Sunday Kitchen: Jason Kim from Tokki restaurant + military soup recipe

Jason Kim of Tokki restaurant in Milford. Photo/Alex Burton

Jason Kim – ex Sidart (including two years as head chef), Cassia, The Grove, Clooney and most recently executive chef at Gochu – has opened his own restaurant, Tokki, in Milford. Jason describes the Tokki menu as authentic Korean cuisine – without the fried chicken and chili and cheese whips seen elsewhere.

Subtle and elegant, inspired by the cuisine of Korean temples, it is about highlighting the beautiful products, the flavor and the freshness of the ingredients. Here, he shares with us his Sunday ritual and a must-have Sunday dish.

What does Sunday look like in your kitchen?

After all week cooking in the kitchen, my work is still not done. I have VVIPs to prepare breakfast! Kids love Korean toast. For these, I take thick soft Tip Top bread and spread generously on one side with butter. Slice fresh cabbage and pickled pickles. Quick toast slices of ham in champagne and make scrambled eggs. Then, layer everything between two pieces of bread (butter side out) with a sip of simple Thousand Island sauce (mayo and ketchup) and toast in a skillet on the stove. Filter coffee for us and hot chocolate for the kids.

Why did you choose to share this dish?

Army soup is what my dad loved to cook for our family every Sunday growing up. My parents always worked six days a week, even now, so family meals had to be simple and quick. And this soup is so quick and easy, yet still full of flavor. It has become one of my weekend rituals. Just chop everything up and put it in the pan.

Military soup.  Photo/Alex Burton
Military soup. Photo/Alex Burton

Military soup (Budae jjigae)

200g spam, cut into thick slices

100 g frankfurter cheese sausage, cut into thick slices

100 g tofu, cut into thick slices

100g kimchi, coarsely chopped

100g tin of corned beef

1 packet of Korean instant ra-myun

100 g onion, thinly sliced

100g baked beans

1 liter kelp broth

50g spring onion, thinly sliced, for serving

Gochujang Sauce
3 teaspoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
⅓ c. black peppercorns, ground
½ green chilli (if you want it spicier)

Jason Kim of Tokki Restaurant in Milford, Tamaki Makaurau.  Photo/Alex Burton
Jason Kim of Tokki Restaurant in Milford, Tamaki Makaurau. Photo/Alex Burton

1. To prepare the gochujang sauce, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Put aside.

2. Arrange the spam, sausages, tofu, kimchi and corned beef in a large shallow stock pot. Take the ra-myun out of the package and save the seasoning packet for last. Pre-cook the instant noodles. Add the onion and baked beans to the pan and place the noodles on top.

3. Add the kelp broth and gochujang sauce to the pot. Increase the heat and bring the broth to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes to release all the flavors. Add additional seasoning from the Ra-myun sachet if desired. Garnish with spring onion before serving.