My host family had asked me if I wanted to cook Korean food one night, and I was obviously more than happy at the chance to cook for them since they have been feeding me all semester and to give them a taste of Korea!! So we scheduled it for tonight, December 12. I had gone to the Korean Market on Rue Saint-Anne where I bought the things I needed to prepare the meal.
I decided to make Bibimbap 비빔밥 (Michael Jackson’s favorite dish when he visited Korea) and Bulgogi 불고기. Bibimbap takes a lot of preparation, but it’s absolutely worth it. In my case, I bought some pre-prepared ingredients and then made the other half. To prepare Bibimbap you cook each component separately – the carrots, cornichons, beef, mushrooms, etc. When it’s time to serve and eat, put a portion of each ingredient, however much is desired, into a bowl of rice. I love this dish because it’s super healthy, colorful, customizable, and quintessentially Korean.
Bulgogi is incredibly easy – all I had to do was buy the pre-chopped meat and then make the sauce, which is simply sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I then let it sit and marinate, and then when it was time to prepare, I just grabbed it out of the fridge and cooked it with onions and garlic. Super easy.
I told my host mom that I didn’t have anything in mind for dessert because in Korea, we usually don’t eat dessert or if we do, it’s just fruit. So she went and bought the most delicious Peach and Pistachio paste tart, which we had after the usual cheese platter, because we are, after all, in France.
I don’t know if they are just really good at pretending and are able to stomach anything, but my host family demolished everything I ate (although I did feel a bit bad because my host brother has to eat every component of a meal separately, so Bibimbap is essentially his worst nightmare). It just made me so happy that they enjoyed the meal. Cooking for somebody means you care about them enough that you are willing to put time and effort into making a meal for them and want them to enjoy what you have prepared – very make it or break it – so it was quite relieving to see empty bowls and plates 🙂
But to top it all off, my host brother came around with a jar of honey (which my host family knows I love) and a box of the most delicious Salted Butter Caramels that my host mom had bought me as a gift. I LOVE MY HOST FAMILY SO MUCH – GOOD LORD.