Kim Chee season

Korean fever never ends. First, we had Korean soap opera, then Gangnam style. This year, Boy-band “Big Bang” who performed at the Marina Bay New Year’s Day countdown. For the pioneer generation, who thought Big Bang was how the universe came about, you’re missing a lot.  I was surprised at the number of young Singaporeans who could speak Korean singing to the tune of Fantastic Baby.Do you reckon they know the national anthem? Check them out.

Here I am, making kimchi pie at a Phoon Huat class. (After watching a chef make kimchi/egg tou-fu puff last night on tv.)

Kimchi is the national dish of South Korea. Made of napa cabbage, radish, scallion and fermented underground, it has a spicy, sour taste and reddish in color. There’re many versions of kimchi. A friend told me of a middle-aged Korean expat family who have two fridges, one solely for different varieties of kimchi. Kimchi has been everywhere, accompanying Korean soldiers to war and to space.

Fermented kimchi, fish roe and fermented garlic

Fermented kimchi, fish roe and fermented garlic

Above: Kimchi party at A’s home.

How to make kimchi:

Most Chinese/Japanese/Nonya cuisine has their own version of pickled vegetable side dish eaten with rice or porridge. Before sliced bread, my grandmother would make a breakfast of pickled radish/ pickled olive vegetable/ pickled century egg on porridge, with soya sauce. Its ultimate comfort food in the days before refrigeration and convenience stores.  The longer food is fermented, the tastier it is.  Who wants fresh when it can be fermented?

Dough (Phoon Huat recipe):
200gm salted butter
250gm plain flour
110gm yogurt
1tsp sugar
1 egg yolk

1. Using a dough hook, mix butter, flour and sugar in mixing bowl at low speed till fine sand.
2. Add wet ingredients into the mixture at medium speed.
3. Put dough on cling wrap and chill in fridge for 30 mins (min).

150gm potato
150gm CJ Bibigo kimchi
2 pc sausage (suggest to replace with 2 hard boiled eggs chopped)
1 tbsp. fermented bean paste
50gm whipping cream
Sprinkled with toasted sesame seed and black pepper (to taste)


Chef demonstrating how to flip dough on both hands before laying it on disposable pie dish.


I’m definitely getting the canola oil spray for my cake tins too.


Saving some dough for the top crust cover.


Fill the pie with kimchi filling and top with an egg. Alternatively, cut 3 hard-boiled eggs in half, and arrange around the pie. No need to blind bake the crust. Simply put the pie on lower shelf and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 35 mins. If you’re concerned that the potato is not soft, then simply boil it first. Otherwise, bake at a lower temperature for slightly longer time.




Trim sides with a fork. Poke holes in pie to allow steam to escape while baking or it will explode.  Brush an egg over it to get the nice color.



Verdict: L loved the crust. I’m definitely making this crust with traditional chicken/ potato filling or salmon quiche. Surprisingly, chicken pie is the only my niece will eat vegetables. She can’t see the mashed peas and onions, but she can see the cabbage leaves, so no kimchi for her. Its a bit spicy for young children.



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