Experiencing South Korean food first struck me while watching state of play. Over the last two weeks I have explored two different recipes, experiencing and cooking them in two different ways.
It has still been extremely hard to find authentic Korean ingredients which has changed the way I am experiencing the culture in my own home. Cooking techniques also differ significantly when compared to my English background of cooking. For instance when making the ‘seasoned bok Choy’– the recipe asks to blanch the bok Choy rather than cook it in the pan, in which I over cooked it for the recipe. This changed the taste and texture. The fact that I substituted ingredients also changed the way I made the recipe and unfortunately the end product, which you would of seen through my humorous commentary.
I substituted these ingredients because they were authentic Korean ingredients that I couldn’t find in Coles, Woolworths or a speciality fruit and veg store. I would of had to visit the city in order to facilitate these ingredients which was nearly impossible due to my limited amount of free time.
During my first blog post, I mentioned the different speciality stores around Sydney, although I have yet to visit one I took off to explore the ways people were experimenting with Korean ingredients but adding them into there own culture rather than recreating the Korean culture ( we will leave that to Korean restaurants hah). As we can see from the linked website Taste, an online food magazine, the recipes deemed as South Korean have been cultured in order to make it easier to cook with no authentic Korean ingredients but to keep some of Korean authenticity through cooking, look and name of the dish. I believe these recipes on ‘Taste’ are very culturally appropriated and don’t entirely give respect to authentic Korean ingredients and culture, supported by the Ellis & Bochner, 2000 reading, it was agreed that researchers, “wanted to concentrate on ways of producing meaningful, accessible, and evocative research…forming a representation that deepens our capacity to empathize with people who are different from us.” Through vlogging my experience on Youtube, blogs and twitter, I was able to share the content across different mediums in order to give everyone easy accessibility to my research and understanding of Korean food. This gave me a greater understanding of cooking Korean food and I gained a lot more respect of the culture, researching and locating ingredients in order to keep the dishes extremely authentic (or as authentic as i could make it.)
For instance the dish below which i made using the Bulgogi Beef Premix ‘Street kitchen,’ is also shown on this website. These ingredients don’t include any authentic ingredients which may alter our respect for Korean culture.
My second attempt as documented looked at a pre bought Korean mix (as seen in the picture below) that I found at Woolworths. This was new to Woolworths and was on special as a promotion. This was my first experience in finding Korean ingredients in a familiar place. It was convenient because I didn’t have to drive far to the city in order to grab three key ingredients and the bulgogi beef was delicious and CHEAP!. Although all I cooked was the beef in the premixed sauce and rice it gave me a true experience of what Korean food tasted like rather than trying to rely on an english background of cooking methods while cooking something completely foreign and from scratch.
When comparing the two recipes and sourcing ingredients, the premix was a lot cheaper to make and my whole family loved it, which is very suprising. My family don’t really like to try any new foods, we tend to stick to what we know is good. This experience therefore brought Korean culture into my home and we even sat at the table for the first time in a long time, talking about different cultures that we could try. As also stated in the Ellis reading, “Auto ethnography is one of the approaches that acknowledges and accommodates subjectivity, emotionality, and the researcher’s influence on research, rather than hiding from these matters or assuming they don’t exist.” This alone supports the idea that even though what I’m researching and experiencing isn’t turning into true authentic Korean food, I’m experiencing and trying to understand a culture in my own way and what it means to me and others.
One thing I did pick up on in the premix was how hot the dish felt. At first I thought it was chilli (which I’m highly allergic too) but turns out it was ginger and this got me thinking of ways I could actually use ginger in many dishes rather than chilli in order to get the spice of a dish ( something I have been hoping to find for a very long time).
Next I am interested in making something sweet. Probably Kkwabaegi, Twisted donuts! (because who doesn’t love donuts). The first recipe turned into a bit of a disaster but the second wasn’t difficult, was easy to make and included an authentic flavour. I tweeted Chris and we questioned how authentic the premix really was. Manufactured in Victoria, made in India, named South Korean.
Due to the mixture of cultures the familiarity may be one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. This being said, some of the ingredients in the premix were still authentic Korean.
Stay tuned to see me cook Kkwabaegi!