Emerald Ventura

This week our Korean food fan is Emerald Ventura from the Philippines! The first Korean food she ever tried was bibimguksu (spicy mixed noodles) introduced by her by one of her Korean ESL students.

She says: “When I made bibimguksu and tasted it again, the memories of teaching and my wonderful Korean students came rushing back, and it was a great feeling.” I agree: food can bring back wonderful memories.

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Emerald Ventura

What is your name and where do you live?
Hi! My name is Emerald and I am from a mountain city called Baguio, in the Philippines. =)

Tell me about the first time you ever tasted Korean food. Where were you, and what did you eat?
I was working as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher to Korean students. I was at the institute at the time and about to start a one-to-one class with my Korean student, but before we started, she offered me some cold Korean noodles. It looked like spaghetti, but when i tasted it, I was fascinated by the complexity of flavor— it was spicy, tangy, sweet, and the cucumber was a refreshing contrast to the spicy noodles. Later on, I would learn that that dish is called bibimguksu.

I just recently rediscovered this delicious dish after months of finding Maangchi and trying out several Korean dishes that have become staples in our household. When I made bibimguksu and tasted it again, the memories of teaching and my wonderful Korean students came rushing back, and it was a great feeling. =) Now, this dish is my husband’s favorite; he wants me to make it for him everyday! LOL! But he learned how to make it, too, so he can always whip up a batch of bibimguksu anytime. =)

How often do you cook Korean food?
Whenever I cook Korean food, it is always a Maangchi recipe. =) At home, we cook Korean dishes about three to five times a week, and if we can’t cook a full dish, there is always kimchi and danmuji that we add to our Filipino meals, just to give our food a Korean taste. It then becomes fusion food LOL! =) Delicious!

What are your 3 favorite Korean dishes?
So hard to choose! But these are top 3 on my list:
1. Samgyeopsal-gui (grilled pork belly)
2. Jajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce)
3. Sundubu jiggae (spicy soft tofu stew)

What’s your best Korean dish, the one that everybody compliments you on?
It has got to be dakgangjeong. My husband also learned how to make this, too. So we make it together now. =) It is always a hit in every gathering! =)

Dakgangjeong DakgangjeongBibimguksuBibimguksujajangmyeonjjajangmyeon

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