I offered to help her at the stove with the deep-frying but she told me to stand back so as not to burn myself with the hot bubbling oil. I didn't think she was convinced that a young girl like myself actually spends most of her time cooking in the kitchen until I showed her my battered and bruised hands from daily "accidents" and shear carelessness. She laughed and shook her head but I bet she understood how "kitchen-scars" are common on hands working around sharp knives and stove tops. I'm almost always easily amused by different languages spoken, cultural traditions and foreign food ethics. My shiny pair of metal chopsticks got me all excited! *laughs*(us Chinese have boring wooden ones). "Pap" steamed rice was scooped into bowls for everyone at the table and a range of tiny Korean side dishes referred to as Banchan were introduced to me.
This included Shi-Geum-Chi (seasoned spinach), Seasoned seaweed salad and a bowl of Kimchee seasoned Korean radish. Each small dish of Banchan was unique and intriguing. I smelt and savored a little of each with my pretty pair of chopsticks as I studied the many different combinations of flavors with each mouthful. She could tell I loved the spinach as I devoured almost the entire bowl on my own! *blush*
Watching her cook was delightful. She spoke to me about her experience with food, dining out, cooking for the family and various formalities in a Korean kitchen as she conveyed to me her knowledge of Korean cuisine. We had a brief discussion on common Korean ingredients and special condiments usually found in Korean cooking.
I was intrigued by the many different Korean products I was oblivious to in the past and she was very patient with my endless questions on differences between Japanese and Korean cuisine, why specific salts, rice and oils are used and the cooking techniques commonly applied in Korean dishes. Its amazing how much I learnt in such a short period of time with such limited words being spoken in English. Most of our conversation involved pointing, basic descriptions and nodding or squinting of brows but most of everything we spoke about, I understood and appreciate.Lunch was fantastic and conversation at the table was fascinating and educational. I hope to be learning lots more from her soon. I'll probably bake her a cake the next time I'm over to