Beyond Kimchi and BBQ
Last weekend was quite hectic, filled with pleasant surprises, new and old friends, and lots of (thoughts, plans, preparations, and consumption of) food, food, food. It started with Korea Day on Friday, my dear friends’ wedding on Saturday, and finally a day of new yet familiar experiences on Sunday.
On Sunday, people from tvK, a Korean cable station based in L.A., came out to my place to interview me about Korean food and my blog and to film my cooking for a dinner gathering with friends, as part of a documentary they are making about Koreans in the U.S. and Korean food.
The first change after my sister and I heard the news of tvK’s visit was totally unrelated to food. Within a day, my sister’s giant backpack sitting at the corner of the room for the last 2 months was removed. This meant that something else had to be moved to make room for the backpack, which resulted in cleaning and reorganizing the whole apartment…just to hide one giant backpack.
As for food, the main focus, I wanted to prepare dishes for my friends who already know the basic items of Korean food and have done bulgogi and galbi BBQ many times over. I wanted my friends to try something different, something that they wouldn’t know to order or might not find at a Korean restaurant, but still familiar, homey Korean flavors, with, of course, my own spin.
So here is how it went.
Homemade Tofu (두부; with sesame sauce and pickled Jalapeno bits)
Biji Ssambap (비지 쌈밥; sticky brown rice mixed with toasted soybean pulp, seasoned with doenjang sauce wrapped in perilla leaves)
Yukgaejang Jorim in Danhobak Bowl (육개장 조림 in 단호박; brisket reduced in gochujang sauce, with shiitake mushrooms and sliced rice cakes, topped with mozzarella cheese, served in kabocha bowl)
Shikhye Patbingsu (식혜 팥빙수; sweet rice-malted barley granita with sweetened red beans, rice cake morsels, mango dice, and mint leaves)
After an evening of fun dinner with friends, I woke up in the middle of the night with the feeling of horror that the TV camera probably captured all my idiosyncrasies, absurd craziness, and weird twitches that I’ve been blissfully unaware of all my life. Then, I gladly remembered that I was still hungover and fell asleep again.
I don’t know if/when the documentary will air in New York yet. Regardless, it gave me a fun excuse to think more about food for a whole week. I am also grateful that it gave me a chance to capture a moment in my cooking life with my dear sister and friends.
tofu 두부 (du bu)
brown rice 현미 (hyeon mi)
sesame 깨 (kkae)