Visiting a country during its different seasons can be interesting. For one thing, you get to appreciate the artistry that Mother Nature has poured upon each season to make them unique from one another. The changing of the seasons has a way of reminding me as well how there’s a continuing cycle in the Universe. That all we have to do is to keep moving and the world will keep moving alongside us.
I was lucky enough to visit Korea twice last year– once at the beginning and another at the end of this seasonal cycle. My family and I had a short vacation in Seoul as spring started to make its presence known in the city. It was a stark contrast to my winter trip with friends from Global Wow Korea.
Funnily enough, my food cravings during both seasons weren’t that different. In fact, I still find myself looking for pretty much all my favourite Korean food, and there are a lot! My cravings have constantly rotated around tteokbokki, bibim naengmyeon, and gyeran bbang. Sometimes it’s oemuk, jjampong, and budae jjigae.
In an attempt to learn how to make more Korean food at home, I tried out a tteokbokki recipe a few months ago. Today I wanted to write about gyeran bbang (계란빵), or the Korean Egg Bread that was my companion during the cold evenings walking along Myeongdong. (Yes, spring evenings can also be quite cold in Seoul!)
Fresh from the vendor it was piping hot, and it was like a much-needed hot-pack in my hands. And as I took a bite and the steam warmed my face, it felt like a great comfort to my soul.
There’s so much simplicity in a Korean Egg Bread that I feel like a lot of people would dismiss it when they see it. For me though, this simplicity is exactly its charm. It’s actually like a mild-tasting cornbread or corn muffin, but with a whole sunny-side up egg sitting inside the bread. Sometimes it has seed toppings, but I would prefer it with some mozarella, maybe a sprinkle of chives, and just a bit of chilli powder or some hot sauce really. (To be fair, I like chilli or hot sauce on everything.)
The Korean Egg Bread you can buy from the street is made using an oblong-ish mould, but I haven’t been able to track one down yet so we’re making it in a large muffin tin for now. Tin shapes aside, this recipe is pretty darn easy and uses just regular pantry ingredients. You don’t need a visit to the Korean grocery store to be able to make this, although I would recommend one if you want to get to know your Korean ingredients.
I really like adding some shredded mozarella in the middle of your Korean Egg Bread so that you’d have a cheesy surprise for anyone who bites into these babies. Next time, I’ll under-bake these a little so the egg yolks will be runnier. Yum guys. Seriously. I think I’ll go and make another batch…
Makes 6 large breads
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
- 1 egg + 6 eggs
- mozarella cheese and/or other filling or topping options desired
- 1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease jumbo muffin pan.
- 2. In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar to create a buttermilk mixture. (You can substitute buttermilk, if you want.) Set aside for a moment.
- 3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add in melted better, 1 egg, and the prepared buttermilk. Whisk until lumps disappear and the batter is smooth and thick.
- 4. Scoop about 1.5 Tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup. (It might look like a little but this batter rises quite a bit so don’t worry.) Crack an egg on top of each muffin cup, on top of the batter, then divide the remaining batter onto the top of the egg, careful not to break the yolks. You might not end up covering the egg fully but that’s okay, again this batter will rise and spread quite nicely.
- 5. You can add mozzarella or chopped chives or green onions either in the middle portion with the egg, or sprinkled on top after scooping the batter over the egg.
- 6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the breads are set, are golden brown, and fluffy. Bake for a lesser time to keep the egg yolks softer inside the muffins.