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Domestic Goddess

eG Foodblog: Domestic Goddess - Adobo & Fried Chicken in Korea

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Now how do I start this? Funny, for a writer I am suddenly tongued-tied (or should I say writer's/blogger's block?). I have never written a blog before and never had an inclination to start one. When I became a member of the eGullet community, I would spend hours reading about food blogs by Ann, Ah Leung, Mooshmouse, Alinka, Torakris, etc. I would marvel at their writing, drool over the food pics, dream about visiting their country. Then snowangel wrote to me and asked if I wanted to do one. I said "Heck, why not?" So now here is my very own blog.

To introduce myself, I'm a Filipina who's married to an American, living in South Korea for the past 4 years now. My husband is an English teacher for one of the many language institutes in this country while I stay at home and reign supreme in the kitchen. :smile: We have two sons, Jai who is 12 years old and Billy, 6 years old.

We live about an hour and a half away from Seoul in a tiny sleepy town of Janghowon. Janghowon has a population of about 7,000 and is mainly an agricultural town. It is famous for its peaches, rice and chili peppers. We actually have numerous statues of peaches and peppers, I'll post pictures of them later.

I have always loved cooking. I grew up in a long line of family cooks. My mother is from Cavite City in the Philippines. Cavite is famous for its fiesta food, namely the seafood & Spanish dishes. As a littler girl, I would remember being handed a sharp knife and asked to cut up veggies and meat on my very own chopping board. I never complained because I would be so intrigued in the marvelous preparation of the different viands and sauces. It was in high school when I finally was given a chance to cook for the family and have never stopped since.

Now I am married, with kids. Fortunately I have not only married a wonderful guy but a great cook as well. He has cooked for several restaurants and hotels and it is neat to have someone cook fluffy hotel-scrambled eggs for you for breakfast. My hubby taught me how to cook Fried Chicken (he's a Southern boy, from Henderson, Ky), burritos, Ky BBQ Ribs and a lot of mouth-watering Southern dishes.

So now, our boys are growing up with vast taste for both western and asian food. It is my pleasure to show you how our typical meals would be during the week and I will also include several Korean dishes (mostly from the local restaurants here). So sit back, relax and let me share my world with you.

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Oh, Doddie, how wonderful!

I have a newly discovered interest in Korean food (remember my quest for jajang paste? I finally found it in Amsterdam!) and I can't wait to see a week of your cooking!

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Woo-hoo! Welcome to the world of blogging! (I guessed it was you from the photos in the teaser.) :biggrin:

Did you live in the USA before moving to Korea?

I'll be curious to see your cross-cultural take on food -- Korean and American filtered through Filipina eyes. As I think you picked up from my blog at Christmas, one of my best friends here is Filipina, married to an American. They lived in Osaka, Japan for umpteen years.

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The pics here were taken yesterday during my morning run. I run from our apartment building in Gamgok district to Janghowon.

The rising sun peaks behind our apartment building complex.

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Technically, we live in another province called Chungcheongbuk-do (quite a mouthful eh? try writing it down everytime on documents asking for your addy). Janghowon is in Gyeonggido province (the same one where Seoul is located).

This is the tiny town square, or should I say town triangle. Down further on the right street is the bus terminal.

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This is the bridge that separates two provinces. The river that flows under is called Cheongmicheon River. During the winter, we get a lot of ducks, cranes and geese.

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From a distance you can see our apartment buildings.

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This is the main road bissecting Gamgok district.

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A small bridge with a hill behind it. I just found out that there is a trail going up it with statues of korean deities at each rest point. We might hike up there this weekend.

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Business like language tutorial schools come and go here in Korea. Here's a new one coming up.

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I encounter a lot during my run: people hurrying to work, children off to school and signs like this that make me smile.

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I usually run for about an hour and cover 4-5 miles. After this, I shall be posting breakfast pics, I don't usually eat breakfast before I exercise.


Edited by Domestic Goddess (log)

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Chufi - thanks for the warm welcome. I'm fairly new to this thing called blogging, I do hope I do justice like the other wonderful blogs that have preceeded mine.

Suzy - No, I have never lived or been to the USA. We're in the middle of getting my emigration papers but since 9/11, everything is taking a loooong time. Yes, I was delighted to see that your best friend is a Filipina. :smile:

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Have fun blogging! I've enjoyed your posts in the various meal threads and so forth, so I definitely plan on following this blog.

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Michael aka Pan - thanks! Hope you find fun as much as I do.

Brekkies today was a tag team affair with Domestic Hubby.

I fried the bacon (while my pot of water boils away for my decaf coffee).

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And pull out the minced garlic for the fried rice (a Filipino breakfast staple).

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Hubby makes scrambled eggs (fluffy like hotel and restaurant ones)...

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My son's plate (he prefers sunny-side up eggs)

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This is wonderful, Doddie! It's my turn to sit back behind the lime lights... errrr... behind the breakfast counter to cheer you on! Blogging is a lot of work. (Hmmmm... How do I know that? :laugh::laugh: )

Do Koreans typically eat rice for breakfast too?

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Cool! Korean and Filipino are two cuisines that fascinate me and that I want to learn more about. Blog on, o goddess of domesticity! :biggrin:

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Whew! You are right Ah Leung! 'Tis a lot of work and I have just started.

To answer your question, koreans do eat rice for breakfast. Koreans usually eat a light meal of veggie soup and rice or fish and rice for breakfast. Eating cereals and bread have just started here, such as the consumption of cheese (koreans think most cheese stink). Almost all restaurants and fast food places don't serve breakfast here. In fact, McDonalds only just started their breakfast menu a couple of months ago, despite being here in Korea for more than a decade.

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Doddie - so glad to see you blogging! I always love your posts, so I am really looking forward to this. By the way - I went out the other day and got the ingredients for your ham/crab salad and am making it for today's lunch!

Kim

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Last post for today before I head for bed (I have a headache and it won't go away :sad: )

Presenting my fridge and my pantry... (the antiquated fridge came with the apartment furnished by my hubby's school for us).

Our freezer (complete with homaemade stock, leftover sinigang, homemade breakfast sausage, leftover pasta, etc.)

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Freezer door contents... Hubby was bewildered when I was taking pics of our freezer contents. He actually exclaimed "People would actually want to see our freezer?!!!"

Note: peanut butter jars actually contain tomato sauce.

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The organized clutter of our fridge...

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Drinks for the kids and hubby (I don't drink Coke and milk).

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The pull-out veggie bin... (there's bell-peppers, avocados, lemons, mushrooms, celery, garlic sprouts, leeks and cherry tomatoes in there).

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Our spice cabinet...

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The snack cabinet for the kids and for our midnight raids...

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And completely off-topic, our boys Jai and Billy in their pillow fort.

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Welcome to the world of blogging, O Domestic Goddess! I hope by now the headache is gone.

You aren't even a page into the blog yet, and already I'm popping with questions. Then I got down to the last post and said "Awwww..!" :biggrin: Your boys are adorable! :wub:

I'm intrigued that the vegetables you named are all things we'd find easily in the USA. Are those common in Korean or Filipino cuisine? Are they expensive there?

As the week progresses I'd love to read about the sort of adjustments you had to make in your cooking, both to accommodate a good ol' Southern Yank (now there's a mixed phrase for you) and when you moved to Korea. Fluffy hotel-style eggs are an example of something you learned from him. What things are hard to find in Korea that you took for granted in the Philippines?

Freezer door contents... Hubby was bewildered when I was taking pics of our freezer contents. He actually exclaimed "People would actually want to see our freezer?!!!"

:laugh:

By the way, I think you've already won the prize for the most-stuffed freezer. What riches! :cool:

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You aren't even a page into the blog yet, and already I'm popping with questions.  Then I got down to the last post and said "Awwww..!"  :biggrin:  Your boys are adorable!  :wub:

Thanks, they're quite a handful too but generally well-behaved. (Proud mama icon here)

I'm intrigued that the vegetables you named are all things we'd find easily in the USA.  Are those common in Korean or Filipino cuisine?  Are they expensive there?

The leeks, celery and cherry tomatoes are dirt-cheap. Cherry tomatoes are actually eaten here as dessert (not cooked like what I do). Imported food stuff like lemons, avocados, bananas are so costly, my mother would have a heart attack if she learned I paid almost a dollar per lemon, 2 dollars for a bunch of bananas (they cost 50 cents back in Manila) and 5 dollars for two small avocados.

Fluffy hotel-style eggs are an example of something you learned from him.

Yeah, I grew up with hard scrambled eggs that my mom would fix

What things are hard to find in Korea that you took for granted in the Philippines?

Cheap bananas and plantains! Tomato sauce! American snacks like Cheetos. Okra, jackfruit, water spinach... Balut! Oh I could go on and on... LOL  :biggrin: 

By the way, I think you've already won the prize for the most-stuffed freezer.  What riches!  :cool:

Thanks! I have an innate fear of getting hungry and opening the freezer door to find nothing there to reheat. LOL :biggrin:

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That is one ORGANIZED freezer! I am so impressed.

I drove by our Philippines grocery store the other day and it had CLOSED!!! Darn it! No more green jelly!

That photo of your elder boy has "I'm a 12 year old boy" written all over it! Bit shy, bit cheeky...

My DS1 has a Filipino/Japanese friend who has been at school with him since the year dot. He hasn't had any easier ride at Japanese school than my DS1, but they've both survived - yay! His mother is an excellent cook, and maintains that being bad at cooking is a sign of stupidity! :raz:

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Doddie: I am so glad to see you blogging and I hope that you wake up headache-free. Philippine (Filipino?) food sounds delicious, and I look forward to learning more about it this week. I am also a big fan of Korean food, but I have not (yet) cooked any at home. Can you recommend an English language cookbook on Filipino or Korean food?

That is a priceless picture of your handsome boys in their impregnable pillow fortress. Have they taken an interest in cooking? Are cooking duties divided by gender in Korea or the Philippines?

I couldn’t tell from the picture - is your stove gas, electric, or something else?

The one Korean restaurant in town closed a few years ago. The food was really good, but finishing the generous portions was nearly impossible. This was a problem because the owner became visibly upset if customers asked for a doggie bag (“I carried that rice back from Korea by hand. It will not taste good tomorrow, you should eat it now”). Was that a quirk of the owner, did we run afoul of a cultural taboo?

I know, I'm asking a lot of questions - please answer if you get a chance, but don't if you don't. :smile:

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Doddie!!!

We're delighted, of course, and all agog for anything you might want to cook, show, talk about or photograph. What a great week it's going to be!!

Smiling boys in a pillowfort!! :wub:

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Nice to 'meet' you...another very friendly and sharing eG'teer. :raz: I see your reflection in the window.

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Oh Boy!

It's soooo exciting to see pictures from Korea again. Cutting garlic! I was never without a bag of that in my fridge. Chilsung Cider! Hagwons! Oh my!

I lived in Incheon from 2002-2006, and every once in a while, I get a pang for it. I went hiking on the mountain behind our house almost every day there, and on the weekend, we'd take the subway to Bukhansan or another mountain in town and hike there. One of my favourite things was coming off the mountain and having samgyeobsal next to a mountain stream.

I can't believe McDonald's finally introduced the breakfast menu! We missed that so much, especially when we'd travel through Korea - I could never face kimchi jigae for breakfast, i don't know why, but I just couldn't. But then, I guess with the trend of all the "toast" places in Seoul (eggs and ham on fried bread) it was only a matter of time until the McMuffin was brought out there.

I have so many questions for you - where do you shop - Carrefour, Grandmart, or Homeplus? Do you have to take special runs into Seoul to get some ingredients? Have you ever tried the Indian food shop in Itaewon - they all sorts of great produce, sauces, and mixes available, as well as the cheapest selection of ground and whole spices in the city.

What's your favourite boxed cookie?

Do you have an oven?

Where do your children study - in a Korean public school, or at an International school?

So many questions! Oh, I'm getting homesick for Korea!

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As a previous poster said, these blogs continue to be stupendous! Having read your posts, I am so glad to see you blogging.

I have had many students from Korea, and our Korean community is growing monthly, it seems. They have introduced me to many Korean dishes and given me Korean cookbooks. So, this is exciting for me to have a glimpse of their country.

The Philippines have always fascinated me, but I have never eaten any cuisine from that part of the world. Now, I will have to look for a cookbook. I am so looking forward to learning from you!

Your little guys are cute, and I liked the contrast in their names - Jai -for you, and Billy for DH and the USA? My older son's name is Ja-On - for moi, but both sons carry the William for DH. :wink:

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Kumusta ka kababayan! It's great to see another Filipina blogging... I look forward to learning more about Korea through your eyes. And a special hello from my little one to yours. :smile:

Can you recommend an English language cookbook on Filipino or Korean food?

Though I'm not Doddie, I hope you'll allow me to recommend Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan of New York's Cendrillon restaurant. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this cookbook and am really looking forward to attending to a cooking workshop tomorrow evening with the author.

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I was quite sure that tabletop was yours (the picture posted in the eG foodblogs thread), and I'm so glad that I was right!

The boys are cute. That pillow fort reminds me of my younger brothers when they were younger.

I visited Seoul a few years ago, and I hope to take another trip there to visit places outside Seoul sometime.

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Doddie, I've enjoyed your dinner threads...looking forward to your fusion of cultures food. My bf was stationed in Korea while in the Air Force, how far are you from that area? I believe he was in, forgive me in advance for spelling error, Kunsan? I've heard many of stories of his dining adventures there, although they were usually on tight military budgets. Looking forward to your blog....and your boys are just adorable. Do you have any pets?

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Can you recommend an English language cookbook on Filipino or Korean food?

Though I'm not Doddie, I hope you'll allow me to recommend Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan of New York's Cendrillon restaurant. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this cookbook and am really looking forward to attending to a cooking workshop tomorrow evening with the author.

Joie: Thank you for the recommendation. I have added Memories of Philippine Kitchens to my ever-expanding list of books to get. Lucky you to be attending the cooking workshop, too.

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Can you recommend an English language cookbook on Filipino or Korean food?

I really don't know one, I was home-taught! :biggrin: Thanks Moosemouse for sugesting one.

That is a priceless picture of your handsome boys in their impregnable pillow fortress. Have they taken an interest in cooking?

I couldn’t tell from the picture - is your stove gas, electric, or something else?

Eldest son Jai is a bit laidback when it comes to cooking, but Billy loves to wash dishes and help saute meats. My stove, which came with the apartment, is a gas stove.

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Are cooking duties divided by gender in Korea or the Philippines?

This was a problem because the owner became visibly upset if customers asked for a doggie bag (“I carried that rice back from Korea by hand. It will not taste good tomorrow, you should eat it now”). Was that a quirk of the owner, did we run afoul of a cultural taboo?

Cooking in Korea is a woman's sole responsibility. Most typical Korean men don't cook or know how to (common complaint of my korean friends).

As for doggie bags, it is unheard of in most big restaurants here in Korea. You just don't the leftover food home, it has to be consumed there and then. I guess it would have to be something about the freshness of the "taste" (I am getting korean with my description). :smile:

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