Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Alaina's first Korean cooking lesson

One of my (Alaina) co-teachers offered to teach me how to make some easy, Korean foods. We began our morning of cooking by meeting at the grocery store; I was informed that we only needed "just a few items", yet she proceeded to throw everything she saw that looked good in to our basket. It was a really funny and unforgettable grocery shopping experience!
I want to preface this entry by noting that, although I am personally not in any of the photos taken, I did my part of assembling and cooking the food. You can ask my co-teacher, Jackie (who prefers to go by the name of "Jackie-Chan"). I attempted to document key moments in this hilarious cooking lesson. Enjoy!

Here, Jackie prepares mushrooms wrapped in bacon.
1) divide bundles of funny looking long-stemmed mushrooms
2) cut bacon in to 3 inch strips
3) wrap bacon around mushroom bundles

The finished (still uncooked) product looks something like this.

You then place the bundles into a hot skillet with a bit of any kind of oil you could find in Korea. We used canola, I think. With Korean food, I'm pretty sure it would all taste about the same...

Our second dish was called "Sohyah". Ingredients: Anything you can find in the vegetable section, vienna type sausages, a ton of ketchup, a ton of brown sugar, and a "sprinkle" of black pepper. Haha I am still laughing at how Jackie prepared this dish:
1) throw everything in to the skillet
2) add as much ketchup and brown sugar as you have in your house
3) lightly sprinkle pepper on top when finished "for looks, Alaina" Oh, of course. Appearance is everything, right?

Our final dish was a rice-filled, pot sticker type dish called "Youbu Cho Bap". (Bap means rice in Korean) You begin by making "sticky" rice. The day before my cooking lesson, Jackie asked me if we could use my rice maker. Hah, what? I politely informed her that there was no such appliance in our apartment, but I had a large pot we could use! Needless to say, she was surprised at our inconvenience and very nervous about making rice on the stove top. No worries though, all went well and the photo above displays our perfectly sticky, stove-top rice.

You then mix in black sesame seeds and some spices for flavor. To make the pot sticker type dish, you stuff the rice in to prepackaged, spongy shell (in the photo, toward the bottom right) Jackie asked, "Where are your plastic gloves?" Um, forgive me for being western, but we typically do not keep plastic gloves on hand for kitchen needs. Therefore, we were resourceful and used little baggies instead. Do what you gotta do!

The finished product. Delicious little finger foods that you traditionally bring for picnics.
Add some tomatoes ("for looks, of course") and viola!

We brought our delicious meal to work for our co-teachers to enjoy. Everyone was quite impressed at our cooking skills (and so were we)!

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