It finally summer which means the sun doesn’t set till 8:30pm, so we get to enjoy longer hours of sunshine and brightness. It feels so good to walk on campus in a t-shirt, stretching out my arms to bask in its warm rays. Often, I just stop in my tracks, and lean my head backwards just to savor the beautiful moment of blue skies and warm sun. Its been a long winter with showers of rain. Finally summmerrr is here! Its like a warm blanket wrapped around you. I love it, because just for one moment I get to forget about my worries.
Both Zoe and I have this clumsy tendency to trip over a lot or to lose things. Don’t ask how or why but we never seem to go through a week without having those dramatic moments when one of us is scrambling to find something important.
Last semester I lost my graphic calculator twice, Zoe lost her iphone and numerous numbers of pencils, hair ties, pens, socks and even ingredients that I had just brought from the grocery store. That was not fun. This semester seems to be no different.
Just a few days ago, after getting some things done at the bank, Zoe lost her passport, identification card and money. Now that was pretty serious. We were in a panic attack – you should’ve seen the two of us running all over the library, retracing our steps all over campus trying to find it. There was nothing.
To say we were worried was an understatement.
I can’t even begin to imagine how worried my parents would’ve been when we told them on the phone. Knowing that we were halfway across the world with one of their daughters having no passport.
Amidst all that stress, the only things we could do was wait, all we could do was to try and just pray. As a little girl, I was taught to pray every time I lost something. I always eventually found it, and since then I have never forgotten that valuable lesson. It was humbling to kneel down and simply earnestly plead for help.
However, I was still skeptical. What are the odds of finding your passport with a bag with cash in it?
We were both worried. Zoe looked like she was going to give up. It had been 2 days already. But we decided to take one more look.
Zoe went to the lost and found and I told her I was going to wait for her next to the tables. Right before she walked away, she asked me to go ask the custodian.
“The custodian? Why?” – Honestly I didn’t think the custodian would know. But I decided to give it a try. What more could you lose anyways?
I noticed a custodian nearby and reluctantly asked him about it. He suggested I go to ask their office.
Rather hesitantly, I walked in to the office to 3 men sitting around.
“err I lost a passport and money in a small bag, I was wondering if you had seen it?”
They probably thought I was crazy. I just knew it. By this point I was ready to apologize and leave.
“Oh yes we picked it up a few days ago. Let me grab that for you.”
I was speechless.
The guy handed it to me and just told me to be careful because I had a lot of cash in it.
When I related the story back to Zoe, her jaw just dropped in shock. Even she couldn’t believe it.
It really was more than just a miracle, I definitely know it was an answer to my prayers. Both of us immediately went to a corner and said a quick prayer of gratitude.
I think it is so easy to get caught in situations and events that don’t happen the way we want them to. One thing I have learnt from this experience is “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved”. We made sure no hurtful or discouraging words were expressed. My parents reacted very well, they didn’t blame us or show anger, rather they just told us to keep praying and if worse comes to worse – this was an experience that we could learn from. I am so grateful for the positive attitude and influence my parents have.
And in honor of this…we have a very special recipe for you today. This is something that can be made in minutes – easy, delicious and reminds me of home. We know our parents would love this meal and in honor of them we want to dedicate this one to them.
This is probably one of most elegant noodle dishes I have made. I love the beautiful colors especially the pure white noodles in a clear chicken broth, contrasted with the deep green of the roasted seaweed, fiery red kimchi and the subtle gold-brown of the sesame seeds. It is really a piece of artwork.
And not to mention we made a fish cake side dish to go with it. Its subtle sweetness and spiciness pairs perfectly with the whole meal.
Let me describe the taste. It is honestly just amazing – nuttiness, smokiness form the roasted seaweed, spiciness and the clear broth. What more could you ask for?
Adapted from Maangchi
Ingredients – serves 3
- Rice Vermicelli Noodles (however much you like around 3/4 lb -1lb), cooked according to the package directions
- 9 cups of chicken broth (for extra flavor you can boil chicken breast/thighs in the broth beforehand and reserve the chicken for salads/sandwiches)
- 1 piece of dried sea kelp
- salt/soy sauce
- 2 tbsp gochujang
- 1/2 cup kimchi, chopped
- 1/2 cup cabbages, chopped
- 1/2-1 tsp shrimp paste
- 1/8 cup white onion, diced (or 2 green onions, sliced)
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
Adapted from Koreanbapsang
Fishcake: (better to make it the night before or at least a few horus before serving)
- 2 sheets fishcake
- 1/8 zucchini, finely sliced/shredded
- 1/8 carrots, finely sliced/shredded
- 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp gochugaru
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 sheets of nori seaweed
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3 poached eggs
How to Make:
For the broth:
- Pour the chicken broth into a pot and add the kelp. Bring to a boil and allow it to simmer away for 10 minutes over low heat till the flavor of the sea kelp has penetrated.
- Taste and season with salt. It should not be overly salty, only just mildly. Set it aside.
- Slice your fishcakes into small strips about 1″ long and 1/4″ wide.
- In a hot sauce pan, lay your fishcakes and fry until each side is golden brown.
- Add in your garlic, zucchini and carrots.
- Allow them to soften (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add in our gochugaru, soy sauce and honey. Mix until combine. Allow the sauce to warm through.
- Allow the fishcakes to cool and then place in fridge. This will allow the flavors to really meld together.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds before serving. This dish is best served cold!
For your “homemade”kimchi:
- Mix in all the ingredients together. Cover and place in fridge till cold.
For the garnishes:
- Heat a pan over medium high. Once hot, add in your sesame seeds. Toast them carefully over low heat until golden brown. Make sure you keep stirring.
- Grind up the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle OR blitz quickly in a food processor. You can also bash them up yourself.
- Over an open burner on your stove, lightly toasted your seaweed. Hold your seaweed just above the warm flame and keep flipping to taste both sides.
- Place your seaweed in a small plastic bag. Crush!
To serve: Portion your rice noodles in to a bowl. Scoop over the hot broth and arrange your egg, kimchi, seaweed, sesame seeds. Mix and enjoy with your fish cakes!