This time our Korean Food Fan is Aera Kim! She lives in California, loves to cook, and has her own food blog, Behgopa. Let’s meet her!
What is your name and where do you live?
Miss Kim from sunny southern Cali.
Tell me about the first time you ever tasted Korean food. Where were you, and what did you eat?
I am a second generation Korean American, so I grew up with Korean food. I started eating kimchi since before I can remember… when I was 2 or 3, but of course, the kimchi had been rinsed in water and cut up into tiny little pieces to make it baby friendly for me to eat.
How often do you cook Korean food following my recipes?
I started following your blog years ago to find simple Korean recipes when I started cooking more often at home more. I eat Korean food regularly, sometimes everyday. I love the simplicity of your recipes. You make it look so easy, not to mention super tasty! I often tweak the recipes to make them to my preference. For example, I probably prefer my dishes to be more spicy than a lot of people (especially those that have low tolerance to heat), so I like to add some kind of chili (usually Jalapeno or Serrano) to many of my dishes, like Kimchi Jjigae, Ddukbokki, the spicy chicken dishes, etc. I sometimes blog about the (Korean) foods I make that have been tweaked or inspired by your recipes on behgopa.com!
What are your favorite Korean dishes? Choose 3, please!
Kimchi Jjigae is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I eat it at least a few times a month. It’s one of those foods that makes me feel sooo good after eating it, especially after a stressful day. It’s spicy and soothing at the same time.
Tteokbokki– another spicy dish that I love! I especially love it with globs of cheese. It’s one of the first dishes I learned how to make the first time I moved away from home (I wish Maangchi’s videos were around then). I was getting sick of living off ramen, store bought banchan, and I couldn’t always go home to pick up banchan that my mom would pack me. I had to somehow learn how to cook on my own. It started with the simple stuff….ddukbokki, kimchi jjigae, dwenjang jjigae, kimchi bokkeumbap, bulgogi, and some others. So I have been making ddukbokki for years, but it wasn’t until not long ago when I discovered how to make a ddukbokki more deliciously! By adding anchovy to the broth (as Maangchi suggested), the ddukbokki miraculously turned out to be way more delicious. Now I don’t ever cook it without.
Galbi! – Who doesn’t love Galbi?? It’s the dish that has been the gateway to all other Korean food. When I was growing up, Galbi was the dish that led our neighbors to follow the smell to our doorstep, asking what that delicious smell was. Back in the 80’s, I guess Galbi wasn’t really well known with the mainstream public.
What’s your best Korean dish, the one that everybody compliments you on when you make it?
Probably Galbi! And let’s face it. Galbi makes everybody happy and the world a better place.
Kimchi Jjigae (can’t live without!)
Kimchi jjigae is one of my all time fav comfort foods!
When tteokbokki tteok is not in my fridge, I often resort to Tteokguk tteok (sliced rice cake). I often like to add globs of cheese!
Yum! Who can say no to galbi?!