Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nothing Beats Home Cooking!

My parents don't cook much Korean food. About the only things we make at home are rice and bulgogi. Although bulgogi was usually with me involved, so I don't think they cook it much when I am not around. Of course thats my point of view, I could be wrong....

Even though my parents didn't cook Korean food while I was growing up, they did always make sure that I had a good supply of rice and kimchee. I personally really like gak duggi (깍두기).

Since my parents knowledge of cooking Korean food was very limited, we did go to a local Korean restaurant at least once a month. The restaurant is a small room that is attached to a Korean grocery store. The same grocery store that my parents have been buying rice and kimchee from since I was adopted. That is over 23 years! Back then the store didn't have a restaurant. It was only a grocery store.

When I first arrived the only "Korean" restaurant was actually a Chinese restaurant that happened to have a few Korean dishes. Of which my personal favorite was jajangmyeon. To this day, I love this dish, although I do not get it much. Anyways, this restaurant closed about 15 years ago.

A few months later, the Korean grocery store opened a small restaurant in a room that was attached to the store. The Korean store is creatively called

My family has been going to this restaurant since it opened and consider it the best Korean in Detroit. It is a mom and pop establishment, with the grandmother cooking the meals, and the sister and kids helping to run the store. They have known myself and my sister all of our lives.

A few years ago, we were talking to them about the other Chinese restaurant, and they started to laugh. They informed us that they were the owners of that restaurant! Which is why they opened the restaurant in the grocery store after the Chinese restaurant closed!

Anyways, since this is our favorite Korean restaurant and we have essentially been patrons of this family for over 23 years now, I consider it "home cooked" Korean food. They make the best kimchi in the world! Even with all my travels all around Korea; Hanguk makes and sells the best kimchi and gak dukki! The only place that even compares is Mrs. Hong who makes her own kimchi in Seoul!

Since Im visiting Detroit for Thanksgiving, I was able to have "home cooked" Korean twice!

First time was Friday for dinner. I went with my parents, and sister.
We had Kimbop:


We were hungry:

My sister and I both had yukgajang (Sorry, I couldnt get blogger to upload the image right side up):

My father had the fried mackerel and my mother had bimbimbop:

Yes, my mother is scraping out the guchujang...she doesnt like real spicy food.

And of course the world famous banchan! (only because I am posting it on my Although I have to say it is the best banchan I've ever had. Even better than in Korea, Houston, San Francisco, and St. Louis. Like the Kimchi, Mrs. Hong's banchan is the only one to ever beat my "home cooked" meals!


  1. Richard, Remember that we not only had bulgogi, but also galbi, and foten Korean spinanch and bean sprouts and rice and Kimbop. You also got to choose a meal once a week and it was usually pork chops or lasagna. Do you remember the huge Korean barbeque we did every summer, with a huge rented tent and about 100 people?

  2. Hello.....thanks for visiting my blog. neways, at least your parents felt it was important that you knew your own culture.

    Hmmm.. i mean, like a lot of ppl growing up overseas, (especially like some chinese families I know), do not take it of importance that their children know something about their origins.

    Knowing something about your past (at least in the case of culture, and knowledge) helps a person to value themselves, and take pride in their identity.

    (but of course, that doesnt necessarily work for someone who is a teenager and is brawling with her parents).

    I remember my brother telling my parents telling that he didn't like me around when we were kids coz i spoke cantonese all the time, and that it was embarrasing for him in front of his friends.

    However, as we grew older, ppl realise how important it was to be able to speak our own dialects that we could communicate with our relatives (like my grandmother), or at least for work purposes. That definitely works out economically (in trying to learn a new language!) ^^

  3. Hi Chaeyee!
    Yes, I am thankful my parents allowed me to explore my culture as much or as little (more often than not in my case) as I wanted. Since I love food, that is one area that I am well versed
    If you could not tell, "Bert Spalding" is my

    I totally agree with you about how important it is to explore your heritage and your origins. I think this is extremely important in adoptions. I will be writing a new post soon about that subject!

    Don't ever forget your native language! That is one thing I regret! I am now struggling to relearn my native language, and believe me it is a struggle!