Times like this bring into sharp relief many things. In terms of the kitchen, it has shown my chaotic pantry (cupboards!) for what they really are. Everything is chosen in the moment with little planning, and then planted to be dealt with at a later date.
I have several kinds of rice (from Taiwan rice to black rice with lots of different white rice in between), lots of fermented bits and bobs (I have 2 tubs of my favourite Korean pepper paste and a catering size bag of Korean pepper flakes), and many many random things that I have brought back from my various travels. There is more hot sauce than I could get through in any reasonable length of time and lots of chillies, but I am running super low on basic spice. A little interrogation shows clearly what you eat regularly and what you think you should. I am most definitely an Irish woman who travels and loves big flavour (which of course you already knew).
What is in your pantry? (and let’s be honest, isn’t that a cupboard for most of us?!)
My basics: many pulses, meat, eggs, potatoes, squash and cabbage are not far removed from what my grandmother might have had, but I have so many things from far-flung places to accentuate them. My cupboards have masa harina to make Mexican corn tortillas, Sri Lankan rice flour to make hoppers to house my breakfast eggs, coconut milk and tins of tomatoes for curry sauces and pasta. I have quite a bit of pasta which we are speedily going through (and which were always there, we never stockpiled).
Are carrots the most under-rated veg?
I always think that I should eat carrots, yet I rarely do. I mainly use them to make stock, occasionally grated in a salad. So, today, I rectify that, and I spike this otherwise simple chicken broth with firey deep Korean pepper paste, gojuchang. I am reminded about how gorgeous carrots are, so sweet when cooked until tender, and that goes so well with the heat of the gojuchang. They are gorgeous in this soup, and nourishing too.
If you don’t have gojuchang (Korean red pepper paste) in your cupboard, I suggest you invest in it. It is a deeply flavoured and hot paste that adds instant flavour and sass to everything you add it to. It is easy to find also, certainly online. Buy some Korean red pepper flakes too! A tip for vegans, those wanting a meat-free dish, or those who want a speedy broth. Miso and gojuchang together make something instant, nutritious and beautiful. Deepen the flavour further with some seaweed if you have it (dulse is my favourite).
Allergen Info and Live Online Cooking Classes Coming Soon!
Allergen information: if you are gluten-free, look out for gluten-free gojuchang which absolutely exists! Sous Chef have a gluten-free gojuchang and they usually deliver all over Europe, although it is worth checking in on that at the moment (I have no commercial relationship with them, just a happy customer!).
Coming soon! Online cooking classes! Many of you will remember that I taught cooking classes regularly. I am going to be doing some cookery classes online (trialling Zoom) for £5 a class (with free places for NHS and Key Workers). If you are interested, I will update with info soon, so watch this space. I think these could be a lot of fun, and a lovely bit of human connection in these isolated times. Now you will finally see just how small and pokey my kitchen is.
Living in the UK and looking for online Food & Drink deliveries? I have a list of farms, food producers and online shops that you likely don’t know about, who are delivering wonderful things to your door! I update it often so keep an eye out. This was last updated today. Independent Food Producers and Shops Delivering Food During Covid19 in the UK
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 300g carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 litre chicken stock or veg stock or miso broth
- 200g shredded cabbage
- 250g cooked white beans or 1 drained tin (I used gigantes beans)
- 1 tbsp gojuchang
- neutral oil for frying (whatever you use normally is fine!)
- sea salt
- garnish: chives, a sprinkle of Korean red pepper (if you have it) and I also used wild three cornered leek flowers which taste like a garlicky spring onion
Other Gojuchang Recipes on Eat Like a Girl
- My New Book, Bacon the Cookbook, Publishes on Thursday - December 15, 2020
- Dream Now, Travel Later: Plotting a Return to Nova Scotia - November 30, 2020
- Jalapeño Brined Fried Chicken and Homemade Chicken Fat Tortilla Tacos - October 22, 2020