat it as a snack like a salad.

Kimchi - Korean Food - Sous Chef
Kimchi

I found a really easy to follow recipe of Japchae (stir-fry Korean glass noodles) and made this dish for the first time using the vermicelli noodles in the food pack sent. For my first attempt they came out really well and tasted absolutely delicious – perfectly chewy without being mushy or flavourless. What I particularly liked was the fact that because I used these authentic ingredients the dish itself really did taste special, like something I would expect to be served in a take-away or restaurant.

Japchae (stir-fry Korean glass noodles)

*I received this pack as a gift to review – no financial payment was received for this review.

4 Food Shows To Watch on Netflix

4 Delicious Food Shows To Watch on Netflix

2020 has been a year of unexpected circumstances one of the biggest being the global pandemic which has led to self-isolation and restricted movement. Self-isolation means that many of us will be finding new ways to re-ignite our love for food and one of the ways that remains fail-proof is through TV. For years I’ve watched shows like Come Dine with Me and Masterchef (although not as frequently as I used to) and often joked about how food related shows seems to remain consistent through the ages. Netflix has opened up a whole new world of food shows that not only allow us to travel around the world and introduce us to new cuisines, but also give new food talent an opportunity to shine. Here are just a few of the food shows that I had watched and enjoyed on Netflix before and during our current time of uncertainty.

Flavorful Origins – a food documentary series which offers an up close and personal look at Chinese cuisine. The episodes rarely last longer than 12-15 minutes and you’ll never see Chinese cuisine in the same way after watching this.

The Chef’s Line – a cooking competition in which we see amateur home cooks compete against restaurants. Each day they have to prepare a dish based on a global cuisine of the week and are judged by a team of critics. I enjoyed this although was disappointed with Africa week, every other cuisine was linked to a specific country, Africa week missed a chance to focus on the food from a specific African country or at least a specific region.

The Final Table – another cooking competition in which some of the world’s best chefs compete in pairs to prepare cuisine from around the world and are judged by celebrity judges from each nation as well as top chefs. It was a good show although again African and Caribbean cuisine was not really given any attention aside from Jamaican Born Chef Collin Brown’s fusion dishes. One thing one notices upon watching food shows is how little attention African and Caribbean food is given in some of the competitive food shows.

Restaurants on the edge – this is a good show to dip in and out of; it follows 3 experts (designer, chef and restaurateur) as they travel around the world to help improve restaurants that are struggling. Although it’s not a new concept (Gordon Ramsay is the master of this concept) it was nice to see the global aspect. I wish there had been more focus on the business side of things; marketing, PR and customer services. I liked the St Lucia and Costa Rica episodes in particular.

There are many more shows on Netflix which you can either binge watch or simply dip in and out of – these are just a few. Please do leave your own recommendations in the comments section below and take care.

You Don’t Have To Be a Vegan To Enjoy Veganuary

January is now unofficially “Veganuary” and it is a great opportunity to put plant-based food in the spotlight. The Gate Restaurant Group, which has been at the forefront of plant-based food for 30 years, is celebrating with a very special vegan menu devised for the occasion by celebrity chef Ken Hom, OBE. Although this will obviously attract vegan diners, you definitely don’t have to be a vegan to try this menu.

Ken Hom, the man who showed the British how to cook Asian food and use a wok, and one of the most respected and celebrated TV chefs of all time, has developed a three-course menu with nine dishes to choose from, especially for The Gate. It will be launched at the group’s latest restaurant opening in St Johns Wood on Sunday 26 January 2020 and will be available for diners throughout January and February. 

Chinese cuisine, and most Asian cuisines, naturally lend themselves to vegan recipes, where ingredients such as grains, vegetables, tofu, nuts, noodles are used extensively every day by home cooks and restaurant chefs alike. Growing up in Chicago, we didn’t have much money, meat was rarely seen, and my mother used to send me to school with a flask of hot rice, which other kids always wanted to get a taste of,  as it was so different from their burgers. Her food was delicious and I still cook many of her recipes, which were mainly vegan.  The synergy with my food and that of The Gate Restaurants was obvious, and I have used my Chinese twists in the dishes I have created’. – Ken Hom OBE

Priced at £35 for three courses, the Ken Hom Vegan Menu includes starters such as Crackling Rice Paper Asparagus RollsDaoist Braised Chinese Mushroom Beancurd Casserole, Stir-Fried Cucumbers with Hot Spices; mains of  Buddhist CasseroleChinese Ratatouille with Cornmeal-Spring Onion-Ginger Waffles, Curried Spring Rolls; and desserts of Warm Mango Compote with Basil and Vegan Vanilla Ice CreamDeep Fried Plant Milk served with Caramelized Walnuts and Warm Banana Compote in Plum Wine with Candied Ginger. The menu will be available in all four Gate restaurants in London until the end of February 2020.    

Michael Daniel, founder and chairman of The Gate Restaurants Group, says: ‘As a group which has been operating for 30 years at the leading edge of the vegan movement, we continuously look at improving our sustainability in everything we do, from the materials we use to the food we serve. It is therefore such an honour to welcome chef Ken Hom to our recently opened restaurant in St John’s Wood and share his incredible knowledge of food which is not only delicious but also highly sustainable. His recipes are delectable and will be warmly welcomed by our guests’.

The new Gate Restaurant: The Gate in St John’s Wood, 87 Allitsen Road, London NW8 7AS thegaterestaurants.com