Tag Archives: cookbook

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Find all the essential ingredients for Korean Paleo cooking to make the most delicious and bold flavored dishes in the cookbook, Korean Paleo.

Necessary Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Hi friends! If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably seen that my very first cookbook, Korean Paleo, is finally published and out in the world! It’s pretty much all I’ve been talking about and I’m so excited to share my favorite recipes I grew up with you guys.

While all the recipes are 100% grain free, gluten free, and made with real food, there are several special ingredients for Korean cooking that give this cuisine its wonderfully bold and umami flavor. You may not be familiar with all the ingredients, and some you may not even have heard of before, so I thought I would go through some of the necessary staple items to stock up on so you can cook from the book with ease.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking-6

Before I start, I encourage you to have an open mind when cooking any cuisine that’s new to you. You may feel uncomfortable about handling certain ingredients, but keep in mind that they are what give the wonderful taste to so many traditional dishes and these cooking methods have been passed down from generation to generation!

Avoiding Processed Ingredients in Korean Cooking

Cooking Korean Paleo is slightly different than just Korean. There are some minor substitutions to make so the dishes are grain free and gluten free.

While traditional Korean cooking is quite healthy and anti-inflammatory with various fermentation methods, many sauces and condiments these days are made with wheat flour, corn, high fructose corn syrup, and shady preservatives to cut down on time and cost.

So while the ingredients that I used in Korean Paleo are shortcut-free, they are so much healthier, cleaner, and won’t give you digestive issues if you have food sensitivities!

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking-pin

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

You can find most of these ingredients if you have an Asian or Korean market near you. But in case you don’t, I am including links to where you can purchase them online! No matter where you are, I love that we all have relatively easy access to so many unique flavors with online shopping.

You can find a detailed list of all the special ingredients on pages 185-187 of the cookbook in the section called “Stocking Up Your Korean Paleo Kitchen.”

Condiments

Apple cider vinegar (or coconut vinegar): Koreans usually use rice vinegar in their cooking, which I give the option to use in the cookbook. Rice vinegar is actually quite harmless, but if you are ultra sensitive to grains, the 2 types of grain free vinegars that most resemble the slightly sweet taste are apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar.

Coconut aminos: If you’ve been cooking paleo for a while, you probably have coconut aminos in the kitchen! It’s an amazing soy sauce substitute that’s made from the sap of the coconut and has a slightly sweeter flavor than soy sauce (used in SO many Korean dishes) without grains or gluten.

Paleo Doenjang on page 177 of Korean Paleo

Doenjang: This is a Korean version of miso paste. While Japanese miso paste is usually fermented with another grain other than soybeans, a true, authentic doenjang only uses soybeans and salt. The process of making doenjang is quite labor intensive so it’s extremely difficult to find a clean version (the only ones I found are this one and this one). Feel free to purchase them if you can consume fermented soy. But if not, I have a 100% grain free version on page 177 of the cookbook that tastes a lot like the real deal!

Fish sauce: High quality, fermented fish sauce is packed with umami and adds such an amazing flavor to so many dishes in the cookbook. The ingredients should just be fish and salt, with no other fillers or sugars. The only brand I recommend that’s high in quality with an amazing taste is Red Boat.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking-pin

Gochugaru: Since many Korean dishes have some level of spiciness to them, gochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes, are used quite often and this is something you definitely have around if you are making Korean food often. There are two types of gochugaru: coarse flakes and fine powder. You can use coarse flakes in most Korean cooking to add flavor to dishes. The fine powder version is used to make gochujang in the cookbook, spicy and slightly sweet red chili paste that’s also ubiquitous in Korean cooking.

Gochujang: A thick and sticky red chili paste used in marinades, soups and stews, sauces and more, gochujang is made with fine gochugaru, glutinous rice, and some kind of sweetener. This is one of the higher quality ones I’ve seen, but for a truly grain free version that tastes just like the real deal, you can make your own on page 174 of the cookbook.

Saewoojeot: With this one, I really want to emphasize you to keep an open mind. Saewoojeot is basically tiny shrimp that’s been salted and fermented and it adds a ton of flavor to dishes, much like fish sauce. It should have just 2 ingredients: shrimp and salt. I couldn’t find anywhere online where you can order it, but you can easily find clean versions at Asian markets. If you don’t have access to these markets, just substitute saewoojeot with fish sauce in your cooking! This is what it looks like:

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Other Special Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Dried Anchovies: Called myeolchi in Korean, dried anchovies are used in so many different ways in Korean cooking and they come all different sizes as well. The kind you need to cook from Korean Paleo is  the large dried ones, which are used to make stock for soups and stews. It adds such a unique depth of flavor, and many soups and stews wouldn’t taste the same without it. While it may look a little freaky if you’ve never handled it before, you actually don’t eat it whole in my recipes, and it’s just simmered in stock for flavoring then discarded afterwards.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

Seaweed: There are actually 3 different types of seaweed used Korean Paleo so it can be a bit confusing. Here’s how I label each in the cookbook, and what they are referring to so you can choose the correct kind in the recipes:

  • TwiGak (Sweet Fried Kelp Chips) on page 167 of Korean Paleo

    Dried kelp (or dashima in Korean and kombu in Japanese): These are thick and flat large sheets of seaweed that come in a big rectangle in various sizes. They are not easily bendable and you have to cut them with kitchen shears to break them up. A large piece of it is used to a delicious and flavorful stock by simmering it in water with spices and dried anchovies. I also have a delicious and crunchy snack called TwiGak (Sweet Fried Kelp Chips) on page 167 of the cookbook!

  • Dried seaweed (or mareun miyeok in Korean and wakame in Japanese): This is a different type of seaweed than kelp. While kelp is thick and flat, mareun miyeok is thin and stringy and comes shriveled up. You soak it in water before using it and it’ll expand in size and soften. You then using it to make soups like Miyeok Guk (Seaweed Soup) on page 67 or in side dishes like Miyeok Muchim (Seaweed Salad) on page 122 of the cookbook.
  • Dry unseasoned seaweed sheets (or gim in Korean or nori  in Japanese): This is probably the type of seaweed you may be the most familiar with. The roasted and flavored versions that are cut into mini rectangles are quite popular these days as seaweed snacks (I have a homemade version on page 129 of the cookbook!), but they can be used for various recipes as seasoning, for Korean sushi (page 15 of the cookbook, and more. You can purchase these online.

Kimchi: Probably the most popular and famous Korean food of all, kimchi is eaten alone or can be used in so many different recipes. Be cautious when you purchase kimchi from a store. Many of them are thickened with rice or wheat flour, and sometimes contain questionable sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and MSG as well. Your best best is to make it at home using clean ingredients. I have a delicious quick kimchi recipe on page 173 of the cookbook that’s flavorful and packed with probiotics. If you don’t want to make your own, you can try this brand.

Nigari for tofu making: You need these special salt flakes to make just one recipe from my cookbook, paleo Hemp Tofu on page 181. While it’s not necessary if you are not a fan of tofu, tofu is used quite often in Korean cooking and it was one of my proudest moments to be able to make tofu without soy or any grains. Nigari is used to firm and solidify the tofu and this is the cleanest version I found that works really for my recipe. And don’t forget to grab this tofu mold which is the exact one I used to make my paleo tofu!

Grab Your Copy of Korean Paleo!

I hope this list of ingredients for Korean paleo cooking was helpful for you to start cooking from my book! I know you may not be familiar with some of these ingredients, but purchasing them and trying them out in various recipes is the quickest way for you to get over your fear of using them and you’ll be familiarized with them in no time. I think you’ll love all the different and interesting textures and flavors that they impart.

Essential Ingredients for Korean Paleo Cooking

If you have any questions about the ingredients or the cookbook, leave me a comment below! I’m happy to answer any of your questions. And if you end up cooking up from Korean Paleo, please share on social media with the hashtag #KoreanPaleoCookbook!

Grab Your Copy of Korean Paleo!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

80 Budget-Friendly 30 Minute Meals + EPIC GIVEAWAY

80 Budget-Friendly 30 Minute Meals + EPIC GIVEAWAY

Happy Spring, everyone! This season is all about new beginnings, the weather getting warmer, and the birth of all the vibrant, beautiful colors. It’s also a time to detox your home, your mind, and your body! Let’s talk about the last one a bit. I don’t believe in extreme diets or juice cleanses when it comes to detoxing (they are way too big of a shock to your system and can create more stress in the body), but you can AND should unload some toxins by switching to cleaner, better ingredients in your cooking.

One of the best ways to do this is by reducing inflammatory foods like gluten, refined sugar, low-quality dairy, and vegetable oils. However, it can be a daunting task to switch your diet, especially in this busy world that we live in juggling family, work, bills, friends, and ALL that we have going on. Who has hours to spend in the kitchen?

Well, I’m here to tell you that creating amazingly tasty and healthy recipes at home doesn’t have to be time consuming NOR expensive. 

I have teamed up with amazingly talented food bloggers to bring you: 30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budget: 80 Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Recipes ebook! I’m so proud of this project that I contributed to and I’ve already started cooking from it and I’m LOVING all the recipes, and how quickly they come together!

30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budgeta

This book is jam packed with delicious 100% gluten free, Paleo-friendly recipes and money saving tips that will have you feeding your family in no time while being easy on the wallet. The recipes range from comfort foods, soups, burgers, and zoodles, to “must have meals” like Tex Mex Sloppy Joes, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Crispy Sweet Potato Fish Sticks and a whole lot more! You’ll feel healthy and have more time and money to enjoy some warm weather activities with your loved ones.

Want to get your hands on the 30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budget ebook? Before you go to buy, I have a great deal and a discount for you:

For a limited time, get the bonus book, “Set it and Forget it: Budget Slow Cooker and Instant Pot® Recipes” for free ($9.99 value) with your purchase. No code necessary!

30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budgeta

But that’s not all! Head over to the purchase page and receive 30% off with the code: CHEAPEATS30

30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budgeta

And guess what? This book release comes with an EPIC giveaway!

There will be 8 winners  and the following is the list of the amazingprizes!

Grand Prize: a 6 quart Instant Pot®, a Year Membership to Thrive Market and a Month Membership to 20 Dishes!

2nd Runner up: A Year Membership to Thrive Market and a Month Membership to 20 Dishes

6 Runner ups : A copy of 30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budget
*If you win the book after purchasing it already, you’ll receive a FULL REFUND. This one’s a no brainer. Go enter!

30 Minute Clean Eats on a Budgeta

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Paleo Gluten Free Budget-Friendly 30 Minute Meals Recipes + GIVEAWAY

The Paleo Kids Cookbook Giveaway + Sweet Potato Bacon Tots

Sweet Potato Bacon Tots

It’s time for another giveaway (and a delicious recipe)! Jennifer Robbins of Predominantly Paleo has come out with another amazing cookbook, and this time it’s to get kids into the kitchen! I don’t have kids myself, but I AM passionate about getting them involved with cooking at an early age so they can learn the importance of healthy, home-cooked meals.

The Paleo Kids Cookbook is filled with nutritious, allergen-free recipes without grain, gluten, dairy, or refined sugar, and majority are also nut- and egg- free. It’s perfect for parents who are transitioning their kids to the paleo diet without having them feel deprived or left out because they can’t eat certain foods that their friends can. Food allergies in children are becoming more and more common these days, and this book has 100 recipes that are kid-friendly, seriously delicious, and so much fun! I’m always a kid at heart so yes, I’ll be trying out all the recipes that take me back to my childhood like Gummy Worms, Graham Crackers, Grain-Free Corn Dog Dippers, and Strawberry Shortcake Bites!

Sweet Potato Bacon Tots

The thing I love most about this cookbook is that for every recipe, there’s a “For Little Hands” section that gives suggestions on how your child can help with the preparing and cooking, and what they’ll need supervision on. Even if you aren’t Paleo, it’s a must-have cookbook for your family if you need help getting them to eat healthier but aren’t sure where to start. All the recipes are easy to follow and made with wholesome, nutritious ingredients. And I’m so excited to give away a copy to one of my readers! If you want to get your hands on a free copy, enter below:

This giveaway is open to US residents only. It will be open for entry until September 21st at 11:59pm PST. The winner will be announced below and will also be contacted by email.

As a sneak peek, I’m also excited to share one of the recipes from the cookbook with you today! I had to try this Sweet Potato Bacon Tots recipe when I saw it because I used to love tater tots as a kid, and I just couldn’t get past it when I saw the addition of bacon. And you honestly can’t go wrong with the combination of sweet potatoes and bacon.

Sweet Potato Bacon Tots

Sweet Potato Bacon Tots

By the way, that dipping sauce you see? It’s called Awesome Sauce, and it truly does live up to its name and I wanted to dip EVERYTHING in it. I can’t share the recipe, but you can grab it in the cookbook!

As for these tots, they were ridiculous (in SUCH a good way). Crispy on the outside, warm and soft in the inside, and the bacon just elevated it to a whole new level. I can honestly say that they were better than the ones I used to eat at as a child. I will mostly definitely make these the next time I want to cook up something fast and tasty for brunch.

Sweet Potato Bacon Tots

Want more tasty and healthy kid-friendly recipes like this one? Enter the giveaway above or purchase The Paleo Kids Cookbook on Amazon!

Print

Sweet Potato Bacon Tots

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 5 strips of crispy bacon, chopped
  • Up to 1 tsp garlic sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) potato starch or cassava flour
  • Avocado oil or light olive oil for frying
  • Awesome Sauce (optional - recipe in the book!)

Instructions

  • Boil the sweet potato submerged in water for about 10 minutes. Remove the sweet potato from the boiling water and once cool enough to handle, peel or slice the skin off. Grate the sweet potato, using a hand grater, mandolin, or food processor.
  • Once the sweet potato is grated, use a hand towel or a few paper towels to squeeze out the excess water from the potato. This step is important, as you do not want to have soggy tots!
  • Add the other ingredients (minus the oil and sauce) to the grated sweet potato in a mixing bowl and combine by hand. Preheat the oil for frying in a large skillet over medium/high heat; it does not need to be enough oil for deep frying, but it should be enough to generously cover the bottom of the skillet.
  • While the cooking oil heats, begin shaping your tots. Roll about a tablespoon (15 g) of the dough into a ball, and then elongate it and flatten the ends to give it that distinctive tot shape.
  • Fry the tots, rolling them around on all sides to make sure they crisp up. Once all sides are cooked, around 5 minutes or more, use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove the tots and transfer them to a towel-lined plate to cool slightly. Serve along or with Awesome Sauce.

Notes

FOR LITTLE HANDS: Allow your child to help shape the tots. It's okay if they are not shaped perfectly as they will fry deliciously regardless. Older kids can help fry the tots while supervised.

 

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
 
Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Kid-friendly Paleo Sweet Potato Bacon Tots - Gluten Free