Growing up in the deep south, I was raised to eat a variety of vegetables and to appreciate the home-grown kind. We ate wild game and fish caught in the river. A typical meal at my house would include a meat, 2-3 vegetables, potatoes or rice, gravy, and cornbread. And sweet tea. Can’t forget the sweet tea.
Like my mom, though, I was always willing to try something new. My first taste of Asian food happened when I was about 12, at a Chinese restaurant in the city where my aunt lived. Cashew chicken. It was so good! And my love of Chinese food was born.
After the birth of my daughter, I returned to college to finish my degree and there I made my first Asian friend. I give her all the credit for educating me on the difference between authentic Asian food and the Americanized stuff served at most Chinese restaurants. I’ll never forget the look of disgust on her face when I told her I liked Chinese food. “That’s not Chinese food! I’ll show you real Chinese food!” was her reply. And she did. And I was amazed at the difference.
Since that point in time, I have still eaten my fair share of meals at Chinese restaurants. I still love to go to a good all-you-can-eat buffet, though now I’m more discriminating about what I eat. But I also began experimenting with cooking Asian dishes myself. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve had successes too. And my mom and daughter are always willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good and be my taste testers.
When I began watching Japanese dramas, my interest in Japanese cuisine grew. But to be honest, much of it looked too difficult or time-consuming. Like Chinese restaurants, it’s relatively easy to find Japanese cuisine. I branched out into sushi and added miso soup to my diet on a regular basis, and ate at hibachi restaurants when I could.
Three years ago I transitioned to Korean dramas, a story for another post. Not only were they full of hot guys and great music, but the food was no joke! Luckily, at the same time I was becoming a full-blown Kdrama addict, a couple at my church began hosting a Korean exchange student. My daughter and I befriended her, and while she couldn’t answer many questions I had about Korean cooking, she was more than willing to share what she knew.
Since then I have made the switch from the tiny packs of ramen found in my local grocery store to the Korean brands I can only find at Asian markets or online. And we don’t eat straight-up ramen – ahem, ramyun – anymore either. Nope, it’s got to be doctored up with veggies and eggs and other goodies. These days there’s always a jar of kimchi in the fridge, and if I go too long without making bibimbap or kimchi fried rice, my daughter starts to complain. Suffice it say, Korean food has successfully wormed its way into my world.
I’ve found lots of blogs and such that focus on dramas; others focus on food and yet others on music. I wanted to make a blog that encompassed all three because for me, I can’t have one without the other.