On television and the Internet, we can easily notice that Korean food has become globalized and won an binternational reputation. For the most famous example, Makgeli, a kind of Korean traditional drink made of rice, has attracted lots of Japanese both in Korea and Japan. Even only 10 years ago, many foreigners didn’t know much about Korean foods. Now, many recognize Kimchi, and even enjoy its spicy taste. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) interviewed two exchange students, Marie Kuroda (MARIE) and Yu Yan Ru (YU) from Japan and China, respectively.
SMT Which Korean foods do you like most? If you like any food, why? Are there any similar Japanese or Chinese foods with that Korean one? Which Korean foods do you like most? If you like any food, why?Are there any similar Japanese or Chinese foods with that Korean one? Which Korean foods do you like most? If you like any food, why? Are there any similar Japanese or Chinese foods with that Korean one?
MARIE I like Kimbab the most. The reason I chose it was it’s easy and I don’t really like spicy food, but unfortunately many Korean foods are spicy and covered with red pepper. Kimbab is not spicy at all. Also it looks like beautiful like a flower. As many Koreans know, Japanese call it sushi and it really seems like Kimbab. It is familiar to me even if it was the first time I ate Kimbab in Korea.
YU I like Soondubu (Korean-styled soft tofu soup), because its soup feels fresh. There is no tofu cuisine like Soondubu in China. However Chinese often cook Malatofu made of tofu. ‘Mala’ means spicy and burning, so it is quite spicy.
SMT What are the differences between Korean and Japanese or Chinese foods?
MARIE The big difference is the taste and the way to eat foods. As we know, when we eat some Korean food, it had some burning feeling because of spicy taste. My tongue was burning when I tried some Korean food. It is an exceptional case in Japanese food. Also, I ate a bowl of eel and rice in Ggotsandal, a Korean restaurant in SMU. I was really surprised at the hot stone pot called Dolsot in Korean, because I always eat a bowl of eel and rice in a normal bowl, not a hot one. It was really ridiculous when I ate that meal in a hot stone pot. I thought, “It is really a Korean style.”
YU Korean foods don’t use much oil, but Chinese do. Chinese often fry foods with oil, but Koreans steam and boil foods. Also another big difference is kinds of soup. When I came to experience Korea, I thought Koreans always eat soup with every meal. That’s why there is such a variety of soup in Korea.
SMT Which Korean foods sold at the street market do you like? Why? And are there any Japanese or Chinese foods sold at the street market?
MARIE Actually, I’ve been in Korea only one week, so I had no chance to eat Korean foods at the street market. Unluckily, I had never bought some foods at the street market, but I want to try Tteokbokki, because my Kazakhstan friend bought it at the street market. She said it is not that spicy.
YU I saw lots of Korean foods at the street market such as sweet biscuits, Tteokbokki, Smallcircled walnut cake, and Bungeobbang (a cake molded in the shape of a fish). I was surprised at the kinds of street foods in Korea. I tried Tteokbokki which represents Korean food. Also in china, there are much more street foods like skewers with lamb, Muk (jellied food) with Mung beans and grilled squid. Most Chinese like to eat skewers with lamb. Recently, young people enjoy eating Chuanchuankao which is boiled foods using Chinese-style soup.
SMT Which Korean foods can you not eat?
MARIE I cannot eat Kimchi and other spicy food, because I don’t like hot dishes. However, I will recommend Tteokbokki to my friends or family. Japan also has rice cake that is called Mochi. Japanese like it but we don’t eat it every day like here. I guess it is because the size of Mochi (a rice cake in Japanese) is a little bit big to eat. But Tteokbokki can be a snack to eat easily. YU I cannot eat Beondegi (silkworm larva). I saw it near Dongdaemun, and I saw some Koreans like to eat it, but I can’t understand how people can eat that insect with soup. I don’t want to imagine it (smile). Also, I can’t eat Sundae (The internal organs of a pig cooked as Korean-styled), many Koreans love to eat with Tteokbokki, but it doesn’t attract me at all.
YU I cannot eat Beondegi (silkworm larva). I saw it near Dongdaemun, and I saw some Koreans like to eat it, but I can’t understand how people can eat that insect with soup. I don’t want to imagine it (smile). Also, I can’t eat Sundae (The internal organs of a pig cooked as Korean-styled), many Koreans love to eat with Tteokbokki, but it doesn’t attract me at all.
mkuroda@sky. miyazaki-mic. ac. jp
Hello! I’m Marie from Japan. But I studied at Arizona before I came to Korea. I will stay in Korea for only for 4 months, but I hope I can learn a lot of Korean and have a wonderful life in Korea.
Yu Yan Ru
Hello, everyone! I’m Yu yanru from China. I attended university in Suzhou (a city name of China) and came to Korea as an exchange student. In china I studied Korean as my major. That’s why I came to feel and experience the real Korean life in Korea. However, the most important thing is to improve my Korean.