My favorite Korean food as a kid was Jja Jang Myun. I could eat bowls and bowls of these delicious black bean noodles and when there were no more noodles, I’d mix the leftover sauce into a bowl of freshly steamed white rice and make Jja Jang Bop. Just needed to take out the tupperware holding grandma’s kimchi from the fridge and I’d enjoy a most satisfying meal. 😉 (more…)
I’m a huge noodle soup lover, if you couldn’t already tell. 😉 And ramen is one of my favorites. But really, which noodle soup isn’t a favorite?! HAHA. I usually make instant Japanese miso ramen at home. If you go to the fridge section of the Asian Market, you will find a variety of fresh noodles, including pre-packaged fresh ramen noodles with soup packs. Soft boil an egg with runny yolk, blanch some bean sprouts, add some pickled menma bamboo shoots, finely chop scallions, grill some pork belly and TA DA I have a delicious bowl of wavey ramen noodles ready in minutes for dinner. Then I heard that there were a bunch of new ramen spots popping up around Baltimore. I had to go check them out. Let the Baltimore Ramen Tour begin peoples! And well … end very quickly HAHA. There are only like 3 ramen shops in town – TenTen Ramen in Mt. Vernon, Dooby’s in Mt. Vernon and Ejji Ramen in Belvedere Square. (more…)
Guess where we’re going for lunch today? You got it, Hangari Noodle Company in Hanoori Town in Catonsville, MD. Oops, I suppose the title of this post gave it away. It’s been about a month now since they opened and I’ve been waiting for a cold autumn day to write about them. It’s my ploy to entice you all to head over there and check it out. 😉 There’s just something so comforting about eating a hot bowl of noodle soup on an overcast day like today. (more…)
A few weeks ago, I promised my nephew, Joseph, that Kevin and I would be on the sidelines at his next soccer game. That Friday night, I forgot to set my alarm and by the time I got up from bed, his game had already finished. When I spoke with my brother later in the week, he mentioned that Joseph kept looking over his shoulder for us. It broke my heart! So last Saturday, I made sure to wake up on time and watch my soccer star play. His team did so well! He ran over to us after the match with his arms wide open and gave us the biggest hug. “Gomo, we crushed them!” “You did bud, great job!” By the way, my nephews call me Gomo, it’s Korean for aunt (Dad’s sister). As we were walking back to our cars, my brother mentioned getting tickets to the Orioles playoff games. Go O’s! “I’d love to go!” I said. To that, my brother responded, “Sorry lis, I was talking to Kevin!”……. Oh!……….. I see how it is… Suddenly, flashbacks of my childhood popped into my head. (more…)
Growing up, the only Korean dish I knew how to make was instant ramyun. Boil some water, empty the seasoning packet and noodles into the pot and in a few minutes, your meal is ready. Easy peasy! Sometimes, I would add in sliced onions or scallions. On special occasions I’d add in pieces of hot dog and crack in an egg! Fancy! As I got older, I realized this kind of cooking wasn’t going to cut it. I told myself if I’m going to marry a nice Korean man, I need to learn how to make excellent Korean food… perhaps that’s why I married an Irishman! HAHA. I’m being silly… but seriously, I’m constantly learning new recipes and it’ll be some time before my Korean cooking is excellent! 😉
I never really learned how to make classic Korean dishes properly. I sort of just experimented on my own living in Italy. Sure I called my mom for some guidance, but trying to learn recipes from a Korean mother is a little (too) frustrating for me. They don’t measure anything and I feel like every ingredient is optional. ‘Add in some peppers if you have them, if you don’t it’s ok.’ ‘Don’t add in too much water at the start, but if you do, it’s ok.’ “Grate in some apple. You don’t have apples? Use pears. No pears? Use kiwis. No kiwis? Well, it’s ok then.’ ‘This broth needs more salt. Or maybe it doesn’t. But you can add more if you want, but this will do too.’ So what is it mom – does it need more salt or not?! AHHH I’m so confused! She may not be a good teacher, but she’s a great cook. Her food is AMAZING! I tell her all the time that she has Mash It Neun Sohn, literally tasty hands, because everything she makes is so delicious. I’m convinced that one day, my Korean cooking will be just as amazing and I will surprise my mom with an elaborate Korean feast fit for kings. One day Lisbeth, one day! For now, I’m not going to kid myself, Americanized Lisbeth style Korean dishes will do. 😉 (more…)
Back in the day, Ellicott City wasn’t overflowing with as many Korean restaurants, bars or supermarkets as it is now. There was one market and one restaurant, and that one restaurant was Han Sung. I’ve been going there since I was a little girl – after band recitals, graduation, school concerts, for any special occasion really. Our two options were the Sizzler on Route 40 or Han Sung in the St. John’s Crossing retail center (across the street from Rita’s). Good times! Now we have so many good restaurants to choose from in the area, but I still find myself craving Korean food from Han Sung.
Han Sung hasn’t changed much since then – the decor, the sushi chef, perhaps even the menu is the same. When you have something good, why change it? And I must say, they have THE BEST hwae dup bop in all of Maryland (the best I’ve had anywhere to be honest). Hwae dup bop literally means raw fish over rice. It’s like the Japanese Chirashi but a million times tastier. Think sashimi meets bibimbop – so freakin’ good. Many of the other Korean restaurants in Ellicott City have hwae dup bop on their menu, but if you want happy tastebuds and an even happier belly, trust me – Han Sung is the only place you should go for it.
I still remember the first time I brought Kevin’s family out to eat Korean BBQ. I was living and studying in Milan at the time and whenever we had long weekends or holidays, we’d travel to see each other. You don’t know how many Ryanair/Aerlingus/Alitalia tickets I have saved in our memory box. Milan to Dublin, Dublin to Milan and sometimes somewhere in between – Paris, London, Edinburgh…Sounds incredibly romantic, doesn’t it? Have you heard how we met?!?!? We were two strangers in Paris, by the Eiffel Tower, and it was pouring outside. I didn’t have an umbrella and was getting soaked in the rain. Then this handsome Irish gentleman (that would be Kevin) offered to walk with me under his umbrella. As we were crossing the boulevard together, I tripped and he turned towards me and caught me in his arms. COME ON GUYS, ARE YOU SERIOUSLY BUYING THIS TALE?! Things like that never happen to real people!!! We did meet in Paris, but our story is nothing like that. 😉 I’m getting off topic here – back to the Korean bbq story. Where was I? Oh yes, so I flew into Dublin to spend the holidays with Kevin and his family.