Tuesday, 28 August 2012

안녕하세요! Annyeonghaseyo!

Hello again from Seoul! Today’s blog post is going to be a little different. As you know the posts on NeverSeconds are usually written by children, but today I (Hansik’s teacher) am going to be
taking the reins. Why? Because Korea is currently preparing to be hit by Typhoon Bolaven and the kids were told not to come to school today. While teachers still have to report on the outset of this hurricane, the cafeteria is closed. I’ll take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about a typical Korean snack or lunch when not at school.

First off, I am an American who has been living in Korea for the past 18 months. I work at an immersion school so the students spend half the day studying the national curriculum with their Korean homeroom teacher and half the day studying core subject in English with a native English speaker. I’m the writing teacher so this project fits perfectly.

In Korea, teachers eat with their students. We eat the same food but are able to serve
ourselves. I pay 50,000 won (about $50 US) a month which is a great deal. I actually love most of the food in the cafeteria!

Now for the food! One of the most popular quick meals or snacks in Korea is called kimbap, or in Korean, 김밥. Also called the “Korean sandwich” due to the fact kimbap is often brought as a lunch on hikes or field trips, kimbap looks like a Japanese sushi roll, but it is actually very different. Yesterday we learned that kim (김), the first syllable of the word, is dried seaweed. Well, the second syllable, bap (밥), means rice.


Like sushi it is rice and seaweed rolled, but the similarities end there. The most common variety is filled with egg, ham, cucumber, carrot, and pickled radish (danmuji, 단무지). You can also order kimbap with other ingredients including cheese, kimchi, or, my favorite, canned tuna with mayonnaise. It sounds weird at first, but once you get used to kimbap, it is delicious. A roll runs about 2,000 won ($2 US) and is available at convenience stores and take away shops around the country.

One final thing before I go. Although it is a little scary here in Korea today with this impending storm, I know that I will still have access to food and a hot meal. Let’s make sure everyone who can donates to Mary’s Meals so that this can be a reality for more people across the world!

That’s it from Korea today! Hopefully the students will be back tomorrow with another school lunch for you all. If you have any questions about food, lunches, or education in South Korea please ask and I’ll have the students get you some answers.

21 comments:

  1. The image makes me wanna eat kimbab dipped in Ddokbokggi(spicy rice cakes)!

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  2. We are currently living in Korea, as well. My family is stationed here through the army and live up in Dongducheon. We have only been here a few months and I am glad you have been posting. I have not tried the kimbap, yet, but plan to now that I have an idea what to expect. THANKS!

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  3. Hello! I was wondering what the little dumplings are in the background of your photo (behind the kimbap). They look yummy too!

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  4. That looks really nice!

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  5. In many ways this is similar to the American versions of sushi which are filled with practically anything you can name. I believe California rolls don't usually have seaweed around the outside though. Find it interesting that they have this variation in Korea. Would really like to try it.

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    1. California rolls still have seaweed. What they don't have is raw fish. Imitation crab is used.

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    2. California rolls still use seaweed, they just don't have raw fish and instead us imitation crab.

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  6. I am hoping that none of you are too badly affected by the storm. Thank you for your posts so far as Korea is an area of the world I know little about and so far it has been very interesting learning about your food. One thing I would be interested in knowing is how much your children have access to 'junk food' (burgers, chips etc). Is this a Westernised problem or do children all over the world prefer junk food to healthy school meals?

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  8. Thank you so much for your posts, I hope that none of you are too badly affected by the storm!
    I appreciate the information about Korean food as it is an area of the world I know very little about.
    One thing I was curious about is how much Korean children have access to junk food (burgers, chips etc). I was wondering if they prefer unhealthy takaway meals to healthy school lunches also, or if that was just a 'Western' problem.

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  9. Praying all of you stay safe during the Typhoon and that it will just feel like a stormy day with no school, but nothing more serious!

    That not-a-sushi roll sounds delish, it's like an Inoculation sushi for people who can't get on board with the raw fish bit!

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  10. Is that kimchi mandu in the background, too? My mom used to have kimbap waiting for my brother and me after school when I was growing up. I pray that everyone stays safe from the Typhoon. I have an aunt, two uncles, and cousins that live near or in Seoul, so we've been tracking the storm very closely.

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  11. I am not a big fan of sushi, but I wouldn't mind trying kimbap. I would love to know what is in the background, that looks more interesting to me :)
    It is so great that you get to teach and also experience living in another country! Do you teach only English or other subjects too?
    I hope everyone stays safe!

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  12. I send my thoughts and prayers out to Korea. I hope all of you stay safe and warm or cool (I do not really know how the climate is around this time of year.) I have grown a bit obsessed with Korea in the past year, so I am EXTREMEMLY happy that you have been chosen as a guest blogger for this week. I would love to learn Korean and visit one day. I cannot wait to see tomorrow's blog. Bye!

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  13. I too am interested in what kids and adults alike eat for junk food in Korea. Also say they dont feel like cooking one evening for dinner what do they have for take away food or food delivery??

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    1. I live in small town just north of Seoul and I can tell you that they have food delivered all of the time. From my experience, most restaurants have delivery, even McDonalds delivers here! There are a ton of "chicken wing" type places. All food is delivered on the back of a scooter. One thing that Korea does not have, however, are drive-throughs. I have seen 1 since we have lived here, and that was at a McDonalds.

      Junk food is available here, as well. I do not know how long it has been common in Korea, but American products seem to be infiltrating their culture. Dunkin Donuts is VERY popular. We also have Pizza Hut and Baskin Robins. You can even find Korean versions of cheetos and doritos. Although, I must stress that they tast NOTHING like ours! Coca Cola is found everywhere here. You can also buy many times of Korean chips, cookies, and ice creams at local markets.

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  14. I am not sure which plate I want to try first!

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  15. That does sound delicious! I have had a sushi roll made with tuna mayonnaise here in the UK. Not all sushi contains raw fish. As long as vinegared rice is included it's sushi.

    I do hope everyone is ok and that the Typhoon doesn't do too much damage. Thank you for another brilliant post! Would it be possible to have a short description of a typical breakfast in Korea?

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  16. Looks yummy, far healthier than what I ate for lunch today. Do the students eat this healthy at home as well as at school or do some of the student prefer food that isn't as healthy, much like many american families. They may get a healthy meal at school but at home their food choices are not as healthy (pizza, fried foods, processed.)

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  17. I <3 Korean Food....You are making me so hungry with these posts!

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  18. I <3 Korean Food! I could eat the screen with all these delicious looking posts

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