Lesson on Making Kimbap (김밥) & Traditional Korean Dinner
Last Friday, I hosted a GNI (girls’ night in) where we all learned how to make kimbap. Our Korean friend Jenny took the time to teach us. We first went to the grocery store to buy ingredients. Korean grocery stores will sell already made fried egg (made into sheets like an omelet), Korean pickled radish (which I don’t like), and imitation crab meat, packed together with sheets of kim. We also bought some already marinated beef (bulgogi) and cans of tuna. Once home, we made rice and cooked the bulgogi.
Jenny gave us a quick demonstration on how to spread out the rice onto the kim, and arrange the filling. We then donned “sanitation gloves” and started making our own. By that time we were so hungry that most of us skipped cutting the kimbap, instead biting into it like a burrito. It was fun learning how to make kimbap while drinking wine and chatting with the ladies.
On Sunday, Alex and I walked to a restaurant near Olympic Park, to have dinner with one of my mom’s students. Suzi is Korean but has spent the last few years living in Beijing. There was a wait at the restaurant (so we knew it was going to be good!) so we chatted for a bit. Suzi said that she really enjoys living in Beijing (except for the pollution) but that she will eventually move back to Korea. Her Chinese is really good (much better than our Korean!) and she also spoke excellent English. The restaurant served the same set menu to everyone: a bunch of banchan 반찬 (side dishes) and rice. The dishes were placed on a big piece of wood that slid over the table! There were three different types of fried fish, vegetables, and of course, kimchi. It was really nice to chat with Suzi about China, Korea, and the differences in the two languages. I told her how hard Korean was to learn, and she told me how hard Chinese was to speak, and Alex said both were hard. 🙂 We hope we can meet with Suzi the next time she comes to Seoul!