Korean Cucumber Salad

korean cucumber salad - trustinkim

This simple cucumber salad was made as a side dish for Korean Beef Bulgogi, but I’m look forward to serving it with other meals in the summertime when my cucumbers have grown. It is a refreshing salad, with just a hint of spice to it.

I found the recipe here.

What you need:

  • 1 long english cucumber
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons toasted and ground sesame seeds (plus a few more whole ones for garnishing)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned

What you do:

  1. Combine the vinegar, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds in a bowl.
  2. Thinly slice the cucumber and add it to the vinegar dressing. Add the green onion and carrot and toss to coat everything with the vinegar dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Garnish with sesame seeds and more green onion.

Korean Beef Bulgogi

Korean Beef Bulgogi - trustinkimKorean beef bulgogi is marinated for a few hours, making it very tender, and then cooked quickly and dipped into sauce before eating. The marinade plus the dip provide the dish with a ton of flavour. We served it on white rice with a spicy kimchi, purple pickled cucumbers, and a cucumber salad. The only tricky part was getting the beef sliced really thinly.

It was fun to go to the Asian supermarket and choose some prepared pickled side dishes. I also bought an Asian pear that I was going to cut into matchsticks as a garnish, but totally forgot about it.

I found this in a cookbook called The Global Grill by Kathleen Sloan. It serves six people.

What you need for the beef marinade:

  • 2 & 1/2 pounds (just over a kilogram) beef strip loin
  • 1/2 cup light light sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark soya sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted and ground

What you need for the dipping sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dark soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (I used sriracha)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bean paste

What you need for serving:

  • rice (we used 2 cups of jasmine rice)
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • green onions for garnish
  • side dishes such as kimchi, pickled vegetables, salad

What you do:

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a container with a lid.
  2. Slice the beef as thinly as you can, using a very sharp knife. If you put the beef in the freezer for about 20 minutes before slicing it is easier to get the thin slices.
  3. Cover the beef with the marinade and refrigerate for about four hours.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce.
  5. Return the beef to room temperature before cooking.
  6. Preheat a grill or frying pan to high heat. Cook the beef for about 1 & 1/2 minutes per side. Serve it right away with the dipping sauce.

Garlicky & Spicy Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap Peas - trust in kim

This is one of my favourite quick veggie recipes. It’s garlicky, salty, and a little spicy. Or a lot spicy if you like it that way. It’s a quick way to add some healthy and yummy green to your meal. Feel free to play with the amounts of the ingredients. I never measure anything for a recipe like this, so just do what seems right to you!

What you need:

  • sugar snap peas (substitute with snow peas)
  • sesame oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • a dash or two of soya sauce
  • a dash of hot sauce (I used sriracha)
  • a few dashes of your favourite vinegar (I usually use an Asian or balsamic vinegar)

What you do:

  1. Clean the snap peas and snap their ends off. Peel and slice the garlic.
  2. Heat a frying pan on medium heat and drizzle in a little sesame oil. Spread it around with your cooking utensil.
  3. Add the sliced garlic and cook briefly, carful not to burn it.
  4. Add the snap peas to the pan and cook briefly.
  5. Add some soya sauce, hot sauce and vinegar. Stir to combine with the snap peas. Cook for a minute or so, but not too long. The snap peas should still have a bit of crispness to them.
  6. Eat them up! Yum!

You could also garnish them with some toasted sesame seeds.

Here’s a link to a site that explains the difference between snow, snap, and garden peas.


Pink Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

pink grapefruit yogurt cake - trust in kimThis pretty cake tastes just as good as it looks. The pink grapefruit flavour is introduced to the cake in several ways – the cake itself contains the zest of the grapefruit; after baking the cake is soaked with a grapefruit syrup, and later it is topped with a grapefruit glaze. The yogurt helps to make the cake moist, and the result is absolutely delicious!

I found this recipe on two peas and their pod blog. I made a very similar recipe a few years ago, called grapefruit olive oil pound cake. Both are amazing, but I prefer using olive oil. The round cake pan used in this recipe looks more special than the loaf pan in my previous recipe, plus the baking time in this one is shorter.

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt (here’s a recipe for homemade yogurt)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 & 1/2 large pink grapefruits
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup canola oil

For the grapefruit syrup:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 T granulated sugar

For the grapefruit glaze:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, and then dust it lightly with flour.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Zest the grapefruit peel into a large bowl and add the sugar. Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until it is fragrant.
  4. Mix the yogurt into the sugar and zest using a spatula. Whisk in the eggs, mixing until smooth, and then stir in the vanilla.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients mixing just until the flour is incorporated.
  6. Mix in the oil.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick to see if the cake is done. The cake should  spring back when you touch it lightly in the centre.
  8. Cool on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.
  9. While the cake cools, make the syrup and glaze. To make the syrup, place the grapefruit juice and sugar in a small pot; heat until the sugar dissolves. While the cake is still warm, after it has been removed from the pan, you can poke holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick. Spoon the syrup over the cake.
  10. To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Add the grapefruit juice and mix until smooth. Add more sugar or juice to achieve the right consistency. When the cake has cooled to room temperature drizzle the glaze all over the top of the cake.


How to Hard-Cook an Egg


I know it seems too simple to bother writing about, but I really do believe there is a “right” way to hard-cook an egg. Most mornings I start my day with a hard-cooked egg since it’s a good source of protein, and when cooked this way . . .  the Right Way . . . it is tender and delicious.

I used to call these hard-boiled eggs, but I stopped using the word ‘boiled’ when I found the Right Way stopped boiling them. You see, eggs don’t like to be cooked at high temperatures; they turn tough when you boil them. This method is really easy, and the results are much better.

I have also been using free-range organic eggs for a while, and I believe the flavour is much better. The eggs in the photo are from London Heritage Farm in Steveston, BC. It’s a great place to cycle to for tea and a scone in the their tea house, and a walk through the garden.

What you need:

  • one large free-range organic egg
  • salt and freshly ground pepper – optional

What you do:

  1. Place the egg in a small pot and add enough water to cover the egg. Place the pot, with the lid on, on high heat and bring to a simmer – just before it begins to boil, turn the heat off.
  2. Keep the pot on the burner that has been turned off, with the lid on. Set a timer for 11 minutes. (Give it a few extra minutes at high altitudes)
  3. Pour the hot water out of the pot, then cover the egg with cold water for a moment.
  4. Crack and peel the egg, salting and peppering if desired. Eat it while it’s hot!

You can use the same method to make devilled eggs, egg salad sandwich, or any other recipe that calls for hard-boiled eggs.


Chewy Oat Cookies

chewy oat cookies -trust in kim

My brother reminded me about these cookies from our childhood the other day. They are chewy and almost caramel in the middle, a little crispy on the outside, and really really simple to make. My mom made them when we were little, and neither of us had eaten them for a long time until my brother started making them recently. Of course I had to ask him to send me the recipe so I could try them out too.

On Friday night I mixed up the batter, because it needs to sit in the fridge for a little while, and then it took minutes the next morning to mound the mixture onto a baking pan and bake them up. I brought them to Community Garden work party, and my fellow fence-builders were very happy to try out these treats.

What you need:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

What you do:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl using a wooden spoon.
  2. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for about an hour, or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, then form the cookies into mounds. If you have a 2 tablespoon ice-cream scoop this could be used, or just a large spoon. You will find that bits of rolled oats scatter a bit, so just press them into the mound with your hands. You should get 12-15 cookies and be able to fit them on one pan.
  5. Bake for 12- 15 minutes. The edges should look caramely and bubbly, which will become crispy as they cool.
  6. After removing from the oven allow them to cool on the baking pan. After they are cool the edges will be crispy, and the inside will be chewy.
  7. Enjoy!
raw oat cookies - trust in kim
the raw cookies mounded on the pan
mom & dad dancing
the raw cookies mounded on the pan

Parmesan Thyme Crackers

parmesan crackers - trust in kim

“Parmesan pieces of heaven” is what my friend Amanda called these savoury bites. They go great with a glass of red wine! Another recipe I have made that is similar to this calls them ‘savoury shortbread’ rather than ‘crackers.’ These have that same richness of shortbread. Yum!

The dough needs to chill for at least half an hour before baking, so keep that in mind when planning your baking. You could make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate overnight, or keep the log in the freezer until you need it.

I found the recipe blogged on Lottie & Doof, originally by Ina Garten.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • about 1 cup good quality freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

What you do:

  1. Cream the butter for 1 minute.
  2. Add the Parmesan, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper and mix on low speed to combine.
  3. Add the flour and mix until it forms large crumbles, for about 1 minute. Add a teaspoon of water if the dough seems too dry.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board or countertop, and press it into a ball. Roll into a log, about 20cm/9 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 4 days.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Use a small sharp knife to cut the log into 1cm thick slices. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and place the dough circles on it. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, rotating the pan once half way through baking, until lightly browned. (Mine were done quite quickly, so watch out.)
  6. Move the baked crackers to a cooling rack and serve at room temperature. With a glass of red wine. And olive tapenade would be great too!