Saturday, January 15, 2011

부대찌개 (Bu-dae Chigae) - "Army Stew"

I was watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain's food tour in Korea 2 weeks ago.  And they had introduced Bu-dae Chigae, if anyone of you have watched Anthony Bourdain eat....I swear that guy can make a cockroach seem tasty too.  Plus it seems fairly easy to make too.  (Took me only 15mins to prepare)

Budae translates into "army" in Korean and chigae means stew.  This dish originated from the Korean War.  During the war, Koreans have salvaged any means of food from the American soldiers in which there were an abundance of hotdog, sausages and spam along with other staples.  And all these food were transformed into a Korean style stew.  Budae Chigae.  

This is my version.  I used most of the things I found in my fridge.  Amount depends on the number of  people dining.


Firm tofu
Spring onions
Long cabbage
Pork belly strips (or u can use mince beef)
Spam (luncheon meat)
Kimchi & kimchi juice (Optional if you don't like kimchi)
Korean Rice cakes (I didn't use this, cos i didn't want so much carbs)
Bake beans (I didn't use this either, not big fan of bake beans)
Chicken stock
2-3 tablespoon Gojujang (korean hot pepper sauce)

How to make

Lay everything nicely in the pot.  (Shabu shabu Hotpot so everyone can eat while it cooks on the table) 

Add chicken stock till it just about cover all ingredients.
Cover and cook for 30mins, mix the ingredients up as you cook so the flavour blends properly.
Add noodles when stew is ready so they don't over cook

Set extra portion of ingredients aside so you can keep adding as you eat
Serve with rice

Bon Appetit
Monica Eng

Friday, January 14, 2011

Nutty Fruity Chocolate Cornflakes treats

Chocolates. Ahhh....Chocolates.  The only food source that can bring an instant smile on your face even on the most depressive day.  I used to say, eating rich chocolate is like having a mental orgasm.  You feel the joy spread throughout your body as the chocolate slowly melts and spreads in your tongue..Infact,  it's better then sex.....well....ok...sometimes.  

This chocolate treat I've made will not give you a mind blowing orgasm, but it will definitely leave you tingling with joy. 


- 1 packet Semi sweet chocolate  
- 1 bar of flavoured chocolate of your choice or just plain 
(I used Passionfruit caramel)
- Mixed dried fruits
- Crushed Pecan nuts (Roasted)
- Crushed Almonds (Roasted)
- 1/2 bar Butter 
(I used salted as I wanted a salty caramel flavour)
- Crushed cornflakes

How to make

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl

Melt chocolate with butter (Do not drop any water in the chocolate mixture as it will cause chocolate to turn bad/sour quickly)

Mix wet and dry ingredients together
Scoop them into little paper cups
Leave in room temperature to cool (if you leave in Tropical country, on the aircon)
Decorate or attempt to decorate

 Bon Appetit
Monica Eng

Challenge #1 for Monica

Monica mou, your challenge will be something that I also love and because I know that you love pork I will give you this:


Good luck with it :) I am sure it will come out really good!!!

Mary Savvidou

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Challenge #1 for Mary

Ok Mary mou.  Here is your Challenge for the week.  It's something that I love very much....of Thai origin.
I'm not going to say more about this.  You have to research it and cook it in anyway you interpret it.  Your challenge is.......*drum rolllllll*

Gluay Todd

Good luck & Have fun!!!
Monica Eng

Meat Pie

I made this a month ago. I really hope you enjoy it.


3/4 of a kilo minced pork
fetta cheese (as much as you want, you can also use any cheese you want)
2 onions thinly slices
lots of parsley
1 cup of fresh creme
1 egg
Butter or oil for the pan

For the Dough:

3 cups flour
3 spoons butter
1 small yogurt
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder


Put the minced pork in a pan without oil and cook until golden.

Add the onions and let them cook until they absorb all the water.

Add the fetta cheese, the parsley, salt and pepper and fresh creme and mix well.
Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Method for the Dough:

To make the dough you have to put all the ingredients together and mix well with your hands. The ingredients are approximate so you have to learn the feel of the dough as you knead. You may need more flour but add just enough of the dough to come together.
When the dough is not sticky anymore, it means its ready.

You separate the dough into two even pieces.

Roll the dough out and adjust it into the buttered pan.
Beat the egg and then brush the dough so that the meat wont crack the dough.

Put the meat on top of the dough and slowly try to cover all the corners of the dough with it. When your done roll the rest of the dough on top and stitch it well with the dough underneath.

Use the rest of the beaten egg to brush the dough on top.
Use a fork to put holes on the dough, so that the meat doesn't become dry.

Cook for approximately 40 minutes to an hour until golden.

Bon Appetit!!
Love Mary!


Hi :)

I am so sorry for not posting for so long. Its been three weeks since my last one but I have a really good excuse. My boyfriend came to Cyprus during Christmas for two weeks and then I went to Athens to see him for almost a week. During this time I got really sick and unfortunately twice. All the people around me were sick. It was really bad.

I was thinking about this blog for days now, especially after watching the film Julie and Julia, I realised that it needs something. Its kinda blunt at the moment and not fun. Its just one recipe after the other. Even though some of the recipes are extreme, that doesn't make it fun for people to pay a visit.

So... as i was watching the film Julie and Julia my mind was on our blog :) the film reminded me of me and Monica a lot. Julie was really suffering when trying to finish all those Julia recipes and that made it sad and funny at the same time.

An idea is to post a challenge for the other person. For example we will write just the name of the recipe and the other person will have 10 days to research about it and actually making it and then posting about the experience. What do you think? I think it will be so much fun :)

If you have any other ideas, please send us a message.

Bon Appetit!!
Love Mary

ps: Meat Pie coming up...

Karjalanpaisti (Finnish Stew)

Few days ago a friend of mine suggested that I tried making the Karjalanpaisti.  So I did some research. 

Karjalanpaisti (Finnish name) is also known as Karelian hotpot or Karelian Stew, It's a traditional meat stew originating from the region of Karelia (now split between Finland & Russia).  It is commonly prepared with pork and beef but lamb can also be used.  In 2007, it was selected as the national dish of Finland by the readers of Finnish newspaper Iltalehti

I have substitute some items for my stew as I could not find All Spice nor Bay leaves.  I used tarragon instead. 

Ingredients (Serves 2)

300gm pork* - Cubed (Pork shoulder meat)
300gm beef* - Cubed (Beef shin)
(300gm lamb, if you wish)
2 - 3 onions
Some carrots
2 Bay leaves
All Spice
2 tsp ground black pepper 
2 tsp salt
approximately 1-liter water or till it covers the ingredients

How to cook.

Roughly chop onions.

Melt butter in a pot, preferably the kind that goes from stove to oven.  Sauteed the onions. I added my tarragon in as well to get the fragrance of the herb into the butter as well.

Add cubed meat into pot and let it cook till slightly browned.  Add carrots, just stir around and get it well coated with the butter.

Add water just enough to cover the ingredients, add salt and black pepper.  Put the herbs in, bring it to a boil.  
Transfer pot into oven.  Bake it with lid on for 3hours at 150-175 degree celcius stirring occasionally.  If it's too wet, bake it with lid open for another 1/2 hour.  Meat should be tender and not dry.
After 3 hours in the oven @ 150 degree celsius

After 4 hours in the oven (4th hour at 170 degree celsius)

Serve with baked potatoes or mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam.  But I felt like having rice today.  So I'm serving mine with good old Jasmine rice.  

I had a sudden craving the cold tofu so I made a little side dish of Cold green tea tofu,
Stir fry garlic and shallots till golden brown with oil and 2 drops of sesame oil.  Pour some dark soy sauce on cold tofu.  Top it with garlic and shallots and some of it's remaining oil.  Garnish with crispy pork floss.

Bon Appetit
Monica Eng

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mini Spring Rolls with Pork floss

With just 2.5 weeks away from Chinese New Year, I've been busy baking up a storm.  I was alittle over ambitious and out of the 3 items I've decided to make, 2 were extremely time consuming, not to mention also my first attempt at making them by myself.  In the past, I always acted as the helper for my mum.  Rolling spring rolls and stirring pineapple jams.  It's only now that I realise it's not so easy.  I've also learn alot from this "first time" experience.  

I learnt that over stuffing spring rolls is a big no no.....too much good stuff is not always good.  1/2 my spring rolls came out looking like they were victims of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre....the other half looked like they just came out of a gang fight. Later I learnt that frying spring rolls require plenty of has to be deepfried on low fire...slowly and gently.  So that they crisp evenly, inside & outside.  And to prevent them from cracking and bursting....DON"T OVER STUFF!!!

Ingredients to make 500-600 spring rolls

300gm Pork floss 
1 packet of Sesame seed (Roast till fragrant)
Square Spring roll skin (Comes in 2 sizes, get the smaller ones) 
Lotsa oil for deep frying


Mixed porkfloss and sesame seed together.  Mix evenly

Cut spring roll skin into 4 squares (Keep spring roll skin that you're not using under a piece of damp cloth to prevent it drying out)

Make starch with cornflour and water (for glueing the spring rolls together)

Put a little porkfloss mix on the spring roll skin and fold it. Stick the 2 sides with starch

Leave spring rolls to harden and dry for a day

Deep fry in hot oil on low heat.  

Drain oil and pack into boxes

Bon Appetit!
Monica Eng