Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Korean Meatballs and Quick Kimchi Rice Bowls

Our Christmas tree is up at last. The pressure finally got to me. I've been getting some not-so-subtle hints from the boys for about a week about not having a tree. So today, while every one was out at work and school, I jumped in my car, drove to the tree place, selected the perfect tree, wrestled it into my car, drove it home, wrestled it out of my car, trimmed the base, wrestled it inside, constructed the stand, erected the tree (making sure it was straight from all angles and that the "good side" was facing out - not that I have OCD or anything), placed the tree in its rightful place, found the lights and decorations, untangled the lights (even though I made sure they were untangled when they were put away last time), made sure the lights worked, put the lights on the tree (which always sounds like a really nice job until you're actually doing it), cleaned up all the pine needles and waited for the boys to come home from school, They decorated the tree with baubles and tinsel while I made these Korean Meatballs and Quick Kimchi Rice Bowls for dinner... It's the least I could do.

Korean Meatballs and Quick Kimchi Rice Bowls
adapted from here
Serves 4

For the Quick Kimchi:
500g white cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 cup salt (I used pink Himalaya)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1cm piece fresh ginger root
1 shallot, peeled and roughly sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar (I used panela)
1 teaspoon Korean chilli powder
2 tablespoons gochujang (fermented red pepper paste)
1/2 apple peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

For the Meatballs:
1kg ground beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 spring nioons, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons of sugar (I used panela)
1 tablespoon sunflower oil, for frying

For the Simmering Sauce:
5 tablespoons soy sauce
90ml water
90ml unsweetened apple sauce
6 tablespoons sugar (I used panela)
2 tablespoons honey
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1cm piece of fresh ginger root
3 spring onions, roughly chopped

To Serve:
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup julienned carrots
4 cups cooked Japanese rice, hot

Make the Kimchi:
Put the cabbage into a heat-proof bowl. Dissolve the salt in the boiling water and pour it over the cabbage. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Put the garlic, ginger, shallot, fish sauce, sugar, chilli powder, gochujang and apple into a blender and blitz until smooth.

Rinse and drain the cabbage. Add the paste to the cabbage along with the toasted sesame seeds and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning and set aside.

Make the Meatballs:
Put the beef into a large bowl.

Put the soy, sesame oil, salt, spring onions, garlic and sugar into a blender and blitz until smooth. Add to the ground beef and mix thoroughly with your hands until fully incorporated. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches until they are browned. Remove from the pan after each batch is cooked. Wipe out the pan and add all of the simmering sauce ingredients to the pan. Bring to boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the meatballs back to the pan. Cook until the sauce is thick and syrupy and there's only a small amount left to coat the meatballs and the bottom of the pan.

Assemble the Rice Bowls:
Divide the rice among four deep bowls. Top with kimchi, meatballs and some shredded carrot, Pour over any remaining simmering sauce and sprinkle with sliced spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.


  1. You're such a hero :) So much trouble to make happy your boys, that's really nice!! Plus, looking at a beautiful tree with this bowl, anytime :)

  2. Scrumptious, wholesome and not fussy at all! I love this kind of food.



  3. Hi there, just stopped by to let you know you've been featured today over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers