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December 2, 2011

How I Charmed People with Korean Food

Korean food on the table!

 

Korean food on the table!

 

During the three months of the trip in America, I offered to cook Korean food to some of our hosts. Korean food is not something they are used to eating at home, but I wanted to show them it’s easy and delicious. It was a great experience for me too. I like cooking, but I haven’t had many chances for the last few years while I was working full time, because I was trading all my own time with working at the office. Cooking and sharing Korean food was a great joy. How great cooking is. Julia Child would be proud of me. A few months ago, I posted Your guide to hosting #KoreanFoodWednesday in a foreign land. This is an extended version of the previous article.

 

 

Gimbab: Rice roll with seaweed and various vegetables

For our friend’s cookout in Washington D.C., I brought gimbab and it was a hit! Everyone liked it, and was asking me what this was, and the easy description was… ‘Yes, just like the Japanese Sushi but different ingredients.’

 

Gimbab ready to serve Korean Food

Gimbab, Ready to serve

 

Gimbab is a picnic food. Everyone packed gimbab for the field trip when I was in school. It’s a kind of food that is better to make a lot, then just a few rolls. It’s hard to measure the amount of ingredients, and the kitchen’s going to be a mess while cooking it because there’s a lot of ingredients. I remember the day before me and my brother’s school trip, our house always smelled like sesame oil, and we ate gimbab for a few days after. So this time, I made about 20 rolls in 4 hours, I believe. Ate some for lunch, left some at home, made vegetarian-without ham, and packed the rest of it for the party. It was a hoot! I didn’t have the same ingredients but I improvised, and the result was pretty good. Ah, the joy of being a chef; making people happy.

How I make: cook rice using the rice cooker (it needs to be sticky) while preparing other ingredients. Put seaweed on the cutting board, spread the rice. Then roll it with vegetables and other ingredients. Cut it before serving.

 

Main ingredients: seaweed (un-grilled), rice, egg, cucumber (or pickle), carrot, spinach, ham, vinegar, and sesame oil.

 

 

Jeyuk Kimchi Bokkeum: Stir-fried pork with Kimchi and vegetable

 

Juno cooking Jeyuk Bokkeum Korean Food

Me cooking Jeyuk Kimchi Bokkeum

It’s one of the most popular dishes, especially at a small Korean restaurant. If I make it in Korea, I would use several different condiments but since I was away, I whipped it up with kimchi and vegetables. It’s easy to cook and hard to go wrong. Of course getting Kimchi would be challenging, but once you get it, you can get the flavour into the dish.

How I make: First, cook kimchi in the pan with garlic and a little bit of oil to burst out the flavour. Then put the pork and vegetable in and stir it till pork is ready.

 

Main ingredients: pork, kimchi, vegetables: garlic, spring onion, onion, green pepper and serve with lettuce.

 

 

Hobak Jeon: Zucchini pancake

 

Hobak Jeon Korean Food

Hobak Jeon

 

Hobak Jeon is a holiday food. On the ceremony food table, you can find hobak jeon and sangsun jeon (fish pancake). Since zucchini is a common vegetable, preparing it wasn’t hard at all.

How I make it: Slice the zucchini thiner than 1cm. Cover it with some flour and dip it into a bowl of egg. Then fry it!

 

Main Ingredients: Zucchini, flour, and egg.

 

Have you ever cook your country’s cuisine overseas? Did you enjoy it?

Was there any difficulties? 

Juno making Gimbab Korean Food

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

39 Comments

  1. jenjenk says:

    i LOVE korean food. I can eat it every day, all day! My comfort food during the winters is soondubu!

    I cook a lot of japanese food – i’ve got almost everything i need in Los Angeles and can find a work around with more exotic ingredients…

  2. Andrea says:

    Love this! Wish we had been there to try some of your delicious food =)

  3. Stephen says:

    It’s fun to try and make food from home when you’re in a foreign country. But it’s often a challenge to find the right/the same ingredients. That only makes it more interesting for the cook.

    I’m so glad Korean food is starting to get some recognition around the world, most notable in the States. In the last few years I’ve seen more and more Korean restaurants and food carts popping up. I never had the chance to eat Korean food until my first trip to Korea.

    Love your series on Korean food, Juno. Keep them coming…

    • Juno says:

      It was fun to find ingredients and cook Korean food in the States. Surprised to see Kimchi in the supermarket though. I went to Korean restaurant in Malaysia once, and it was super expensive! But I guess it was hard to find the ingredients. Glad to hear that you are enjoying the Korean food series.

  4. John says:

    What a great idea, to share some of your country’s cuisine with your hosts. It would only work if you are a good cook though. In my case I’m not that good and who would really want to eat “Welsh Rarebit” (Cheese on toast) or Laver Bread (made from seaweed? Probably more than I could envisage, but you food looks way more interesting.

  5. I love when ANYONE cooks for me, especially when the food is this good!!

  6. Alison says:

    This food looks delicious and nutritious! I have never tried Korean food, but this article is making me hungry 🙂

  7. Leslie says:

    I’m down for zucchini pancakes! When In come visit you please charm me with lots of Korean food 🙂

  8. Natalie says:

    Never tasted Korean food but I want to now. All looks so delicious and well done for cooking for your hosts.

  9. Maria says:

    Juno that’s no dirty secret, that’s fantastic and what a cultural exchange is all about. Yes, we have Korean restaurants here in the US but I’ll bet that your dishes were better than anything I can find locally. Kudos to you for reaching out and making connections in any way you could.

  10. Ashley says:

    Yum! I want some home-cooked Korean food. When are you making it out to San Francisco…haha…I have a pretty big kitchen 😉

  11. Mike Bugno says:

    I am still waiting to be charmed by your Korean cooking, perhaps someday! 🙂

  12. One of the things I miss the most about Korea is the food. Everything you’ve made I’ve tried before and that would be a great meal to serve others. I learned how to make kimchi jeon and deokbokki without burning down the kitchen 😛

  13. Chris says:

    Yummy! Are you ever going to come down to Australia and make me some Korean food? :-p

    I do miss kimbap. So delicious.

  14. Great post Juno! I’ve never been to North or South Korea but I hear the food is amazing…and based on these pictures I’m not going to argue that!

  15. Mike Stewart says:

    Hi Juno,

    Korean teriyaki would be my all time favorite dishes in Korea. I had to taste one when I went to Jeju Island.

  16. Very cool dishes! I have never had Korean food … after reading this I am going to have to try. I am slowly overcoming my “picky eater” days. 🙂

  17. I wish I could charm people with my cooking. I’m only good at eating it. But maybe I’ll come back with some recipes when I visit S. Korea next May. 🙂

  18. trvl8dintern says:

    The gimbab looks delicious!

  19. […] with my mum and eating dduckguk (rice cake soup) for New Year’s Day tradition. That’s why how I can charm people with my cooking skill – trained for a long time with holiday cooking. Or, I would travel – because new year’s […]

  20. Leslie says:

    You are so charming! 🙂

  21. olivia kim says:

    i love your website–very nice articles, pictures, and many things related to korea.
    i’m glad you’re promoting korean food as well. good luck with your travels.

    new fan,

    olivia kim ^^

  22. […] I charmed people by cooking exotic food, I got to know better about my food and how to make Korean food more authentic in a foreign land. […]

  23. Hobak is the name for zucchini and pumpkin? Btw, your kimbap looks delish!

  24. Yuna says:

    Why you make it all look easy to make Juno, kekekekeke. Oh all so tempting.
    I made ‘Nasi pecel’ for my host in Seoul. 😀 😀 But it seemed failed since I just knew he couldn’t handle spicy food. Kekekeke

  25. Yuna says:

    Why you make it all look easy to make Juno, kekekekeke. Oh all so tempting.
    I made ‘Nasi pecel’ for my host in Seoul. 😀 😀 But it seemed failed since I just knew she couldn’t handle spicy food. Kekekeke

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