When I was coming up with my blogging plan for the year, I decided I wanted to start a new series in relation to food. I thought it’d be a fun idea to reach out to a few of my foodie friends and interview them!
The first interview in the series is with the lovely Tara of aigoo.me. I was fortunate enough to meet and hang out with Tara when she visited London back in March. With a shared love of food, it was seemed silly for me not to reach out to her and ask her a couple of questions!
I saw that you tried making your own bread (bread buddies because me too!) – is cooking at home something you enjoy?
Believe it or not, I may love food, but cooking (and baking) is something I do when I am in the mood, and that doesn’t hit me often. It also doesn’t help that I don’t like chopping, I don’t handle heat well, and I don’t like the clean-up afterwards — I happen to be one of those who make a huge mess, haha! I also realised that cooking at home also daunts me because of our diverse household. My parents and I all have different tastes, so it’s a challenge to find a single dish that we could all enjoy. What usually happens with my mother is that she has to cook three different meals, and I certainly don’t have the patience for that.
You live in South Korea and travel to Japan quite a bit, but if you had to choose the best for food where would it be – SK or Japan?
It really depends on the food . . . like tonkatsu? Definitely Japan. Kimchi fried rice — gotta come to Korea for that! But in all honesty, I am more biased towards South Korea. It helps that I know Korean so I know what I am eating. Whereas, it’s a struggle in Japan to know what I am eating if I end up in a restaurant with no English or pictured menus. I also know Korean cuisines better than Japanese, so that helps me broaden my food horizon in Korea — not so much in Japan!
What are you currently craving right now?
Butter chicken or paneer from Chakraa, an Indian restaurant in Seoul. There are two Indian restaurants in my area, but I’ve only tried one and their butter chicken and paneer are awful! And that restaurant is supposedly the better of the two, so it makes me wonder how bad the other place will be. I haven’t gathered my courage to try that place yet!
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life what would it be?
It would be budae jjigae (base stew) because it has everything in there, and you can customise it however you want. Its base is kimchi jjigae, and you add whatever you want — Spam, hot dogs, ham, chicken, rice cake, ramen, dumplings — the possibilities are endless! This with a bowl of rice makes me happy.
The above photo is an example of a budae jjigae. For my thirtieth birthday, I’d requested budae jjigae as a present, and my auntie and mum made the dish for me.
This is such a difficult question for me and I hate when people ask me this question, but what’s your favourite dish/cuisine?
Cuisine-wise, it is a tie between Korean and Thai. Korean food is what I am most familiar with and I am used to its palate, but I also have a deep love for the more fragrant Thai cuisine. I’ve discovered Thai food in my twenties, and I found that I love the spices and herbs used in their cuisine. Some Koreans are not fond of the flavours in Thai, Indian, and other South/South-east Asian cuisines, but I enjoy them — Thai moreso because I love pad Thai, red curry, and the Thai basil fried rice!
When I’m down I love eating ice cream, chips, all sorts of junk food – what’s comfort food to you?
Junk food, especially Korean junk foods, are my comfort food. I love potato chips, but I find American ones to be super salty. The Korean potato chips are not as salty, so it suits me better. Chocolate is also a major comfort food for me.
On the “healthier” side, my comfort meal consists of rice, fried Spam, freshly made kimchi, and miyeokguk (seaweed soup) or miso soup. This is a perfect combination, and nothing beats freshly made kimchi!
What’s your least favourite kind of food?
Any raw seafood and bug dishes — especially bugs. Mum lied to me once and told me that bbeondaegi (silkworms) weren’t bugs, so I grudgingly ate some, and I found out later the truth. Needless to say, I’ve sworn off from eating them ever. I’ll get my protein from another source, thanks!
Most overrated food item?
Tomatoes. I like them cooked in pasta sauces or something, but eating them alone raw or in salads or sandwiches? Nope, not for me!
I know you’re super into history, so if you had to choose anyone to share a meal within history who would it be and why?
One of my favourite historical figures is Miep Gies, who is one of the helpers who hid Anne Frank and the others in the Secret Annex. I have read her biography at least once a year since I was in my teens, and I deeply admire her for what she did during the war. Her courage to defy the Nazis moves me, and I have always wanted to meet her and talk to her about World War 2.
Lastly, your last day on Earth is tomorrow – what would be your last meal?
Considering that I am deeply craving Indian, it would definitely be butter chicken and/or paneer, tandoori roti, and sweet lassi. I also wouldn’t mind a good Italian-style pizza!
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