Cooking in Korea

If you’d told me last September that at the same time next year I’d be sitting on my bed eating a bowl of seaweed and rice, I wouldn’t have not believed you, but I’d probably ask for an explanation.

I’ve been working in Korea for a little over a week now, which means I’m passed the “eat-out-for-every-meal” mark and need to start packing my lunch and cooking my own dinners. Though, this should alleviate some stress for me, since knowing all of 20-ish words in Korean, my dining options at restaurants are often limited to dishes that have pictures beside them on the menu or that include one of the few words in my Korean vocabulary. Whereas cooking for myself, I can eat whatever I want.

Don’t get me wrong, Korean food is great. Before moving to Korea, I’d only really had it when my Korean friends in New York made it and had me over to eat with them. Between those dinners and my recent exposures, I’m definitely a fan. A few times a week, my coworkers from the UK take me to different places around town to eat and teach me what/how to order. We’ve had Korean barbecue at a traditional place where you sit on floor cushions, Japanese sushi from a franchise (1/3 the price of NYC sushi, I might add), and mandu at a mom and pop type shop, but my favorite was definitely the bibimbap from this bibimbap place they took me too.

Anyway, cooking in my apartment makes me feel like I’m doing a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge or something: only two burners, no oven*, no microwave, and essentially no counter space. There is however a range hood, which is nice, but it doesn’t exactly whisk away the sent of sesame seed oil.*Those who know my love of baking can sense that this is rough.

It’s not a problem, just something to adjust to. My  only fear is that I’ll forget to turn the gas off one day and either poison myself or set the building on fire… Eek. Well, so far there’ve been no problems.

Hopefully, in a few months time, I’ll have mastered the one-pot dish.

Now my whole room smells like onions. C’est la vie. At least the vampires will be scared away. Wait. No, that’s garlic. Oh well. Until next time…


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