My trip to Minnesota for “Passport to Korea”

By Maangchi

The trip to Minnesota from July 8 to 10 was very exciting! I met a lot of interesting people even though I stayed very short time. When I got contacted by one of my long time blog readers Amy King who asked me to be part of the event, I was very happy and honored! Passport to Korea! I love the title!


Amy and me

with MC Jung Hae Lee, me, and the president of NoPAK (Network of Professional Adopted Koreans) John Perry

It is known that more than 13,000 adopted Koreans are living in Minnesota. I always think adopted Koreans living in different cultures are very cool because they have the best of 2 cultures in their roots: Korean culture and another culture. Every single person I met at the event was friendly, open minded, and was eager to learn about Korean cultures, language, and food! When I went shopping with a few people for the cooking demos, even in the car, they practiced some Korean words! Everybody seemed to work hard to make the event successful which really impressed me.

The event was sponsored by Korean Consulate General in Chicago, Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and Korean Tourism Organization. I was surprised at the wide variety of performances featured on the stage: Korean drums, traditional dance, Taekwondo, piano, food tasting, and the most interesting thing for me was Korean costume fashion show! Have you seen the drama “Queen Seondeok”? I met the designer who made all the costumes for the actors and actresses. Her name is Hyun Sook Lee. She said she brought more than 120 costumes for the fashion show from Korea.

This costume is from the drama Queen Seondeok

I did my cooking demos twice on July 9 and 10 at the Mall of America which is known as the biggest shopping mall in the USA. On July 9, I was interviewed by local FoxTV news reporter Todd. He asked me, “what is Korean food?” wha? Can anybody who reads my website answer the question quickly? : )

I met Jon Huston who was on Korean reality show about finding his birth mother. When I read his story, it was  so touching that  I cried!

with Jon Huston and his children

And, And who else!

OMG, my readers! While I was doing cooking demos, I could notice who my readers were among the audience! They were giving me huge smile during my whole cooking demos. They came to me after the demos and we took some photos together. My heart gets warm whenever I meet my readers. Some of their children recognized my face and smiled at me because their moms or dads make their favorite Korean dishes and watch my videos together. So I have many little children fans!

My readers who came to the MOA to see me. We went to a coffee shop to chat

My reader Kerri gave me this candy called “konpeito” in a beautiful box that she made for me. Thank you, Kerri!

with some of my readers who came to see me on July10.

One of my readers, Mr. Bruce Harriongton’s daughter Clare. Clare says, “I like bulgogi!”

with Danyelle and her children Ella and Ben


Kristine’s daughter Alex

with  Breanna Parslow and Carolina Lam

with Eileen




  1. SergioD Madrid, Spain joined 11/10
    Posted August 22nd, 2013 at 11:40 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    Is there anywhere I can find your korean version of gazpacho? It sounds so interesting!

  2. Kayla Baltimore, Maryland joined 11/10
    Posted November 7th, 2010 at 1:22 pm | # |

    Oh I wish I could’ve been there! I moved from Minnesota just a short time before that event. My father is Korean and was adopted by a family in Minnesota, so he is one of the 13,000 you mentioned.

    Though I didn’t get a chance to see my father much while growing up, the time I did spend with him was filled with delicious Korean food (especially when we visit his birth mother, my grandmother), so those are some of my best memories. Apparently he was feeding me kimchi when I was 3 months old, so no wonder I always have a taste for it.

    I love to cook and I’ve always wanted to take up Korean cuisine, so I’m happy that I’ve found this site. Up until now, all I’ve known is how to make bulgogi because my Korean grandmother is reluctant to share her recipes with anyone. xD My Ukrainian grandmother is supposed to show me how to make kimchi (apparently my father used to request it by the fridge-full), but she hasn’t gotten around to it just yet. Someday, though!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 7th, 2010 at 10:39 pm | # |

      Welcome to my website! Thank you for sharing your interesting story with us!

  3. Epicurean Adventure Minneapolis, MN joined 8/10
    Posted August 14th, 2010 at 4:52 am | # |

    When I saw this on the news, I was so sad that I has missed it… D:
    It would have been so cool to meet the wonderful person I’ve been getting all these great recipes from.
    Oh well. Maybe next time…

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 15th, 2010 at 8:07 am | # |

      Thank you very much for the nice words! Yes, I’d like to meet you someday, too.

  4. kobemiso joined 7/10
    Posted July 25th, 2010 at 5:26 pm | # |

    You do an amazing job educating people about our culture and I thank you for that and it’s unfortunate the news people were being so ignorant and rude.

  5. Donella joined 5/10
    Posted July 20th, 2010 at 3:14 pm | # |

    I can’t believe that reporter didn’t know your real name is Maangchi. Just kidding, but seriously he should have mentioned the name Maangchi more often.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 20th, 2010 at 10:53 pm | # |

      : ) you are right.I prefer to be called Maangchi!

  6. mama2ebl joined 7/10
    Posted July 20th, 2010 at 12:36 pm | # |

    It was sooo much fun to meet you! We had a blast that day and we especially loved your cooking demo. It’s fun to see our picture on your blog! We feel famous now. Keep the recipes coming, we love your food!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 20th, 2010 at 10:55 pm | # |

      Your comment makes me curious about who u are. : ) Thank you very much! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the cooking demo!

      • mama2ebl joined 7/10
        Posted July 22nd, 2010 at 2:00 pm | # |

        I am Danyelle and Ella and Ben are my kids. :)

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted July 23rd, 2010 at 4:27 pm | # |

          omg, I will update your names now. : ) I wished we had more time to chat! Say hello to your children and husband!

  7. Brigitte Montreal,Canada joined 1/10
    Posted July 19th, 2010 at 12:41 pm | # |

    That picture of you holding that little boy is soo cute!

  8. dleehall South Plainfield NJ joined 9/09
    Posted July 19th, 2010 at 2:00 am | # |

    Everyone looks so happy to meet you. I think you did a very good job with the local TV news interview, But the interviewer was incompetent, rude and amateurish.

  9. MrsKim Elko, NV joined 3/09
    Posted July 18th, 2010 at 6:12 pm | # |

    HOW FUN!!! I wish I could have been there! I LOVE Queen Seonduk and all the costumes – I would have died seeing the fashion show!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2010 at 12:52 am | # |

      lol, I had to leave in the middle of the fashion show because of my flight.

  10. Borareed Berkeley, CA joined 7/10
    Posted July 18th, 2010 at 5:16 pm | # |

    Looks like a fun event…any plans to come to the SF Bay area?

  11. AliciaMarieLivs Columbus, OH joined 2/10
    Posted July 18th, 2010 at 4:38 pm | # |

    lol I was expecting him to say Maangchi because I am so used to calling you that instead of Emily!! :D Nice event, you should come to ohio during our Asian Festival!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2010 at 12:54 am | # |

      Call me Maangchi! : )

    • BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10
      Posted July 22nd, 2010 at 5:51 am | # |

      I went to the Asian festival in Columbus a few years back! It is fun, and I still remember it.

  12. LuccaQ Buffalo,NY joined 6/10
    Posted July 18th, 2010 at 2:56 pm | # |

    Looked like alot of fun! Your hair looks really pretty. Your friend Amy is so pretty too, she looks like a doll.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2010 at 12:55 am | # |

      Amy will be happy to hear that. Yes, she is so cute.

  13. powerplantop Louisiana joined 6/09
    Posted July 18th, 2010 at 1:24 pm | # |

    Looks like you had a really good time!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2010 at 12:55 am | # |

      yes, I had a great time and met so many interesting people during my visit there. thanks!

  14. korea4me South Korea joined 10/09
    Posted July 18th, 2010 at 12:51 pm | # |

    What an amazing experience, Mangchi. So much was happening! Thank you for sharing. xxxx

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2010 at 12:59 am | # |

      yes, indeed! : ) Thank you, korea4me!

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