Korean Cooking: Make Your Own Fresh Kimchi 겉절이 (Geotjeori)


Oddly enough, my first experience with fresh kimchi was actually in Japan! Mom and I  were totally addicted to it. Instead of the usual briny flavour of fermented kimchi, it packed what was a spicy, sweet kick instead. Many of the ramen shops served it as a side dish, which really is testament to how ubiquitous this humble Korean side dish has become.

Whether you need to cut down on your salt intake, or don’t enjoy fermented foods, this fresh kimchi recipe is a wonderful substitute for the usual fermented version. The best part is it can be eaten straightaway! So let’s get started.


1-1.5kg Napa Cabbage
1/2 cup Sea Salt
1 litre Cold Water
5 Cloves Garlic (minced)
3 Stalks Spring Onion
4 tbsp Gochujang
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Sesame Seed

First, cut cabbage in half lengthwise and then into quarters. Remove stems and prepare a large bowl.


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Fresh Egg Rice Bowl at Tamago-ya たまごや , Arashiyama, Kyoto


Sharing this unique Kyoto find with all you foodies out there today! Raw eggs on rice might leave many people squirming. But in Japan, eggs so fresh they can be eaten raw and with barely any accompaniments are a delicacy. I’d watched many a documentary lauding the freshness of local eggs to the point where all that was needed to accompany it was just a sprinkle of salt for taste.


Mom and I came across this tiny hole in a wall after we had explored Tenryu-ji in Arashiyama. We were walking around some residential estates and admiring the various gardens and quaint cafes when we stumbled upon this shop specialising in fresh eggs. I’d only ever heard of raw egg rice bowls and was absolutely thrilled!


Here’s a quick look at their super simple menu.


They had half-boiled eggs, raw egg on rice with pickles, and egg pudding. Greedy me ordered all three! And the place was packed.


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Travel: Madakariputra Falls, Surabaya, Indonesia


To be honest, I’d planned Madakariputra waterfall as a mere stopover enroute from Surabaya airport to Mount Bromo. But we ended up being so much more impressed by its magnificence and beauty than we expected! This 200-metre tall waterfall is just a 3-hour drive from the airport, and features dreamy, rain-like streams cascading down the walls of a verdant, cylindrical canyon. I would call the experience almost transcendental.


The pictures truly do not do any justice to its scale and the awe it inspires. But I shall try my best to convey its transcendental beauty in this post. Let’s start with a bit of background on Java Island’s most popular waterfall.


The Madakariputra Waterfall lies hidden in a mountain valley just an hour away from Mount Bromo. Visitors have to trek about 20 minutes into the reserve to reach it.


It was said that Majapahit’s great commander Gajah Mada (depicted above) used to visit the waterfall to meditate before big battles. It was a sanctuary for him to clear his mind and soul. And if you look at the pictures below, you can really see why.


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Traditional Kyoto Sweets at Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten 鍵善良房 本店 (Gion)


I just got back from Kyoto, and really want to share one of the best-kept secrets among the locals in Gion — Kagizen Yoshifuza. It’s a renowned sweet shop established as long ago as the mid-Edo period, and and has been making traditional Kyoto sweets for hundreds of years! The shop is quaint but elegant, showcasing a ceiling-to-floor view of a well-manicured garden.


The atmosphere is tranquil, serene and one is instantly transported to a different headspace from the crowded streets of the busy geisha district outside.


We begin our meal with two cups of roasted tea and some sweets.


And before we knew it, our desserts arrived. We ordered the Chilled Arrowroot Noodles (¥1000) with brown sugar and warabi mochi (¥1000).


Let’s start with the warabi mochi. This Japanese sweet is a jelly-like confection made from bracken starch and covered in kinako or soybean powder. It’s often served with a side of brown syrup.


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