Archive for the ‘soup’ Category

Food for Dummies: 된장국 (Fermented Soybean Paste Soup)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Hi everyone! I’m going to post a recipe for 된장국 (dweinjangguk-fermented soybean paste soup). It’s one of my favorite Korean soups, and there are so many different accepted varieties of it that I don’t feel bad posting my own version. The following recipe is a combination of the process my friend showed me and my own alterations, so while it may not be completely traditional, it’s still pretty tasty!


Half a head of cabbage
1 heaping spoonful of 고추장 (Gochujang: Red pepper paste)
1 to 3 peppers (optional)
1 spoonful of anchovy powder
About 4 heaping spoonfuls of 된장 (Dweinjang: Fermented soybean paste)
300 grams of tofu
1 or 2 small onions
One squash


Warning: Your kitchen will smell really bad at first (anchovy powder). This is normal. Don’t worry, it will later smell amazing.


1. Take a large pot and fill it three quarters full of water and set it to boil. Take a smaller pot, also fill it three quarters full of water and set it to boil.

2. Roughly chop the cabbage head into medium-sized pieces and rinse them.

3. Put the cabbage into the small pot of boiling hot water. Let it cook for three minutes.

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4. When the water in the larger pot comes to a boil, put in the anchovy powder.

5. Take the soybean paste and place it in a fine-meshed sieve over the large pot. Use the sieve to evenly distribute the soybean paste and get rid of clumps. Do this one spoonful at a time. Also add in the red pepper paste.


6. Drain the water from the cabbage, and put the cabbage into the larger pot.

7. Chop up the onion and peppers into medium-sized pieces. Put them in the larger pot.

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8. Chop the squash into thin, half-circle slices.

9. Chop the tofu into medium-sized chunks.

10. Lower the temperature and place the tofu and squash into the pot.

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11. Place the lid on pot and leave the soup to simmer for ten or more minutes.

12. Serve hot with rice (rice recipe not included). Enjoy!


Em in Asia! 2011-11-16 20:31:50

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

We had a warm spurt for late October and early November. It almost helped me forget that this time last year I was getting sick every other week and absolutely freezing.  Alas, now winter is here in full force, and everyday as I walk to school I can see my breath. I also remember this time last year my coffee intake went way up, because I couldn’t stand to be outside for more than thirty minutes at a time, so whenever I met my friends we had coffee.

Seriously though, all I want to do is wear sweaters and eat soup.

This has been a stressful week. Yesterday I took a team of four students to YDAC, a Youth Diplomacy Action Conference that was thought of and created by a fellow f*brighter. Jeollado (broken into two parts, Jeollabukdo -north- and Jeollanamdo -south-) generally has less resources than many of the other provinces (especially Gyeonggido, the province that surounds Seoul) so this Jeollabukdo-residing f*brighter decided to create a diplomacy simulation that was targeted towards high school students in Jeolla. It was ridiculously fun.

I had to choose a team of four students (I chose one second grade boy and girl and one first grade boy and girl to show an accurate representation of our school, and also to try to combat the gender division/grade division in school) and they had to write a mock resolution. We wrote one on global warming:

A Resolution on Global Warming

1. Whereas, the world became industrialized and the use of fossil fuels increased; and

 2. Whereas, carbon dioxide is increasing because of using fossil fuels; and

 3. Whereas, cars and factories, the source of greenhouse gases are increasing; and

 4. Whereas, harmful greenhouse gases lead to changing climate which causes abnormal weather and melting icebergs; therefore

 BE IT RESOLVED THAT Factories in developed countries should decrease their carbon dioxide emissions by 35% within 10 years.

Then the students had to prepare a 5 – 7 minute speech expanding on their resolution, as well as read resolutions that the 8 other schools had prepared and think up some counter-arguments or points to support them. They also had to later on in the day read a mock situation and respond to it.

I was really proud of not only my students but also all the students from the other schools that came.  My students seemed to really enjoy the conference. It was also fun just being able to hang with them, and having them want to speak to me in English.

On top of all that, today is the SCHOOL FESTIVAL! Oh man, I’m excited, even if many of the students aren’t. Turns out the reason why we don’t have classes today isn’t entirely because of the festival – all morning classes are cancelled for the school-wide essay competition. What fun. Also, there’s currently some school drama going down, because they had to cut some of the acts in the school festival due to time restraints, and ended up cutting some of the homeroom dances/skits, so now some of the students are mad at some of the faculty. Anyway, I’m still excited. One of my YDAC kids (Future Diplomat – referred to him a bit earlier) is apparently performing in the my school’s shortened rendition of Grease as “로저” which translates to “Roger” which is apparently Putzy’s name in the musical. I’m SO EXCITED to see FD as Putzy, it’s going to be hillarious.