Friday, January 31, 2014

Chinese New Year

Every year I tell Ken that I'm going to make a Chinese dinner in honor of the Chinese New Year he replies with the same 4 words, "but we're not Chinese."  Yes Ken, I know, we're Korean.  Yes, he's half Korean.  He is the reason I love Korean food.

This year I told him that we were having Korean in order to celebrate Seollal, the Korean lunar new year.  Seollal is the first day of the Korean Lunar Calendar.  It falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice.  This day is about family and ancestors.  It's one of the most important Korean holidays.

2014 is the year of the Horse.  According to the Official Korea Tourism Organization,

"Every year is represented by one of the 12 zodiac signs, which take the form of animals known as Sibijisin. These signs change with every new year and rotate over a 12 year cycle. For a fun activity at the beginning of each year, people, especially elders, analyze the relationship between their birth year zodiac sign and the new year's sign to find out their fortune. 

The year 2014 is referred to as "Gaponyeon" or "The Year of the Horse." The horse is the seventh in the group of twelve guardian animal deities collectively known as the Sibijisin, which literally means "twelve (sibi) gods of the earth (jisin)." People born in the year of the horse are said to be open-minded and have a cheerful disposition with a good sense of humor. They are likely to achieve success in any activities they undertake. However, they can be somewhat self-centered and must beware of trifling away money on pleasures."

For more information on the Sibijisin check out the links at the bottom of the post.

So onto dinner.  I pulled out my tried and true Korean cookbook.  The Complete Book of Korean Cooking by Young Jin Song.  I love this book.  I have used it too many times to count to make myself many Korean meals.  {Buy it HERE}  I decided that I wanted my favorite noodle dish, Japchae,  and fried zucchini (hobakjeon.)  Unfortunately Japchae was the 1 recipe that is NOT included in the book.  So, I turned to the internet and found a recipe on Korean Bapsang.  Get the recipe HERE for the Japchae and the recipe for the fried zucchini HERE.


The most time consuming part of all of these dishes was the chopping.  I was in the kitchen for nearly an hour chopping, slicing and dicing.  After all that is done the meal comes together quickly

Everything turned out delicious.  Yet, it all paled in comparison to my mother-in-law's cooking.  Me making Korean dishes is alot like when I make a recipe of my mother's.  It doesn't have exactly the same flavor as my mother's or my mother-in-laws.  Maybe I'm lacking the same love that they made it with?  Ken raved about it to his mom, who was very impressed.

Below are some links about the Lunar New Year celebration in Korea.  Did you make anything interesting for the Lunar New Year? Seollal (Lunar New Year) Celebrations in Korea Sibijisin Story

No comments:

Post a Comment