For most of our time here in Korea, the one meal that has kept us connected to home has been breakfast. We couldn’t quite pull ourselves away from cereal, pancakes, bacon and eggs, coffee, orange juice and all the other things that you find on a western breakfast menu.
When I first started learning about what Koreans made for breakfast the thought was too much. Kimchi??? In the morning? Fish? Really? No, you must be kidding….kimchi stew? But that is what most of my kids eat. Their breakfast doesn’t seem that different from their lunch or their dinner. Many of our kids (the rail thin ones) don’t eat any breakfast. One Korean friend told me that “our stomachs just can’t handle much food at that time.”
Standard gimbap(crab, egg, ham,radish, cucumber). There are many different kinds.
But Lindsay and I continued to pay $7 a week to stay connected to the west via coco Crispix and Corn Flakes. But then we started typing out a budget, (actually we scribbled down a budget on the back of a receipt..more our style) and realized the one place we could save a few chun won($1.00 or so) was on breakfast. “I could do rice,” Lindsay said without a hint of excitement. “I could fix eggs,” I said hoping Lindsay would fold before me.
But we didn’t. For a few months we went through our seemingly endless supply of rice, until it ended. By the last few batches, I would dry heave just a little before putting the rice mush into my mouth.
Sallie and Angus even gave a Korean breakfast a go.
Around this time we were watching “Boys over Flowers” and it was from this quality Korean drama where I got the idea to eat ramyeon (ramen) for breakfast. Lindsay now eats a boiled egg and yogurt. We aren’t quite to fish, rice and kimchi yet, but on the weekends we come pretty close. So on this rainy morning as we sat in a small diner eating kimchi, gimbap(think California roll) and kimchi stew for breakfast, I realized my stomach has become way more Korean than I’ll ever be.