Tagged: Stew

Kimchi Chigae (김치찌개)

In the last few months, I felt (yet again) suspended in limbo. In so many ways, this year feels like a first. The first year I can’t use being a full-time student as an excuse to eschew finding a steady and stable full-time job. The first year I realize the true effort it takes to keep in touch with even the best of friends, whose lives also happen to be unfolding unexpectedly before them. The first year I see life the way I do now. It feels strange and surreal to remind myself that I am a college graduate, an adult.
Once in a while, I sift through old pictures and catch snapshots of my past, finding myself at a loss for words. I remember those blunt bangs and the plaid uniform I wore at my private school in California. I remember my strawberry-blonde best friend, her freckles an object of my greatest envy. I remember my sun-kissed skin from blackberry-picking with my Guatemalan nanny, Adela. I remember ferry rides to Granville Island and goose-chasing at Stanley Park with my sister in Canada. I could never forget the fluorescent lights of Seoul and the way my heart would beat in the city. I remember my first failed experiments with make-up and fashion, high school crushes and cliques. Flip forward a few pages and I vividly recall my high school graduation, all the flower leis, and my first official cap and gown. Then I remember Seattle and the courtyard of cherry blossoms on campus. It baffles me that now, I’m looking at freshly-printed photos of my friends and I in forest green caps and gowns against azure Hawaiian skies, proudly displaying our post-college diplomas – our tickets into the real world. To think, I’ve journeyed this far.

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Seafood SoonDuBu Chigae (해물순두부찌개)

Do you have a go-to soup, one that sparks your taste buds and enlivens your mood regardless of the time of hangover day or weather? I do.

I love Korean food, and I’m not just saying it because I’m Korean. There is just a myriad of complementing and contrasting flavors, making it impossible to get sick of or dislike and I have not yet encountered (nor do I have yet to encounter) a single person that does not like love SoonDuBu Chigae (순두부찌개), or soft tofu stew. It’s hearty, spicy, wholesome comfort food at its very finest. Plus, it reminds me of my childhood – like grilled cheese and tobasco-drenched ketchup and whaddayaknow – similarly, everybody loves a good grilled cheese.

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The Everything SoonDuBu (모듬 순두부).

Although as I’ve mentioned, I didn’t grow up craving or eating meatloaf, there is a dish that I grew up with and immediately fell in love with at first bite and perhaps first sight as well. There isn’t a Korean I know that isn’t familiar with this dish. Actually, I have yet to meet one that doesn’t share the love for it. Fortunately and unfortunately for me, when it comes to Korean food, everything seems to be put together haphazardly and impromptu. This is the story of my life. Fortunately, this tends to work for me since second nature kicks in with perfect timing. Unfortunately, everything happens through trial and error. In regards to cooking, everything is usually made to taste and recipes aren’t always recorded perfectly – my sincere apologies in advance.

SoonDuBu Jjigae (순두부 찌개), otherwise known as Korean Soft Tofu Stew, is what I would deem as Korean comfort food. It is soft, smooth, hot, spicy, and delightfully filling. In times of affliction, my clouded thoughts seem to clear up ever so slightly at the idea of this steamy stew. It’s just about the best thing you can make out of tofu. No other dish that I have come across portrays tofu’s subtle sapor and endless versatility better. Continue reading