2nd November 2012. Written by Xin Li.
I just learnt this today at my Korean class. It basically means "I like cooking."
One of the major downside of doing exchange at my university is the lack of kitchen. So after weeks of gross breakfasts at the canteen (costing 3000 KRW and my friend even had worms in them before) we decided to cook our own meals (also what we called food therapy for our homesickness and to satisfy our urge to cook) Here is gallery of photographs of what we have whipped up for the past 2 months starting from:
First we just had bread and cake from the bakeries around our campus, bread is not exactly cheap in Korea. Muesli with fresh milk is a convenient way of having breakfast.
Then we acquired a kettle and starting making food such as soft-boiled eggs and rang myeon (instant noodles). Garlic toasts went very well with soft-boiled eggs.
I found some Japanese Curry that you could simply heat it up in their packaging. Great with bread but, I don’t enjoy instant food.
We also attempted to grill beef with the hot plate, it was heavenly! Beef and pork ares very common in South Korea and if you come to Korea, you would probably have heard of Hanwoo, the Korean equivalent to Japanese wagyu.
Fishes like cod, batang, snapper, grouper, those meaty fishes aren't very common around our campus. Hence we used mackerel one of the more common fishes along with flounder, cutlass and gizzard for our Noodles with Sliced Fish Soup, we got the thin rice noodles from Ansan, a town wit a vibrant foreign community.
Soups are always welcomed as the weather gets colder. Here I made my own Lotus Root Soup, the prok here is heavenly, very tender without the gamey flavour. South Korea got very huge and sweet red dates too.
If we wanted something simpler, a Cabbage Soup with some wolf berries is very easy to prepare.
Tomatoes are costly in South Korea. A box of cherry tomatoes that cost 1.50 SGD in Singapore would cost 4 SGD here. When we spot some affordable cherry tomatoes, we just have to get them.
Once in a while, we go western, making pastas with whatever we have. My favourite is aglio olio style, if some tomato based sauce is on offer we would grab it too.
Cheng Teng is something you don’t really find in Korea, so we made this to satisfy our carving for some home sweets. While we could find red dates easily, white fungus, lotus seeds and dried longans are not, we have to get them from the convenience stores in Ansan and they ain’t cheap. I shared them with my Korean classmates, it’s a love and hate affair. Some love it for the sweetness some probably hate it for the herbal flavours (they even dump it into the toilet bowl =/, what a waste!)
With our hot plate, we could make pancakes for breakfast too!
Once in a while friends and families sent in some laksa paste or bak kut teh packs. These bring us straight back to Singapore instantly. The wonderful black pork here makes it even more enjoyable.
Wines are relatively cheaper in Korea and mussels are very cheap! We can easily whip up some European style mussel broth which is pretty addictive when paired with bread.
It is just 2 months and I am already missing the food back in Singapore.