Korean Style Seasoned Olives

kor_olivepWhether you celebrate the upcoming Easter or simply enjoy a nice weekend at home, there are chances that apart from “proper” meals, you also plan small snacks. If you intend to buy seasoned olives, my advice is: don’t! Olive seasoning is quick, effortless and, most of all, the results are incomparably better. The most popular, vaguely Mediterranean ingredients, such as thyme or garlic, are the safest and always satisfying choice. Last Saturday however I went crazy and, for the first time, spiced up my olives in what I would call “Korean style”. It must sound like another fusion idea doomed to fail, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that sweet and hot flavours with a strong sesame touch proved fantastic – though still astonishing – company for olives. Certainly it’s not a crowd-pleasing snack, but if you are a fellow Korean food fan, you should try this unusual combination; you might fall in love with it just the way I did.

If you prefer a more traditional, European olive seasoning, check the recipe here:

Seasoned Olives, European Way
Seasoned Olives, European Way

TIPS: Seasoned olives improve after several hours in the fridge, but you can serve them straight away. They keep for several days in the fridge, but I cannot guarantee a week (I always finish them in less than a week).

Preparation: 5 minutes 

Ingredients (makes an appetiser for 3):

about 150 g (about 5 oz) drained olives (or 250g/about 8 oz if they still have pits)

1 big garlic clove, crushed or grated

1 heaped tablespoon Korean chilli powder

1 tablespoon honey or syrup (I have used agave syrup; if you use honey, choose a more neutral flavour, for example not chestnut or lavender honey)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Combine everything in a bowl. Cover and put into the fridge for 15 minutes (or several days).

If you are in a hurry you can serve it straight away.

32 Replies to “Korean Style Seasoned Olives”

  1. It’s such a pretty dish though I’m unlikely to make it. After tasting exactly one olive in my life, I’ve concluded that they must be an acquired taste. 🙂

    1. Thank you, A_Boleyn. It’s funny but I have always considered olives as crowd-pleasers. I think you are the first person I met who doesn’t like them (on the other hand I am one of the rare people in the world who dislike pumpkin…).

  2. Well, that does it! I’m going out on a hunt for Korean chili powder tomorrow. Between these olives and your chili and garlic oil recipe, I must track it down. I’m smiling at A Boleyn’s comment above because if there is one ingredient/food that is universally adored in my family of origin, it is the humble olive. I think I may have already bored you with this but I was asking for them by age 4 and in high school my girlfriends would buy them for me by the jugful on my birthday :). LOVE my olives!!! Your spicy version sounds right up my alley.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I’m also a huge olives fan. My husband too. Your story makes me smile because I also used to have an unusual liking as a child: I loved hot food. I even organised contests with neighbour’s children: who will put more chilli powder on their sandwich/toast, etc..

  3. I love eating olives but I would never thought of seeing a Korean style seasoned olives. This is amazing! My mouth is watering because I love Kimchi. Would this be similar in flavor as far as seasoning is concern? I would definitely try this. Thank you Sissi. 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot, Ray. I admit it was a crazy idea… but luckily it worked (at least for me!). Kimchi has a sour touch these olives don’t have but I tried to put here the typical Korean seasoning used for example for meat marinades.

  4. Hello! SiSi
    I’ve been reading all your posts and I actually learned a lot from those.
    Fisrt of all, thank you very much for your posts, they really are good.
    One thing I would like to ask you is though…I’ve been trying to find out how to make “sesame dressing” made from Feast from the East. But I failed on every attempt.
    I was wondering if you could help me make it….I really want to eat it again but I can’t get them here.(Ingredients from lebel: distilled vinegar, sugar, water, soybean oil, sesame oil, salt, spices..)

    Thank you

    1. Hi, Tony. Thank you so much for your kind words and compliments. I am really touched.
      Unfortunately, I have never tasted the dressing you mention. I haven’t even heard about it (is it a US product?). The term “spices” sounds very vague… I do prepare a sesame vinaigrette from time to time (sorry, it’s a very old post and the photograph is awful: http://www.withaglass.com/?p=4063); you might use it as a base and add some sesame oil instead of sesame seeds; and sugar or syrup to sweeten it and see what you obtain. Have you seen this sesame paste dressing? : http://www.withaglass.com/?p=13183 It’s a little sweeter than the vinaigrette, so maybe it would be closer to what you tasted, though it calls for sesame paste your dressing doesn’t seem to contain. I wish I could taste the dressing you talk about… Maybe then I would be able to help you.

  5. I would never have thought to use sesame oil on olives! That is a serious fusion! These look so good and I’m one that can never pass by seasoned olives without sneaking a few into my mouth. Love everything about these olives!

  6. I love the Korean, or Asian twist in these olives…they sure make a great appetizer…yum!
    Thanks for the inspiration Sissi…hope you are having a great week 😀

  7. Olives are one of our favourites too and such a great pairing with a glass of vino! I read Maria’s (A_Boleyn) comment that she doesn’t like olives and that you always thought them to be a crowd pleaser; I know of two first generation Canadian’s of Greek origin who won’t eat olives! Crazy.
    Our palates are similar so I know I would love these, in fact, they are so easy I will definitely bookmark for cottage cocktails. I shall think of you when I make them. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. You are so kind… I hope you will like the hot and sweet (and garlicky) combination with olives, though the first bite might be a bit surprising.
      It’s funny what you say about Greeks, though I know some French people who hate coffee or who don’t like any cheese, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

  8. Oh my – I love this idea! Korean chili powder is something I learned to appreciate when we had a Korean exchange student living with us, and now I love it. I will definitely be giving this a try – pinning to save for later!

  9. Hi Sissi, I was going to ask if you’d had inspiration for this from somewhere or if it was a pure experiment and then I saw that it was you “going crazy”. I never would have thought of it myself. After all, olives and korean cuisine don’t often feature in the same sentence, but it sounds good. The flavourings you’ve added all sound lovely and I’d really like to give it a try! Olives go with a surprisingly large array of different tastes!

    1. Hi Charles, thank you. It was my own crazy idea actually 😉 (Though I’m sure someone has already done it… So many people play with fusion food these days). If you like sweet and hot combination of flavours, you will like these olives (I know people who hate sweet & hot food).

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. Your are right: I should test them in bibimbap next time! I hope you are having a nice Easter break too.

    1. Thank you, Karen. Sweet and hot is a typical Korean flavours combination. I find it highly addictive.

  10. I do love the Korean and Asian fusion for these yummy olives. Mostly love the spices…the spicier, the better. I also love the European spiced olives. I must say; very creative, and super amazing!
    Sissi I hope you had a lovely Easter!

  11. BRILLIANT! Your ideas for food are VERY inspiring, Sissi! Now that you made Korean style olives… wonder if I can make it Japanese style. =P Then I get stuck. I feel like I’m not very creative because I can’t go beyond “normal” and boring ideas…. You and your posts make food blogging exciting and fun. 😉

    1. Nami, thank you so much for the compliments. I am really flattered. Japanese style sounds like a great challenge with olives. I’m sure you will have a creative idea (I hope you are joking: your recipes go well beyond “normal” and are certainly not boring! You are a very inventive cook and blogger! Otherwise I wouldn’t steal so many ideas and recipes from you ;-).

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