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Report from Maangchi’s New Jersey shopping meetup

By Maangchi

On Saturday Oct.24, I took bus number 166 to New Jersey with one of my readers Kristi to go to our meetup place. Our meetup place was not a fancy restaurant but a huge Korean shopping center!

It was only 20 minutes ride from Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan and the round trip tickets were $5.60 which is very cheap I think. I felt like I was saving money already by taking the bus.

When we arrived at about 1:00 pm, we went inside the grocery store and ordered some Korean food at the cafeteria. We ordered spicy pollack stew served in an earthenware bowl, tangsuyuk (sweet, sour, and crispy pork), and haemulpajeon (green onion pancake with seafood). Then Amber and her 18 month daughter Brynn came.
Soon Elizabeth and her mother Terri joined us and a few minutes later Judy with her 4 year old son David came.

We cheered with makkoli (Korean rice wine) that I made:
“Hey, let’s Cheers!”
“Oh, you made this?”
“Oh, cool!”
Amber is living in Delaware, so she drove 3 1/2 hours to come to the meetup! She brought my cookbook and asked for my autograph.

Her little daughter Brynn is a doll. The mom said her favorite food is japchae. Actually Amber put a piece of pancake into a bowl and put it in front of Brynn. I found the pancake was gone soon. She picked it up with her hand and put it into her mouth by herself! The mom doesn’t have to feed her. Yes, 18 month old baby seemed to know how to enjoy the taste of food. Isn’t it fantastic?


Elizabeth, a teenage girl, coming with her mother Terri who drove 1 1/2 hours driving from Riverside, New Jersey, said she wants to become a Korean chef someday. She and her mother love kimchi, spicy seafood stew, japchae…
She wants to make her own kimchi.

I asked, “What made you interested in Korean cooking?” She said, “Korean dramas! I am addicted to Korean dramas and see so many delicious looking Korean dishes there, so I searched the recipes and found your videos”

Terri seems to agree with whatever her daughter said. Terri is a really cool mom. They look so close, like best friends.


Judy’s parents are Koreans, but she was born and raised in USA, so she can’t speak Korean easily. I’m sure she can understand Korean though. Her son David looked tired and he did not want to say hello to us first, but sooner or later he showed who he was by asking for gimbap from Elizabeth’s plate.


After eating lunch and talking, we started shopping. I explained what ingredients are good and which brand is reliable … etc. Which napa cabbage and radish is good quality. We strolled aisle to aisle and picked up some items that we needed. Guess how much speaking I did! For about 4 hours, I constantly talked. The content of talking: explaining, funny stories, and answers.

Again, I realized that posting Korean recipes online was a good idea! It makes me happy. I told them, “I’m very impressed with all of you and your passion!”

We took a photo after shopping at the entrance of the grocery store.


Oh, I forgot to mention this: we bought a box of good quality dried anchovies for $15.00 and divided it into 4 at the entrance. Each person paid $4.00: 4 times 4 is 16, so I made a profit $1.00. : ) The 1 dollar was my labor charge because I put the anchovies into 4 plastic bags evenly.

Someone asked, “Maangchi, you don’t need dried anchovies?”

“No, I have lots anchovies in the freezer.”



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