I just spent a long weekend in Copenhagen and decided to take the opportunity to try out social experiment number 2.
Random cooking of Korean deliciousness in a stranger’s apartment.
I was going to Copenhagen to partake in a friend’s wedding festivities, and since Copenhagen is notoriously expensive, decided to couchsurf. For those unfamiliar with couchsurfing, it’s an amazing way to keep traveling affordable, as well as a great way to meet interesting new people. Anyone willing to let a stranger stay with them is crazy in a way I can relate to! (www.couchsurfing.com)
I threw out a few feelers for surfable couches and was…rejected! What can I say, sometimes even a fräulein gets turned down, but soon enough, I was “accepted” by a few friendly couches and had a secured place to stay in a very nice apartment in the Vestebro (*side note- let me just say Danish people have good taste!)
So normally, as a thank you gesture for the kind souls who take me into their homes, I’ve been known to cook a meal or two…this time I decided to take it a step further. I invited myself into the home of a random couchsurfer who had to “reject” my request due to coinciding travel dates. He seemed genuinely bummed to miss out on a chance for Korean essen, as evident by his email:
“I have a recurrent dream: I’m in a big city, and all of a sudden I remember this wonderful neighbourhood where they have Korean food and I will go looking for it. I have dreamt that at least 10 times.”
so I decided, what the hell…I was staying an extra night in Copenhagen, have chili, will travel. The poor boy was clearly going through kimchi withdrawal, so I offered to come over and show him some basics of Korean food. I brought along my very hospitable couchsurfing host and momentarily invaded the home of a Danish filmmaker and his Norwegian girlfriend with my dried seaweed, kochugaru, sesame seeds and dried anchovies. The kitchen was “cosy” so it turned out to be a little too small for a real teaching session, but I put my new Danish friends to work chopping onions and peeling garlic. An hour later we sat down to dinner. Guten appetit!
On the Menu was:
Bulgogi with shitake mushrooms
Miyook-guk – a seaweed soup
Oi-moochim- spicy cucumber salad
Myulchibokkeum- dried anchovies (usually my American friends recoil in horror at these tiny fried bits of strange crunchy fishy sweetness, but a country that eats pickled herring apparently also liked dried fishiness ; )
Saenggang Cha- ginger cinnamon tea with pine nuts
It ended up being a great evening with good food and camaraderie. I introduced the leckericiousness of Korean food to 3 kimchi virgins and was reminded of why it is the fräulein loves the kitchen. The nicest compliment I think I’ve ever been given about my cooking was when at the end of the evening I was told- “you are making the world a better place.”….did I mention again that I like the Danish?
and of course my trip wouldn’t have been complete without trying the smørrebrød. My friend Idil took me to a cool cafe where they served up some slamming versions of smørrebrød…tee hee, somehow that word just really makes me giggle. I went for the typisch Dansk- potato version of their daily smørrebrød. delish.