by Rebecca Lee
Bienvenue! BIENVENIDO! Wilkommen! 你好, 환영 WELCOME to the first article in our Ryde Around The World series.
Sydney these days is a melting pot of different cultures and with that comes some delicious cuisines. If like me, you’re sick of meat and 2 veg, or eating at the same old restaurants, come along with us as we travel into the cultural heart of RDMs. Hopefully you will gain an insight into your neighbours and maybe add a dish or two to the repertoire!
If you would like to share your cuisine with our Ryde Mums community be sure to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
First stop- KOREA!
Eastwood is home to a large and vibrant Korean community and you can find all sorts of restaurants, groceries, butchers and fashion on the Rowe St side of Eastwood.
I met up with RDM Serah Byun at the Aldi shopping centre (62-80 Rowe St, Eastwood). Serah grew up in the area and despite having moved once she got married, Eastwood still feels like home. Inside the centre you will find many Korean retailers.
Key stores to check out
Hahn’s Food – Korean Gourmet Butchers and Chefs
As Serah pointed out, most Korean butchers don’t display their meat in cases at the front so it can be tricky to navigate. Hahn’s is different.
Their award winning, freshly marinated meats are displayed to the customer, including their ingredients. They also sell farm fresh eggs, delivered twice a week
Give these a try:
Bulgogi Beef, a sweet and tangy marinated beef, perfect for stir fry with spring onions and capsicum or BBQ over charcoals and;
Unique lamb and kim chi sausages and Wagyu bulgogi burgers are both award winners
Korean Grocery Store
A treasure trove of grocery items and snacks
Kim chi– A Korean friend once told me no matter how much food is in her fridge, without kim chi, it may as well be empty. Kim chi is to Koreans what Vegemite is to Aussies. Spicy, sweet, sour and salty, this fermented vegie dish is served as an accompaniment at meal times or used to flavour soup broth. It takes years to become a true kim chi master so head into the Korean grocery for delicious kim chi any day of the week!
Gochujang – a hot paste made from red peppers and soy beans. It’s used in loads of Korean soups, stews and marinades to add heat and flavor. Apparently the red peppers used in gochujang are also conducive to lowering the risk of obesity and heart disease, so it’s good for you too!
Snacks for kids – organic, low sugar crackers in cheese, cocoa or walnut flavours. Miss 4 loved these as an after preschool snack! We also came across a lovely looking barley tea, especially for children from 4 months old.
Bean curd wrappers and rice ball seasoning– cook rice, sprinkle with the seasoning and wrap in the tender bean curd. Korean arrancini!
Seasoned seaweed – a thin sheet of slightly salty, crunchy seaweed which can be enjoyed on its own or stirred through hot rice. A bit like Nori.
Shin Cup Noodle Soup– a spicy lunch or snack time instant noodles
Buckwheat noodles– gluten free, soften and serve cold with sliced vege and a sesame dressing- a noodle salad perfect for summer nights!
Fish cake pops – if you dare! Heat in the microwave and enjoy
Dishes To Try
Bulgogi Beef is a great place to start. The marinated beef is served sizzling with green capsicums and spring onions. It’s sweet, tangy and tender. The meat is sliced very thinly and is quite soft- perfect for kids. Delicious with a bowl of hot rice and of course a side of kim chi! Try our recipe for marinade or find the meat pre marinated at the Korean butcher.
Banchan – all meals are served with small side dishes of food served with cooked rice in Korean cuisine. These dishes are meant to compliment the flavours of the main dishes and served sharing style in the middle of the table. Pictured clockwise- lotus root, creamy potato salad, white kim chi (non spicy), white radish kim chi.
Fried Chicken – there’s a new KFC in town. Korean Fried Chicken is a law unto itself and Eastwood is home to a few places, each claiming to be the best. Chicken is cut into bite sized pieces (bones in) and deep fried either plain or with sauce. Once you’ve tried it, you will never eat at “the other chicken place” again! The great news is that the fried chicken shop we visited is open until midnight. Perfect for a late night snack or to satisfy pregnancy cravings!
Bibimbap – this has got to be one of the prettiest dishes. Strips of vegies and some meat are arranged beautifully over hot rice and gochujang in a clay pot. The dish is topped with an egg yolk and sesame seeds. When you’re ready to eat, stir the yolk through the bowl to make a glossy, flavoursome sauce. The rice on the bottom of the bowl is all toasted and crunchy.. drool!
Torin – 122 Rowe St, Eastwood. Tasty bibimbap and Bulgogi beef- we didn’t try their sushi and sashimi but it looked delicious too!
Incredible Chicken and Gangjung – 120 Rowe Street, Eastwood. A fried chicken emporium!!
Jonga Jip – 87 Rowe Street, Eastwood. An awesome introduction into Korean BBQ and the most Banchan we have ever seen.
The Mandoo – 62/80 Rowe Street, Eastwood. Famous for all types of Korean dumplings. Some steamed, some fried. Highly rate the Kimchi dumplings!
Pishon Patisserie and Cake Cafe – 1/77 Rowe Street, Eastwood. The most incredible cakes and desserts
Bibim guksu with buckwheat noodles – a cold noodle salad (gluten free)
2 servings of Buckwheat noodles
2 Boiled eggs
1 sliced cucumber
2 cups of sliced kimchi
Toasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoon chilli paste
1 tablespoon chilli powder
2/3 tablespoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon white vinegar
1.5 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame
Cook buckwheat noodles as directed on the package. Rinse with cold water.
For the sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients as mentioned above and mix in a small bowl.
Place noodle, cucumber, kimchi and boiled egg in a bowl
Add the chilli sauce to the noodle and mix.
You can add crushed seasoned seaweed (laver) and enjoy!