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Sometimes I enjoy a simple food from childhood. Of course I make it a little more grown up. Korean stores have canned baked beans, but I haven’t heard of any cases of them being used as actual baked beans, like a can of cream of mushroom soup in America is more a casserole ingredient than a soup. Baked beans in Korea are used in budae jjigae, a stew made from ingredients from U.S. Army surplus around the time of the Korean War.

Hot dogs are available. They honestly aren’t that good. I prefer the sausages they make at E-Mart.


I first sweated some onions, green pepper, and a little garlic. I then cooked some sliced sausage in the pan.

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Next came the canned baked beans. From there, it was a matter of balancing the flavors with yellow mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar, black pepper, and a splash of whiskey.

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Again, this dish was me placating my childhood memories. People love foods from their childhoods, no matter how disgusting they can be. That’s why I’m not as crazy about some foods that Koreans had as children, like dried squid, silkworm larvae, and the tea made from pouring hot water into the scrapings of rice served in a hot stone pot.

Yet Eun Jeong loved the beanie weenies. She ate more of them than I did. She ate the leftovers for breakfast. She like my childhood food more than me.

I wonder what she would think of grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

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