Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter in Seoul 2014

This winter has been very mild and there hasn't been much snow at all. Yesterday we finally got a good snowfall. Now the cars are slipping and sliding around the mountainous city because no one bothers to get winter tires. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fall and Spring 2013 at the Neighborhood Buddhist Temple in Seoul

I live in a part of Seoul that is very beautiful.  Here are two photos I took this year of the same Buddhist temple.  It's always such a pleasure to pass by the temple and look at the changing beauty of the seasons.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Curled Mallow (아욱)

Curled mallow is used in Korea as an ingredient in baby food (jook).  To prepare the mallow for jook (rice porridge) you remove the leaves from the stems, wash the leaves, boil them for about 2-3 minutes, then chop them finely.  You then add the finely chopped leaves to the jook like you would any other vegetable.  You can also make a green smoothie for yourself or toddler by throwing a handlful of mallow leaves into your favorite smoothie recipe.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Korean Baby Food Recipe: Pear and Jujube Tea

If you are looking for a drink other than water or barley tea to give your baby you can try pear and jujube tea.  It is a bit expensive as Asian pears cost around 5,000 KRW ($5.00 US) each.  However this is a good drink to give baby if he/she is having problems with constipation.
2 liters of water approximately
6-8 jujubes (Korean dates)
Rinse the jujubes.  Peel and core the Asian pear and cut into a few pieces.  Add everything together in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Strain the tea and throw out the pear and jujubes.  Hope your little ones enjoy this tea:)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Korean Baby Food Recipe: Chicken Porridge (Jook) Using A Rice Cooker

Well it's the hot and humid summer season in Korea right now and that means that stewing chickens are on sale for 2,000 KRW ($2.00 US) so I've been making a lot of chicken porridge (jook) for my little guy. 1 chicken yields around 2-3 weeks worth of broth and meat for a nutritious and tasty baby food . I used my rice cooker for this recipe but if you don't have one you can use a pressure cooker or use the method shown here on Aeri's Kitchen. There are two phases to making rice porridge this way. The first is to boil the chicken for broth and meat and the second is to cook the porridge. 

Part 1: Preparing the Broth and Meat

1 small stewing (spring) chicken
2-3 liters of water

2-5 cloves of garlic
2-3 pieces of ginseng
2-5 jujubes (Korean dates)


First rinse the spring chicken thoroughly with cold water. Do the same for the jujubes, ginseng, and any other ingredients that you are using.

Place the chicken, ginseng, and jujubes in the rice cooker and add enough water so that it completely covers the chicken. Do not exceed the water maximum in your cooker. I used about 2 liters of water.


Turn the rice cooker on and find the Menu button.  For those of you using a Korean rice cooker press the 메뉴 button until the Samgaytang 삼계탕 button is highlighted.  Press start.  If you do not have a samgaytang button try the steam 찜 button.  The cooking time will take 1.5 to 2 hours.

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the broth and let it cool.  Skim all the fat from the top of the broth.  I got about 1 cup of fat skim.  Toss it. Strain the broth and toss the garlic, ginseng, and jujubes.  Let the broth cool and then bag it.  You can use breast milk storage bags, you can freeze it in ice cube trays, or you can simply put the broth into plastic bags.  I put two bags together and then put them around a medium-sized bowl.  I then poured 500 ml (2 cups) of broth into the bags, tied them up, and then put them into the freezer.  I got 4 500 ml bags of broth and 1 300 ml bag.  Chop up the chicken and store it in plastic bags as well.  I got 4 portions of chicken from the bird which was 500 g.

Part 2: Making the porridge

2-3 Tbsp chopped and cooked chicken
500 ml (2 cups) chicken broth
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
2-3 Tbsp of any of the following finely chopped (red or yellow peppers, potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, carrot.  If you are not sure which foods your baby can eat check out Wholesomebabyfood)
2-4 Tbsp cooked white rice (you can use sweet rice or short grain rice)


Pour the broth into a pot and bring to a boil.  Add the finely chopped veggies and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the chicken and cooked rice.  On a good medium heat boil the porridge for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Stop when you have reached a desired consistency.  If your porridge seems too thick add a bit more broth or water.  If it is too thin add another Tbsp of rice and bring to a boil again.

This picture of jook has curled mallow added to it. For more information on how to use curled mallow in jook go to this link
Store the cooled down porridge in a container and refrigerate for 3-4 days maximum.  To reheat the porridge, add a few Tbsp of it to a pot and a little water or broth and bring it to a boil.  There you have it, super tasty baby food on a budget.


*** Note:  When giving your baby jook make sure that you also give him/her a lot of water.  If your baby is not taking the water cup well, spoon-feed water.  I usally give my son 1 spoon of water for every 2 spoons of jook.

Other Korean baby food recipes from Daughter of Korea:
Banana and spinach mash
Pear and jujube tea
Curled Mallow

Other Korean baby food jook recipes:
Beef Jook by Trained by Baby

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

First Red Bean Shaved Ice of 2013

We made this the other day.  As usual it was delicious and really hit the spot during the hot and humid rainy summer.  Last summer we made our first shaved ice in June, and this year we are a bit late starting in July.  It hasn't really been super hot; it's been more humid hot.

Here is more information about preparing shaved ice:

Korean Baby Food Recipe (6 Months +): Banana and Spinach Mash


1/2 Banana
3-4 Spinach Leaves


Wash 3-4 spinach leaves and cut off the stems.

Boil the spinach leaves in 1/2 cup of water for 2-3 minutes or until tender.

Drain the spinach and squeeze out any water.   Cut the spinach into 0.3cm pieces.

Mash the spinach and banana together.

Serve with water, barely tea, or pear and jujube tea.