(The original comic is here).
We revisit a comic from several years ago. This was when we were still living in Australia and I forgot to put kimchi on the table. As we mentioned in the video, Hugh obsesses about kimchi a lot more when he is not in Korea. He doesn’t eat it every day in Korea but in Australia has this desire to always eat it. It might seem like just a stereotype but it’s very important to Koreans!
Many older Koreans don’t consider a meal to be a real meal without rice and kimchi. So if they eat out and eat some type of foreign food they will still come home and eat some rice and kimchi. This type of ingrained thinking is possibly why it’s taken so long for foreign food to become popular in Korea, because there is a very strong cultural thinking of what a meal should be. Although many younger Koreans embrace all kinds of food, they have trouble convincing their parents to try new stuff and when older Koreans go on trips to another country they will try and take Korean food with them, rather than trying anything new.
In Australia it was easy to buy kimchi in Sydney and when we were in my home town I would make it for Hugh. These days we usually have too much kimchi as Hugh’s mother will send us kimchi. We still eat out a lot so we eating it several times a week even if we don’t have any at home. I’ve tried so many types of kimchi I know which ones I like and how fermented I prefer kimchi to be.
Making kimchi can be a lot of work and usually needs to be done over 2 days. If you are making kimchi for the first time I recommend reading a variety of recipes online several times so you understand all the steps. Also be aware that it will give off a strong smell in your fridge!
What things do you hate paying for because you usually get it for free?
Making kimchi is a skill that is not as common with the younger generation and a lot of people are just buying instead of making it. I have heard that a lot is being made in China though, so the quality of ingredients can’t be checked and there are many other factors that can affect the taste. When we get our own place I’ll still try to make kimchi so we don’t need to buy it from the supermarket. Hopefully we’ll still get my mother in law’s kimchi too. If someone supplies you with homemade kimchi you should appreciate it! ^^
The problem with working at home is that your morning routine kinda blends with your work, checking emails while eating breakfast, moving onto other work and realising you haven’t even brushed your teeth yet.
My inlaws hate the smell of my basil pesto and Parmesan cheese. It’s interesting to be the foreigner with the stinky food..
(We did go brush our teeth after this moment).
What strong smelling food do you have in your country?
So he went and got the 2 kilo container of kimchi. He eats a lot more kimchi than I do. I’m absolutely fine if there is no kimchi on the table. I like it and usually eat a little bit, but I’m not that concerned if we forget it.
We usually don’t have much in our fridge… but it’s important to always have kimchi! I’ve mentioned before how we share an apartment because rental prices are so high in Sydney and we live in an area close to the city. Unfortunately sharing has a lot of downsides and I don’t feel comfortable cooking a lot in the kitchen. Also we still live very much like students and there is a big supermarket right near us so we just buy things as we need them. That does mean that some days there isn’t much in the fridge.
Making kimchi for your Korean husband is stressful. It is something so important to Koreans so there is a lot of pressure to be able to make it. It’s my job to make it – not because my husband is old fashioned and thinks it’s the woman’s job – but because he simply doesn’t really possess any cooking skills. Is this typical of Korean guys? Not at all, many Korean guys are excellent cooks.
So not growing up in a Korean home, I’m immediately at a disadvantage when trying to make kimchi. There is no family recipe passed down, I have no childhood memories of watching my mother make kimchi, and I’m not even sure what really good kimchi tastes like.
I follow recipes but every recipe is different! I feel like it’s going to be years of experimenting before I work out which one I like to use. Some say for anchovies, some say for oysters, some say to just use that fish sauce stuff.
One of the first times I made kimchi my husband was really impressed. He even told other Korean guys how good at making kimchi I was. Unfortunately, that might have been a one time thing. The next time something went really really wrong. I’m pretty sure it was because I didn’t use the right type of salt. It was upsetting. I managed alright the next time but it still wasn’t as good as the time I got it perfect. I haven’t tried in a few months because we’ve been busy with travel and stuff and currently my husband is in Sydney while I am in my home town. He is job and apartment searching. BUT, today I am traveling to Sydney and I will see him tonight!
Once we are settled in Sydney I will have to attempt making kimchi again…
Pikelets are a type of sweet mini pancake/hotcake. My siblings and I ate them a lot when we were younger. Usually they are eaten with just butter or with jam and cream.
I’ve taken the recipe for Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi pancake) and modified it to make Kimchi pikelets. I use wholemeal self raising flour because it gives it more texture which is better for a savoury type of pikelet/hotcake. The salt and sugar quantities can be adjusted to individual taste. This recipe makes about 8 – 10 but the ingredients can be doubled to make more. It’s a very quick and easy snack to make.
3/4 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1/2 cup kimchi (chopped or cut into small pieces)
1 – 2 tablespoons of kimchi juice (the liquid that collects in the bottom of a container of kimchi)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1- 2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt (or to taste)
olive oil (or any other type of oil that can be used for frying)
Ingredients (except the water)
1. In a bowl put the flour, sugar and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon.
2. Add the milk and water and mix well.
3. Add the egg and kimchi juice and stir well.
4. Finally add the kimchi and mix.
5. In a frypan add 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil. Heat on a medium heat and using just a normal size spoon put in some of the mixture. Since these are pikelets you don’t want them too big.
6. The pikelets will now start to rise a bit. To check they are ready to turn over, use a spatula to lift up one slightly. If it’s a nice golden brown colour flip them over.
7. Take the cooked ones out and continue with the rest of the mixture. You can serve with a dipping sauce. Anything you like is fine. I tend to use soy sauce and sesame oil.