Shannon, her mom, and me

By Maangchi

Hi everybody, today is Mother’s Day in America! In Korea, there’s a similar day on May 8th: Parent’s Day, which basically combines Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in one day.

A mom can do anything for her children, and her love is limitless. You need to remember this, no matter what happens between you and your parents: your mom will love you forever, and do anything for you. I want to share a touching story with you and I hope it will make you think about your own mom today…

I recently got an email from one of my readers, Shannon Buckley. While reading her message I couldn’t help but tear up a bit, thinking about the love between her and her late mom. She had never learned Korean cooking from her mom, even though she was raised by her mom’s delicious Korean dishes. And when her mom got sick, she had to learn how to make Korean food for her mom because that’s all her mom wanted to eat. That’s how she found me on the internet.

Her story was so touching that I wanted to share it with my readers. I asked Shannon if it was ok to post this here, and she agreed, and even sent some more photos.

I’d pat her on the back and give her a hug if she were next to me. And her mother in heaven will be proud to see her learning Korean cooking by herself and even growing Korean vegetables! It’s a strange and wonderful thing that Shannon her mom and me have been connected through Korean food and the internet.


Dear Maangchi,

I was first introduced to your website when my mom became ill. She is Korean and being the only daughter it was my responsibility to take care of her. One of these responsibilities was to satisify her korean taste buds :) Over the years I have watched your videos and tweeked them to my mothers style of cooking. Thanks to you and her, I can cook many korean dishes on my own.

My Mother, Myoung Hui Buckley, was known for many things: her love for gardening and her amazing cooking! I didnt know it then, but growing up I was lucky enough to have an amazing Korean chef as a mother. She would cook an arrangement of items daily for me and my father. Many of these items where your typical korean meals – Bibimbap, Ddeokguk, Kimchijjigae and of course Bulgogi – but what I didnt know then was that my mother had her own particular style of cooking.

graduation day

When she was diagnosed with liver cancer and she became too ill to cook for herself, I had to learn how to cook Korean food. My first dish was Kimchijjigae. I remembered I was so excited that I showed my mom your videos and then set out to cook it! My mother watched me from afar and told me what ingredients she used that were different from yours.

As the years and months passed I started to experiment more and more with your videos. Going off my memory of what indredients my mom used and combining them with the videos, I was able to recreate many dishes: Mandu, water Kimchi (I even grew my own radishes), Korean egg bowl, Bibimbap, Kimchijjigae, Doenjangjjigae and many more!



my radish harvest

Homegrown radishes!


Water kimchi


Kimchi pancake

This has been very important to me especially now since my mother is no longer with us. It is very important to me to continue in her legacy.

Thank you so much for all your videos and also thank you for taking the time to read this email!

Best Regards,
Shannon Buckley


  1. s0chon02 Houston, TX joined 9/14 & has 1 comment

    Aw this made me tear up a bit. I think Shannon and I have a mutual friend that recently passed away. Our friend Jin had a big appetite for food especially Korean food. I love how we can share stories through your website, Maangchi! Apppreciate your work!

    Sanghee from Texas

  2. omniey California joined 5/14 & has 1 comment

    It’s 2014 and a day away from Mother’s Day. I am making japchae for mother’s day dinner since my mom loves it. I’ve been making this dish based on Maangchi’s recipe since last year and it’s so yummy.

    This is a wonderful and tear-jerking story. It’s amazing how food interconnects us all, and more importantly, the unconditional love and support of moms and how we all want to “mirror” and reflect back what they’ve given us. Happy 2014 mother’s day, mom, and thank you for your post, Shannon.

  3. Belledefleur Louisville, ky joined 11/11 & has 2 comments

    Wow, it’s such a small world! I think I went to school with her!

  4. MrsHam socal joined 9/13 & has 2 comments

    Wow her story is similar to mine. My mom was a wonderful cook, and even though I was Korean I never bothered to learn. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and I quit my job to take care of her full time. I didn’t know your website back then so I learned to cook using the recipe book specifically for lung cancer patients. I really regret not learning from my mom, but I am glad to discover your website and now am making dishes for my husband. My 12 year old niece and 10 year old nephew introduced me to your site and am glad to see recipes for food that my mom used to make. It has been 3 years since my mom went to heaven but I will also carry on her legacy to feed the people she loves with the best tasting food. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

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

    What a beautiful memorial for your mom; by keeping her memory alive in the food that you cook and eat. What is love if not mother’s home cooking? I always know when a dish is really delicious when it is made with love. Thank you for your story.

  6. Andra Alexa T Europe joined 4/13 & has 5 comments

    Indeed a very beautiful story…and so touching! Glad for sharing with us..

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