Meaningful and Joyful Traditional Korean Cooking Class for KU IWC Students
The traditional Korean cooking class took place at the Tteok Museum, Insa-dong.
Korea University hosted a traditional Korean cooking class for students participating in the International Winter Campus (IWC) on January 11 at the Tteok Museum located in Insa-dong, Seoul. Upon arrival at the museum, students were guided to the 2nd floor, where the permanent exhibition hall is located. The hall consists of two different rooms, the Rite of Passage Room and the Festive Food Room. While the former room displays replicas of food used for traditional rites along with their meanings, the latter exhibits replicas of tteok (traditional Korean sticky rice cake) and food made and eaten during festive seasons in Korea. From the instructors working at the museum, the IWC students learned about the traditional culinary culture and table settings of Korea. The IWC students showed a particular interest in the five cardinal colors used in mujigae (meaning rainbow in English) tteok, outwardly expressing their fascination.
After looking around the exhibition hall, the students went up to the 5th floor, where they had a chance to learn how to make a traditional Korean dish. Before the actual cooking experience, students visited the training room and research lab for traditional Korean liquor located on the same floor. The rooms accommodate displays about different kinds of Korean alcohol and the raw materials used for making them. Food dishes that are normally paired with each alcoholic beverage are also introduced. The students then got to pick up the necessary cooking utensils and make bulgogi (marinated beef barbeque). To prepare the dish, students had to grate Korean pear to make a marinade for the beef. Although the recipe seemed quite unfamiliar to the students, many of them truly enjoyed the cooking class.
At the end of the cooking class, students had a meal together, sharing their bulgogi dishes, vegetable pancakes and kimchi. Yong Jing En Victoria, 20 years old and from the National University of Singapore, said that she enjoyed the cooking class quite a bit. “I think I will cook more often from now on,” she said. Wu Min-Jung, 20 years old and originally from Taiwan, but participating in the IWC as a student from the University of Queensland, commented that the cooking class was a great opportunity for him to understand Korean culture. “Thanks to our instructor, who was kind and thoughtful throughout the whole class, we could follow the instructions and understand the cooking process with ease.”