Korean cookbook: A twist on the traditional

Chung Jae Lee's Kimchi Fried Rice.
Chung Jae Lee's Kimchi Fried Rice. Photo: Jacqui Way (cropped image)

Korean cookbook: A twist on the traditional
Chung Jae Lee, New Holland, $34.95.

For: the adventurous cook (or - hint, hint - the cook who could broaden her repertoire).

Korean-fusion is hardly old-hat as far as restaurant categories go, and Adelaide-based Chung Jae Lee (Mapo restaurant) is certainly doing his part to show that Korean cuisine has more to offer the world than barbecue and kimchi.

Kimchi fried rice

My mum is the best at this dish but she likes chilli a lot and makes it so spicy that not everyone can handle it so lucky for me I get a big serving. This is so good and so simple just don’t plan on kissing anyone straight after eating it!

2 cups kimchi
5 rashers bacon
1/2 brown onion
1 squid tube
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp Korean chilli paste
Pinch Korean beef stock
2 cups cooked rice
50g dried fried onions
100g bean sprouts
Pinch salt
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 eggs

Dice the kimchi, bacon, onion and squid. Then in a large frying pan add the oil and fry the bacon, prawns and squid with the kimchi and onion together on a high heat until browned.

Add the chilli paste and beef stock and combine together. Then add the rice and mix thoroughly for 2 minutes then add the dried onions, bean sprouts, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds still on a high heat.

Add the sesame oil and sesame seeds and stir through.

In a separate frying pan, fry the eggs.

Divide the mixture over two plates in mounds and decorate with the fried egg sitting on top.


Looking beyong kimchi and barbecue: Chung Jae Lee's first cookbook available from New Holland, $34.95.
Looking beyong kimchi and barbecue: Chung Jae Lee's first cookbook available from New Holland, $34.95. Photo: Supplied

Bean curd with lime chilli sauce

1/4 brown onion, finely diced
100g kabocha or Japanese pumpkin, peeled and finely diced
2 eggs
400g firm tofu
20 leaves Thai basil
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
Potato starch (potato flour) for coating
Oil for deep-frying
Ginger Lime Sauce (See Below)

Dice the onion and pumpkin finely and then add the eggs, tofu and basil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together thoroughly with your hands and squeeze firmly.

Make patties in an oval shape and coat with the potato starch. In a large saucepan heat the cooking oil on a medium heat until just boiling.

Deep-fry the tofu balls until golden brown, then remove and drain.

* If you wish, these can be oven-baked as an alternative.

Ginger Lime Sauce

1 red onion
2 fresh chillies
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Korean chilli paste
350ml sweet chilli sauce
1/2 cup lime juice

Dice the onion and chillies finely. Heat the oil in a pot, add the chilli paste and stir until smooth. Now add the chilli and onions and fry for about 2 minutes, then add the sweet chilli sauce and lime juice and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

Serves 2



Jaeyuk Gui (traditional version)

A quick and easy lunch for taxi drivers in Korea with a cup of soju.

300g pork neck
300g  pork belly
1 tablespoon white wine
2 tablespoons Korean chilli paste
1 tablespoon Korean chilli powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon Korean soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons sugar syrup
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch pepper
1 brown onion, sliced
2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
3 red peppers (chilli), sliced
2 tablespoons oil

Thinly slice the pork neck and belly into bite-sized pieces and pour the white wine over to marinate for 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, add the chilli paste, chilli powder, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sugar syrup, sesame oil, pepper, onion, spring onions and chillies and mix together. Add the pork to the sauce and, wearing gloves, squeeze the sauce into the meat and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.

Heat the oil in a frypan on a high heat, add the meat and toss. When the pork is sealed, add the remaining sauce and vegetables to the frypan, reduce the heat and cover for 5–10 minutes or until cooked through.

Turn off high again, remove the lid and toss the mixture, When the sauce has thickened and reduced
it is ready.

This is best served with a bowl of steamed rice.

Serves 4


Crispy skin pork belly

In Korea we usually eat pork skin while it is soft but after experiencing a crispy roast pork at
my in-laws I now know it is definitely best crunchy!

1kg pork belly
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon whole pepper seeds
1 cup cooking red wine
4 bay leaves

100g doenjang paste (Korean fermented soybean paste)
50g Korean chilli paste
50ml plum wine
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Leaving the pork belly whole, sprinkle the meaty side with the salt then place on a roasting pan with the skin facing up and sprinkle the pepper seeds on top. Pour the red wine into the tray with the bay leaves, not allowing any ingredients to touch the skin except the pepper. Put in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F).

On another clean oven tray, line it with baking paper and place on the marinated pork belly, this time with the skin facing down. Lay another sheet of baking paper across the top of the meat.

You will need to use a stone or something heavy to push down the baking paper while still keeping it even.

Check every 30 minutes, replacing the baking paper each time, turning the meat over and pressing it down where required. You will probably have to repeat this about three or four times. You will know when the pork is cooked when the skin is crispy.

The sauce is simple to make, just mix everything together. I would recommend serving this with some Korean Pickled Vegetables (see recipe).

Korean Pickled Vegetables

This can be used with cucumber, onion, bell peppers, radish or any vegetable you like. Use the equivalent of 2 cucumbers or 2 bell peppers or 2 onions.

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1/4 cup salt
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tablespoon clove
1/2 tablespoon whole pepper

For the pickling liquid, boil all ingredients together and turn off as soon as it is bubbling, then put into the fridge to cool.

Slice whatever vegetables you choose and put them into a sterilised jar, then pour over the pickling liquid and keep in the fridge for three days.

After three days, drain away the pickling liquid and make a fresh batch of liquid. Put this in a jar with your vegetables and leave in the fridge for another four days. It is then ready to eat.

All recipe images by Jacqui Way from Korean Cookbook. Some have been cropped for use on this website.