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Korean food and recipes
Does anyone else start dreaming about food when they move to another country and can’t eat their favourite foods? Now before someone starts to reply with “But you can get pancakes in-” Let me just stop you there and explain what I mean. I know you mean well but, as those that follow the vlogs know, my situation is pretty different to those who live in Seoul or even people who live in country areas but by themselves.
So why is it so hard for me to get western style pancakes? Well it’s just not a food that is eaten here much. I sometimes see people’s photos of eating brunch in Seoul at cafes and it seems like a world away. To even get the right ingredients is hard here, but that’s only one aspect of it. Our kitchen is very much a Korean kitchen, things you might take for granted in your kitchen – like measuring cups and wooden spoons – just aren’t here. There was not a knife and fork in this kitchen before I came, so currently we have a knife and fork for when I’m eating something western and we also have a bread knife. That’s it. One fork in this house.
Now the other aspect that makes things a little bit more difficult is that I’m living in a Korean family and my mother-in-law does the cooking. It’s rare that I’m even allowed to cook dinner. Now if I want to cook something for myself I need to fit it into the normal schedule without it affecting my appetite for dinner, because then I could end up offending by not eating much. This type of complexities is not something that other expats need to think about usually. I’m always very worried about offending my mother-in-law when I make something for myself to eat. She has accepted the fact that I will eat bread in the morning, though there has been a lot of worry about me getting sick because I’m not eating enough rice. It doesn’t matter how much my husband explains that rice actually MAKES me ill when I have too much of it, it’s a mindset that is difficult to change and it’s because she cares about me.
People like to suggest me places to go to in Seoul, which I am always grateful for, but most of the time we don’t have the time. When we do go to Seoul we are always very busy and not able to go to specific areas for food.
I have actually come up with a solution for the pancake dilemma though. I can get my mum in Australia to send me those shake pancake mixes that only need water. That way I don’t need a mixing bowl or anything and I can have some pancakes for breakfast without using much in the kitchen and it won’t affect other meals. Why didn’t I think of that earlier??
I really miss “Pancakes on the rocks” in Sydney and all this talk of pancakes has made me remember back in my childhood how Sunday nights were always pancakes nights.
We show you a tea house in Jinju that we like to go to. Modern cafes can be quite noisy with too many people and loud music but a tea house like this is a very relaxing place to hang out in. Maybe we are just showing our age?
This new segment where we show you food (and drinks) in Korea is called “What a nice!…Food”. I think Mr Gwon wants to show you barbecued intestines next. Does anyone want to see that?
Before anyone asks this question – yes we do have a separate kimchi fridge, but that is more for storage of kimchi that isn’t being eaten yet, so there is still kimchi and other very strong smelling side dishes in the main fridge. I’ve found it much better to just keep all my dairy products in another fridge that mainly holds drinks.
Have you ever tasted milk that has absorbed the kimchi smell? It’s not nice!
So rather than Wednesday just being Mr Gwon Time, we’ve decided that it can either be Mr Gwon Time or another video. We film a lot of stuff and find we just don’t have time to edit, so hopefully this way you guys will be able to see more of the stuff we do.
If we have a food segment, should we have a name for it? Any suggestions?
He was referencing a quote in the book and movie ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. I dragged him to see it because I’ve been waiting so long to see it (Korea got it so late) but of course he loved it!
Now onto terrible Korean pasta. We’ve been a little bit spoilt. We found an awesome pizza and pasta place in Jinju, so after going there a few times we forgot how bad most Italian food in Korea is. We didn’t have time to go across town to the good Italian place so we tried a new place. Most Italian food places in Korea have crappy Koreanized pasta – but some are not too bad. I can stomach it as long as it’s pasta. This was horrendous though! I posted a few photos on Instagram for those that want to get an idea about what I mean. I asked for some salt and pepper to try and make the plastic pasta taste better and the waitress was very confused and finally brought me a 2 plates with a pile of cooking salt and pepper on them. We both felt sick afterwards. Mr Gwon even said that he could easily make better pasta than this place and he isn’t even very good at cooking. Not only was it terrible because it was nothing like Italian food at all, but whatever type of fusion they were trying to achieve failed miserably. We laughed through our tears. I actually really hope that place shuts down so other people aren’t subjected to that. It’s likely to simply because businesses spring up quickly in Korea with not much planning or research and shut down again quickly. Nothing is very long term.
Actually I was very homesick today, which is why there wasn’t a comic earlier. That pasta just made me feel a lot worse. The Fault in Our Stars didn’t make me feel worse though! Of course it made me feel sad, but it made me feel better about things.
The day we both forgot the word “chopsticks”. My whole life I’ve been setting the table with “knives and forks” so that’s my excuse! Even though in recent years I use chopsticks more than knives and forks, it’s still ingrained in me that that’s how you set the table.
Koreans tend to use metal chopsticks and a spoon, so setting the table involves setting out the chopsticks with a spoon for each person.
by Nic • Culture, Food, In Korea, Korean Countryside • Tags: don't do this in korea, how to pick the sweetest strawberry in korea, korean strawberries, rude hand signs in korea, rude signs in korea, strawberry farm korea, sweetest strawberries
There was supposed to be a Mr Gwon Time yesterday. It is finished and ready to go but we haven’t subtitled it yet. Subtitling can be a lot of work and we haven’t felt up it because of the ferry tragedy in Korea. The mood has been very subdued here and everyone is just constantly watching the news and hoping.
We do have a few videos that are ready to go though.
We tell you which strawberries are the sweetest ones in Korea.
There is also a new video on our bonus channel.
I’ve mentioned before that I do feel sorry for all the fish and sea creatures just waiting to be eaten. However, it is fascinating to see this part of Korean culture. Since Korea is a peninsula they have always had a lot of seafood in their diets and it is an important part of Korean food.
Those that know me well know my thoughts on octopus…. that trip and seeing how many octopuses were trying to escape just confirmed my theory that they will one day take over the world and when they do, I’m gonna be like “I didn’t eat you!”
I feel bad for the rejected strawberries that just get made into jam! The good quality strawberries get packed nicely and shipped off to department stores.
It is coming to the end of strawberry season. It’s so warm now that we can’t send strawberries through the post like we did before. During colder months it is easy to send boxes of strawberries overnight to friends, but not now. We will still be growing strawberries for a little longer but they will all be jam strawberries. Anyone can pick jam strawberries as well because it doesn’t matter if they get crushed.
I am seriously not making this up. Yes he picked up a Kit Kat instead of his phone. We had to go back and get his phone.
So speaking of Kit Kats we made a video over on our bonus channel where we tried some more!
I wasn’t even upset that they had eaten my precious bread and cheese from Seoul because I was so happy that they liked it. There is this belief in Korea that all foreigners eat bread every day, but the only bread Koreans are familiar with is sweet bread, so that’s what they think we eat. Many people have no idea that most bread around the world is actually savoury. Unfortunately huge chain stores like Paris Baguette don’t help because the majority of what they sell is sickly sweet and pretty gross. So I have always been curious, if Korean people are exposed to good quality savoury bread and cheese (most cheese here is processed plastic stuff) will they like it? I know my husband does, but he likes everything. I even double checked with my husband, “Did they really like it? They weren’t just saying that?” and he said they really did. Yessss!
ALSO: I have some kinda bad news… there won’t be any more comics on the blog for the rest of this week. Sorry! I have to focus on the comic book that will be published soon and will be working really hard this week. There will still be videos because Mr Gwon edits those, but for the comics I produce every day, I will be too busy this week. I’m giving you the exact dates that there won’t be any because I don’t want to be one of those bloggers that never updates once they get a book deal. Also we constantly update the social media so you can follow what we are doing through that. So there will be a new comic next Monday!
Do you enjoy the food photos he posts on his Facebook and Instagram? I suffer because of them! Okay only for a few minutes. I’m not allowed to eat until he has taken a photo or video. He takes photos of everything he eats, even if he doesn’t post it online.
We are going to revamp his website soon and we are thinking maybe it should just be a food blog? What do you think?