Let’s Cook Kimchi Jjigae

I love cooking, but I never really cooked Korean food while I was living in Korea. But now that there isn’t a Kimbap Cheonguk (a Korean restaurant chain) on over corner like I was used to, I need to fend for myself.

I searched for a few asian/international grocery stores in Milwaukee. The ones I ended up going to were Cermak, Asian International Market, and Pacific Produce. These are all 30-40 minutes away from my house, so that part kinda sucks.

Cermak didn’t have much in the way of asian products. The latter two were more what I was looking for. For one thing, Asian Int’l had 32 oz jars of kimchi for around $7. Not bad. Pacific Produce was way bigger than I expected, so I didn’t see all they had but they definitely have a lot.

Anyway I picked up all my needed ingredients from several different stores, and headed home. Making the jjigae is pretty simple because it’s basically just chop stuff and throw it in a pot. I got the recipe from the Cooking Channel (which you can find here). Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (salted works fine too)
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds (32 oz) of kimchi, chopped if you wish
  • 5-7 oz can of tuna packed in oil
  • 8 oz of firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • white rice, for serving

The Cooking Channel recipe also has seaweed, scallions, and sesame seeds for garish, but I didn’t bother with those.

First, melt the butter in a saucepan or cooking pot. I started out using a saucepan, but it was way too small for all the ingredients. I recommend the sort of pot you’d use for making soups/chili.

Chopped onion & garlic

Chopped onion & garlic

Then add the garlic. It’s should be coarsely chopped, but I was feeling lazy so I used a food processor. I don’t like big chunks of garlic anyway, so this worked better for me. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook for around 4 minutes or until it’s soft.

3 cups of water

3 cups of water

Then add your kimchi (which all it’s juices) and 3 cups of water. I think 3 cups isn’t nearly enough. I know I added extra tofu which affects things a bit, but I think adding another 2-3 cups of waterΒ was best. Bring that to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. I partially covered the pot so I didn’t lose too much water, and would get more flavor.

Tofu

Tofu

Drain the tuna and break it up into chunks. Cut up the tofu into 1 inch cubes. I chose to use the whole package which was 16 ounces. The recipe calls for half that, but I just wanted to use up the whole thing. πŸ˜› Also I like fim tofu best for this, but I’ve had soft (손두뢀) before at restaurants. Whichever you prefer.

Add the tuna, tofu, sesame oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Stir a little and let the whole thing simmer for minimum of 3 minutes. I probably let mine be for 5 minute or so cuz I wanted the flavors to really come together.

Yummy! λ§›μžˆλ‹€!

Yummy! λ§›μžˆλ‹€!

All done! You can add the garish that Cooking Channel recommended or not. I didn’t bother and it tasted fine.

Cook a bit of white rice to serve it with and you have a pretty darn tasty dish. Next time I wanna maybe check it up a little — maybe put in shrimp or something. πŸ™‚

Happy eating!

 

 

*By the way, here are the grocery stores I visited, in case you happen to live in the Milwaukee area:

Cermak Fresh Market

1541 Miller Park Way, West Milwaukee, WI 53214

Asian International Market

3401 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53215

Pacific Produce

5455 S 27th St, Milwaukee, WI 53221

Leaving Korea

Yep, it’s true. As of this date I have left Korea. Apologies! This video went up awhile ago, but I didn’t pair it with a blog post.

I left Korea on March 28th. Sad day γ… γ… . I left behind a lot of great friends (and great weather btw – it’s not warm enough in the Midwest!).

As to why I left, well, I wasn’t feeling… fulfilled? I always liked my workplaces and my co-workers. The past job at the kindergarten was pretty great actually. But towards the second half of my employment I just wasn’t feeling good about things. Even though things went well for the most part I still went in thinking, “Well, at least I only have 6 hours or so until I can go home”. That really didn’t feel right.

I didn’t dislike being a teacher. I had a lot of great moments with my students. I never really felt like a”real teacher” though since Education wasn’t my major. I thought maybe getting an university job would be nice, but these days it’s very hard to get one of those if you don’t have a MA. So I decided to come home.

I’ve seen a few friends leave and return to Korea after a year or so. I have friends who went home to get certificates or a Masters, or even those who stayed in Korea but do those programs online. So that’s my tentative plan. I love Korea and, if I can, I’d like to go back. So I’m going to apply for an online program to earn a TESOL MA.

I still want to make vlogs and blogs about Korea, as well as traveling and my life in the U.S. Thanks for sticking around. I’ll still be here making content as long as you guys are around. πŸ™‚

Cheers!

Noraebang Booths

I love going to noraebang (λ…Έλž˜λ°©). If you aren’t familiar, you may know it better as karaoke. In the U.S. we have karaoke nights at bars. Which means you have to get up in front of everyone at the bar and sing. Not that good if you’re the shy type. I prefer what Japan and Korea have – businesses that have singing rooms that you can use for an hour or so.

Usually when I’d want to go I’d get go with a group of friends. Sometimes it’s hard to get everyone to agree to go out. Or maybe you don’t want to sing for that long. That’s why noraebang booths are awesome.

SONY DSC

Noraebang booths at a game arcade.

Welcome!

Welcome!

In many game arcades you’ll see a few of these booths lined up. You can fit 2 people comfortably, sometimes 3. You can pay 300 won for 1 song, 500 won for 2 songs, or 1,000 won for 4 songs. Then it’s time to rock!

Time to pick your songs.

Time to pick your songs.

The remote isn’t always easy to figure out if you’re not familiar with Korean yet. So I went through the basics in my video for how to pick out a song. Here’s a few words you should know:

제λͺ© – [song] title

κ°€μˆ˜ – singer

These are how you find the song you want. From there you type in the words. You can go between Korean and English by pressing the button that says “ν•œ/영”.

μ‹œμž‘ – start

μ˜ˆμ•½ – reserve [a song]

μ΅œμ†Œ – cancel

Once you find the song you want you press one of the above buttons.

You can also change what country’s song you want by pressing κ΅­κ°€. There’s Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese. Sometimes you can find Vietnamese or Thai.

There’s also other buttons like the Top 100 songs, changing the tempo (ν…œν¬), key, or skip interludes. I usually just use the basic function buttons.

Now you can sing your little hearts out!

TV at the noraebang

I sang 2NE1’s “Missing You”

Coffee Time at λ‚˜λ§Œμ˜ μ»€ν”Ό

I love coffee. I didn’t always though! Luckily if you are a coffee/cafe lover then Korea has got you covered. There’s one place in particular that I especially like – Roasting λ‚˜λ§Œμ˜ 컀피 (Roasting – Only My Coffee).

It’s located in Gung-dong (ꢁ동) which is the area right next to Chungnam University in Daejeon, and I mean *right next to*. You walk out of the parking lot on the southeast side of campus and the cafe is pretty much right there. πŸ™‚

SONY DSC

Besides getting a good cup of coffee they have excellent desserts. I’m a big fan of the brownies. They’re huge with walnuts inside and dusted with powdered sugar on top. Yum!

The owner also teaches about coffee and how to make it. I believe you can do your own hand drip even without taking a class, but I’m not 100% certain.

SONY DSC

Bit of a line.

It gets a little busy in the daytime with all the students around, but not terribly noisy. They also have wifi should you need it.

My favorite part of the interior is the bathroom. That may sound weird, but take a peek at my video. It’s hidden behind what looks like a bookcase. I wanted to go inside, but someone had just walked in. ^^;;

Cute bear latte art

Cute bear latte art

The latte art was a bonus last time. I didn’t even know they did that (never got it before). Super cute, right?

 

Location

Location

Getting there isn’t too tricky. If you’re a CNU student you’ll be coming out of the parking lot nearish λ‹€μˆ μ•„νŒŒνŠΈ. Otherwise you can come from Rodeo street, turn left at GS25, walk down the road til it stops and turn right. It’s around the corner. Otherwise you can plug the address into your phone on Naver Maps or Google Maps.

Address: λŒ€μ „κ΄‘μ—­μ‹œ μœ μ„±κ΅¬ ꢁ동 395-4