Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Recipe: Bacon gochujangg tteok

Inspired by a similar dish served at Mok Bar in New York's Chelsea market this is an amazing fusion taste combination of smokey pork and sweet spicy gochujangg Korean chilli paste. This is an amazingly quick dish to prepare and absolutely wows.

Bacon gochujangg tteok

4 rashers of bacon
250g fresh Korean rice cakes (tteok)
2 sprigs of Spring onion
2 tbspns Gochujangg
1/2 cup cabbage Kim Chi
1 tspn sesame oil
1 clove garlic
1 tbspn grated ginger
2 eggs

1 tbspn black or balsamic vinegar
2 tbspn Mirin


  • I buy Jinmi Napa Cabbage Kim Chi if local fresh products are not available
  • One of the best things about this dish is the toothy al dente texture the rice cakes take on in the bacon fat. For best effect use the flat disk style garaetteok rather than the tube tteok so that a greater surface area is fried.
  • Use a large flat pan with as much surface area as possible for frying. Dice the bacon into small pieces and fry until the fat has rendered into the pan.
  • You must use room temperature tteok for the crispy chewy fried texture to work, if you buy frozen rice cakes make sure to defrost before cooking.
  • Pour the rice cakes into the pan, try to maintain a single cake depth with as many rice cakes as possible touching the bottom of the pan.
  • Leave the rice cakes to turn slightly transparent before turning. Use an egg flip to turn the rice cakes, resist the urge to 'stir' them as this will activate the gluten and you are just as likely to end up with one sticky ball of rice cakes!
  • Start to fry the eggs sunny side up at this stage, this should ensure that your eggs are fried at the same time the rest of the dish is complete.
  • In a small bowl mix the gochujang, ginger, garlic and sesame oil plus 1 sprig of the spring onions diced.
  • Add the gochujang mixture and kim chi to the pot then mix until the rice cakes are well covered. Taste 1 cake for texture and taste.
  • Depending on the brands of gochujang and bacon you use this can be a quite salty dish.  If desired add vinegar and Mirin until the dish is seasoned to your taste and cut through some of the salt and fat.
  • Turn the rice cakes off the heat and then serve in a flat bowls
  • Top with the fried eggs, remaining scallions (spring onions) and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Bali Steak and Seafood, Waikiki Hawaii

Nothing says date night to me like a steak dinner and it was time to celebrate our wedding anniversary in style. Arriving in our holiday in Oahu we decided to spend the first night in our resort taking advantage of sunset views over Waikiki beach. 

The Bali Steak and Seafood Grill is part of the main beach resort and offers a decent high end steak house experience.  

 Being an American company you get the US dining experience meaning a host, sommelier and multiple wait staff who each have a single role. I find this rather jarring since it took several people to deliver my meal, none of whom had all the knowledge required for service. You cannot ask the water person about the wine and you cannot ask the person collecting your plates for a food request. Americans expect this behaviour though so the mixed origin tourist group have to make do.

Old World Wine Flight $25USD

We started with a wine flight of European wines. The price and size of the glasses was very decent making the cost very affordable when paced out over the course of a meal. Selections: Torres Pazo das Bruxas Albarino, Antinori Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay, Banfi Chianti Classico. You could definitely opt for higher price vintage wine but these were very drinkable with the food. 

Cheese and Charcuterie Board 5 selections for $40USD

One of my favourite ways to start a meal, perfect for low carb or gluten free diners. The real star of this board was actually the home made pickles which were so good we asked for extra. Otherwise featured Fennocchiona salami, Proscuitto di Parma, Point Reyes Blue, Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor and Morbier.

They did not include anything sweet with the board so we had to ask for Honey to be brought. They did so willingly but hopefully they took the hint, Truffle Tremor + Honey is one of those truly symbiotic flavour combinations.

Market Harvest Salad $16USD

You need a little greens to cut through all that richness! We shared a side salad of romaine, tomatoes, beets and walnuts in a buttermilk dressing. 

Petite filet ($52USD) with lobster tail ($24USD), clarified butter and Bearnaise sauce

Go on girl, get the lobster! This was our anniversary vacation and this is one of my all time favourite celebration meals. The Bearnaise was excellent and the clarified butter purely transparent. 

My only sadness was that none of the meal seemed to be locally sourced which felt like a missed opportunity given the Pacific location. I suspect the American audience expects well known East Coast favourites that require cold water. It would have been better if they had used a warm water seafood like slipper lobster or jumbo prawns.

Every Friday night the hotel puts on fireworks over Waikiki beach, the Bali grill offers VIP viewing from the terrace up close and personal with the fireworks cannons. For those on a more budget level holiday the fireworks can be seen from the public beach free of charge.

Bali Steak and Seafood

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
2005 Kalia Rd
Honolulu, HI 96815

High end grill and steakhouse
Date night experience less comfortable for children