Blog, Gapshida

Gapshida Wellington, New Zealand

By Maangchi

On Oct 22, I left Sydney for Wellington New Zealand. Even though I felt a little sad to leave Sydney and to say goodbye to Chris and my Australian readers, I was excited to meet Jamie Frater and his friends and family. Gapshida, let’s go! Don’t be sad about leaving a lovely city and people; let’s keep going forward!

I can dwell on good trip memories when I get back home. I’ll go over them one by one just like a camel! : )

“Oh~ what happened in Canterbury? Yum yum, yeah noodle boy came over early in the morning to help! Tanja let one of my readers sleep in her house because it was too late for her to catch the last train!”

But right now I don’t have time to go over them all, and jetlag is a luxury I can’t afford. Let’s go, Maangchi! : )

How many times has Jamie posted his delicious Korean food photos to share with all of us? Whenever he emailed me his food photos, he always let me know he shared his food with his friends. Who was eating his food, and what do they talk about at the Korean food party? Is his food really as delicious as it looks? Do his friends really like kimchi? Can he chop fast? Where’s his Korean grocery store?

I had many questions for him about his Korean cooking, but ironically he and I didn’t talk much about our upcoming shoot, and we didn’t plan much about our meetup, either. I asked him via email:

“Jamie, what kind of Korean recipe shall we film? Do you have any special food to teach me?”

He said, “Oh well, I can do New Zealand style fish and chips, but aside from that, nothing special…”

In another email, I said: “I think you may like my  popcorn chicken gizzard recipe because one of your recipe requests was Korean jokbal (pig feet). I think you like dishes with animal organs?”

He once requested jokbal, and I didn’t know what to say. I’m not a big fan of jokbal even though I can eat it. So I thought he must like to eat animal organs? : ) I have a good recipe for chicken gizzards that I’ve been wanting to show my readers, so I suggested it.

He said: “Sure, chicken gizzard sounds delicious!”

A few days later he emailed me again: “Maangchi, I really want to learn how to make gochujang (hot pepper paste). Can you show me how to make it when you come here? I hope my onggi (earthenware jars) get delivered by the time you arrive here. I have all the ingredients.”

“Oh, you bought an onggi? Where did you get it?”

“When I traveld to Korea recently, I bought it along with other cookware. They are being delivered to my home!”

I am confessing now that I was a little uncomfortable when I heard this, because I hadn’t made gochujang in a long time.

I used to make homemade gochujang a long time ago, but I never measured the ingredients when I made it. To properly prepare I should develop my recipe, practice it, and test it. But I didn’t have enough time do this before leaving.

I’d always thought making a video recipe for gochujang would be impossible because I don’t have a yard where I can keep my onggi (earthenware jar) for fermenting gochujang. Once you make gochujang, you have to take care of it by opening the lid in the morning to let sunlight hit it, and closing the lid in the evening when the sun goes down. If it rains suddenly and you’re not at home to cover your gochujang, it’ll be ruined.

Not only do I not live in a house with yard, but I also don’t have the time to take care of it while it ferments. This usually takes about 3 months!

So when he emailed me again a few days later to say: “Maangchi, guess what? My onggi came! Yay, we can make gochujang!”

What else could I say but: “Ok, let’s make it, Jamie!” : )

gochujang

Here’s the gochujang we made together. Right now it’s fermenting at Jamie’s house. Jamie emailed me yesterday and said: “Our gochujang is looking good – the weather has been very good the last few days so it is getting good long stretches with the lid off each day.” About 3 months later, when it’s well fermented, I will post the recipe on my website.

On Oct.23, I met him at 9:00 am at my hotel in Wellington, New Zealand. One of my Facebook friends, Charles, used to live in Wellington and suggested the Museum of New Zealand as a must-visit during my stay. I found out that my hotel was right next door to the museum! So Jamie and I visited the museum together. There was special exhibition called “Oceania,” that showed how Pacific islanders and European explorers came to this island to establish the country of New Zealand.

Later his friends Ryan and Trudy joined us. We went for a drive to Mount Victoria, in the eastern part of the city. On top of the mountain, there is a beautiful 360 degree view of the city.

At Mount Victoria. My 3 amigos look cool with black sunglasses!

Overlooking the city of Wellington from Mount Victoria.

On the left stem of the plant, I think it is a bird. I took this  photo and the bird flew by, so I got a good shot accidentally.

Trudy and me

The weather was cloudy and very windy! Then we went to a restaurant named Parade Cafe which is a cafe in a tugboat on the bay. I had seafood pasta with red tomato sauce which was my first meal in New Zealand, so you can guess how delicious it was. : ) Yum yum yum!

Pasta with seafood, umm ~ good!

Mocha Cappuccino with 2 marshmallow balls, umm ~  good!

I saw some fishermen fishing on the dock through the cafe window.

Oriental Bay Beach with golden sand. It used to be covered by stones but they placed 27,000 tonnes of golden sand here to make this beautiful beach.

Next, we went to Jamie’s Korean grocery store to shop for ingredients. The lady at the store welcomed us warmly!

Me and the owner of the store, Ginam Kim. I asked her: “Did you know that Jamie submitted your store information to my website?” She said: “No! Wow, thank you, Jamie!”

Lots of grocery shopping!

Then we went to his house, Jamie’s jip (“jip” means “house” in Korean)! Which room do you think I’m always the most interested in?

Yes, first thing I did was check out his kitchen. He has a nice kitchen, large refrigerator, and a pantry. When I opened the pantry, I was so surprised that my jaw dropped open. : ) His pantry was full of Korean ingredients! A 3 kg tub of hot pepper paste, soybean paste, a huge bottle of soy sauce, several packages of hot pepper powder, a few packages of barley malt power, a container full of roasted sesame seeds, a huge can of sesame oil, fish sauce, starch powder, flour, dried kelp, sweet rice powder…

These large and small earthenware jars called onggi came directly from Korea by airplane. In a few days the 2 large jars were filled with rice wine  and hot pepper paste that we made.

 In his living room, Korean bowls, cookware, even my 3 cook books are displayed! I was very impressed!

A set of Korean yugi (large and small bronzeware bowls) and sinseollo cookware. This type of bronzeware is also called bangjja and is made of copper and tin alloy. It’s very precious stuff.

We had Dakbokkeumtang (dakdoritang), rice, and fresh kimchi for dinner.

Let’s peel the garlic first before making kimchi!

Making kimchi together!  Yes, he cuts and chops vegetables very fast!

Yummy fresh kimchi with lots of sesame seeds!

Cheers!

Ok, in my next blog, you’re going to see how I spent my days meeting interesting people and doing some serious, massive cooking in Wellington!  Stay tuned!

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