Friday, 8 March 2013

To Seoul for kimbap 김밥

I really worried about the storm coming to Seoul and was glad everyone was ok. I've never tried kimbap but I will do one day.


Hello again from Seoul! Today’s blog post is going to be a little different. As you know the posts on NeverSeconds are usually written by children, but today I (Hansik’s teacher) am going to be
taking the reins. Why? Because Korea is currently preparing to be hit by Typhoon Bolaven and the kids were told not to come to school today. While teachers still have to report on the outset of this hurricane, the cafeteria is closed. I’ll take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about a typical Korean snack or lunch when not at school.

First off, I am an American who has been living in Korea for the past 18 months. I work at an immersion school so the students spend half the day studying the national curriculum with their Korean homeroom teacher and half the day studying core subject in English with a native English speaker. I’m the writing teacher so this project fits perfectly.

In Korea, teachers eat with their students. We eat the same food but are able to serve
ourselves. I pay 50,000 won (about $50 US) a month which is a great deal. I actually love most of the food in the cafeteria!

Now for the food! One of the most popular quick meals or snacks in Korea is called kimbap, or in Korean, 김밥. Also called the “Korean sandwich” due to the fact kimbap is often brought as a lunch on hikes or field trips, kimbap looks like a Japanese sushi roll, but it is actually very different. Yesterday we learned that kim (김), the first syllable of the word, is dried seaweed. Well, the second syllable, bap (밥), means rice.

Like sushi it is rice and seaweed rolled, but the similarities end there. The most common variety is filled with egg, ham, cucumber, carrot, and pickled radish (danmuji, 단무지). You can also order kimbap with other ingredients including cheese, kimchi, or, my favorite, canned tuna with mayonnaise. It sounds weird at first, but once you get used to kimbap, it is delicious. A roll runs about 2,000 won ($2 US) and is available at convenience stores and take away shops around the country.

One final thing before I go. Although it is a little scary here in Korea today with this impending storm, I know that I will still have access to food and a hot meal. Let’s make sure everyone who can donates to Mary’s Meals so that this can be a reality for more people across the world!

That’s it from Korea today! Hopefully the students will be back tomorrow with another school lunch for you all. If you have any questions about food, lunches, or education in South Korea please ask and I’ll have the students get you some answers.

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