Monday, May 25, 2015

Korean Keema

"May Potluck", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). We may cook with any of IHCC's past and present featured chefs, and once again, I've chosen to cook with Nigella Lawson's recipe. 

Keema is usually cooked with ground lamb, but Nigella has made her version of using ground turkey and the flavours come from the Korean chilli paste, gochujang. Ground turkey is not an ingredient that can be found easily over here, so I have used ground chicken instead. 

This is a really easy and simple dish to cook. For the peas, I simply thaw them before cooking, did not pour any hot boiling water over them as instructed in the recipe.  The ground chicken is marinated for 5 minutes or so (though I left mine in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes), with gochujang paste, honey, rice wine and soy sauce. Stir-fry the peas and scallions for 3-4 minutes, then add in the ground chicken with all of it's sauce, stir-fry for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add some rice wine, water and continue to stir-fry for about a minute.  Serve over white rice, with a generous scattering of chopped cilantro.

This dish is a nice dish for a quick meal, though I find it a little too sweet, maybe because of the honey. But that is easily adjusted, by either omitting the honey or just use a lesser amount, to taste. 

Korean Keema
(adapted from "Nigella Kitchen", Nigella Lawson or here)
serves 2, generously
1 cup basmati or sushi rice
8 ounces ground turkey (ground chicken)
6 thin or 3 fat scallions, chopped
1 cup frozen petits pois or peas
1 teaspoon vegetable or peanut oil
2 tablespoons rice wine
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

for the sauce :
2 tablespoons gochujang
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce

  1. Cook the rice following the package instructions, or in a rice cooker following the manufacturer's instructions. And put a kettle on to boil for the peas later.
  2. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, and stir in the ground turkey. Leave to steep for about 5 minutes, or while you are getting on with your  next tasks, such as chopping the scallions and blanching the peas.
  3. Heat a wok or heavy-based frying pan on the hob. While this is heating up, pour boiling water from kettle over the frozen peas in a strainer or colander, letting the hot water drain away, thereby thawing the peas. When the wok is hot, add the oil, then the thawed peas and chopped scallions. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the turkey and its sauce, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until cooked.
  5. Add the 2 tablespoons rice wine with 1/4 cup water to swill out the residue of the sauce from the meat-steeping bowl (so that nothing is wasted) and scrape and pour this into the pan, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until it's all piping hot.
  6. Serve over rice, and with a good scattering of chopped cilantro.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week 
"May Potluck"



  1. I bet it would work with other ground meat too. Looks very delicious!

  2. This looks lovely- do you know what an alternative to gochujang would be as I've never seen it in our supermarkets x

    1. Hi Ali,
      You can try this homemade paste to substitute gochujang :

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Once again you've cooked up another recipe that I want to make:) This looks exactly like something my family would love to eat. I watched a show about gochujang the other day. Haven't tried it but I'm really looking forward to. Looks delicious, Joyce!

  4. Hi Joyce,
    This dish look simple and easy to prepare yet so delicious!
    I would like to try to cook this too.
    Is the Korean chilli paste really hot? My youngest can't take hot food.
    Thanks Joyce.

    1. Hi Mui
      Personally, for me, gochujang paste is not really that hot, but then I can take heat pretty well, so it all depends. But I think that it would be too spicy for your little boy!

  5. Another easy meal to pile in a bowl and eat on the run or curled up on the couch with a book or computer ... I've been all about the one bowl meals of late! This looks a winner!

  6. I love simple one-dish recipes to go with rice, this looks very delicious, definitely trying it!

  7. Hi Joyce,

    Despite that I don't mind eating turkey, I actually prefer this dish made with ground chicken. I'm actually surprised that the small amount of 1 tbsp honey is making this dish too sweet for you :p


  8. That's a tasty sounding fusion dish!

  9. It may be simple and easy but it looks absolutely delicious. A wonderful choice for potluck.

  10. I love Korean food so this looks good.

  11. This looks delicious Joyce! Wish I could try some now!
    I am glad we are connected through this month's IHCC May Pot Luck!

  12. That sounds so intriguing and fun to eat!

  13. Joyce, I'm surprised to see this lovely dish from Nigella's repertoire. I've never seen this recipe of hers before. But Korean Keema is what got me really interested. I bet it's even better with some chilli flakes!! Make it really hot and spicy ;)