Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The People Who Feed Me: Gimbap

While I've gotten a bit better at cooking for myself, I still eat out pretty often because it's cheap, convenient, and tasty. So, in the tradition of Tae's "What I Eat Here," here's "The People Who Feed Me."

My first edition will be concerning gimbap, which is a Korean snack food. It's a bit like sushi, since it involves steamed white rice and dried seaweed, but it's served warm and the contents include vegetables like cucumber and pickled radish. It costs 5 kuai, which is about 75 cents. It's filling and fairly nutritious.

The stand is run by a very friendly woman and her daughter, who is pictured below. We converse about basic things, like the weather and what we're doing for vacation.

I'm still not quite sure how to say gimbap in Chinese, but when it comes to ordering, my interaction is pretty standard:
1. I ask for 鸡肉 jirou ("chicken").
2. I point to the meat that looks like SPAM and say, "我不要这个" Wo bu yao zhe ge ("I don't want this"). I don't know exactly what it is, but I know I don't want it.
3. She asks, "辣的不辣的?" La de bu la de? ("Spicy or not?")
4. I respond, "一点儿辣的." Yi dianr la de. (A little spicy).

I know my friends are a bit horrified by my ability to eat the same thing over and over again, but it's just my nature. I'm less picky than I used to be, but I still enjoy the comfort of a familiar meal. And I haven't gotten tired of gimbap yet. Here's a photo of the finished product, which I happily ate tonight in my living room.


  1. I love our shared picky eating, Ms. Glass. You are much more adventurous than I am, as I don't really trust mysterious meat (which means 80% of the meat you find in China. Plus, I'm totally on board with eating the same thing over and over again. If it was good once, it will still be good next time...and the next...and the next...


  2. Cucumber and pickled radish sounds like a delicious combo! I had a Korean roommate who prepared what I guess was gimbap for us sometimes. Instead of the meat-that-looks-like-spam, she substituted hot dogs, which were equally unappealing.