Cafe | Ziferblat Edge St. Northern Quarter (Manchester)

The Bloggers’ Market MCR 2015 will be hosted by the awesome Ziferblat Edge St. Northern Quarter on the 11th of April, Saturday 11am – 2pm. This gave me an opportunity to visit Ziferblat a few times for bloggers’ meetup. (You can check out this post for more info about the Bloggers’ Market MCR 2015) 

There are plenty of buzz going around the opening of Ziferblat since February up until now. I remember reading lots of articles about it on my Facebook feed and pretty much straight away, included this cafe on my list of places to visit. So what is it exactly? Their Facebook page stated, “Ziferblat is the name for a new kind of social space; where everything is free except the time you spend there. We charge 5 pence per minute and that’s all”.

Simplest form of explanation: You pay 5p per minute per stay.
1. Buzz at the door and they will let you in.
2. Go up to first floor and clock in at the reception so that you know and they know what time you have arrived. (see below for the photo of the reception)
3. Chill and sit down on their comfy sofas and use their 100mb awesome wifi.
4. Eat cake, drink tea or have a freshly brewed coffee. (all DIY of course and make sure you wash your dishes)
5. Play piano or play boardgames with your friends – there are so many things to do in this cool space!
6. Clock out and be so amused by the fact that you did all that, and you only need to pay 5p per minute. Totally worth it!

What more could you ask for?

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©camerashake

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©camerashake Reception area

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©camerashake

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©camerashake

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©camerashake

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©camerashake

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©camerashake

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©camerashake

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©camerashake

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©camerashake Cake, cake, and cake

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©camerashake Breakfast anyone?

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©camerashake

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©camerashake Comfy and spacious space for everyone!

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©camerashake Freshly brewed coffee – good quality!

Have you visited Ziferblat? What are your thoughts about it?
Or do you know a similar place like this?

***Disclaimer: All views are my own honest opinion of the cafe. This review is not sponsored.***

Happy 2015!

Happy 2015 everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year with your loved ones. I had the most fun-filled Christmas with my wonderful family and my fiancé’s family! It was our first time hosting it in our lovely home and I prepared a feast for everyone. I enjoyed every minute of it. Plenty of eating, drinking and laughing involved!

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Lots of wonderful presents!

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Easy pot roast beef – Martha Stewart’s recipe. Although I made mine sweet and spicy – definitely not a traditional pot roast! This was very popular that night – gone in seconds! Cooking time: 4hrs

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©camerashake

Rich and creamy potato gratin – Laura Vitale’s recipe.

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Prepared a day before – easy homemade chocolate pudding with strawberries!

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We played a total of 7 Minute-to-win-it games plus charades. It was absolutely hilarious! We didn’t stop laughing! These are the only photos we took – we were so busy laughing and playing!

Cup stacking using only one hand

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©camerashake

Backflip

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My adorable family

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©camerashake

Food | Dragonfly tea – A review of their luxury loose leaf teas!

Dragonfly tea is a family owned British company who source, grow and make the very finest of teas. You can read their history, values and philosophy on their amazing website. I came across their page on Facebook and saw that one of my friends actually tried their tea. She recommended Lapsang Souchong – for something very different. I am very intrigued and excited as this will be my first time trying a smoked loose leaf tea.

I am very grateful that the lovely Rosanna from Dragonfly tea sent me 2 of their luxury loose leaf teas to sample and review. I chose the smoky Lapsang Souchong and my favourite flavour, Darjeeling. Communication was astounding and the delivery was quite quick.

I was so excited to receive all of these yesterday!

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©camerashake

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The packaging was well-presented and I loved how the booklet and cards were minimalist and beautifully designed. The tins were sturdy and high quality.

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©camerashake

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Okay so now what do I think of the Lapsang Souchong? Once I’ve opened the tin, the smoky smell was so strong. Initial reaction? Sort of like a smoked fish. I was taken aback by the intense smell and actually had second thoughts of trying it. But I did. We did. My fiancé and I tried it. And. We regretted it.

Well, I’d say it wasn’t that bad. The taste was actually better than the smell. I find that there’s a minty aftertaste. And yes, a smoky taste – not too strong though. Will I drink it again? Hmmm, maybe. Next time, I might adjust the amount of tea and tweak the water a bit. Maybe add a slice of lemon? Apparently, some tea-drinkers like adding lemon into it. My fiancé however, will never ever taste it again. Scarred him for life. (LOL) I think the taste of Lapsang Souchong – it’s either you love it or absolutely hate it! Also, I kinda wished I chose their Bai Mudan (white china tea) instead.

I adjusted the amount of loose leaf tea – mainly because it might be too strong for us.

LAPSANG SOUCHONG

For two people

Brewing:  4 mins
Tea    :  2 heaped teaspoons
Water  :  4 small teacups
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©camerashake

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©camerashake

Onto the next one, my favourite, Darjeeling. What can I say? Light, clean and a hint of sweetness! Just the way I like it. I loved this tea! I could drink it all day! There was a honey-smell after brewing the tea. It was definitely delicious. What a treat!

DARJEELING

For two people

Brewing:  4 mins
Tea    :  2 heaped teaspoons
Water  :  4 small teacups
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©camerashake

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©camerashake

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©camerashake

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©camerashake

| Exact details at the back of the tin:

Infusion Instructions

Allow freshly boiled water to cool for 1-2 minutes. preheat the teapot and add 2-3 grams of tea per person. infuse for 3-5 minutes. the longer the infusion, the more flavoursome the tea becomes. |

I would highly recommend Dragonfly tea to anyone! We are a massive fan of high-quality loose leaf teas. I’m not an expert but I have tried a wide variety of loose leaf teas over the years – from different independent companies, teas from different parts of the world to the most common and commercially-made ones. I must say, loose leaf teas from Dragonfly was definitely a LUXURY without the expensive price tag. For only £6 per tin – very affordable and worth every penny! The whole tin will lasts you for a long time.

Thank you Dragonfly tea for letting me review your luxury loose leaf teas. I hope I can review more of your well-crafted and flavorful products someday!

Are you a tea-drinker? Do you like loose leaf teas? What’s your favourite? I would love to hear your comments! 

***Disclaimer: I asked the lovely Rosanna from Dragonfly tea to sample and review their loose leaf teas. The teas were sent to me for free. All views are my own honest opinion of the experience.***

Related Links:

Email – hello@dragonflytea.com

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

If you’re in the UK, you can buy their teas at a local store near you. Click here for more details.

Food | Anniversary dinner at Room Restaurant, Manchester

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Checking online where to eat and reading all the reviews must be a god-send for all of us, well for me it is. If you’re like me, I want to check the reviews before going to any restaurant and maybe have a look at some customers’ photos – usually on TripAdvisor. I find it really helpful to know what are the best dishes to order and if the price is quite reasonable. For our 8th year anniversary dinner, we went out and tried Room Restaurant, Manchester.  An extract from their website,

“Our menu is based on classic dishes all produced with a contemporary Room twist. Think Prawn Cocktail, Liver and Onions and Black Forest Gateau all recreated the Room way. Our modern, British, unpretentious style and the attitude of our friendly and knowledgeable team of ‘table hosts’ will make your time with us an enjoyable and memorable treat. Always leave enough Room in your life…”

We checked online and liked their set menu offers – for the price of 3-course meal £16.50, it was a good deal! However, when we arrived there, we forgot that it’s actually the weekend and their dinner offers run Monday-Friday. Oops. So A la Carte Menu it is then! The restaurant has an amazing interior and great atmosphere. Upon arriving, we were quickly greeted by lovely staff members. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. We also loved the music and the bar!

We ordered the exact same dishes. We’re not in the mood to explore and experiment new dishes that night. Their cocktails were also very good eventhough a little expensive. Lastly, a 5-star customer experience from our ‘table host’. She explained all the dishes to us and she was definitely very attentive and friendly.

Here are the cocktails;

£3.50 Elderflower & Apple cordial – Apple, lime, soda and mint (non-alcoholic)

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£7.95 Coffee Martini – Vanilla vodka, butterscotch, fresh espresso, pistachio and salt

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£3.50 Virgin Porn Star – Pineapple, passion fruit, butterscotch, lemon and vanilla shot (non-alcoholic)

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***** We loved all the drinks! But for £7.95? Don’t you think that’s a bit overpriced? I definitely recommend the non-alcoholic drinks. For £3.50 – it’s a win-win situation!

For starters;

£7.50 Which came first? – Crispy chicken wing, quails egg, chicken paté, chicken leg

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***** It was fresh, tasty and definitely loved the plating of the dish. Quail eggs were cooked to perfection. Chicken paté was tasty and perfect accompaniment to the bread. As you can see, personally, the portion was not enough to justify the £7.50

For mains;

£14.95 Short rib of beef – Slow cooked, Deep South rub, Chipotle peppers – All served with hand cut chunky chips, house salad

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One word: HEAVEN. The beef was tender, juicy and very very tasty. Fall-off-the-bone goodness! The chips were homemade and freshly cooked. Highly recommend this dish!

For dessert;

£7.50 Fererro – Chocolate brûlée, hazelnut & white chocolate

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***** Sweet-tooth you say? Here’s the perfect dessert for you! It was chocolatey, tasty and rich! My fiancé loved it! I loved the creme brûlée eventhough it was too sweet for my liking.

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Overall, it was an amazing dining experience. For the two of us, we spent £80.

I’d give it a score of 7 / 10

Would we go back? Maybe. We’ll try their set menu offers.

Do you have any questions / concerns about this post? Please don’t hesitate to send me an email : camerashake09@gmail.com

***Disclaimer: We paid for our meal. All views are my own honest opinions and experience.***

Related links:

Room Restaurant Manchester

Set Menu Offers – Room Restaurant

A la Carte Menu – Room Restaurant

Food | PART 2: Food Festival 2014 at the Lowry Outlet, Manchester – You’re not too late, you can still go tomorrow!

I’ve decided to split my Lowry Food Festival 2014 entry into two.

Same day, different grub. Enjoy!

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©camerashake – James Martin live cooking demo tomorrow!

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©camerashake – Fundi – Wood Fired Pizza

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©camerashake – Spicy Salami – fresh, super tasty and reasonably priced, just £6 good for two people

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©camerashake – Want some?

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©camerashake – Not sorry – super close-up food porn!

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©camerashake – Coffee break!

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©camerashake – Caffine?

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©camerashake – The chai latte was amazing!

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©camerashake – The Split Screen Bakery

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©camerashake

©camerashake

©camerashake

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©camerashake – “I never met a cupcake I didn’t like.”

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©camerashake – Gourmet popcorn from Whiteys

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©camerashake – Someone’s happy 🙂

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©camerashake – Fresh churros from Churtopia

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©camerashake – Just look at how happy she is cooking that crispy, hot and not too-doughy-just-perfect churros!

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©camerashake – “R”

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©camerashake – The winning food porn shot!

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©camerashake – Errr…

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©camerashake – I’m happy! Who wouldn’t be?

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©camerashake – Quinteassential UK – loose leaf tea at its finest!

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©camerashake – I hope you can smell all these fragrant, sweet-smelling teas!

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©camerashake – Green Flamingo

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©camerashake – A perfect end to an eventful day!

I can’t wait to go back next year! Have you been to one of these food festivals in your city? If yes, I would love to hear your comment below.

Missed Part 1? Click here!

LINKS:

Fundi Wood Fired Pizza

The Split Screen Bakery

Lowry Food Festival 2014

Quinteassential UK

The Manchester Coffee Company

Churtopia

Whiteys Gourmet Popcorn

Food | PART 1: Food Festival 2014 at the Lowry Outlet, Manchester – You’re not too late, you can still go tomorrow!

So you might be thinking, what to do in Manchester tomorrow? Well, how about you come and visit the Food Festival 2014 at the Lowry Outlet Mall? It was such an amazing event! The event has over 120 stalls and lots of food-to-go. There are so much fresh and tasty food to try such as rump steak burgers, gourmet popcorn, fresh breads, wood fire pizza and many many more. I promise you, you won’t regret it!I

Now, for the fun part! Here are all the photos my fiancé and I took all day. We had such a blast! We’ve eaten quite a lot of super mouthwatering food and tried the best chai latte! We’ll definitely go again next year. What a fun experience!

* I’ll try my best to link all the stalls / food that we’ve tried down below. Just a head start, this entry has LOTS of photos! Enjoy!

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©camerashake – Watched a live cooking demo of Rachel Allen, she’s a famous chef here in the UK. She’s very down-to-earth and friendly!

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©camerashake

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©camerashake – All these amazing food for under an a hour!

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©camerashake – Super easy focaccia bread by Rachel Allen

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©camerashake – Rhubarb and Strawberry dessert with lavender shortbread by Rachel Allen

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©camerashake – Simple toast and asparagus with hollandaise truffle sauce

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©camerashake – Live music at the Lowry Food Festival 2014

©camerashake

©camerashake – Burritos and Tacos

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©camerashake – Fresh bread!

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©camerashake – Sausages!

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©camerashake – Kids Cookery School at Lowry Food Festival 2014, it’s free!

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©camerashake – Yes! I see you 🙂

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©camerashake – Rain can’t stop us!

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©camerashake – The most amazing rump steak burger I have ever tasted in my life!

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©camerashake – Food porn, right there!

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©camerashake – Rump steak burger from @BistroBarnHouse

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©camerashake – Pulled-pork for my hubby-to-be 🙂

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©camerashake – My food-buddy!

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©camerashake – THIS IS THE ONE!

I can’t wait to go back next year! Have you been to one of these food festivals in your city? If yes, I would love to hear your comment below.

Missed Part 2? Click here!

LINKS:

Lowry Food Festival 2014 Manchester

The Barnhouse Bistro UK

Markets – Lowry Food Festival 2014 Manchester

Camp Cooks

Rachel Allen

Recipe Of The Day: Korean Soybean Paste Stew – Doenjang Jjigae with Buckwheat Soba Noodles

Last month I’ve shared with you this spicy comforting dish called Soondobu Jjigae. Doenjang Jjigae is pretty similar. To tell you in advance, my recipe is not the traditional kind. I wanted it to be full of vegetables and I also added my own twist – adding the Buckwheat Soba Noodles. Totally satisfying!

Photos from my iPhone – check more food photos in my Instagram: @sarahlalala

Doenjang Jjigae with Buckwheat Soba Noodles

GOOD FOR 4 VERY HUNGRY PEOPLE

VERY SPICY STEW – NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED

prep time: 10 mins
cooking time: 15-20 mins

You’ll Need:

1 cup doenjang paste – korean soybean paste (check your nearest asian supermarket)

1 large broccoli

2 large cougettes / zuchinni

1 large red pepper

1 large green pepper

200g chesnut mushrooms

1 large onions

3 cloves of garlic

3-4 cups stock (you can use any stock depending on what meat you want to add – I used chicken stock)

4 green chillies  (optional)

2tbsp red chilli powder (optional)

4tbsp Toasted sesame oil (2tbsp for cooking and 2tbsp for adding it to the stew later on)

pepper

2tbsp soy sauce

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Procedure:

1. Slice all the vegetables in chunky pieces including the onions. Finely chopped the garlic and green chillies -if you want it spicy.

2. In a pot, fry the garlic and onions into the toasted sesame oil until the onions are translucent. This is the time where you also fry the fresh green chillies.

3. Pour 3 cups of stock and let it boil. Dissolve the doenjang paste into the stock. Let it boil again for 5 minutes.

4. Put all the vegetable into the pot and boil for 5 minutes.

5. Add the chilli powder, pepper and soy sauce to taste. Add the rest of stock if you want.

6. Pour in the rest of toasted sesame oil on top of the stew.

7. OPTIONAL: 2 big slices of chicken breast – I added chicken breast slices cooked in 1tbsp of toasted sesame oil, 2 gloves of garlic and pepper.

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For the buckwheat soba noodles:

Put in a boiling water for about 4 minutes. Then rinse with cold water. Add it on top of your stew. This pack is more than enough for 4 people.

* You can skip this and swap it boiled rice.

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*You can adjust the amount of the stew > half of the ingredients = good for 2 people.

TASTY AND EASY – ENJOY! hot buckwheat noodle recipe, buckwheat soba noodle recipes, recipe of the day camerashake, camerashake wordpress, sarahyasmin recipes, easy korean recipe, easy doenjang jjigae with buckwheat soba noodles, korean soybean paste stew, korean dish, spicy doenjang, asian food,

Have you tried this dish before? Let me know in the comment box below.

Related Entries:

Recipe Of The Day: Soondubu Jjigae with Beef Minced and Mung Bean Vermicelli

Beyond Kimchee – Doenjang Jjigae, the ultimate Korean comfort

Maangchi – Fermented soybean paste stew Doenjang-jjigae 된장찌개

Korean Bapsang – Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)

Recipe Of The Day: Soondubu Jjigae with Beef Minced and Mung Bean Vermicelli

I’ve been watching too much Korean dramas lately! As you can see, my love for Japanese and Korean dishes is getting stronger everyday. Have you watched Let’s Eat Korean Drama? To keep it short, the drama shows you people eating mouthwatering Korean dishes and one of them is Soondubu Jjigae. For that reason, I want to share this easy Korean spicy tofu stew – with my own twist. EASY, STRAIGHTFORWARD AND DELICIOUS!

I just want to let you know in advance that I’m not sure if this is the right way to do it. I’ve watched a lot of recipe videos and read recipes online. I find that this dish is really flexible, you can add pork, beef, seafood or keep it vegetarian. You can add more courgettes if you want, less mushroom, more Gochujang etc. You get the gist! So cook it, tweak it and try it. I’ve tasted this dish in a Korean restaurant in town and my recipe is pretty close.

Useful tip: Prepare and slice all the ingredients that you need.
It should be easy and straightforward from then on.

WARNING: This RECIPE IS EXTREMELY SPICY!

Soondubu Jjigae with Beef Minced and Mung Bean Vermicelli 

SERVES: 4 PEOPLE

PREPARATION TIME: 10 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES

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©camerashake

If you’re like me, the first thing that I check in any recipe is the ingredient list. If the list is too long, I just stop reading it. But I assure you, once you get all the ingredients sliced, prepared and ready. It is fairly easy!

Ingredients:
  • 200g portobello mushroom (cut into chunks – you can use any type of mushroom)
  • 500g beef minced (this might be a lot for some but it was enough for us. you can also use pork slices if you want or adjust the amount of beef minced)
  • 500g soft tofu (cut into thick small cubes -you can also use firm tofu))
  • 4 red chillies (I wasn’t able to find Korean chilli flakes/powder – so I’ve used these instead -cut into smaller pieces not chopped)
  • 1/4 cup red pepper paste – Gochujang (Asian store – you can adjust the spiciness)
  • 1/2 cup soybean paste – Daenjang (Asian store – you can adjust this as well and add more later on)
  • 1 courgette (cut into cubes – you can add more or even add turnip)
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large brown onion (if you want more onions, you can add more – cut in chunks)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced / chopped)
  • 2 stalks of spring onions (top it off with some more if it’s cooked and ready to eat – cut into long pieces like the picture below)
  • OPTIONAL 50g mung bean vermicelli (we didn’t eat this stew with rice, I know, sad times. We stopped eating rice for 2 months now.)
  • OPTIONAL 1 cup of beef stock (add more flavour to the stew)
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©camerashake Gochujang and Doenjang

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©camerashake Soft tofu

What to do:

1. Prepare and slice everything. You want to slice the ingredients quite chunky because you will boil them into the stew and you don’t want to slice them small and disappear.

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©camerashake Onions, garlic and courgettes

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©camerashake Portobello mushroom, spring onions and red chillies

2. Here you can see, 1/4 cup Gochujang and 1/2 Daenjang. Later on, I added another 1/2 cup Gochujang to make it spicier.

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©camerashake Gochujang and Daenjang

3. Cooking time! Heat your pot and put 2tbsp of toasted sesame oil. Sautée the minced garlic into the pot until medium brown and put the onions. Cook for 1 minute and then put the beef minced or the meat that your using. Cook until the beef minced are fairly brown in colour. Add and stir your paste – gochujang and daenjang into the pot. 

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©camerashake

4. From here on, you are basically just adding all the ingredients. Add the mushrooms. Stir and cover, boil for 2 minutes. Then, add the spring onions and soft tofu. Stir and cover, boil again for 2 minutes. OPTIONAL: This is where you’ll add 1 cup beef stock. Let it boil for 2 mins more.

If you have a stone bowl, you can transfer the stew and heat it up and serve.

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©camerashake Mushrooms

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©camerashake 2 stalks of spring onions

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©camerashake Soft tofu

5. This is optional. I added 50g of mung bean vermicelli – put it straight into the pot and let it cook in the boiling stew. We didn’t eat it with rice but I made lots of banchan (Korean side dishes!).

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©camerashake

Serve this comforting stew with rice and crack eggs on top and ENJOY! 

Here are the videos that I find useful when making this stew and also the side dishes that I’ve tried with this dish. I didn’t put any salt on my side dishes and substituted sugar with raw honey.

You can also check my instagram @sarahlalala for my quick video of this dish or click the   instagram link in my blog.