The next day in Wellington, New Zealand, Jamie and his sister picked me up at my hotel early in the morning. Ryan would join us later, and I had to prepare for the shoot and all the food for the meetup party in the evening. It would be a long, busy, but exiting day!

Our shoot for popcorn chicken gizzards went well and was done very fast. After shooting the video, we made some extra for the party. Ryan and Jamie loved the popcorn chicken gizzards. So did I! When it’s still hot, it’s more tasty.

“Aww delicious…”

Ryan and Jamie kept saying after each bite: “Umm!” “Umm~” : )

Ryan was filming us and Trudy made her cake soon after.

Sauce for the popcorn chicken gizzards

The menu for the party was gimbap, ddeokbokki (spicy rice cake), kimchi, and oimuchim (seasoned cucumber) along with the popcorn chicken gizzards that we filmed.

I made real authentic style Korean gimbap this time. The 7 fillings that I used were: ground beef, spinach, carrot, yellow pickled radish, dried gourd strips, eggs, and artificial crab meat. Each ingredient for the fillings was cooked and seasoned differently, collected, then rolled in steamed rice with kim (dried seaweed). Ryan’s job was to brush some toasted sesame oil on top of each rolled gimbap. The 3 of us cooperated to make delicious, authentic Korean gimbap!

When we cut it into bite sized pieces later, we ate the ends. Our mouths kept moving: “Omul omul jjeop jjeop!”

I said: “I won’t be able to work at a restaurant, even though I love cooking. You guys know why?”

“No, why?”

“Because I’m always tasting my food while cooking. I’d be fired if I got caught by the owner of the restaurant!”

The owner may say: “You keep eating our food! I can’t stand this anymore, you’re fired!”

I have another reason that I can’t work at a restaurant. I don’t like to use heavy pots or pans. All of my pots and pans are light except for a few of them.

Jamie said: “Dried anchovy stock makes ddeokbokkie delicious!” In his freezer, he always keeps dried anchovies just like me! We made good ddeokbokki.

Trudy made Pavlova cake for dessert. Yum! I have the recipe.

Nikolas made paua (abalone) fritters for us. He  said he sometimes catches paua, and New Zealand abalone meat is dark green. The paua fritter recipe will be posted later. When I went to Rotorua, we filmed Mere Marshall’s paua fritters! Chopped abalone mixed with batter and fried on the pan! Doesn’t it sound like a simple, delicious recipe?


“Hoho haha, we love cooking!”

Jamie’s fantastic presentation! “Hello guys! Line up straight!”

Happy happy! Why not! : )

At about 6 pm, the party started. Everybody knew each other and they seemed to have this kind of gathering often. All were good friends, so the party went very well. They recognized me and said hello hello.

“Maangchi, do I look cute now?”

“Eh, this is called…”

“Everybody smile!”

Fiona says: “Omo, I love this!”

Korean cookies, yagkwa

All kinds of precious things that have been stashed away somewhere came out for this party. Jamie brought these from his Korean trip. Chocolate with rice wine flavor, ginseng jelly, and yakgwa.

“Bruno, you sit there..”
“Awhoo, what did I do wrong? these guys are driving me crazy! Please let me in!”

“Maanghchi, this is my baby!”
“Oh, cute!”

All of those who came to the party not only love Korean food but also wanted to learn how to make the recipes. They are getting addicted to Korean food. : ) I suggested: “Jamie, you should do a Korean cooking class, how about making a kimchi day?” Jamie said: “Sure, I will!” All of them looked excited to hear that!

It was interesting for me to see and experience how food can make people come closer together. The main reason for us to get together was our interest in Korean food, so even though this was the first time to meet them, I felt like we’d known each other for a long time, just like old friends.

In my next blog, I’ll tell you some more stories about what happened in Wellington, and you’ll be a little surprised when you read them.

Ooh, I want to make you excited! Stay tuned!


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

    it seems that new zealand is really a nice place to be! :D and for maangchi and to all it is a nice presentation to see! :D i love it! and very cozy place plus people looks like friendly so much! :D

  2. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09 & has 89 comments

    Wonderful dinner party! That kimbap presentation looks fantastic. I’m sure all of us feel like Bruno right now. Looking in with envy and wishing we could eat all that great food. Let me in!

  3. Maha Jordan joined 12/10 & has 29 comments

    Elegant party ^_^

  4. pucca joined 3/11 & has 9 comments

    Great photos! Love that kimbap!!

  5. Souavarat Houston, Texas joined 9/10 & has 45 comments

    Everything looks so delicious! I love it all. When will the videos be available? Safe journey Maangchi.

  6. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

    Oh what wonderful memories you have captured in your photographs! I had so much fun that day cooking with you Maangchi – it was such a thrill and a real pleasure. I can’t wait for the same to happen again one day in the future if you come back to New Zealand or I go to New York :) Everyone had an amazing time.

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