Monday, October 12, 2009

Korean Food

I had a really good day today.  All of my classes went really well, except my last one.  Those kids don't care and it's tough to keep them focused and away from chatting with their friends in Korean since they don't listen to me at all.  And there's Daniel in Beginner 2 who is ALWAYS a problem.  But, the classes were great overall.  Even my little kids were on top of it today.

Ian had a good day today, too.  One of his trouble students didn't show up to his Essential 1.  He said it was the smoothest it's ever been.  By the way, our class levels go Beginner (1 and 2), Basic (1 and 3), Essential (1, 2, and 4), and Fluent (1 and 3).  We teach kids from 6 years old up to about 15 or so.

Being a vegetarian can be tough in Korea.  Even if you communicate "no meat, no seafood" over and over again they may just fail to understand you.  For some Koreans, not eating something expensive and "classy" like meat is just out of the question, so requesting it be left out is just so strange they think you must mean something else.

We like a lot of what we've eaten, though.  Kimbop (like sushi rolls, only a little more bland [no vinegar]), yachae bimbimbop (veggies with a fried egg on top served with rice), dduk ("cakes" made out of rice flour and water, they can be made savory or sweet), and paht (the read bean that shows up in everything).  We bought some plain dduk last night to make with sauce (a popular "between meal" here, usually with red chili sauce).  We made it with a sweet chili sauce.  It was delicious, though both of us agreed that we wouldn't of though so a month ago.  Also, I've been craving bimbimbop, I believe the feared culinary assimilation is happening.  I think we're going to try to make more Korean food at home.  And I don't mean like the "cheese bokki" we ate for lunch.  Cheese bokki is like cup of noodles met easy mac and had a disgustingly delicious love child.  Koreans love their instant food, which amuses me because they think Americans eat only fast food and packaged meals.  I guess some do, but more Koreans per capita eat that way for sure.

Ian made yachae pu-chin-geh (yachae = vegetables, pu-chin-geh is sometimes called Korean pancakes or Korean pizza) for dinner tonight.  We just made it from a package (it's easier to find packaged things in the stores than the ingredients themselves), but it was delicious.  And so filling.  Pu-chin-geh is typical Korean get together food.  It's heavy and relatively calorie laden, but it packs a nutritional punch (it's made with lots of veggies).  We had it with cold corn tassel tea.  It's got a light roasted corn flavor, like the smell of unseasoned and unbuttered popcorn.

Ian prepares the mix and chops the veggies.

A bit like a big, savory pancake with  veggies in it.

My pu-chin-geh and seasoned rice.  I had Ian finish my rice.  :)

Ian's pancake is prettier (the carrots made mine fall apart) and he gave himself a more reasonable portion of rice...

I'm curious, what did you have for dinner last night?  What do you wish you cooked more often?

Good night!


  1. Those veggie pancakes look amazing! You should post recipes!
    Our neighbors cooked dinner last night. It was kind of poor mans pasta. It was pasta with chicken covered in blue cheese dressing. I didn't want to be rude, so I finished my plate. Dominic and I are trying to eat more fresh produce ourselves. Try to be healthier, possibly cut out some of the gluten.

  2. I think you should post some of your favorite recipes also. I love trying different foods.

    I recently became a pescatarian (not sure about the spelling) and I am trying to keep meals healthy and interesting. Some of my favorites are Thai food particulary Pad Thai, which is filling but not calorie laden. But I think some of my favorite cuisine is Indian. I made Dal last week which is made with lentils, garlic, curry and spices and resembles something close to mashed potatoes. Lentils are very high in protein. I have also made another Indian dish called Aloo Palak, which is made with spinach and potatoes. In this dish you use a coconut curry sauce. Add rice and a smidge of cilantro chutney and you have a wonder meal.

    Anyway, those are some of the things I love making.

    And you really should post some of the recipes, I would love to try to make some of them.

    Keep up the good work, and I am so glad you had a good day at work.

    We had a wonderful time on skype with you and Ian yesterday at Audrey's Birthday party!

    Blog on!

  3. The pancakes are super easy to make, we use a mix, but there are recipes with real ingredients online. I might post some recipes, that's a good idea.

    Chelsea, that dinner sounds... horrible. You're a good friend for toughing it out. :)