14 Apr2008


The table was set with bursts of color. So the meal had to pack a punch as well. We occasionally hanker for a korean meal, and though we are more likely to satisfy the craving at a restaurant or homes of Korean friends, we occasionally try to cook a Korean inspired meal at home. In this case, a modified barbecue menu was the perfect menu for a hot summer’s day meal with color and spice…


With the food laid out family style on the table, it was a real feast for the eyes – the freshly grilled shortribs, cut in that special korean barbecue slice, a leek pancake, some blanched greens served with oyster sauce (not really Korean, but close enough), kimchi and rice, of course. We also served some green mango salad with tomatoes and bagoong and chilli and I will do a separate post on that… it wasn’t really part of our meal, I just took some from the crew’s meal which included pork barbecue!


Our meal was centered around these beautifully cut korean short ribs. Marinated for less than an hour in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and pepper, they cooked on a hot barbecue in less than 5 minutes total… just long enough to singe each side, but keep the meat super tender.


We brought bottled kimchi from the grocery, and it was good, but not as good as the recipe our friend Chi, sent from Korea but I have been too intimidated to try semi-fermenting cabbage on my own… (This photo taken by The Kid)


I also had a craving for these leek pancakes but had no recipe and had never made them before. So I put in a call to a Korean friend in Manila, and she burst out laughing when I asked for a recipe, because she just “buys the mix in a box and adds water.” Yipes! So much for that. So I guessed and made a mixture of flour, egg, milk and salt aand pepper and it came out gummier than it should, and I suspect there is no egg or milk in the original version. But it was good enough to eat…


Finally, I found some greens in the fridge so I blanched them and added some bottled oyster sauce, this a surrogate for the blanched and chilled spinach dishes in Korean restaurants. Overall, it was a very satisfying meal, visually appealing and a treat for the tastebuds. Not entirely authentic, I am sure, but just the right lunch for that day at the beach…



  1. Rebecca says:

    That looks great! The Korean restaurants here sell their own house marinade, which I have been meaning to try.

    Apr 14, 2008 | 5:42 am


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  3. Roberto Vicencio says:

    Excellent picture of the kimchi contrasted against black & white background. Looked like a bowl of embers smouldering.

    Apr 14, 2008 | 5:53 am

  4. Enna says:

    yUMMy!! I love Korean foods! I prefer to buy it that do it myself. I think it taste better and authentic that way. ^^;

    Apr 14, 2008 | 6:23 am

  5. Mila says:

    Kimchi isn’t that hard to make, but it will take time and you’ll need to prepare proper storage for it since it will reek. All the necessary ingredients are available in the korean groceries around town, and lots of recipes available to try out.

    Apr 14, 2008 | 8:06 am

  6. teny says:


    Where did you buy the meat cut that way already?

    Apr 14, 2008 | 8:09 am

  7. quiapo says:

    The traditonal marinade for Korean Bulgogi is laborious to prepare, involving mashing a species of pear. I used to add some Coca Cola in its stead, until my Korean daughter-in-law introduced me to prepackaged marinade in a bottle, made the traditional way from Korea.
    Kim chi used to be buried in the ground for fermentation in that cold country, but houses and gardens are now rare in Seoul, so there are kimchi refrigerators and it is still tradition in many households to make their own kimchi. Just as well, as last year Japan health authorities found that much of their imported kim chi contains parasites and their eggs; however my daughter in law assures me this is only from kim chi manufactured commercially in China.
    It is heartening to see you experimenting with different foods.
    Keep on living the dream!

    Apr 14, 2008 | 8:09 am

  8. teny says:

    very nice would love to try this.

    Where did you buy the meat cut that way already?

    Apr 14, 2008 | 8:11 am

  9. alicia says:

    One of my secrets- well just a secret I have from my husband, is when I have nothing to serve the family I go to the large Korean Grocery on P. Burgos in Makati for ingredients to assemble at home. You can buy the pork ribs and a bottle of marinade that takes thirty minutes to flavor. They aso sell the bulgogi cut of meat if you prefer, I pick up small containers or kimchi, sesame bean sprouts, dilis and some other condiments they have on offer and a large head of the fresh lettuce/romaine used for wrapping. At home I set everything out , grill up the pork and serve what looks like an authentic homemade korean meal! WIll have to find the instant pajun mix and impress him with that too! Your plated presentation is gorgeous. Will have to try that!

    Apr 14, 2008 | 8:19 am

  10. nikka says:

    Have you ever tried making Korean Beef Stew?

    Apr 14, 2008 | 8:27 am

  11. CecileJ says:

    I add some sesame oil to the oyster sauce for the blanched or steamed greens. Adds another layer of flavor to the dish. Am intrigued by the leek pancake. Anyone willing to share a recipe on this?

    Apr 14, 2008 | 9:08 am

  12. aggy says:

    my husband loves “pajun”, the korean leek pancakes…pricey in authentic korean restos here so i just make it at home from a recipe that i googled…some recipes do call for eggs, you may also add seafood…in korean groceries here, they have the boxed mixes available but i still make it from scratch…everything looks yummy, mm!

    Apr 14, 2008 | 9:10 am

  13. aggy says:

    another dish i “learned” to make at home just from eating at korean restos is the spinach salad…they douse blanched spinach with sesame oil and some sesame seeds and serve it cold…very nutritious!

    “chapchae”, a noodle dish similar to our pancit bihon but made with “potato starch noodles” is also very good and simple to make…

    Apr 14, 2008 | 9:14 am

  14. Juan says:


    What is that green vegtable that you prepare? What is it called in english? in chinatown binondo we called it po lun chay, its seasonal 70 to 180 a kilo. Thanks

    Apr 14, 2008 | 10:10 am

  15. Topster says:

    woah, talking about korean food makes me hungry already! Marketman, good thing you brought up the topic. I’d like to ask you what Korean resto does your family or you personally frequent the most?

    Apr 14, 2008 | 10:12 am

  16. dee bee says:

    what a beautiful meal.. i find it to be quite eclectic rather than ‘korean’ :)

    with all the wonderful things you’ve cooked and featured here, kimchi will be a breeze for you, a bit time-consuming when it comes to preparing the ingredients and putting them together, you can do a bigg-ish batch. it’s quite enjoyable and satisfying.

    i love ‘haemul pajun’, korean seafood pancakes! haven’t used any specific recipe, the rule i’ve followed is that the filling should be nicely coated with batter but not swimming in it. i’ve experimented with different flours like tapioca, wheat, glutinous rice, plain rice and sweet potato starch. by far, the best texture and ‘bite’ are produced using either tapioca or sweet potato.

    Apr 14, 2008 | 10:46 am

  17. elaine says:

    I so love korean food and I can actually take the heat in most of their dishes…I always do korean short ribs and japchea and smother them with toasted sesame seeds…and from the looks of it, I think you’re a bit impartial to ‘mixes’ but i totally agree, nothing beats with anything made from scratch.:)

    Apr 14, 2008 | 11:46 am

  18. john paul sarabia says:

    my ref smells korean food coz my best friend is korean.actually it’s all korean food inside. her specialty is shabu shabu.

    Apr 14, 2008 | 12:29 pm

  19. The Steak Lady says:

    Perfect meal MM! i was just thinking of trying this out myself since my favorite is the Korean Samgyupsal (their version of the liempo). any suggestions on what kind of grill to use for a tabletop bbq like the one in the restaurants? thanks =)

    Apr 14, 2008 | 2:44 pm

  20. mikel says:

    looks really masarap MM. for the blanched spinach leaves, add some sesame oil and seeds. ayos!

    Apr 14, 2008 | 7:06 pm

  21. noes says:

    oh, I love your korean bbq short ribs. what was the name of the particular sauce you use for your bbq, if you use any?

    Apr 14, 2008 | 7:34 pm

  22. dhayL says:

    I love Korean bbq during summer weekends in the trailer, they’re easy to cook and it takes very little timeat all! Although, I have to admit that usually I just marinate them using Mamamsita’s but now I’ll try them with your mariante-soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and pepper! I’ll pair them with your green mango with bagoong salad, oh I can tell it’ll be a hit! thanks!

    Apr 15, 2008 | 6:09 am

  23. Beth Loggins says:

    Making kimchi is actually really easy. I prefer to eat kimchi after fermenting it for just a day cuz it’s less sour and tastes “fresh” and vibrant. If you guys are interested in making homemade kimchi (which I really recommend), a great video guide by Maangchi is on Youtube. Just go to her channel and look at her kimchi video.

    Apr 18, 2008 | 6:07 am

  24. Elsie Castrence says:

    Greetings MM! Back in the States from my Palawan holiday and I am visiting your archives to rev me up for the day. Am still jet lagged. For the blanched spinach, try sprinkling some sea salt to taste, add a segment of crushed garlic, some toasted sesame seeds, a tsp of dark sesame oil and mix while the spinach is still hot from blanching. For your “dulong” fishcake, try a bit of crab seasoning ( I get my spice mix from the fish market here to insure freshness) or Old Bay seasoning will do to spice it up. I occasionally get frozen “dulong” from a local Korean grocery store and the grandkids love it.
    More power to you!

    Apr 18, 2008 | 9:23 pm

  25. paulo says:

    “Mashiseoyo”!(delicious!) I learned how to cook Korean because of my gf. She also used this prepackaged marinade in a bottle. She cooks bulgogi using ‘sukiyaki’ cut. We also order kimchi per bundle (5kg) for 500 pesos. Royal Palace Kimchi this is their number 09275687770 (they delivered it from Makati to Las Pinas without delivery charge). You have to be patient though because you will be talking to a Korean who is not very fluent in English. Just say ‘Mat Kimchi’ this is the most common kind of kimchi (same with the picture above). They have ALOT of kinds of kimchi and I think some Korean restaurants around the Metro order from them. I hope this helps.

    Jun 2, 2009 | 10:58 pm

  26. emsy says:

    I love kimchi…but I really only like the ones that are fresh, meaning those that are less than 48-72 hours old…once it starts to become a little riper than that, I’ll eat them only in fried rice or soup. Thank goodness our village is FULL of Koreans so I always have access to newly made kimchi…I tried a recipe from maangchi in Youtube and it turned out well, too. But I prefer eating kimchi made by someone else..hehe

    Nov 20, 2009 | 11:03 am


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