Posts for the 'Korean' Category

Myung Ga Korean Restaurant

It’s mid-term and schools are out. There are no classroom lessons, but lessons from parent to child are taught on a daily basis. Some will be of the practical kind, like how to tie shoelaces, looking both ways before crossing the road or how to properly brush teeth. The kind of teachings about life that when we grow older, we simply take for granted.

Some of my life lessons I also learnt in my father’s kitchen. Like the one about always heating the pan first to the appropriate temperature to allow meat, etc, to brown. As a youngster, I knew not the science, but I knew it made food taste good, intensifying flavour by creating that little bit of extra crispiness on the surface of the food.

At a more technical level, browning occurs as a result of the moisture on the surface of the meat evaporating when it comes into contact with high heat. Consequently, a chemical reaction takes place whereby the proteins on the surface of the meat develop. It then leads to the caramelising effect which ‘browns’ the meat, adding not only flavour, but also a more appetising appeal with the added (brown) colour. ‘Browning’ is also known as the Maillard reaction, so named for the French scientist who first investigated the reaction. It is one of the reasons why when we partake in our beloved BBQs we always make sure the heat is high so that we get that wonderful outer layer of flavour and crispiness on our steaks and sausages. It is also the heat that creates that mouth-watering aroma of smoking, sizzling meat which makes the wait for the cooking food sometimes unbearable.

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Live Korean Restaurant

What is it about Korean BBQ that always draws in the crowds? There is something about sizzling meat on the table in front of you that is so mouth-wateringly appealing. Korean BBQ is perhaps the most well known aspect of Korean cuisine, but travelling through South Korea a few years back opened my eyes to how expansive Korean food actually is, and it is not limited to barbequing meat. There is incredible variety, all tasty, and generally spicy with an abundance of garlic, ginger and red chilli paste. It’s also filled with lots of vegetables, so also extremely healthy. I loved my trip to South Korea, and for the most part it was due to the discovery of my love for Korean food. It’s interesting how memories of a holiday are often largely shaped and influenced by one’s memories of how much one may have enjoyed the food.

A fairly recent addition to the Sydney dining scene is the Korean restaurant, Live. Focusing mainly on barbeque, it also serves a range of different cooked Korean dishes. My favourite Korean dish is bibimbap, a dish with a rice base; it is topped with minced beef, finely chopped sautéed and seasoned vegetables, and a fried egg. When brought to the table, all the ingredients are then mixed through the rice. The rice is also flavoured with sesame oil which makes the dish quite fragrant. Wowed by the taste of bibimbap the first time I tried it in Seoul, I’ve never been able to resist ordering it at a Korean restaurant since.



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