The hotel I stayed at in Rotterdam was warm, with large desk that I could comfortably work on. Wifi was free, breakfast was delicious, the location was good, what more do I need? It was a perfect choice.

I had 2 shoots in Rotterdam: one with Reinier and the other with Susanne. Once I hooked up my computer, I emailed them: “Hey, I’m in Rotterdam! If you have free time tonight, come visit me!”

The next day was filming at Reinier’s house and also a meetup in the evening. Reinier and Susanne met through my website and they became good friends! I’m always very happy to see my readers make friends through my website. They both love delicious food, they both love cooking, and they both love Korean food. No wonder my readers can easily become good friends. When they meet for the first time, they can say: “I found really good napa cabbage at the farmer’s market near my house!” or: “I don’t know what to do with very sour kkaktugi!” Unlike the usual conversation when you meet someone for the first time: “So, uh, how are you? Oh, nice meeting you” “Today’s weather is so good…”

They came to my hotel in the evening. I met Reinier a couple of times when he visited New York, but this was the first time for me to meet Susanne face to face. We greeted Dutch style: 3 times kissing on the cheek. Right cheek, left cheek, and right cheek again. : ) “umm ppa” “umm ppa” “umm ppa” : )

We planned the timelines for filming, cooking, and meetups for the next few days, until it was time for them to go home.

He made kimchi 5 days in advance of my arrival so that the kimchi would be at the most delicious stage of fermenting. Kimchi made with 5 kilograms of napa cabbage! I was very excited to taste his kimchi. There are more than 130 homemade Korean food photos of his on my website. Before eating his Korean dish, he always takes some photos to share with my other readers. His marvelous Korean food photos have impressed many many people who visit my website.

The next morning I went to his house and as soon as I arrived, I tasted his kimchi. He had a massive container of kimchi, just like a Korean housewife.

The kimchi was absolutely delicious! “Does it taste like pop soda?” I asked. “If so, your kimchi making skill is perfect”

He said: “Yes, that’s right! My kimchi tastes like pop soda!”

Reinier borrowed Dutch farmers’ costumes and traditional Dutch wooden shoes for us to wear for the video. I changed into the costume and so did he. He didn’t look like Reinier anymore! We laughed at each other. “Ah ha ha ha!” His traditional hat looked similar to a baseball cap but much smaller in size. The wooden shoes were too big for me, so I borrowed 2 pairs of his socks so I could fit into the shoes

Me and Reinier

Filming went well. We went to a windmill to shoot a few intro scenes. It was fun because there was no script. We improvised on the spot. I was standing in front of the door of the windmill and Reinier approached and pretended to see me by chance.

“Oh are you… Maangchi?”

“Oh Reinier, oh my goodness!” I was thinking of something to say but couldn’t come up with anything, so I just kept saying “Oh my god, oh my god”

He said: ” What are you doing here?”

“I’m living here now.”

“You are living here?”

“Yes, I like to grind all kinds of grains.” My quick answers must have surprised him. He burst out laughing and said: “Oh you wanna learn how to make Dutch food?”

“Sure, teach me please!”

“Ok, let’s go to my house!” And we walked together side by side in the wooden shoes making loud noises on purpose “Dadaak dadaak dadaak…

He made traditional Dutch stamppot endive and meatballs. I had never  seen or tasted the dish before. The way of presentation was unique! Mashed potato mixed with chopped endive is formed like a mountain on a serving plate first, and then a well is made on top and filled with gravy from cooked bacon. It’s served with a huge meatball. The gravy looks like a crater on top of volcano. The meatball was very delicious! I will make it when I go back home. Reinier said that stamppot is winter food. After playing outside in cold day, he was always happy when his mother made stamppot. He said, “If there are 4 family members, mom makes 5 meatballs. Each family member gets one meatball, and the leftover meatball goes to the fastest eater.”

We finished filming and  Reinier changed from his costume to his normal clothes, but I wanted to keep wearing my costume. I wanted to surprise and entertain my readers who would be coming in a few hours. Actually the costume was very comfortable. Of course it should be. It’s a farmer’s wife’s costume with an apron!

Reinier prepared for all the ingredients in advance. We made baechu doenjangguk and rice. Yes, we were ready to have a party with rice, kimchi, and soup! This is hearty, humble food made with lots of love!

Cutting cabbage to blanch. These napa cabbage was very good quality: the leaves were thin and juicy.

We made 2 large pots of rice!

My lovely readers came at 5pm. Strangely, almost all of them are silent readers! A few of them were my Facebook friends and their names were familiar to me. “Oh, you are Sungsook!” “oh, you are Minke!”  Some of them came from far away, with one couple (Minke and her husband Kim) coming all the way from Brussels.

Qonita said: “I love Korean dramas and food! I made your yangyeom tongdak for my friends, everybody loved it!”

Rini asked: “Maangchi, I made kimchi 3 days ago, now it gives off a little weird smell.” I said: “no problem! your kimchi is being fermented. It will be delicious!” Everybody welcomed and greeted me warmly. All of them love cooking. Of course they all laughed at my costume.

Soup and rice plus kimchi for dinner.

Delicious soup!

Rini is using culinary torch right before serving her homemade dessert. Delicious!

Nanja and me

Kim and Minke living in Brussel Belgium. They drove 3 hours to join the meetup! Such passionate readers!

Nanja brought these beautiful homemade cupcakes! Amazing!

Susanne got 1 daikon from Reinier when she left home. I said, “yay, daikon ninja!” cute!!

Smoking Arabic hookah pipe

Good people, good food, and we filmed a great video too. I can’t wait to show it to you!


  1. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11 & has 61 comments

    Oh Maangchi! That hookah is just soooooooo coooooool!!!! What did you try in it?

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

    I saw some pictures on facebook but I did not see the amazing cupcakes !!!!
    They are beautiful! ♥♥♥

    I can’t wait to see your videos :)
    Sounds like a great party :)

    ps: I’ve never heard of “hookah”. It is often called “shisha” or “narguile”. Hookah is cuter!^^

  3. guaiguai73 PIttsburgh joined 10/11 & has 2 comments

    Love seeing and following your story on your world cooking tour !! I really love your cooking. I’ve been following your website for 2 years now. Never a dull moment cooking with you. I have made baechu kimchi and daikon kimchi and they were all so delicious. My husband and I really love Korean food. We live in Pittsburgh and we occasionally drive 6-7 hours to New Jersey to find a good Korean grocery to find all sorts of things from kimchi to fishcake. But those Kimchi are much cheaper if you make yourself. Therefore, I’m so glad I can learn how to make kimchi from your website. You food is the best maangchi!

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

    I love this! I love the Dutch outfits, the windmill, the food, hearing about the people you’ve met and how they have connected through food. The cupcakes and hookah photo are amazing too! I am so envious of your globetrotting adventures, but feel very lucky to be able to read your blog and live vicariously through you. Thinking of you here in chilly Michigan and wishing you safe travels! If you were here, I would pour you a glass of the black soybean/black sesame seed duyu I just made with my new soymilk maker. :) I’ve made dubu too!

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

    Every time I think you’ve done something cute or awesome, you do something even more cute or awesome! In the hookah photo you look like you should be outside on a patio in the sunshine with lots of pillows around you. Wow, Reinier has a great kitchen! I never realized, even after watching his videos. It really is big! Can’t wait for your videos!


  6. Observator Rotterdam joined 10/11 & has 6 comments

    Dear Maangchi! Heard about your staying in Rotterdam (where I was born and live again after a lot of demanagements) from Reiniers mother. Got one of the pictures above even before they were published here…and was asthonished about your very good dutch looks.
    And yes, Korean food is great. I started some time ago with the very simple but in the meantime very, very delicious Chamchijeon (C-capital indeed)which we here call: Tonijnkoekjes.
    Today I bought some fresh mackerels on the market in order to make a Korean dish with it called ….forgot the name but will easily find it tomorrow.
    Have a nice trip an stay to and with other fans of yours. Kopenhagen today I heard. So: ‘Mange tak’ for your great cookingsite!

    Frans/ Observator

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      “Today I bought some fresh mackerels on the market in order to make a Korean dish with it called ….forgot the name but will easily find it tomorrow.” wow, you found fresh mackerel? Let me know how it turned out. Susanne who organized one of our meetups in Rotterdam made braised mackerel with canned mackerel, but it was delicious. Cooked daikon (radish) in the dish is so so delicious! Yes, I’m in Copenhagen now.
      Happy cooking!

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

    Haha, i love the hookah! You are always full of surprises. Looks like another very fun meet up with good people and food. Those cupcakes looked amazing! Your costume was very cute too. It will be very interesting to see you at Reiner’s instead of the other way around. Looking forward to it!

  8. susannevh rotterdam, the netherland joined 3/09 & has 22 comments

    Hi Maangchi, We have worked hard. we have opened a facebook page for all the Dutch Korean food fans.!/koreaanskoken
    please join
    Susanne and Reinier

  9. korea4me South Korea joined 10/09 & has 55 comments

    LOL, love the hookah, Mangchi. Suits you!

  10. sweetchochomelk Vlaardingen - Netherland joined 10/11 & has 8 comments

    Helloooo Maangchi

    It was a really greatttttttt Meetup at Reiner’s house, and FINALLY met u in real face to face and also made foto and talked, WaOW..LUCKY Me!!!! :D, I enjoyed so much and nice to met another new friends there!! Super!! :)
    I like read ur blog aniway so long for see your receipe and so and yesterday just joined as a member..:)
    Succes with your another trip in Gapshida’s tour, have fun, and waiting for your strory and foto’s from other countries!,
    Especially my loving hometown country : Jakarta – Indonesia!! :)),
    It would be great!!

    Keep good working and cooking Maangchi, Hope to see u again..someday!! :)

    Take care..

    Kusjes, XXX, Inne

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

    Maangchi – that last photo (the hookah) is the most hilarious thing ever! I was so surprised to see it! You have such a varied and fun life :) It looks like you had a great time at Reinier’s – though I am not surprised at all :)

  12. Nanya the Netherlands joined 8/10 & has 3 comments

    It was a great pleasure and honour to meet you Maangchi in real life. The meetup was great and I think we would all have wanted to spend more time at Reiniers place with Maangchi…
    I love that you upload your adventures so quickly; great discipline! I can’t wait to see your other Gapshida stories and photo’s. Hope to see you next time again! XXX (dutch kisses) love Nanja

  13. maivxis sac, CA joined 8/11 & has 2 comments

    Whaaa, wish i was there too. Thanks Maangchi for the uploading….i enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures, feels like i’m already there with u guys…oh maangchi can u be my older sister? lolss…….i can never get tire of watching your youtube videos….thanks so much for sharing. Have fun n safe trips!!!!

  14. powerplantop Louisiana joined 6/09 & has 70 comments

    I can not wait to see this vedio, you two look so cute in the outfits!

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

    Wow !! Amazing … I liked every word you wrote & loved how you even translate the sound effects to words like “umm ppa” & “Dadaak dadaak dadaak…” ^_^
    & As an Arabic reader the last thing I would imagine saw was you with an Arabic hookah pipe in your hand … I think the world is really too small .
    Keep up the good work & fun my dear Maangchi ……. “umm ppa” “umm ppa” “umm ppa” :)

  16. Libelle Germany joined 10/09 & has 30 comments

    Oh Maangchi unni I’m enjoying all of your Gapshida posts so much! It’s like you are taking us all along with you to meet everyone! This is such a lovely treat for everyone who loves different cultures and their food. Komawoyo!
    Reinier, your huge container of kimchi looks awesome by the way. ^^

  17. Helenloh Malaysia joined 7/11 & has 11 comments

    Oh everything looks fabulous…I would love to have recipe of stamppot endive and meatballs too…Reiner do you have a blog/facebook account I can subscribe to …would love to have some Dutch recipes as well …I have watched you on Youtube with Maangchi..and Maangchi I am so looking forward to meeting you…still waiting for Allison to reply though.

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