fusion comfort food

Korean Paella

The dry air, cooling temperature, and colorful falling leaves season is here.  My first Autumn in Milan so far has been a blessing and I am feeling extremely grateful for everything. I think what made a huge difference is the joining of our new little furry member, Junior.  He is an American Staffordshire Terrier born in June 2016.  I named him Junior in memory of my old dog, Gizmo.  I figure it would sound easier if we just call him Junior instead of Gizmo Junior.  

I didn't have time to explore any new recipes or urge to cook up any fancy dishes since Junior came into our lives.  But it's also because of him, that's how this awesome recipe came along. It's amazing how most recipes are made to adapt different environments.  Oh the wonder of food evolution. 

Normally, seafood or meat are the superstars of paella.  This Korean paella is not.  It is Gochujang that makes the difference.  The paste gives the vegetables and rice a lot more taste.  It's not too spicy because the vegetable broth would dilute the spiciness and create a much more balanced flavor wholly to the dish.  So please give it a try! x

Meet Junior. 

Korean Paella

Korean Paella

Serves: 2 persons

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes


1-2 garlic, finely chopped

1 small onion, diced

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 small bowl clamshell mushrooms

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 handful chopped coriander and some for garnishing

120-150g risotto rice

1 glass dry white wine

1 tbsp Gochujang

1 tbsp soy sauce

400ml vegetable stock

1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges

extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Heat up a large frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil on medium heat. Cook onion, carrot, and celery for 2-3 minutes.  
  2. Add garlic, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, rice, and white wine. Stir well.  Season.  
  3. Coat rice evenly with Gochujang and soy sauce before adding the vegetable stock.  Put a lid on. Reduce heat to low and simmer for roughly 20 minutes.  
  4. Once the rice is cooked, remove the lid and turn the heat back to medium-high for 1-2 minutes to create the golden caramelized crust aka socarrat.  
  5. Turn the heat off. Garnish with some chopped coriander, a twist of fresh lemon/lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.  

Korean Paella

This Korean Paella with a little heat will keep you warm and cosy this fall.