Comfort food: Kimchi guk

Kimchi Guk

Some days you just need come comfort food!

I don’t know why, but I find a lot of Korean food qualifies as comfort food. I guess it’s all the soups and stews, and of course the Bibimbap!

This Kimchi Guk (Kimchi soup) is very simple to make, it only needs 3 to 5 (+ water) ingredients and I can eat bowl after bowl of it. It’s also a great way to use up old kimchi, or to be more precise it needs old kimchi as it just doesn’t taste the same if made with fresh kimchi.  Ideally you use that half pot of kimchi that you have lurking in the depths of your fridge and that is a week over date or so :-)


  • 2 cups of well fermented, old kimchi + juice.
  • 300 grams pork belly
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • optional: gochujang
  • optional: green onion


  • Chop up the kimchi. I find it easiest to just take some scissors and chop it up in the pot itself.
  • Put kimchi and the kimchi juices in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Slize the pork belly in bite size pieces and add to pan.
  • Add 4 cups of water.
  • Optional: depending on how spicy you like your soup, you can add a table spoon (or 2) of Gochujang.
  • Bring to the boil and cook for half an hour or so.
  • Cube the (drained) tofu, add to the soup and heat through for further 10 minutes.
  • Optional: add some green/spring onion.

If the kimchi is extremely sour, you could also add a little bit of sugar, or if it’s too fresh and not sour enough, you could add some vinegar instead.

Serve with steamed rice.

Carrot Kitty


Made a very simple bento today, but added some cute kitties!

They are easy to make, just take a slice of carrot – you can either use it raw or cook it for a few minutes – and cut out a small triangle at the top. I used some egg white and nori to create the eyes and face details.

I think the kitties are eyeing up the prawn dumplings ^*^

Chocolate Crunchie Cake

More cake!

I know. This blog was initially set up to show my Korean-Japanese food inspired lunch boxes, but recently I have been doing a lot more baking.  Plus, I had some of this cake for lunch :-)

The cake was made for a colleague’s birthday last month, and I knew he likes Crunchie bars, so I wanted a cake that was inspired by those flavours: honeycomb and chocolate.

This was the first time that I made  honeycomb, and even though the recipe looked very simple… the reality was a bit scarier. It took ages for the sugar/syrup to melt, and I was afraid to turn up the heat, in case it would burn. Luckily it turned out fairly ok, a bit less crunchie than I had hoped, but still very good :-)

How I made this cake:

First I made a Chocolate Victoria Sponge: I tend to use a very basic recipe with equal quantities egg, sugar, butter and self raising flour (225 grams, 4 large eggs) but I replaced 50 gr of the flour by 50 gr unsweetened cacao powder.  Divide equally over 2 round tins and bake for 25 minutes in preheated (180 degrees) oven until springy to touch. Cool down.

Make Chocolate Ganache. I actually still had some in the freezer from the month before which I defrosted…can’t remember the quantities, but I always use equal parts double cream and good quality dark chocolate. If you make from scratch, you can read some good guidelines on how to make chocolate ganache here. Just cool down until thick but still spreadable.

Make honeycomb: I used this recipe from BBC Good Food. Instead of buttering a tin, I used magic non stick liner / reusable baking liner which I had greased very very lightly with neutral oil. Don’t use normal baking paper, I read that it will just stick to the honeycomb. This recipe makes quite a lot, and I only used about half of it for the cake …not that I minded…I just ate the rest :-)



Make Honeycomb buttercream: 125 gr soft butter, whipped until creamy. Add 200-225 gr icing sugar to it and continue to mix until pale and fluffy. Add honey comb dust, which you make by blitzing 100 gr honeycomb in a food processor until you have a mixture of dust/crumbs. Do this just before you mix it into the buttercream as otherwise your dust will all clog together.

Ensemble: please make sure the cake and ganache have cooled down!

  • Take one chocolate cake for the bottom layer (I “glued” mine to the board with some ganache to avoid it moving during transport)
  • Pile on the buttercream, you can see it has become a bit golden coloured because of the honeycomb mixture
  • Carefully add the top chocolate cake layer
  • Spread the cake sides and top with the chocolate ganache
  • Decorate with some chopped up crunchie bars

P.s. the photos which also show the fruit were made by a colleague of mine, although another colleague remarked she couldn’t understand why we even had bothered putting fruit next to the cake….

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Caroline from Shrinking Single. The theme is Treat Yourself.


Panda Bento

panda-bento.jpegI only realised when I posted this photo, how gigantic the cherries look compared to the pandas!

They were very big cherries, and the pandas are quite small, so the opposite of real life. But then, in real life a panda would never fit into my bento box…nor would I want to!

My pandas were created from egg white and nori, and are resting on some omelet. The egg white kept curling, so it’s pinned together with some very thin noodle stick. Added some carrot flowers, veggies, left over omelet and those gigantic cherries :-)



onigiri.jpegKimchi mandu & Onigiri.

The kimchi mandu were bought frozen, so I only needed to pan fry them until cooked and crispy. The onigiri are made from some rice mixed with egg and peas. Packed some veggies and strawberries and was going to put some dipping sauce into the little container, but forgot all about it!

Am looking forward to the Korean Festival this weekend, hopefully lots of food to eat :-)

Ice cream bento



Hmm, my ice cream cones didn’t really work out like I imagined them…., I think partly because of the way it is placed in the bento box, and partly because the “cones” need a bit more detailing. Still…. it was my lunch, and for lack of any better alternative….

The ice cream are two onigiri, filled with tofu. The pink one is coloured with some pink plum sushi vinegar powder. The cones were made from some fried tofu which I had marinated beforehand in some soy sauce.

Leftovers Bento


Leftovers from dinner. Not that I minded :-)

It’s actually easy to cook some extra food for dinner and use the leftovers for lunch, especially when making dishes like this chicken & veg in oyster sauce.

All part & parcel of the bento making process, being organised and such and of course it’s also less wasteful. According to Love Food, Hate Waste,  around 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year in the UK (7 million from our homes)!!

I am not an overly “green conscious” person, ie we drive a car, don’t always turn off lights or unplug chargers or bring our own shopping bags. And yes, sometimes food ends up in the bin… but still… 15/7 million tonnes…wow that is one big waste mountain.

Anyway, I’m glad that my leftovers from dinner didn’t contribute to that mountain but ended up in my lunch today. Plus I used reusable containers :-)

It was packed in the containers of my Zojirushi Ms Bento lunch jar – you can also see in use in this post here. No soup this time, instead the smallest container has some tomato salad.

London Korean Festival Trafalgar Square Sunday 9 August

Just to let you know that there will be a  ‘London Korean Festival 2015’ in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 9th August 2015, free entry!


The event brings together an exciting mix of modern and traditional Korean culture with a dynamic programme of K-Pop, dance from classic to break dance and delicious Korean food, plus E-Sports Games and live music.

  • K-Music – Leading K-Pop group f(x) & Rock band Guckkasten
  • K-Dance – Break Dancing Battles with World Champion B-boy crews
  • K-Tradition – Gilnori traditional, instrumental & contemporary dance performances
  • K-Cuisine – Live cooking demonstrations by Chef Judy Joo and Chef Joo Won & Korean Street Foods
  • K-Contents – Animation screenings, gaming & technology demonstrations, fashion shows

The event is organised by the Korean Cultural Centre UK, Korea Tourism Organisation, Korea Creative Content Agency and supported by the Mayor of London (more info here)

There is also a competion to win a free trip to Korea, you can download the form here

See you there!

How much is that doggy in the…

Doggy Bento

….in the window bento…

When I started packing my bento this morning, I didn’t have any plans to make a doggy. I hadn’t thought at all on what I could create, and initially I just packed the ingredients and was going to put the carrot flowers on top of the rice or adding some furikake.

But it turned out that I some time left over and suddenly when looking at the lid, I thought, hmmm that doggy should be relatively easy to create.

So out came the nori, the punch and scissors and I managed to make a sort of similar – if slightly small & different size eyed dog :-)

Other ingredients are radish (for the tongue), cucumber flowers, carrot flowers, crabsticks and some tamago. I also used the outer bits of the cucumber flowers to fill up the bento box as it was a bit low on veggies.

Now just trying to get that song out of my head….