Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nigella's Korean Keema

Korean food is not unusual at our house.   My youngest child, Bay was adopted from South Korea in the summer of 2000.  Even before her arrival we started checking out Korean cuisine to learn more about our new daughters culture.  After trying the wonderful flavors I became obsessed with learning how to cook some of these amazing dishes.  I'm not an expert by any means but I do consider myself fairly well schooled in Korean cuisine.  

After Bay came home we started opening our home to Foreign Exchange students from South Korea.  We have had a total of 5 students but only one do we consider to be our oldest "daughter".  Yejoo was with us the entire year of 2004 and I loved to try out my dishes on her.   She was so sweet and said my dishes tasted just like her Omma's.  

Yejoo and Bay

My absolute favorite Korean dish is Dak Bulgogi because I adore spicy food!  All good spicy Korean food starts with Gochujang red pepper paste.  When I saw Nigella's recipe for Korean Keema in her new cookbook Kitchen, I knew I had to try it!  I have to say.....she didn't disappoint me......   actually I think it's genius!  Keema is a Indian word meaning "minced meat" and is usually served as a curry with potatoes or peas.  Nigella turned it around with all the traditional flavors of Korea and she was spot on!  The only thing did was add a couple of teaspoons of garlic because I've never seen a Korean recipe without it!    

Korean Keema 

adapted from Nigella Lawson

1 lb. ground turkey
12 green onions, chopped
2 cups frozen peas
2 teaspoons peanut oil
4 tablespoons rice wine
4 tablespoon cilantro, chopped


4 tablespoons gochujang (red pepper paste)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice wine
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped

Korean Rice or Basmati or sushi rice

In a large bowl whisk together sauce ingredients, stir in ground turkey.  Set it aside to marinate for about 5 minutes.  

Heat a wok or large skillet on high.  While it's heating up pour boiling water over peas in a strainer or colander.  When the wok is hot , add the oil and stir in the onions and peas.  Stir fry for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the turkey with it sauce and stir fry until no longer pink.  About 5 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons rice wine with a little water to get all the juices left in the marinating bowl and add to the wok.  Continue to cook for a couple of minutes.

Serve over rice and top with cilantro.

Serves 4


My whole family LOVED this!  Way to go Nigella!  I just wish Yejoo was here to taste it!


  1. Mika - this is brilliant. Love your beautiful blog!

  2. Oooh - I might try this. My son was asking me to make bulgogi and ya chae jeon this weekend, so maybe I'll add this and we'll really have too much food!

  3. this looks yummy! We haven't had Korean food on our menu lately, it would be a good change from the rut we're in... will definitely have to try it out!
    Thanks for linking it to Thirsty Thursdays!

  4. Hello, I am a new follower from the hop. Please visit and follow me back at

  5. Looks really good!

    Stopping by from the Thursday hops to say hello.

    Have a great Thursday!

  6. looks awesome. I'm a new follower from the hop! Love a follow back!

  7. Wow does that look good!!! I have a friend who's two children were also adopted from South Korea and her daughter loves to cook so I am going to pass this on for them to try. I know we would love it in our house too, I am so glad you shared this recipe!! Have a fantastic day! :)

  8. Newest follower from Thursday Hops. Love a follow back.


  9. Coupon queen forwarded my you blog and I can not wait to try Keema. We have 2 kids (daughter, adopted in 1999 and son, adopted in 2001) from Korea and the only Korean food we have had is kimchi. Thank you for the recipe! By the way...Bay is beautiful!

  10. i really love this and can't wait to try. new follower on the gfc and hope you'll stop by thanks!

  11. Looks awfully good, thanks! for sharing.

  12. Your dish looks yummy! following u on gfc please follow me

  13. that looks SO good!

    Just stopping by for the blog hop. I'd love for you to drop by


  14. That looks so yummy, I will definitely be trying that soon!!!

    I am your newest follower and would love it if you could follow me back. I hope you are having a FABULOUS Thursday!


  15. Hi Mika, Thanks for visiting my blog earlier. We have a lot of favorite cooks in common. I'm looking forward to more of your posts. Have a great day!


  16. Found you on Thirsty Thursday Blog Hop! Now following you! Will you please follow back?

  17. One of our military families spent 3 years in Korea and really liked many of the dishes and this one sounds familiar. We didn't get to eat too much during our visit, but we did have a varied sampling - most I liked, some not. I'm going to make sure they read your blog in case this is one they want to make.

  18. I love Korean food. I'll have to try this.

    Now following from Friendly Friday

  19. So funny, I did a similar recipe on my blog two posts ago to celebrate my nephew's birthday. My sister adopted him and his sister from Korea too.

  20. Just wanted to stop back and let you know that you're the featured blogger on Thirsty for Comments Thursday this week at

    HOpe you can find the time to stop by!

  21. Oh my, this made me drool! :) Great food recipes and I always love trying something new! Thanks, Mika!


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