Ten thousand Koreans live in a Surrey suburb called New Malden, which is where I grew up. Back then it wasn’t the Seoul away from Seoul it is now. Woolworths, Blockbuster, Safeway, the butchers, the kebab shop have all long gone, replaced by Korean grocery stores, Korean restaurants, cafés, Korean bakeries, Korean estate agents and travel agents. If you vote UKIP you’ve probably moved out of town by now.
I still go back there every now and then to peruse the aisles of Korea Foods and load up my boot with kimchi, gochujang, doengjang, ramen, seaweed, tofu, Asian pears etc… It gives me that kid in a sweet shop feeling. There’s that awkward moment when the checkout assistants don’t know which language to address me in – my anglicisation must be obvious somehow.
Naturally I used to eat kimchi every day. And stuff like Mum’s chicken and seaweed broth, spiced mackerel stew, spam fritters, acorn jelly, naengmyun, japchae, mandu… Thus I grew up magnificently nourished and blissfully unaware that I pretty much stank of chilli and garlic the whole time.
My Great British roast/Korean barbecue mash-up is comforting Sunday lunch meets hot and happening Korean flavours. I used short rib which alongside shin, tail and cheek are my favourite bits of cow.
The beef sat in the fridge overnight slathered in bulgogi marinade (ginger, garlic, spring onion, apple, soy, sesame oil, sugar, salt) before braising in the oven for a really long time. Bul-gogi literally translates as ‘fire-meat’, excuse enough to get my blowtorch out to add a post-slow cooked charring.
I made up yorkshire pudding batter before pimping with kimchi juice and chopped spring onions. And finally I upped the heat with Bisto spiked with gochujang for gravy with a rosy glow. A Sunday roast with attitude.
Ingredients: beef short ribs, spring onions, ginger, garlic, apple, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt, flour, eggs, milk, kimchi juice, gochujang, gravy granules