I was giving it some thought the other day, and I realized, when I started this blog so many years ago, I have no idea what possessed me to think I was in ANY way qualified to talk about, well, anything. But more than that I was hardly qualified to talk about what I seemed to be focusing on, which was food. But I seemed to be doing it anyway. I think when I first started this blog, I hadn’t really tried a lot of things. Indian food, Vietnamese food, and I think this post may have been the first time I’d ever tried Korean food. I hadn’t even taken my own pictures! I was incredibly lame.
I’ve come a long way since then, and I have to say I’m more than happy to admit I still don’t know as much as I’d like about different cuisines. And that’s okay with me. I love constantly having something to learn. So when the Bibimbap Backpackers emailed me about attending their Los Angeles event, I jumped at the opportunity. These guys are like Korean Food Missionaries, traveling all over to spread the good news of bibimbap. So I grabbed my homegirl The Minty, and my friend Chrissy for a couple hours in K-Town for what was a fun and tasty experience.
We were invited to the Los Angeles Korean Cultural Center to learn about bibimbap and the Bibimbap Backbackers work with some pretty well known US Korean Chefs, including, Hooni Kim, Bill Kim, and Roy Choi. We were introduced to several dishes. One of the things I think I may have mentioned in an interview was that Korean food is not all that dissimilar from Japanese food (although I may have said it more, um, stupidly than that…I’m not good on camera.).
Some of the fare for the afternoon:
Tteokbokki: (which the BB guys were calling “little snowmen!”)
Japchae – which is normally a looser noodle dish, but they fried it with eggs in a more omelet-like fashion, and a soy-sauce dressing:
And two tasting bibimbap:
Gangdoenjang (Soybean paste – I’m almost thinking it’s like miso) Bibimbap:
and Ganjang (Kind of a Korean soy sauce) Bibimbap with Pork Belly:
Then there was a short presentation about how to make bibimbap and good times to eat it. I think my favorite was when one of the gals said that bibimbap is good for breakups. Apparently there is a recurring theme in Korean dramas where a girl is going through a breakup and just pulls everything out of the fridge and makes some seriously crazy bibimbap and eats it all! They also talked about bibimbap being a symbol for harmony – all the colors and flavors coming together to make one delicious dish.
Then we were invited to make our own bibimbap. They set up stations for toppings and we were giving bowls of rice, and told to have at it!
Here’s mine – It’s almost like Japanese Chirashi…which is what I was TRYING to say in the interview. And failed…
I was clearly quite proud of my bibimbap though… :)
I had a lot of fun, and I learned quite a bit. Thank you so much to the Bibimbap Backpackers team for this experience! I have a greater appreciation for Korean cuisine now.
For more info about the Bibimbap Backpackers, check out their website: http://bibimbapbackpackers.com/
Or their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BibimbabBackpackers
(Note: you may need to bust out Google Translate on both)
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post other than the free tasting food at the event. All opinions are my own.