I took a speed train called the Fyra from Rotterdam to Schiphol airport. It was so fast that it took only 25 minutes. I arrived at the airport too early for my flight to Copenhagen and had to kill 4 -5 hours there. I passed the time reading the Schiphol airport magazine, and found Sarah Moore’s photography inside! She cooked, filmed, and organized my Amsterdam meetup! The article was written by Arun Sood who enjoyed my spicy chicken at the meetup too!

At Schiphol airport

I wish I could bring some tulip bulbs home but I couldn’t.

Once I got to my hotel in Copenhagen, I let Mina know about my arrival. She was organizing the meetup in Amsterdam and found a really nice space where the 50 people who signed up could sit and talk comfortably. She volunteers at the kitchen regularly.

On the way to Copenhagen on the airplane

Next morning, Mina came to my hotel. “Yay!” We hugged each other. Mina was one of the featured Korean food fans on my website, and she also won the Korean food photo contest too. She said, “Maangchi, one of the items that I got as my prize was a huge bag of hot pepper flakes and I’m still using it.” Yes, I remember the hot pepper flakes were Assi brand.

I randomly chose the Copenhagen hotel, but it turned out to be the best location because Mina’s house was within walking distance, and there was an Asian market right near the hotel. We bought some groceries and went to the soup kitchen.

We started making rice and soup for 50 people and prepared for the shoot. There were so many cooking utensils: huge pots, pans, tons of spoons, plates,and cups. I naturally got excited. I suggested getting some flowers to make the place look nicer. Everything was prepared, my daikon, good quality beef brisket, garlic, kosher salt, sesame oil…

Jonas came at about 2:30 pm. He’s a friend of Mina’s who would be our cameraman for the day. He’s a vegetarian, so we prepared some spicy stir-fried vegetables for him instead of spicy stir-fried pork. I gave him a small bag filled with hot pepper flakes that I brought from New York. “Would you be interested in using this for your Korean cooking?” He was very happy to get it. “Absolutely!” The shoot for our radish soup went very well. Mina kept saying, “Delicious delicious!” Then a few people came early to watch us film.

On the way back home from the flower shop, we stopped by a coffee shop. Mina, go ahead to become my model with the flowers! : )

Jonas with this small bag of hot pepper flakes. “I will make many different kinds of Korean dishes!”

Someone brought a dozen rolls of gimbap and cut them into bite sized pieces and placed them on a serving plate. Someone else brought fresh raw green vegetables and seasonings seperately. She boiled water and blanched the vegetables. “Maangchi, I follow your sigeumchi namul recipe with this vegetable!” Sooner or later the kitchen was full of Korean food lovers. Someone came to me, “eh, this is Danish style tomato pickles, I have a recipe, so I can give you if you want.” It tasted sweet & sour like tangy fruit! Delicious!

Sharing delicious food and talking together, we all made good friends instantly. I met so many of my silent readers who had never contacted me. I asked: “How come you never emailed me or left any comments on my website even though you have been cooking Korean food for a long time?” Someone answered, “Oh you are very busy answering many questions from other people, so I didn’t want to bother you.” I had nothing much to say but “Oh yeah?” : )

“My wife is in Germany now. She wished she could meet you! I will show her this photo later.”

Altogether happy time! Someone let me know through Facebook, “Maangchi, I’m not in this photo because we were outside when the group photo was taken.”

“Don’t we look great with these flowers?”

See? Everybody is smiling! Beautiful smiles!

“Hmmm! what to choose first?”

“My name is Per and I have been cooking Korean food for a long time. These photos of delicious dishes on my iPhone were all taken by me. Why haven’t I let Maangchi know about these photos? oh well, I’m kinda shy!”

“Hya, my dad’s leg is sometimes useful when I need to hide!” : )

“Ho ho, we are having fun!”

“We came from Sweden all the way to meet you, Maangchi! Next time please come to Sweden, too!”

Rice, shrimp, anchovies, roasted hot pepper paste, shredded squid, a can of kimchi, and gim.

Next day, I invited Mina to my hotel and shared lunch that I made. Rice and a few side dishes. Mina seemed to enjoy the food a lot. I rolled some cooked rice in gim with roasted hot pepper paste, kimchi, and stir-fried squid filling. We cheered each other with the 2 bars of gimbap. yum yum!

“Cheers!” : )

It says 75 % of tourists visiting Copenhagen come to see this statue of The Little Mermaid. I didn’t know the little boy was standing right next to me. He might have been posed for his parents, too.

Interesting looking tricycle.

Royal Palace

A guard is walking with his shadow side by side

Next day I was invited by a group of people. They had a special Danish Christmas food party for me. I felt very honored to be greeted with their warm hospitality. Check out what they made. I tasted their rye bread (rugbrød), roasted pork, pate, herring, meatballs…

Lotte made a special cake for me. It was very delicious.

Traditional roasted pork with crunchy skin (crackling)

Boiled eggs mixed with mayonaise, curry powder, and… delicious!

Pickled herring and meat balls (Frikadeller)

Rugbrød (Danish Rye Bread)

One of them said, “If I don’t eat it for a week, I really crave it.” It’s typical Danish bread. The texture is more chewy than the bread sold in New York. It tastes earthy, nutty, and a little like rice cake! : )

My Danish style open sandwich (Smørrebrød)

A small shot of strong alcohol “Snaps” is enjoyed during the meal. Strong flavor! All of them were surprised to hear that I love the flavor. Some of them said they don’t like it at all, but I’d love to have some more any day.

Thanks to everyone in Copenhagen who gave me such a warm welcome. I’ll remember it forever, and hope to be back soon!


  1. chef Benedict Manila, Philippines joined 11/11 & has 45 comments

    about denmark, its scandinavia, land of little mermaid and i just want to say about that it is a cold country but i havent been… there are some expats here in the phils i met through it looks like they were a cold people… but i see they were friendly! :D but the cake was really nice that they made it for you! :D

  2. soko2usa Minnesota joined 4/09 & has 55 comments

    Wow! Just… wow! SO many people! The little girl hiding behind her father’s leg is SO CUTE. I want to pick her up and take her to a window to see what she points at first, the way I did with my niece when she was a baby.

    I was just at Ikea today and I saw sandwiches just like that, with egg and shrimp (but without the caviar). I want to try that rugbrod now, good brown bread is hard to find.

  3. tomco1025 California, USA joined 9/11 & has 11 comments

    Wow, this was a very big meetup! All the food looks delicious, as usual, and so does the Danish food. Your sightseeing picutres are very beautiful too. If I ever go to Copenhagen, I will definitely want to go to the little mermaid statue ;)

  4. nanasse Amsterdam - Paris joined 10/11 & has 17 comments

    Nice story =)
    So many people in this meeting~
    The cake is lovely and the food makes me feel hungry! ^^

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