Every December the JMA team gathers at John and Margaret’s house to share the holiday cheer with our annual potluck.


Everyone is gathered around the table to explain the dishes they have cooked. Here John is showing the kimchi that took him a week to prepare.


Each year we choose a different theme for the potluck. We all agreed with enthusiasm that

this time around we wanted to eat Korean food, so we got our creative juices to work! We learned that Koreans take great pride in their cooking traditions and having good wholesome foods in their homes.


It was great fun attempting to prepare dishes we had never cooked before...and great fun to eat them! Try out our recipes below:


Tong Dak (barbecue chicken wings) - prepared by Melhik



2 pounds chicken wings and drumettes

1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced

2 tsp sesame oil

6 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp honey

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, minced

1 tbsp red pepper paste (kochujang)



Mix all ingredients together except the chicken (for the sauce).

Marinate chicken for at least an hour in the sauce.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown the chicken in a heated pan on the stove until browned on all sides, reserve the marinade for later.

Transfer wings and drumsticks to a shallow roasting pan, pouring sauce over pieces

Put chicken into preheated oven.

Turn once during cooking, covering with more sauce if needed.

Cook chicken for a total of 40-50 mins in oven. Serve.



Japchae (glass noodle stir fry) - prepared by Mila



For Main

250 g Korean sweet potato starch noodles

100 g rib eye fillet

1 medium carrot, rinsed, peeled and julienned

110 g baby spinach, rinsed and drained

1/4 small red pepper, rinsed and julienned

1/2 large yellow onion, peeled, rinsed and thoroughly sliced

100 g fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned stems removed and thinly sliced

For Spinach Seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp sesame oil

For Beef Marinade

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp rice wine

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp sesame oil

Noodles & mushroom marinade (mix in small bowl)

For finishing touches

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 egg, yolk and white separated



Slice rib eye in thin strips and put in medium bowl. Add the mixed beef marinade to bowl. Cover bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.

Prepare veggies in the “main” section. Put mushrooms in a separate medium bowl and add 1 tbsp of the prepared mushroom marinade. Set aside.

Boil water in a medium pot. Dip spinach for 5-10 seconds and scoop out with strainer. Run spinach under tap water to cool, then squeeze to remove excess water and place into separate bowl. Add prepared spinach seasoning, mix and set aside.

Boil water in a large pot. Boil noodles for 7 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Cut noodles with kitchen scissors to 6-8 inch length. Put in large mixing bowl and set aside. Add some oil to a pan, cook egg white on low heat and then place on cutting board. Repeat this step for egg yolk. Slice into strips and set aside. Fry the onion with some oil and set aside, do the same to stir fry the carrots, red capsicum, marinated mushrooms, marinated meat, and noodles, all in separate steps.

Stir fry all ingredients together to heat through. Add finishing touches if desired. Serve.



Haemul Pajeon (seafood pancakes) - prepared by Elyn



Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp gochugaru (red chili flakes)

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame seeds

1/2 tsp minced ginger

2 scallions, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

For pancakes:

1 pound mussels or clams, or a combination, scrubbed

1/2 cup white flour

1/2 cup rice flour

2 tbsp potato starch or corn starch

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 egg

1 cup ice water

4 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

4 ounces raw squid, sliced into 1/4 inch rings

6 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 red finger chile pepper/Fresno chile, thinly sliced

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup chives, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup canola oil

salt, to taste



Combine dipping sauce ingredients and set aside in small bowl.

Boil 1 inch of water in saucepan, add mussels or clams, cover tightly with lid and cook until the shells are open and the meat is just cooked. Drain, pick the meat from shells when slightly cooled, and set meat aside. Discard shells.

Add the flours, starch, sesame oil and egg to a large bowl. Add the ice water and whisk until well incorporated. Add shrimp, squid, scallions, chile, shallow, garlic, chives, 3/4 tsp salt and mussel/clam meat. Mix.

Add 1/2 cup batter to a skillet coated in oil and spread evenly until it is all a single layer on medium heat. Cook until sides are crisp and small bubbles form on top. Flip the pancake and cook until brown. Keep flipping often until the pancake becomes crispy. Repeat until all pancakes are done. Serve with dipping sauce.




Manju (baked sweet pastry) - prepared by Maria


1 cup lima beans, soaked overnight

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup flour, plus 1/2 cup flour

2 eggs

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 tsp vanilla extract



Pop beans out of skins with your fingers. Discard skins. Place beans in a pot of 1 1/4 cups water and boil for 10 minutes.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 35-50 minutes until the beans are soft and fluffy. Mash beans until they have the consistency of mashed potatoes. Add sugar, half the salt and 1 tsp vanilla and mix to thicken the filling. Turn the heat off, cool and set aside (as filling). In a separate bowl 3/4 cup flour, egg, half the salt, 1 tsp vanilla and the condensed milk and mix until combined. Set aside (as dough). Divide the dough and the filling into 8 same-size balls. Flatten each ball onto a floured cutting board, using the palm of your hand. Place a filling ball into the center of a flattened dough ball. Wrap the dough around the filling. Seal the edges and form into an egg shape. Dip one side of each manju into water, then dip into sesame seeds. Brush the egg yolk over the sesame seeds. Repeat for each pastry and place on baking sheet sesame side up. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes, then serve.



Matt prepared three different dishes, including an appetizer, a side dish, and a chilled dessert.



Gochujang (bean balls) - prepared by Matt



For bean balls:

1 can black beans, drained

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 red pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cooking onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp flax seeds

2 tbsp gochujang (red chile paste)

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, grated

For glaze:

3 tbsp gochujang

3 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 clove garlic, grated



Mash black beans and add remaining ball ingredients. Mix thoroughly and roll into balls.

Place on baking sheet, brush with oil and bake for 20-25 minutes in an oven heated to 430 degree fanbake (convection setting). While bean balls are cooking, make the glaze by adding all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer. Cook until glossy and thickened, then serve together.



Gamja Jorim (Korean potato side dish) - prepared by Matt



12 oz baby potatoes

1 dried shiitake mushroom

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp sugar

2 cups water

1 tbsp vegetable oil

swirl of sesame oil

sesame seeds for garnish



Rinse baby potatoes. Place in a pot with enough water to cover them. Boil water and cook for 10 minutes then drain. Add potatoes back to pot, add 2 cups water, soy sauce, sugar, oil and 1 dried shiitake mushroom. Bring to boil and then simmer, covered for 30 minutes until liquid has reduced to one third. Uncover and add maple syrup, keep simmering until there is almost no liquid. Reduce for a few more minutes while stirring. Finish with sesame oil and seeds, then serve.



Baesuk (pear dessert) - prepared by Matt



4 Korean pears, peeled

3 cups water

15 g fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tbsp sugar

24 black peppercorns (2 or 3 per slice)

Pine nuts for garnish



Place sliced ginger into a pot and add water. Boil over medium high heat until rolling boiling. Cut pears into wedge shapes. Push black peppercorns into the back of the pear slices, 2-3 peppercorns per slice. Push them in deep so they don’t fall out. Using a slotted spoon, discard the ginger. Add the sliced pears and sugar into the pot. Boil them over low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and cool down. Chill in the fridge for a few hours, garnish with pine nuts and serve cold.



Hoogim-ja (black sesame coconut milk ice cream) - prepared by Margaret



6 tbsp black sesame seeds

1/3 cup plum syrup

2 cans full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup unrefined sugar

pinch salt

3 tbsp cornstarch



Put sesame seeds in dry skillet over medium heat. Toast until they start releasing their aroma and start popping. Remove from pan and cool. Grind seeds with a mortar and pestle, place them in bowl and combine with plum syrup until a paste forms. Heat 1 can of coconut milk, the sugar and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. In a bowl, whisk other coconut milk can into cornstarch until no lumps. Add to saucepan, mix and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thicken, making sure the bottom does not burn. Remove from pan, transfer to large bowl, and pass mixture through a sieve if there are any lumps. Stir the sesame seed paste into the mixture until combined. Place a piece of parchment on top to prevent a skin from forming on the top, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours until well chilled. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

From the Cookbook “Our Korean Kitchen”, by Jordan Bourke and Rejina Pyo


John prepared a number of different appetizers  and main dishes.


Godeungeo Jorim (braised mackerel with white radish) - prepared by John



1 large mackerel, filleted

11 oz Chinese white radish, peeled

1/2 cup light soy sauce

2 tbsp sake or rice wine

2 tbsp maple syrup

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp Korean chili powder

1/2 onion, chopped

1 red and 1 green chili, seeded and sliced



Slice the mackerel into medium-size pieces with a very sharp knife. Cut the radish into 1 inch cubes, then arrange evenly across the base of the large pan. Cover the layer of radish cubes with a layer of mackerel. Pour the soy sauce over the fish and add 1 cup of water, the sake and maple syrup. Sprinkle on the crushed garlic and chili powder and gently stir. Add onion and sliced chilis, then cover. Place over high heat and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish is tender, spooning the soy liquid over the fish as it cooks. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

From the Cookbook “The Complete Book of Korean Cooking”, by Young Jin Song


Gal-Bi (barbecue beef short ribs) - prepared by John



2 lb beef short ribs, cut into 2 inch squares

Side of shredded scallions seasoned with Korean chile powder and rice vinegar, to taste.

For the marinade:

4 scallions, finely sliced

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 asian pear,

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

4 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine or sake

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp sesame seeds

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated



For the marinade, place the scallions and onion in a large bowl. Core and chop the Asian pear, being careful to save the juices, and add to the bowl. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Add the short ribs to the marinade, stirring the coat them. Leave to stand for at least 2 hours to allow the flavours to permeate and the meat to soften. Heat a heavy griddle pan or frying pan and add the ribs. Keep turning them to cook the meat evenly. When they become crisp and dark brown, serve immediately with a bowl of seasoned shredded spring onions.

From the Cookbook “The Complete Book of Korean Cooking”, by Young Jin Song


Garibi Gui (spicy scallops with enoki mushrooms) - prepared by John



5 scallops, with shells

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp sesame oil

2 egg yolks, beaten

1 sheet dried seaweed

1 red chili, seeded and finely sliced

1/2 green pepper, finely sliced

2.5 oz enoki mushrooms

Salt and Pepper

Grated rind of 1 lemon, to garnish



Scrub scallop shells, then cut the hinge muscle at the base and lift of the rounded shell.

Scrape away the beard-like fringe, next to the white scallop and orange coral, and remove the intestinal thread. Then ease the scallop and coral away from the shell.

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a wok and stir-fry the scallops until browned. Season with sesame oil, salt and pepper. Place the scallop shells into a pan of boiling water and then drain. Add 2 tsp oil to the wok and heat it over a low heat. Pour in the beaten egg yolks and add a pinch of salt. Cook to form a thin omelette. Once set, remove from the pan and slice into strips. Cut the seaweed into thin strips. Add the chili and pepper to the pan, adding oil if required, and stir-fry with a pinch of salt. Place the scallop shells i a steamer, and set one scallop on each shell. Place the pepper mixture, some omelette strips and some mushrooms on each shell and steam for 4 minutes. Garnish with the seaweed strips and a sprinkle of lemon rind.

From the Cookbook “The Complete Book of Korean Cooking”, by Young Jin Song


Gogooma Tweegeem (prawn and sweet potato tempura) - prepared by John



2.5 cups sunflower oil, for deep-frying

1 scant cup flour, plus a little extra to coat

3/4 cup glutenous rice flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper

1.5 cups ice cold sparkling water

2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (no need to peel)

8 king prawns, shelled and deveined, tails left on

For the dipping sauce:

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp mirin

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds



Combine all dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Place oil in a pan over medium heat. Test the temperature with a deep frying or candy thermometer to 350 degrees, or by dropping a bread crumb into the oil; it should turn golden in just under a minute. While the oil is heating, combine flours, baking powder, salt and pepper. Quickly stir in the cold sparkling water until you have a milky consistency. Don’t over-whisk, batter can be lumpy for added texture. Lightly coat sweet potatoes and prawns in extra flour, then dip into the batter and shake off excess so you have a light coating. Carefully place in hot oil, without overcrowding pan. Fry the sweet potato for 4-5 minutes and the prawns for 2-3 minutes, until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove with slotted spoon, dry on paper towels and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

From the Cookbook “Our Korean Kitchen”, by Jordan Bourke and Rejina Pyo


Gyeongdan (sweet rice cakes with red bean filling) - prepared by Julie



For the filling:

1 cup Adzuki red beans

1 cup brown sugar

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

For the dough:

2 cups sweet rice flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

¾ cup boiling water

For the toppings:

1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, roasted and ground

4 tablespoon shredded coconut, roughly chopped



1. For the filling, rinse the beans and soak overnight. Drain beans and put in a pot with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until very soft, and when ready, drain excess water and puree in a food processor. Place back in the pot, add the brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. Place 2 cups of sweet rice flour in a bowl and add in the salt and sugar. Slowly add the boiling water and mix thoroughly until it forms a firm dough. When mixed through, set aside and prepare the toppings.

3. Combine the matcha green tea powder with the sugar. Roast the black sesame seeds until they pop, then lightly grind with a mortar and pestle. Place those in another bowl. Place the shredded coconut in another bowl.

4. To assemble, roll dough into ping-pong sized ball and place on floured surface. Flatten into a bowl shape, about ¼-inch thick. Place a ½ teaspoon of sweet red bean paste into the center and fold the edges over. Pinch together at the creases to seal the red bean inside and roll back into a ball. Continue with the remaining dough.

5. Boil rice cakes in a pot of water for a few minutes, until they float to the top. Place cakes directly into ice/cold water until cooled, then remove. Once dry, roll in toppings and serve.


Crispy Rice Squares (decorated with Korean flag) - prepared by David



1/4 cup butter

2 cups mini marshmallows

5 cups crisp rice cereal



Melt butter in large sauce pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended. Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add cereal. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13 x 9 inch pan. Cut into 2 x 2 inch squares when cool.


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