Thursday, January 31, 2008


Korea's favourite food - KIMCHEE - is not simply a side dish. Made by pickling vegetables and other foods, adding seasonings and allowing the mixture to mature, it is the country's national dish.

The Kimchee recipes are divided into WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN and YEAR-ROUND KIMCHEES, because traditionally the dishes were prepared at particular times of the year. But today, with increased availability of products, most of these dishes may be made year round.
There are certain ground rules that must be followed :
Never use a reactive metal container to store the kimchee; stainless steel will suffice, but porcelain is best.
If using plastic containers for storage, the chili redness will stain permanently.
Store kimchee in a cool dark spot (the back of a cool kitchen cupboard is a good place). Better still, keep in the fridge.
Always cover the container and seal well before allowing the fermentation processes to begin.
The recipes are offered in as traditional a manner as is possible, so beware of the variant in temperature. If making kimchee in the tropics or in a Mediterranean climate, you will need to adjust temperature controls!
The specified amounts of chili and chili powders err on the side of generous should adjust according to personal taste.
Many of the recipes use rice porridge, when making rice porridge, use the recipe for 1 quantity (1/2 cup or 125ml) dissolve 1 tablespoon rice flour in 3/4cup water; bring to the boil, and cool.

Recipes for the more tobust and pungent kimchees can be found here. These flavours help to cut across the richness and heartiness of heavy winter fare such as slow-cooked casseroles and hotpots, noodle soup and grilled meats. These kimchees also make use of fresh,salted or preserved seafood – a virtue born of necessity due to the harsh Korean winters.

These recipes make use of spring bounty such as young vine leaves, bamboo shoots, burdock and fresh watercress as they find their way to the markets. The run is towards a slightly milder kimchee (which are no less flavoursome). Most spring kimchees go well as a condiment with meat or seafood dishes.

Soupier, lighter and crunchier kimchees. The dishes are less fermented than those in autumn and winter, and are ideal to serve as side salads to main courses or with cold noodles. Highlights of the season include the glorious lotus root, cucumber, young grape leaves, and perilla leaves.

The radish and cabbage, coupled with the other indispensables such as chili, garlic and fish paste, really come into their own in colder month kimchees. The recipes would have traditionally been made at harvest time, when the frosts are just settling in, and the last of the crops pulled out of the ground. The chewy texture of the kimchee and the heat from the red paste are appetite-enhancing.

Think of the kimchee featured in this chapter as starter kimchee, if you like. They are short-term kimchee, and not meant for long-term storage or preservation. Most are ideal to serve as a salad with noodles, or as a nibbly with drinks, in the style of the Italian antipasto. The quantities of chili and chili powder are generous, so go easy at the start until you ascertain your chili heat tolerance.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


We know several products of spicy sauces, such as :

In general, all the sauces above have similarities in :
- Aroma : all these sauces are spicy or extremely hot
- Buying/storing : All these sauces have a best-befor date. Make note of it and always keep them in the refridgerator.
- Tips for cooking: If you want to enhance dishes with these spicy sauces, add the sauces only after cooking or season with all these sauces individually at the table. All these sauces contain salt. Therefore, more salt is probably unnecessary.


History : in 1835, Lord Sandys placed an order to druggists, John Lea and William Perrins, to develop a sauce similar to the sauces which he enjoyed during his stay in India. When the druggists finished their sauces, they were not satisfied with the result, but forgot to get rid of the product. The discarded sauce lay in a barrel in a cellar for about 2 years until, by chance, they found it. Before they poured out the nostrum, they tasted the dark brown liquid and discovered, to their surprise, that it tasted slightly like spiced wine. Worcestershire sauce became a real hit shortly after.
Manufacturing method: Today Worcestershire sauce is not only manufactured by Lea & Perrins. The ingredients and the manufacturing method are similar, but not identical, in all Worcestershire sauces. The dark English spice is prepared mainly from tamarind, chili, anchovies, malt vinegar, molasses, onion, garlic, sugar and number of spices. Every producer keeps his formula secret. In order to produce a good flavor, the ingredients must be stored in wooden barrels for 3 years. During this period, the products matures and develops a spicy and sweetish aroma similar to sherry.
Use : Worcestershire sauce is used to improve the taste of classic cuisine, particularly light sauces, ragouts, fish and egg dishes. A dash of Worcestershire sauce gives a Bloody Mary cocktail its proper taste. It is suitable for marinating grilled meat.


History : In 1887, Julyus Maggie, a Swiss from Kempttal, developed Maggi spice. A German branch was established in “Gutterli-Husli” in Singen in very same year. Originally, Julyus Maggi did not intend to produce a spicy sauce, but he spotted a magnificent business opportunity. Therefore, he started experimenting with legumes in 1882. In 1884, he introduced the first legume flour into the market and, 3 years later, a spice named after him. Although originally a product for poor people, you can find it in almost every German household, from multi-millionaires to the poor.
Manufacturing method: The Maggi liquid spice consists of vegetables proteins, water, salt, aroma, glutamate and yeast extract. The vegetable protein decomposes during a fermentation process comparable with beer brewing, but no alcohol is produced. The spice matures for about 3-4 months in tanks, during which time it develops its characteristic aroma.
Use: Maggi is a universal spice and goes well with all piquant dishes. It is great for livening up any insipid, lifeless dish.


History: in 1899, a brown sauce called HP sauce was developed. The abbreviation “H.P” stands for “House of Parliament”. The gastons developed the formula. Mr. Garton first sold homemade sauce in his vegetable store in Nottingham before selling his formula to the producer of HP sauce.
Manufacturing Method: HP sauce consists of a mix of malt vinegar, molasses, spirit vinegar, sugar, dates, tamarind, soy sauce, spices and salt. All the ingredients are mixed together and their combination result in the classic aroma of HP sauce. It contains no additives and is a purely vegetarian product.
Use: HP sauces are classic grill sauces used as table spices in every good steakhouse and they complement meat and fish dishes as well as substantial stews.


History: Ketchup, the red, thick, piquant and spicy sauce, is definitely the first sauce that children in the West encounter. It is not absolutely clear who discovered ketchup British sailor brought ‘ketsiap’ or ‘kechap’ from faraway Malaysia. The original sauce was a typical Asian fish sauce prepared from fermented fish, shells and spices. Richard Brigg, an English cook, is said to be the first person to come up with the idea to substitute the fish with tomatoes in 1792. Since then there has been tomato ketchup and, naturally, every company keeps its formula secret.
Manufacturing Method: The basis of ketchup is tomato mixed with vinegar, sugar and spices like paprika, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, onion and nutmeg. Even though each company has its own formula, tomato ketchup must contain at least 7 percent tomatoes. Besides classic tomato ketchup, there are a number of variants. The most popular one is light brownish-yellow curry ketchup, but onion ketchup and Schaschlik ketchup can be found as well.
Use: Ketchup was actually developed as a grill sauce as well. However, it is used as a universal spice with pasta, eggs, potatoes and all savory dishes.


History: We do not know for certain whether salsa was invented in Spain, South America or Mexico. However, one thing is sure; Spanish conquerors enjoy the spicy sauces of the Indians and a sauce survived that is used mainly in Latin America cuisines even today.
Manufacturing Method: Salsa is prepared from a mix tomatoes, tomatillos, chili, onion, garlic, and spices. In any case, the original salsa included oregano, vinegar and oil as well. There are various degrees of piquancy ranging from ‘hot’ or ‘medium’ to ‘mild. The piquancy depends on the chili content.
Use: Salsa is the most piquant spicy sauce and is served with meat and fish dishes in Latin American cuisines.

Monday, January 28, 2008


While there are more than 150 varieties of pasta, we have featured the most popular shapes, such as spaghetti, macaroni, fettuccine, shells, linguine, lasagna, etc. with step by step directions, you will discover how pasta makes a great addition to soups, salads, casseroles, and skillet dishes. Pasta also makes a fantastic main course when topped with savory sauces.

Dry Pasta:
For every pound of dry pasta, bring 4-6 liters of water to a full, rolling boil. Add 2 teaspoon (5ml) salt, and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Gradually add pasta, allowing water to return to a boil The water helps circulate the pasta so that it cooks evenly. Stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking. Begin testing for doneness at the minimum recommended time given on the package directions. Pasta should be “al dente” – tender, yet firm, not mushy. Immediately drain pasta to prevent overcooking. For best result, toss the pasta with sauce immediately after draining. If the sauce is not ready, toss the pasta with some butter or oil to prevent it from sticking. Store dry uncooked pasta in a cool dry place.

Fresh Pasta
Homemade pasta takes less time to cook than dry pasta. Cook fresh pasta in the same manner as dry, except begin testing for doneness after 2 minutes. Fresh pasta will last several weeks in the refrigerator or it can be frozen for up to one month.

Pasta machine
Pasta machines with hand-turned rollers are very useful in kneading and rolling pasta dough. Cutting attachment (fettucine and angel hair are usually included) help to cut pasta dough, however the pasta usually lacks the resilience of hand-worked dough and the machines are more expensive.

Paring knife:
A sharp knife with a thin 3 or 4 inch (7.5 or 10 cm) long blade used for peeling and slicing fruits and vegetables and cutting or chopping herbs.

Utility knife:
A sharp knife with a thin 6-8 inch (15-20 cm) long blade. It is used for the same purpose as a paring knife, but the longer blade can provide better leverage.

Chef’s knife:

a sharp knife with a wide 6-10 inch (15-25cm) long blade. It is used for chopping and slicing large, tick items.

- Plan on preparing an extra batch of your favorite pasta soup or sauce. Pour into serving size freezer containers and freeze. Reheat for a last minute dinner or quick lunch.
- Lasagna, manicotti and stuffed shells are perfect dishes to prepare and freeze for another time. Try freezing casseroles in single-serving portions for days when quick meals are necessary. Heat to serving temperature in the microwave or conventional oven.
- When cooking, add extra pasta to the boiling water so that you will have leftovers. If you like, toss the left over pasta with a little olive oil to help prevent sticking. Use plain leftover pasta as a base or extender for salads, soups, side dishes and casseroles. Simply store the leftover pasta in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days. Freshen the pasta by rinsing with hot or cold water, depending on how you plan to use it. Pasta can also be frozen and then reheated in boiling water or microwave for a fresh-cooked texture and taste.
- Combine leftover cooked meats, poultry, fish and vegetables with your favorite pasta shape and a simple sauce for a fast new meal.
- One cup of uncooked macaroni type pasta will yield 2 cups (500ml) cooked pasta.

For more exciting recipes, see at PASTA RECIPES


makes 6 side-dish servings

3 large bell peppers (1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green or combination)
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
1 small eggplant (3/4 pound/335 g) unpeeled, cut into 1/2inch cubes
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) sliced fresh mushrooms
½ teaspoon (2 ml) each dried basil and oregano leaves, crushed
½ teaspoon (2ml) salt
Dash ground black pepper
Dash ground red pepper
1 zucchini, quartered and cut into ½ inch (1.5 cm) chunks
Plum tomato slices and fresh basil leaves for garnish


1 .Cut bell pepper (including stem) in half lengthwise.
2. Scrape out seeds and membrane with spoon, being careful not to cut through shell. Rinse out pepper halves under running water; drain.
3. To steam pepper halves, place steamer basket in large saucepan or stockpot; add 1 inch (2.5cm) of water. (water should not touch bottom of basket). Place pepper halves, cut sides up., in steamer basket; cover. Bring to a boil; steam 5 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender. Add water, as necessary, to prevent pan from boiling dry. Plunge pepper halves into ice water to stop cooking. Place pepper halves in 13x9-inch (32.5x22.5 cm) baking dish.
4. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook eggplant and onion in hot oil 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, tomato, mushroom, basil, oregano, salt, ground black pepper and ground red pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini; simmer 5 minutes more or until mixture thickens slightly.
5. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Spoon mixture evenly into pepper halves. Bake 15 minutes or until heated through. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.


Aroma : the taste of soy sauces is salty, spicy and depending on type, slightly sweet.
Use: Soy sauce is the most important flavoring in Asian cuisine. It goes well with meat, fish, poultry, and vegetarian dishes. In particular, it is suitable for marinating tofu, spicing sauces and soups and as a seasoning for the table. Soy sauce is a dip for sushi.
Buying/storing : Soy sauce is available in supermarkets, Asian specialty stores or in delicatessens. It is available bottled. One cup bottles are preferable because soy sauce loses its aroma if store open for a long time. Although storing the product in open bottles at room temperature does not harm the product, it is better to store soy sauce in the refridgerator.

Tips for cooking : You can season both cold and hot dishes with soy sauce. Do not underestimate the salt content in soy sauce. Adding additional salt is usually not necessary.

There are 2 kinds of soy beans sauces :
- Chinese soy sauce : The original Chinese soy sauce is prepared purely from soy beans. There are two types: dark and light. The dark sauce can be store longer that the light sauce and its taste is milder.
- Japanese Soy sauce : It is also called ‘shoyu’ and was probably developed 1,000 years later than the Chinese soy sauce. It consistc of only soy beans and wheat. In Japan, thera are two types of soy sauce : light and dark. The light soy sauce is saltier but milder in taste. You cannot store it very long and Amazake, a sweet liquid, is added to it during the fermentation process.


- Bean sauce : Bean sauce is a dark, thick sauce popular mainly in northern and wester China and it contains fermented soy beans. There are two variations : mild and spicy variant, depending on the different spice and salt contents.
- Kecap Bango : Kecap Bango is an Indonesian sauce enhance with spices, herbs and sugar. You can distinguish between slightly sweetened sauce with addition of ‘asin’ and intensely sweetened sauce with ‘manis’.
- Hoisin Sauce : Hoisinsauce is a Chinese variant of soy sauce. It contains soy paste, garlic, sesame oil, vinegar, chili and spices. It differs from other spicy sauces by its red color. It is served with Peking duck.
- Teriyaki : Teriyaki is a special Japanese soy sauce. Additionally, teriyaki sauce contains wine, vinegar, sugar and Asian spices. It is ideal for grilling. Use it to marinate or rub on grilled meat. Owing to the sugar content, the meat caramelizes and turns an attractive color.
- Tamari : Tamari is another type of soy sauce produced by lactic acid fermentation. It is by-product of Miso production. Tamari is milder and usually less salty than normal soy sauce. It contains no wheat.
- Miso : Miso is a brown paste made from soy beans and is very popular in Japan. It is used to prepare miso soup. Miso is dissolved in water and cooked with rice, vegetables and meat.