Out of curiosity, I'd like to ask - how do I make a Korean man love me?
There is a Korean guy at my job that I talk to a lot during the day. We both seem to have the same interests and we seem to like being around one another. He's very sweet, smart as hell, a little shy and geeky and I've developed quite a crush on him.
I know that this may be a gross overgeneralization, but what qualities do Korean men look for in woman?
The Korean thinks the next mail is going to be pretty illustrative. Read on.
What is your take on the lack of domesticated Korean American women these days? I am finding that more and more Korean American girls strongly oppose any domestic work. Maybe it’s just all the K-town hoochies I've been meeting, but some can't even cook rice with a rice cooker. I consider myself to be rather progressive and in no way implying that women should do all the housework. I don't mind sharing in the chores, but is a denjangchigae once in a while too much to ask? What are your thoughts on this?
There you have it, ladies. Wanna win the heart of a Korean man? COOK FOR HIM. This is actually true with any man – the shortest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Cooking Korean food has another function. To an unaccustomed nose, some Korean dishes smell rancid. Korean people are pretty self-conscious about this – they are always concerned that non-Koreans would not understand their eating habits. So if you cook a particularly rancid-smelling (yet delicious) food for your Korean man, the Korean man would realize that he doesn’t have to be self-conscious around you about the type of food he likes. And that goes a long way towards getting comfortable with each other. The recipes at the end are two such dishes, as the Korean, taught by the Korean Mother, makes them. Try them out – she’s a good cook. The first one is slightly easier than the second one.
As to Sans Doenjang-Jjigae, the Korean has no compassion for you. It’s Korean guys like you who make many Korean girls repudiate dating all Korean men, narrowing the field for the rest of us. Read the following recipe at the end and cook for your own ass. Ladies will appreciate it if you cook for them as well.
Kimchi-Jjigae (Kimchi soup/stew)
Sour kimchi (available at local Korean markets)
Gochujang (red pepper paste – available at Korean markets)
Pork belly, or solid white tuna
Make sure the kimchi is fully fermented and sour – kimchi-jjigae made with fresh kimchi is pretty weird. If the markets don’t have any sour kimchi (they often don’t), buy a bottle and put it at a warm place for a day or two. Do NOT close the bottle, and put a plate underneath the bottle, because if kimchi ferments quickly, the juice tends to bubble up.
Put some oil in a pot and stir-fry sour kimchi with either pork belly or tuna. Cook until kimchi becomes soft and pork belly gets fully cooked. (Obviously, no need to worry about that with respect to tuna.) Assure the neighbors that nothing is dead in your house.
Pour water into the pot, about triple the amount of kimchi. Stir in a spoonful or two gochujang. Slice tofu into bite-size cubes and put it in the soup. Boil until everything is fully mixed and hot. Serve with white rice.
Doenjang-Jjigae (Spicy miso soup/stew)
Doenjang (spicy miso – available at local Korean markets.)
Large dried anchovies (ditto)
Gochugaru (red pepper powder – you know where to find them.)
Boil water with dried anchovies in it for about 15~20 minutes to make the anchovy broth. When the water turns into slightly yellow broth and you can taste the anchovy in the broth, use a strainer to take out all anchovies and toss them.
Take doenjang by a spoonful and stir it into the broth. Continue putting doenjang in until the broth is sufficiently salty. Put enough gochugaru until the broth is sufficiently spicy. (This step takes some trial and error. The Korean can’t really give any measurements – it entirely depends on whether you like your soup more or less salty or spicy. It does have to be somewhat salty, since it’s served with rice.)
Slice tofu, zucchini, and potato into bite size cubes. Put them in the broth and boil until the potato cubes are fully cooked. Serve with steamed rice.
Got a question or comment for the Korean? Email away at firstname.lastname@example.org.