Monday, September 27, 2010

my first korean cooking attempt

I am a Southeast Asian girl through-and-through: My taste runs to curries and coconut milk, chili peppers to limes and fresh fruit. (I know I don't look it; it's not my fault I'm a mongrel.)

So when the plan to move to Korea became concrete, I was very nervous about what I was going to be eating for a year. I knew next to nothing about the cuisine; even though there were Korean restaurants near my apartments in the Fillmore and Richmond, I never stepped foot in them. All I knew was that I did not care for Japanese food at all. I despise seaweed. And miso. And raw seafood. I hoped it would be drastically different from Japanese food in Korea.

Well, truth be told I survived on ramyeon for lunch for my first month. I was very lucky to have two coworkers that loved Korean food and taught me what to order everyday at the gimbap nara, but even still, it took time for me to get braver and try different things.

I still can't stand gimbap. I tried. I really did. SEEEEAAAWEEED WHYYYYYY?! But! I have been very good, in my opinion, when it comes to food. It's either Korean or home cooking during the week and I'll usually treat myself to Western cuisine on a weekend. It's a decent balance, right? I've heard stories from pathetic people that would go and eat at Outback Steakhouse three or four times a week. I mean, come on. Super lame.

Now I'm moving on to cooking my own Korean dishes. The first one I attempted I thought would be the easiest. It's japchae 잡채 or stir-fry vegetables with glass noodles. I love glass noodles so I thought, hey, this is a recipe I want to get under my belt. I just pulled a recipe off of the internet. Here's the attempt!

I picked up the darker noodles at Top Mart. I dunno, I thought they'd have some sort of flavoring to them.

I'm really picky about the vegetables I eat, so here's what I do enjoy.

I used chicken because I had it in the fridge.

I love this wok to death. So.... Final result looks like....


I used too much noodles. I couldn't get the soy sauce to stir in very well. Still, it came out alright. And I had dinner for a week. But I'm probably going to stick to Thai food, it's just what I'm better at.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It's Korean Thanksgiving time (called Chuseok) and I've got three whole days off!

On Monday all my kids came dressed in hanboks and we held some traditional activities.

This is why I love Jessica.

Pretty much sums up David everyday...

Spitfire Lucy.

We are getting dressed!

Making songpyeon or 송편.

I feel like this is a 'BFD!!' face.

The outtake picture.

He said, "HEY-LOW!"

Time for the traditions to start!

Like a giant ring-a-round-the-roses.

I missed it when Kelly's face was like, "Huh? What are we doing?" Which is pretty much how she always looks like.

Love it when Alice laughs.

Everybody bow now!!!

A roomful of bowing Korean children is the most adorable thing I have ever seen.

So we had to teach them the proper way to bow. YES. THE FOREIGN TEACHERS HAD TO TEACH THIS.

Girls are watching.

The boys way of bowing.

So we taught the girls. Yeah, Thai bowing I know, but Korean bowing? I had no idea. But it is way more involved and less fun.

Lucy's got a death grip.

Happy Chuseok!