Monday, January 7, 2013

365 Inspirations—Seven: Korean Cuisine

"I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give."
Julia Child 

 In this world of fast-food and FAST everything for that matter, I really appreciate and am inspired by the Korean cuisine. Nothing is fast about making Korean food. There are no drive-thru windows that I know of offering this cuisine.

Fortunately, I live in Seattle, which is abundant with ethnic food from all over the world and up in North Seattle, where I live, Korean food is everywhere! This was a blessing we did not know we'd find when my Korean husband and I arrived at our house in Seattle in 2006 after spending nearly a decade in Asia.

Within a mile or so of our house, I can count a dozen Korean restaurants offering various dishes. We even have a Korean spa and norebang (singing room) not too far away. Needless to say, my husband feels right at home here.

I wish I could tell you that after living in Korean and marrying a Korean man, I've mastered the Korean cuisine, but I haven't. Not really.

The thing about Korean food is it often includes many side dishes. Making the side dishes alone would take several days. Then you have the main dish and often you have a soup.

I can make various soups and a few rice dishes, (dol sot bi bim bap, duk mandu guk, kimchi jigae, daeng jang jigae, etc.) but I'm not sure how tasty they are and I don't have copious amounts of time to make all the intricate little side dishes! In fact, that's probably one part of the Korean cuisine that's gotten faster to prepare because many people pick up already prepared side dishes in Korean supermarkets.

Above is a picture of a dish called Duk Mandu Guk (Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup). Many Koreans eat this dish on New Year's Day. Since we have so many excellent Korean restaurants right next to our home, we go out for Korean food a lot. I hope to try and prepare more Korean food at home this year, but I may cheat and buy the little side dishes to make my life easier.

What is your favorite cuisine? Do you like to prepare it at home or go out to eat?


  1. The food in the photograph looks delicious! I'm not familiar with Korean cuisine, but I'd like to learn more about it.

    I love Indian food. I had a good friend from India in grad school, and she cooked a lot of dishes that I grew to love. I enjoyed watching her cook, including getting out her little spice tins and using the tiny spoon to add flavors to the food.

    I don't cook a lot, but there is a fabulous Indian restaurant in a nearby city, and we eat there as often as we can. The smells and the tastes bring back good memories of my friend.

    1. I love Indian food too! In fact, I love food from almost anywhere!! I'm an ESL teacher and have English students from all over the world. At the end of every quarter we have a potluck with food from all over the world. It's divine. Wish I could learn how to make more ethnic dishes. Experimenting with cooking is something I hope to do this year!!!

  2. I love living in the Toronto area as we also have a lot of ethnic food choices to choose from. Once you eat from a place that makes the food properly, the Americanized versions can not compare. I absolutely love Korean & Vietnamese food. I love the soups. My daughter loves Japanese and goes crazy over the seaweed salads.

    1. Hi Marnie! Happy New Year 2013! We are lucky to live in cities that offer so much variety and so many wonderful dishes and ethnic food. I love Japanese too and go often with my husband. Love seaweed salad too and my husband and I are big fans of Pho.

  3. Hi Katherine, I just read your book (I finished five minutes ago) and it was just so so satisfying. I live in Korea and married a Korean man last year. I also majored in theology, and have a tiny tiny bit of experience with meditation. I've never seen three of my favorite things: spirituality, love, and Korea combined into one book before, and it just made me feel so refreshed. I do hope you write another one.

    Also! I love Korean cooking! I can make some awesome kongnamul gook. There are some excellent blogs for cooking Korean food, especially maangchi (who also has a youtube channel) and aeri's kitchen.

    Good luck!

  4. Thanks so much for your beautiful words about my book! I wonder how you heard about it in Korea?? Yes, I plan to write another book! I'll let you know when I do. Thanks for the tips on the blogs and good luck to you too!

  5. Wow! I love Korean food so much special the menu with spicy ingredients. Anyway,I will try this at home later. Thanks!

    Catering in Manila by Hizons

    1. You are welcome. This food was from a restaurant, but easy to make!