After my friend gave me my first Korean cooking lesson, she wanted to show me how to make ddoekbokki 떡볶이. Unfortunately for my cooking plans, she had to go to California. Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome for her—it was her summer vacation. So I was sharing my woes with my other Korean friend and complaining about how I wanted to learn how to make ddeokbokki. He told me, oh but it’s so easy! Even HE could show me. I wasn’t 100% sure if I believed him, but I figured what the hell. If it’s bad, she can always show me again.
At the grocery store, he had to call his mother to find out the ingredients (I think this should have been my first clue about his cooking skills). When I started to make a joke about this, he said it was because he hadn’t made it since before his mandatory military service, which he had just finished. I told him it was no excuse so we both had a laugh over that. We bought only the two types of noodles (one is the rice noodle and the other is a flour/fish thing) and sauce mix. We skipped the optional meat and eggs and anything else you could possibly want to add. (I think I should have been more skeptical of our lack of ingredients as well….).
At my home, I helped him prepare the ingredients. Well the preparation was simply boiling the noodles and then boiling more water for the sauce. As he put the sauce mix and sugar into the water, I told him that it looked like there was too much water. He insisted that it was fine. So after about 15 minutes of waiting, I asked him what was taking so long. He grudgingly admitted that there was too much water and we were waiting for the extra water to boil away. HAHAHAHAHA. Needless to say, the ddeokbokki was very simple. But because it took so long too make, we were decidedly hungry so it tasted delicious! haha. (We also ate it before I remembered to take a picture.)
In conclusion, I love my friend to death but he is no cook (especially compared to my first Korean cooking lesson). Regrettably, I am no longer living in Sangju and will most likely not receive another cooking lesson for either of my two ‘teachers’ again…but I hope to find one in Gumi!