Korean Fusion Cuisine

A few months ago, some of my co-workers  decided to start having “cooking parties.”  Intrigued, I eagerly accepted the invitation to join them.  I don’t cook but I do like parties; I figured I’d be alright.

We’ve had two “parties” so far, and both have proceeded in the same strange way.  After school finishes, we all squeeze into various cars and head to the nearest grocery store.  I get the front seat because I’m the “biggest.” Normally I try to encourage the use of the word “tallest” rather than “biggest” but if it means I get the front all to myself while everyone else is crammed into the back seat like sardines, biggest it is!

I can’t quite figure out why we ALL need to go to the grocery store.  Can’t one or two people go, then meet us at my co-T’s apartment?  Apparently not.

En masse, we descend on the grocery store.  I usually offer to push the cart since I have no idea what we’re looking for. Then we all troop back to the cars and make our way to my co-T’s apartment.

I’m not sure why this particular co-T’s apartment was chosen.  It’s lovely but not exactly spacious.  I feel a bit like a bull in a china shop.  (Yes, my head really does very nearly touch the ceiling.)

IMG_4792Once we’ve all washed our hands, the cooking starts.  Thankfully, I’m given the task of setting the table.  I can cook but I prefer not to.  Inevitably my mind wanders to much more interesting things and suddenly I’ve made a cake instead of dinner.  Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing… 😀

The theme of the first cooking party was Italian.  Hurray! I thought.  I love Italian food!  And then I remembered that Korean Italian food is usually more Korean than Italian…

And so I was unsurprised when for a starter we were served corn.  Corn fried with mayonnaise, cheese, and bananas, and then baked until it was a golden cheesy, corny, banana-y delight.

IMG_4777I have never seen anything like this before.  Any Italians reading this?  Is this Italian?  Whatever its origins, it was surprisingly delicious.

The main course was Caprese salad – made with processed cheese slices, and a sauce-less pasta- salad combination.  Why processed cheese?  Mozzarella is available in Korea at the bigger grocery stores.  It was a mystery.

IMG_4784 IMG_4786There was also a Gorgonzola-walnut pizza.  Delicious, even though it was actually processed cheese, honey and walnuts.

IMG_4789The whole meal was rounded off with a bowl of nachos – although I’m not sure the cooks entirely understood the recipe…

IMG_4785For the next party, I asked if they could cook something typically Korean.  The result was some sort of SPICY cold noodle dish whose name I’ve forgotten.  I fully admit to being a baby when it comes to spicy food, and so my cooking party friends very kindly made me my own special dish of noodles.

“Berrrrrrrry spice, NO!  Little spice, OK!”

IMG_5036This is what the full-spice version looked like.  I tried one noodle and just about burst into flames.

IMG_5038We also ate some kind of Korean taco.  Full of sesame oil and sesame leaves (two of my favourite things), they were a messy, spicy delight.

IMG_5033 IMG_5043In typical Korean style, we ate at little tables on the floor.  I usually sit at the end so that my legs fit.  Sometimes I feel like Gulliver. 🙂

IMG_5041The cooking parties are a bit random but it’s lovely to see my co-workers outside of the staffroom.  And I get to indulge my inner Nosy Parker by investigating my co-T’s apartment.  Food, entertainment AND I don’t have to do the dishes? Yes please, I’d love to come again! 😀

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About Carrie K

Teacher, writer, traveller. Slightly neurotic. Overly talkative. Loving life. You can also follow me on Twitter: kimchigirl72
This entry was posted in ex-pat, food, Korea, Life, Living abroad, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Korean Fusion Cuisine

  1. cornishkylie says:

    I love cooking (well, eating) AND parties AND being nosey into the lives of co-teachers so this sounds amazing to me!! I might have to convince my Thai colleagues to start something similar, although I do run this risk of eating some or all of the following; chicken feet, congealed blood, fermented intestines, pork knuckle, chicken gristle, fish eyes, raw beef fat. All of which I have successfully avoided to date (apart from a drunken, ‘I can eat a chicken foot’ moment that didn’t go down too well)!!!!!

    • Carrie K says:

      Korea has its fair share of weird and wonderful foods too! But thankfully I don’t eat meat so I get to avoid most of it! 😀 I do eat fish so I’ve had to eat all sorts of bizarre seafood type things (penis fish is not delicious) but somehow fish is not nearly as vile as “meat” – do fermented intestines really count as meat?
      You should definitely start it. It’s an adventure every time! 😀

  2. Lani says:

    I was really surprised that the banana mayo corn dish was delish. *Shudder*
    Great post. Funny and well written. And a really nice cultural exchange, so you know, you are going to have to cook 😛

  3. Hi Carrie,
    I’ve nominated ihatecockroaches for the Versatile Blogger Award. Your blogs always make me laugh, and I look forward to each one! Thank you!
    http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/vba-rules/

  4. Ceri says:

    Wow, the Korean version of Italian food is certainly … interesting. Haha

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