We've been getting to know our new Korean neighbors. I've had a few conversations with the mom while the kids are playing. My Korean is getting a workout. Some things come out just fine and some things I kind of get stuck on.
A few weeks ago she gave us some kimchi that she'd made, so I made jjigae. (I wasn't sure how it would agree with my nursing baby, but decided to give it a try.) We ate it with kim (roasted laver seaweed), which is, in my opinion, the very best way to eat it. And then we ran out of kim, so we had to go get some more.
We went down to Paldo World in Lakewood. (This was on a Tuesday, almost two weeks ago.) There are a whole bunch of Korean businesses down there on South Tacoma Way. And this sign:
which always makes me laugh, because in English it says "International Business District," but in Korean it says "Korea Town." (I think there are a few Vietnamese Pho places scattered in there, but obviously they don't count.)
Paldo World is a huge grocery store, with some other little stores and a food court around the edges.
I took along my camera because I wanted to get a picture of the goldfish bread and walnut cookie maker.
Here's the place, but there was no one there.
Then I noticed this sign, which says, "Every week on Tuesday, we rest. Thank you." (Why Tuesday is in quotes, I have no idea.) Bad timing on our part!
So I took a picture of this sign instead.
Goldfish bread and walnut cookies are both "street food" in Korea. I always wanted to get a picture of a goldfish bread maker on the street, but I never did. They use these big round irons over a gas flame--squirt the batter in, add some bean paste, close the lid, rotate the iron one stop, do it again--and by the time the fish comes around again, it's all done and ready to come out. A lot of foreigners don't like the red bean paste which is the filling (I heard that some of our missionaries once took a jar of strawberry jam to a goldfish bread maker and asked if he would make them a round with the jam instead of bean paste, and he wouldn't do it). I did like goldfish bread. Especially on a cold day when it's fresh and warm, right out of the iron. (I found some pictures on google--here's a good one.)
Walnut cookies are similar--little walnut-shaped cake things with walnut stuff inside. Chonan, where Doug and I taught English, is famous for walnut cookies. Seems like every place in Korea is famous for some kind of food.
Goldfish bread is boong-o bbang (붕어빵) and walnut cookies are hodo kwaja (호도과자). Which brings me to one of the few Korean jokes that I know. A girl buys a bag of walnut cookies on the street, comes back a few minutes later and complains, "There's no hodo in my hodo kwaja!" and the guy says, "Is there boong-o in boong-o bbang?" Ha.
We got our kim and a few other things, then went home and had jjigae for dinner again.
Here's one of the kim packages. We got a big pack that has twelve of these in it.
Kate couldn't wait for dinner but sat down on the couch with one of the packages and snarfed down the whole thing. And then had some more with rice.
Unfortunately the kimchi seemed to upset Andy's tummy. I guess I'll have to wait before doing that again!