Bimbom co-owner and chef Sim Ka-young has been attracting brunchers with her toothsome eats for over nine years, ever since she started out in Hannam-dong, Seoul.
Now at two locations -- one in Gyeongnidan-gil and another near Seoul Forest -- Sim shares years of exprience in “Brunch Time,” a compilation of Bimbom’s recipes and know-how, released this March.
“‘Brunch Time’ features well-loved dishes from Bimbom, and sadly enough, dishes that are no longer available at Bimbom, along with freshly re-interpreted eats, and eats that I wanted to experiment with,” Sim, 40, explained in an email interview.
Here, Sim shares recipes from “Brunch Time“ along with tips for home brunchers with The Korea Herald.
For those practicing social distancing and want a more simplified approach to brunch at home, Sim suggests buying some pancake mix, but separating the whites from the yolks before adding them in with the milk.
“After mixing the yolks with the pancake mix, whip the whites into a meringue and lightly mix it into the batter,” Sim said.
In regards to the art of brunch itself, Sim zoomed in on eggs.
“The most important ingredient for brunch is the egg,” Sim said. “In order to whip up a good brunch one needs to know how to cook eggs in a variety of ways.”
As the co-owner of a restaurant that first made its mark with its egg-centric menu, it is not surprising that Sim puts the spotlight on eggs.
“In order to achieve a soft scramble or round poached eggs one needs fresh eggs more than the skills of any expert,” Sim said.
She also shared her brunch bread philosophy.
“Another ingredient that one cannot exclude from brunch is bread,” said Sim, who recommends using brioche for French toast and sourdough for croque madames.
Given Sim’s deep passion for eggs and bread, it comes as no surprise that the two recipes she is sharing feature both ingredients.
Croissant Strata from “Brunch time”
“If one has ever hesitated to buy that big box of croissants being sold at a mart, I want to suggest just going ahead and taking that leap, if, of course, you have this recipe,” Sim said.
Sim describes strata, a breakfast casserole, as similar to bread pudding – “crispy on the outside and moist in the center.”
“If you want to add a salty kick to the sweetness of bread, a mixture of egg, cream cheese and blueberry jam… you can add in chopped bacon for a great combination of flavors,” said Sim, adding that croissants can be substituted with toast or baguettes, but she feels the butter in the croissants really completes this dish.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh cream
2 tbsps maple syrup (plus more on the side)
60 grams sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
16 croissants (approximately), cut in halves
250 grams blueberry jam
200 grams cream cheese
6 tbsps butter (cut thin and refrigerated plus more for coating the tray)
1 cup blueberries
1) Prepare a tray that can be used in an oven and coat evenly with butter.
2) Prepare a bowl and add eggs, milk, fresh cream, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt and mix until sugar dissolves.
3) Line buttered tray with croissants and then pour egg mixture over croissants evenly. Drop spoonfuls of blueberry jam between each croissant and then decorate with round dollops of cream cheese here and there. Sprinkle refrigerated slices of butter over everything and then refrigerate for at least an hour until croissants have fully absorbed egg mixture.
4) Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake croissant strata for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into big slices and top with blueberries and maple syrup.
French Omelette from “Brunch Time”
2 tbsps fresh cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 to 3 varieties of finely chopped herbs (i.e. rosemary, sage, thyme, Italian parsley, etc.)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1) Put eggs in a bowl and whisk until there are no more lumps in the eggs, like when making scrambled eggs. Then add fresh cream, herbs and salt and whisk more.
2) Take a 20-centimeter coated frying pan and add butter. When the butter bubbles, tilt the pan so the butter coats the whole surface. (If by accident the butter browns, do not hesitate and clean off with a kitchen towel and start again.) Make sure the heat is low and then add egg mixture to frying pan. With wooden chopsticks or a small spatula, mix the edges of the eggs which are starting to cook through with small circular movements while grabbing the handle of the frying pan with the other hand to agitate the pan so the uncooked egg spreads out and fills any gaps on the surface of the pan.
3) When the egg mixture has set but the top has yet to cook through completely, sprinkle grated parmesan on top and turn off heat.
4) Use a spatula or an omelet turner to fold the edge of the right side of the omelet to the center, then fold the left side of the omelet to the center and plate. Serve with salad.
By Oh Jean (firstname.lastname@example.org