Normally, getting all the ingredients to make lasagna in Korea is hard. I usually have to make the sauce from scratch, the noodles from scratch, and the cottage cheese from scratch if we are going to have lasagna. However, today, things just seemed to fall together to make it easy, so I made some. Sometimes, we don’t even have hamburger in the fridge because there are two kinds of hamburger for sale here: Korean hamburger and Australian hamburger. Strange to say, the Australian hamburger is cheaper than the Korean hamburger. In fact, the Korean hamburger can be twice the price of the Australian hamburger, so we never buy the Korean hamburger unless we just haven’t had hamburger in a while and just want it really bad. Sometimes, we don’t have hamburger in the freezer because the Australian hamburger isn’t for sale, and we refuse to buy the expensive stuff. We don’t buy the expensive hamburger and just wait for the cheaper stuff to appear. We even have several packages of hamburger in our fridge just now, so everything fell in place for me to make lasagna, and I will tell you about it.
I begin by putting the hamburger in a pan and frying it. In America, if it is ground beef, you must use oil to fry it, but not so with hamburger, so I guess what we get isn’t really hamburger, but ground beef because we always have to use oil to fry it. I put it in to fry, kind of chop it up and move it around with my spatula, and brown it all over. While it is cooking, I set the oven. to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
I am really lucky because I don’t have to make homemade noodles for us to have lasagna today. I actually thought about making some homemade lasagna noodles when I thought about making lasagna because we don’t usually find lasagna noodles here, but my daughter found some over at Home Plus, a store like Wal-Mart here owned by English people. If you find regular lasagna noodles to use, I learned a trick with them when I was working at Pecan Plantation as a cook in a big kitchen. You don’t have to boil them before you put them in the lasagna. I was so surprised when I saw this work, but I am very happy to do it this way because it is much easier! I will have to show you how to make homemade noodles in another blog. I put a little spaghetti sauce in the bottom of my big pan and then covered it with the lasagna noodles. I just happened to find the kind of spaghetti sauce we like when I went to the import shop yesterday. Yay! Life just got a little easier.
Next, as my hamburger is browned, I sprinkled a layer of hamburger around. Next, comes the cheese. There is no cottage cheese in Korea, so this must be homemade, and I just happened to have some cottage cheese I made a few days ago. Like I said, I was amazed how everything just fell together easily today and I didn’t have to do any of the extra hard work today. Normally, I have to make the cottage cheese during the process of making the lasagna, but not today. If you want to know how to make cottage cheese, leave a message for me, I will show you in another blog. The trick with the cottage cheese comes next. I learned this from an American woman who grew up out in the middle of the country on a ranch. She told me her mother always added eggs and basil to the cottage cheese before she added it. It is really good that way. I put two eggs in a bowl, mixed them around, added the cottage cheese, and sprinkled some basil in. I use this for the cheese inside the lasagna. This is the next layer.
Next, I put another layer of noodles, then another layer of meat, then another layer of spaghetti sauce, then more cheese. I just keep putting layer after layer until everything is gone. The last layer will be cheese. I happen to have mozzarella cheese , so I use mozzarella for the last layer. However, when I lived in Nigeria, there was no mozzarella cheese, so I just used more cottage cheese with eggs and basil in it for the last layer.
The last layer should be shredded mozzarella. If you don’t have mozzarella, the cottage cheese, egg, and basil will do for the last layer.
I put tin foil over it all, then I put it in the oven. I let it cook for 30 minutes. When it comes out, the cheese is melted, the noodles are cooked, and the lasagna is done. If you have never eaten lasagna, you should try. You know the whole world is crazy about pizza, and it is just one step away from pizza. Instead of bread, it has noodles. needles to say, we had a good dinner.