The very first time AJ’s Dad took me to this lovely restaurant in Fort Lee N.J. called So Kong Dong and he ordered this lovely soft tofu beef soup, I got hooked right away. Since then, I have tried to recreate this dish, or improvised it a little due to lack of ingredients here in the UK, and to make sure it’s AJ’s-taste-friendly . But this isn’t the only Korean dish I’ve tried to remake, although this soup is definitely my favourite.
I also made oi kimchi before (means cucumber kimchi), a standard Korean side dish that we love since it goes very well with rice. It’s just unfortunate that we’ve not got at least one Korean restaurant in our town, while the nearest Korean market is a 3-hour bus journey and that’s just one-way! So, was I going to take the risk of taking an easily-get-bored baby on a 6-hour bus ride? NO. I don’t think I’m ready for it mentally, besides I could clearly see mayhem if he decided to throw a tantrum while traveling. The horror.
Luckily, I happened to come across an online shopping site months ago that offers Asian products including Korean ones. Hurray to Orientalmart.co.uk! My long, arduous research finally paid off. I normally order at least once in two months or three months depending on how much stash I have left. But it would be for more than 20 items so I could take advantage of their flat rate shipping cost of £7.78. Plus, the 24 hour delivery service by Parcel Force is just very handy. This shop is in Nottingham, which actually not that far when I think about it.
They also deliver to some European countries and prices vary per country. It makes me wonder though how the kimchi would survive if traveling this far. I don’t think Parcel Force would put it in the fridge or cooler before delivering, or would they? So far, the only incident I had with my order was when one of the kimchi bags expanded like a blowfish, and I think it was because of the super tiny hole on the side, which up until today I’ve not figured out how it happened. Thank goodness it didn’t leak in the box, otherwise it would have been a rather smelly disaster. I did get refunded in the end for that bag.
So this shopping consists of snacks, condiments, noodles, seaweed and one lonesome Kikkoman soy sauce that I love to buy since it’s less in sodium.
I call them my Korean comfort foods.
- Dangmyeon (당면) or sweet potato noodles, is used to make the Korean dish Japchae.
- The rest of the groceries fully stacked up together.
The Kimchis! (kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.
- Young radish leaves kimchi
- Cut cabbage kimchi – (one of my favourite side dishes – goes very well with ramyun (instant noodles) or a perfect combination when making pork fried rice with the added spice.
- The lone ranger Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce – the odd one out in the group. Japanese brand. But we love due to low sodium content.
- Silken Tofu – perfect for my improvised soft tofu beef soup or (soondubuchigae).
- Beef stock and Fish stock granules.
Seasoned roasted seaweed
Just can’t have enough of this healthy snack alternative. AJ loves this little snack.
There’s no such thing as too much noodles in this house.
- Instant cup noodles – Oolongmen
- Jin Ramyun Mild Noodles – love this so much since it’s not as spicy as the normal ones. I have to halve the noodles sometimes since one pack is too big for one sitting – well, for me anyway.
- Jajangmyeon – Black bean noodles. To die for. Best paired with pickled radish due to its sweet and sour taste which goes very well with jajangmyeon.
And last but not the least… yummy Korean sweets!
- Choco Pie – bread-like centre with marshmallow filling and coated all over with chocolate. Love it since the taste is not overly sweet
- Cone Chips – made of corn. A healthy snack that my little boy also enjoyed for the first time.
- Sweet potato flavored snack – surprisingly delicious! Will buy again as it was so cheap.
- Pepero – comes in Original flavor (cookie stick covered in chocolate), Nude (cookie stick with chocolate centre) and Almond (cookie stick covered in almonds and chocolate)
There you are! Only bought this about two weeks or so ago and there’s not a lot left! I paid a total of £52.00 ($80) including shipping with 24 hour delivery.
Did you know…
Pepero Day is an observance in South Korea similar to Valentine’s Day, but held on November 11, since the date “11/11” resembles four sticks of Pepero. This holiday is mostly observed by young people or couple, who then exchange gifts like Pepero sticks, other candies, and romantic gifts. (Oh nice, definitely a good excuse to treat yourself to some lovin’ and chocolates, don’t you think?)
What’s you favourite comfort food? Do you like any particular Asian food products?