I’m becoming adventurous with my palate. Instead of going out on dates or to a bar on a Friday night, I get together with my best friend and make Korean and Japanese food. It may not sound like an exciting time, but I look forward to seeing Emily and cooking every week.
On Friday, we made kimchi fried rice with chicken. Sometime this week, we are ready for ddeokbokki, a spicy Korean snack made of rice cake and chili paste. We were inspired to make ddeokbokki after watching my favorite member of Super Junior make it on a TV show. I cannot wait for this, whenever it will happen.
Friday also marked my first trip to the Asian market on Peach Street. I had no idea such a place existed here – now I know where I’m getting all my food from. Apparently, our Asian market is just one of five in Pennsylvania. We’re lucky to have one.
If you had told me seven years ago – when I first learned what kimchi is – that I would eat fermented cabbage and enjoy it, I would have said you’re crazy. Pickled spicy cabbage is the opposite of what I normally eat. I hate vegetables and spicy food, but kimchi surprised me. After I convinced my mom to make kimchi bokkeumbap, I have been obsessed with eating more Korean food.
I usually eat very American food – lots of sandwiches and cereal. But I love Asian food too. I’ve been known to take sushi into work. Sushi used to be as exotic as I got. Now I want to eat kimchi on a regular basis. Once you get over the pungent smell, it’s actually quite good. And kimchi fried rice is something I could make, even with my limited skills in the kitchen.
The thing is, I’m too lazy to make my own food. I don’t – and can’t – cook. My mom is a great cook and an even better baker. I have no idea what happened to me, but I’ve been known to ruin simple dishes like stir fry. My cooking skills are nonexistent. When Emily and I made our own kimchi bokkeumbap, I cut the kimchi and stirred the rice. That’s the most I’ve done in the kitchen in, well, probably ever.
Emily also made daifuku mochi, a Japanese sweet made from rice cake and red bean paste. I need to learn how to make this myself because it is awesome. Emily said it’s also rather inexpensive to make as well, so if I ever go grocery shopping for myself, ingredients for mochi will be at the top of my list.
Between trying and making new dishes, I’d say this culinary adventure is paying off so far.