Here is my mini interview with Mina and photos of dishes that she made. She is one of the winners of the Korean food photo contest with her vegan kongguksu (cold soymilk noodle soup) photo. She is originally from California USA but now she is living in Denmark with her Danish husband. Her husband likes her jjamppong (spicy seafood and vegetables noodle soup) a lot. He says, “More spicy, please!” She is spreading Korean food in Denmark through her husband! : )
She is so clever that she modified my kimchi recipe to her own taste to make vegan kimchi! She says, “At first I copied the recipe from this website word for word, but after a few successes I tried to make my own vegan version without fish sauce.” Mina, please leave your vegan kimchi recipe on the forum for my other readers!
1. What is your name and where do you live?
“I’m the girl in the bright hanbok and my husband is the ghostly white guy. : )”
My name is Mina and I live in Denmark. Before I moved here, I didn’t know how to cook anything, but it is very expensive to eat out here and the food isn’t that great anyway, so I had to teach myself to cook. A few korean restaurants here are also very expensive and the taste is not like back home. Luckily I found Maangchi’s recipes! Now I can make almost anything I want.
2. What do you do and how many family members do you have ?
I am a cardiac sonographer at a hospital here in Copenhagen. My job is to scan patients’ hearts and also to teach nurses and young doctors about the technical aspect of cardiac sonography since they don’t have a school for it here (yet). My parents and my little brother still live back home in California, but I have my Danish husband here to keep me company. Traditional Danish cuisine is very much about meat and potatoes, but I think my husband enjoys some korean dishes like jjamppong. he even asks for it extra spicy! : )
3. How often do you cook Korean food following my recipes?
Unfortunately I only cook from recipes on maangchi.com two or three times a month. Korean ingredients are very expensive here (I buy most of them when I visit California) so I don’t get to cook it as much as I’d like. However, I do make a big batch of kimchi every couple months and I eat that at least once a week. You can eat kimchi with just about everything! At first I copied the recipe from this website word for word, but after a few successes I tried to make my own vegan version without fish sauce. I think it turned out very well, and now it is okay for most people to eat as long as you are not allergic to spice, cabbage, garlic, ginger, etc. :P
4. What are your favorite Korean dishes? Choose 3, please!
My favourite korean dishes have to be dotorimuk, bibimbap, and… pretty much anything with noodles! it depends on my mood, and the weather. i prefer to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season, so right now it is a lot of pumpkin and cabbage. Kind of boring, but it forces me to be creative in the kitchen and it’s better for the environment.
Acorn jelly (dotorimuk). Anybody who wants to learn this recipe, check out my mungbean jelly recipe. Replace mungbean jelly powder with acorn jelly powder (dotorimuk garu:도토리묵가루). My acorn jelly recipe will be posted someday in the future.
5. What’s your best Korean dish, the one that everybody compliments you on when you make it?
My best korean dish is probably the vegan kimchi. Some of my friends ask me to bring it when we get together to eat. It surprises me that they enjoy it! They are from all over the world; China, England, Norway, Indonesia… I guess I assumed that it was an acquired taste that mostly only koreans could stand. I haven’t met any Danish people who LOVE my kimchi, but maybe in time they will change their mind. At least my husband eats kimchi pizza and that makes me happy : )