Report from Maangchi’s New Jersey shopping meetup

By Maangchi

On Saturday Oct.24, I took bus number 166 to New Jersey with one of my readers Kristi to go to our meetup place. Our meetup place was not a fancy restaurant but a huge Korean shopping center!

It was only 20 minutes ride from Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan and the round trip tickets were $5.60 which is very cheap I think. I felt like I was saving money already by taking the bus.


When we arrived at about 1:00 pm, we went inside the grocery store and ordered some Korean food at the cafeteria. We ordered spicy pollack stew served in an earthenware bowl, tangsuyuk (sweet, sour, and crispy pork), and haemulpajeon (green onion pancake with seafood). Then Amber and her 18 month daughter Brynn came.
Soon Elizabeth and her mother Terri joined us and a few minutes later Judy with her 4 year old son David came.

We cheered with makkoli (Korean rice wine) that I made:
“Hey, let’s Cheers!”
“Oh, you made this?”
“Oh, cool!”
Amber is living in Delaware, so she drove 3½ hours to come to the meetup! She brought my cookbook and asked for my autograph.

Her little daughter Brynn is a doll. The mom said her favorite food is japchae. Actually Amber put a piece of pancake into a bowl and put it in front of Brynn. I found the pancake was gone soon. She picked it up with her hand and put it into her mouth by herself! The mom doesn’t have to feed her. Yes, 18 month old baby seemed to know how to enjoy the taste of food. Isn’t it fantastic?


Elizabeth, a teenage girl, coming with her mother Terri who drove 1½ hours driving from Riverside, New Jersey, said she wants to become a Korean chef someday. She and her mother love kimchi, spicy seafood stew, japchae…
She wants to make her own kimchi.

I asked, “What made you interested in Korean cooking?” She said, “Korean dramas! I am addicted to Korean dramas and see so many delicious looking Korean dishes there, so I searched the recipes and found your videos”

Terri seems to agree with whatever her daughter said. Terri is a really cool mom. They look so close, like best friends.


Judy’s parents are Koreans, but she was born and raised in USA, so she can’t speak Korean easily. I’m sure she can understand Korean though. Her son David looked tired and he did not want to say hello to us first, but sooner or later he showed who he was by asking for gimbap from Elizabeth’s plate.


After eating lunch and talking, we started shopping. I explained what ingredients are good and which brand is reliable … etc. Which napa cabbage and radish is good quality. We strolled aisle to aisle and picked up some items that we needed. Guess how much speaking I did! For about 4 hours, I constantly talked. The content of talking: explaining, funny stories, and answers.

Again, I realized that posting Korean recipes online was a good idea! It makes me happy. I told them, “I’m very impressed with all of you and your passion!”

We took a photo after shopping at the entrance of the grocery store.


Oh, I forgot to mention this: we bought a box of good quality dried anchovies for $15.00 and divided it into 4 at the entrance. Each person paid $4.00: 4 times 4 is 16, so I made a profit $1.00. : ) The 1 dollar was my labor charge because I put the anchovies into 4 plastic bags evenly.

Someone asked, “Maangchi, you don’t need dried anchovies?”

“No, I have lots anchovies in the freezer.”




  1. Mankycat
    Posted December 1st, 2009 at 4:08 pm | # |

    Gah! I was just there a couple weeks ago. Wish I knew so I could have gone on the day you were there instead! Bad me for not reading the blog entries as much as I should.


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 1st, 2009 at 6:02 pm | # |

      No problem, we can meet up some other time.

  2. linda
    Posted November 22nd, 2009 at 9:31 am | # |

    Where is this supermarket located?

  3. bo
    Posted November 12th, 2009 at 9:15 pm | # |

    I love your blog and I told all my friends about your cooking show.
    I was so impressed how you make home-made rice cake.
    I wonder if you would know how to make potato dduk.
    I tried them when I visited Korea.
    They were so good. Sometimes I see them sold at the korean grocery store.
    They are so expensive!!
    I paid $5.25 for 6 of them.
    I would love to make them for my husband’s birthday.
    Please help…
    Thank you so much.

  4. Keri
    Posted November 7th, 2009 at 11:01 pm | # |

    Just wondering how do you get to one in Jersy? The only big one I know is in flushing and it’s usually by car.

  5. Magalie
    Posted November 2nd, 2009 at 7:38 pm | # |

    I just found your blog/recipe site and I want to thank you. We had a Thai foreign student last year and her best friend was a Korean teen who loved cooking so we were spoiled. Now that she is gone I have been missing Korean food so hopefully soon I will take the plunge and make some.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 2nd, 2009 at 10:44 pm | # |

      Welcome to my website! Good luck with your Korean cooking.

  6. Carolyn
    Posted November 1st, 2009 at 4:46 pm | # |

    I found your site while googling kimchi and ended up at another site, which directed me here. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and skill.

  7. MIchael and Sujin
    Posted October 28th, 2009 at 11:25 am | # |

    Wow! Look at what I miss by being so busy and not visiting the site!

    Looks like a lot of fun. I will have to keep current on the site from now on so I don’t miss out on any more Korean food adventures.


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 28th, 2009 at 9:00 pm | # |

      oh, sorry! Let’s meet at my next New York meetup. : )

  8. Annette
    Posted October 27th, 2009 at 3:02 pm | # |

    I am so sad that I didn’t find out about it meetup before. I live in NJ about 20 minutes from that market I hope to have a friend come with me the next time you go to NJ. I tried Kimchi for the first time two months ago and I absolutely love it..I joke sometimes and say I must have been Korean in a previous life. Kimchi for me is so tasty the longer it is kept. I hope to be able to make my own. Hopefully I will come for your next trip and now that I know where that market is I can go for good Korean food. I am amazed at the variety of Korean food. Hope to be able to make the first Korean food I tasted and my favorite Jjab Chae.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 27th, 2009 at 6:02 pm | # |

      Are you sad? So am I! : )
      Don’t worry. We can meet up later. Next year, I will do another meetup. Promise to come!
      Thank you very much!

      • Annette
        Posted December 4th, 2009 at 7:13 pm | # |

        I will definitely mark it on my calendar and check in more often.

  9. tellos
    Posted October 27th, 2009 at 9:05 am | # |


    I really love makkoli, and I’m wondering how to make it. I could find any recepe so far.

    I would be so thankfull if you could write a post about it. Here in Switzerland it’s impossible to find any.

    Anyway thank you for your blog, I’ll keep following you!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 27th, 2009 at 6:05 pm | # |

      Making makkoli takes 8-9 days and it is not easy for me to film it. However, I will keep it in mind. Thank you for your request.

      • tellos
        Posted November 5th, 2009 at 5:16 am | # |

        You can do it stop motion style… lol..

  10. Amber
    Posted October 27th, 2009 at 1:16 am | # |

    It’s looks like you all had a fun time. I so wish I could have been there. I hope that you will have a cooking class or maybe another meet up soon! I would love to meet you.

  11. jiyoung kim
    Posted October 26th, 2009 at 11:48 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I love your site! I have learned so much already! I am Korean but don’t really cook Korean food at home, but that’s all changed now. I have one request however. My mother makes this soup using crab and dengjang. The crab is the kind that you see at the chinese market, in the large wooden crates. Its so delicious and is my favorite dish and so I want to learn very badly how to cook! Keep up the great work. Thank you again!


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 27th, 2009 at 6:08 pm | # |

      sure, kkotgetang (crab stew) is included in the list of upcoming video recipes. Thanks

  12. Kyon
    Posted October 26th, 2009 at 10:32 pm | # |

    Wish I could have been there, was at the Flushing,NY H Mart on Friday though. Had to pick up some items for a friend. Maybe one day I will get to meet you! Think you will do a get together in Flushing, like Northern Blvd area?

  13. Judy
    Posted October 26th, 2009 at 9:21 pm | # |

    It was a GREAT time!!! I gave my sister a mini-instructional on the many things I learned – which soy sauce to buy, how to pick the best dashi (the thickest sheets), that the shiitake mushrooms used for stock are the dried ones (!), how to remove the head and insides of the anchovies used for stock, which anchovies are best for stock (the largest kind), which fish sauce all the korean moms recommend (the three crabs!), and so much more that I will have to listen to my audio notes to remember! You are even more fun in person than online and I hope we’ll get to meet again soon!

    ps – I’m still laughing about the girl on line at checkout that recognized you from your voice and asked if you were the person from the You Tube cooking vidoes!!!

    • Amber W.
      Posted October 27th, 2009 at 10:22 am | # |

      Hi Judy,
      It was great meeting you! Don’t forget to keep in touch!

      • Judy
        Posted October 29th, 2009 at 10:27 am | # |

        I’m glad we met too! Best of luck with your move and give Brynn a hug for me!

  14. kristi
    Posted October 26th, 2009 at 7:31 pm | # |

    Thanks for taking us Maangchi. It was a lot of fun!

  15. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09
    Posted October 26th, 2009 at 4:34 pm | # |

    That looks you all had a great time! 4 hours of talking? Wow, you guys (woops, all female crowd) all got a guided tour :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 26th, 2009 at 4:50 pm | # |

      one male, 4 year old David! : )

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