It took me practically 1 month to trace down that Korean chilli powder!
I went to Sol market but the staff told me all their outlets are out. The chilli powder price went up 200% as I was told and their boss is trying to replace with another brand of chilli powder. So, one fine day, while I was walking back from my office to the URA carpark, I dawned onto me that there is a Korean wholesale shop just beside my office building! Its Tanjong Pagar! The epicentre of Korean cuisine in Singapore. The Little Korea!
It is kind of a run down building and no one would know that behind that dark glass windows, sits a Korean shop. I went in. A bell rang. A woman appeared from a little back office. She asked what I want and I told her. She brought me to the aisle and pointed at a dusty pile of chilli powder packets. No price was on it. She said $22. It’s more than a kg but I took it nonetheless. I wanted to go walk around the shop for other items but she marched to the cashier, prepare that red ratty plastic bag and waited for me to pay. I think I might have disturbed her lunch.
Anyway, I adapted the recipe here.
It took a while to buy the right cucumbers. I wanted those with as little seeds as possible. The best would be telegraph cucumbers but they are
non-existence really expensive here in this part of the world. So I settled with what our supermarket termed as “Japanese cucumbers”.
I soaked them in salty boiling water for 50 mins. I think I added too much salt.
At this point, I was supposed to pour the water away and rinse with cold water but I completely forgot. I only rinsed with tap water once. I don’t know why we need to use cold water but I have written to Aeri’s Kitchen, the originator of this recipe and waiting for her reply.
Here’s the chilli paste with sugar, fish sauce, ginger paste, garlic paste and water.
I stuffed the cucumbers with the paste. Kept them out, covered overnight. And this morning, I saw this.
Look at that water! When I left them yesterday night, there wasn’t any water but this morning, it filled half the container! Realised this is common. I supposed cucumbers have really high water content.
Tested it in the morning. Can’t really say I liked it because it was too salty! It must have been my heavy-handedness in adding the salt or the fact that I didn’t rinse it enough. But still, eatable lah!
Just side track a bit, to make the ginger and garlic paste. I dug this out.
It has interchangeable blades for different cuts. But this is not what I’m going to talk about.
Can see this is really old right?
I practically inherited all my mama’s kitchen utensils, cutlery, pots and pans. Her Le Creuset pans are still at my brother’s place because they are just so heavy!
This kitchen slicer is by KAI, a very good Japanese brand till today. Their products are still hanging in shelves of Isetan and Takashimaya. And frankly, the blades are still sharp, except that the plastic parts are turning yellow.
Guess how old this is?
Look at the top right corner of the box.
Yes. It is a price tag.
Yes. It is Yaohan!
Yes. Its is $21.63
Days when Takashimaya was unknown in Singapore. Days when 1 cent was still a legal tender.
It must have been at least 20 years old.