Monday, 2 July 2012

not one of those again.

When Toby and I took a week off earlier this month, in an attempt to finish off our ever lasting  home renovation marathon, we got nowhere near to the finish line.
During the entire week of our holiday together, we relentlessly sanded the old sash window frames creating more mess than making good of it, painted the sashes in no particular order which resulted more frustrations than the satisfaction, and just to make things little more challenging for us, we weren't too lucky with the ever so changeable weather in London either.
We spent the whole week working, covered in dust, wearing dirty combats and jogging bottoms without having to brush our hair and we clearly looked the part in the building site.
We never once shouted at each other although we did yell at the innocent windows or paints for being difficult.
We didn't particularly made a huge effort to pay attention to each other but shared a great laughter in an affectionate way.
Although we had not been able to accomplish our target goal of finishing the project, we were indeed pleased with how the week went and by Sunday I was even feeling a bit sad for it coming to an end.

But where did it go wrong?
Well, I became the monster, hormonal monster to be precise.

I never once in million years thought, I will ever be that emotional. 
Obviously being a girl, you do have that certain week in the month where you may feel a little  emotional and act a bit irrational. But I never have been so catastrophically hormonal in my entire life of 32 years.
Two days after I told Toby how lovely things were, I was moaning how things need changing!
Of course, by the end of the week, when I came round to be rational again, for once, I apologised to Toby for being pain in the bum.

The problem was, come to think of it, we were going through some enormous changes in our lives and I think I was a bit sacred.
It wasn't about the decision to commit our lives together in one pot in the eyes of the law that I was scared of, but to create a family in near future had made me want to be sure.
I was in need of reassurances that he will be able to deal with those irrational hormonal changes when the pregnancy does happen. I had to know that he will be my magical mirror who will say I look beautiful when I feel fat and ugly, even if I may be at my biggest and largest.
These were the worries of mine that needed to be discussed so he knows what to do in case of these horrific, irrational and emotional impromptu moments occur.
A bit like health and safety training for both of our sanity, you know.

Anyway, the conclusion was brought to the table after a few pints of cider.
The man with the few words spoke out loud and delivered one of the loveliest theories of his, to my surprise.

He says getting on and getting on well throughout our life time together in peace as a team is what's romantic; not the bunch of occasional flowers, not the rare weekend treats and etc. It is the everydayness that counts in a long run.

Well, what more could I have said to that?... 

Kimchi Fried Rice
serves 2

140g pork shoulders, cut in strips
1tbsp mirin
1tsp Korean chilli paste
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1tsp sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
200g kimchi, chopped
220g rice, cooked
1tbsp sesame oil
2 eggs for frying
some rapeseed oil for frying
some toasted sesame seed
handful of fresh dill, chopped
some black pepper

I grew up in the household where Kimchi was never in short supply and as far as I remember, this was the first ever dish I taught myself to cook when I was a young girl and experimented to cook better from then on.
Most of Koreans have their own versions of this dish, just like they do with Kimchi itself. 
Giving that the rice and Kimchi is on hand, it is not really that difficult to put this dish together for an unassuming plate of flavours and textures.

I use quick marinaded pork shoulders to give the dish an extra depth of falvour in this recipe but you can use bacon, leftover ham or even prawns, if you prefer. Some Koreans opt for tinned tuna. So be creative and use whatever you fancy.

So, start by making the pork marinade by mixing the mirin, chilli paste, soy, sugar and black pepper. Add the pork to the marinade, stir well and set aside.

Gently fry the onions over medium heat for 5 mins and add chopped kimchi including all the juices. Fry the mixture for further 5mins stirring occasionally then add the marinaded pork.
After about 8-10mins, add the cooked rice, fry them gently for further 5mins and give it a good stir every now and then.

Now, this is the very important part.
In my opinion, kimchi fried rice should always have a slightly crispy bottom, like jewelled rice.
You want to make sure the rice at the bottom of the pan gets a chance to crisp up lightly but not burnt.
Make sure to lower the heat, spread the rice evenly over the pan, pat them down a little and let them crisp up for 5mins or so. 
Don't be tempted to stir and to stop the temptation, I have a job for you; fry your eggs.

The garnish of fried eggs actually is just as substantial part as the main act itself. Not only that the soft egg yolk contributes a little silkiness to every mouthful of what could be super spicy but also the very plain egg white really balances the spiciness. 
So fry those eggs with extra TLC.

Now drizzle some sesame oil over rice, sprinkle some sesame seeds and there goes your beautifully fried eggs.
I garnished mine with some fresh dill but it is more usual practice to use toasted seaweed. 
All there is left to do, is just get your spoons into these wonderfully spicy comfort food.

I must say, this time, he was quite right.


  1. Delicious recipe! And what a beautiful way to say it: "It is the everydayness that counts" :-)

    1. Hello RecipeNewZ,

      Thanks for inviting me to your site and keep visiting me back. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
      S x

  2. As they say, blame it on the hormones...the raging ones ;)
    I am sure everything will fall into the right place, at the right time. Nothing a good dish can't fix. This is really something delicious. I'd love to try. Enjoy your everyday! =)

    1. Hello MyFudo,

      This dish really comforted me in many ways. Hope you get to try the recipe and enjoy!
      S x

  3. I am currently living in Korea with my wife - and neither of us like Kimchi at all (though this may be more down to growing up with cabbage in the UK which sometimes isn't cooked the best!).

    You dish looks like it will taste lovely - and the addition of pork shoulder will add that extra something that we never see in any bimbimbap or other kimchi dishes!

    Really looking forward to trying this out!

    (Oh, and see... us fellas can say the right thing... sometimes!)

    1. Hello Colm,

      Kimchi in this dish gets gently cooked which changes its texture quite dramatically and much more mellow in taste.
      Hope this dish helps you to rebuild your relationship with Kimchi.
      Give us a shout how it all went! Look forward to hearing from you.

      S x

  4. i have been on a kim chi kick lately, i want to put it on any and everything. this dish is lovely and one i want to make soon.

    anyway, i wanted to add that this space here is beautiful, i probably will spend the rest of my work day not working, but instead, reading thru your archives.

    1. Hello Angry Asian,

      I often crave Kimchi and this really fixes my needs. Hope you enjoy the dish! Oh, and thanks for such a kind words.
      S x

  5. When I hit 30's I found myself more emotions too than ever before. I guess it is some kind of cycle..or maybe we should blame it on a weather!:)
    anyhow this sounds amazing, and very delicious! I am trying to imagine the taste looking at your pic and reading this wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing and have a lovely day!

    1. Hello Sandra,

      I can definitely blame it on a bad London weather! It has been raining for ever and ever over here!
      What a great morale support! Thanks.

      S x

  6. Just came across your site...great words from your guy and that recipe looks so delish.
    xxx debra

  7. I agree with you guy and that what matters the most. As for the emotional stuff that you went through .. well, someone has to do that in the house ;) I say that to my husband every time after I go through what you went through :)
    I just LOVE you photos .. the props .. the selective lighting .. all so gorgeous!

    1. It's always so nice to share the stories and realise that, after all, most of us goes through the same stuff wherever we are in the world. It's lovely to see you again and thanks for your kind words.
      S x

  8. you have a beautiful blog! now following you! a kiss :)

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