A Wandercooks journey through South Korea would not be complete without a cooking class to learn how to prepare some of the country’s most famous dishes… What is it that makes kimchi so delicious? What flavourful goodies are in those street-style pajeon savoury pancakes? How can we replicate those amazing bulgogi flavours when we finally return home?
South Korea… a brand new adventure in more ways than one. Two Adelaidians with no prior Korean cultural experiences set loose in a wonderful country, with so many new flavours and foods to discover. In all its delicious chilli glory, Korean cuisine was certainly a refreshing change from our beloved Japanese cuisine; South Koreans take flavour to a whole new level, full of bright hot flavours (and intense amounts of gochujang chilli sauce).
So we were super excited to discover an amazing cooking class experience at F&C Korean Food and Culture Academy, just a short walk from Gyeongbukgung station on metro line three. There we met with our awesome English speaking teacher, Ellie Hyewon Lee. Ellie is passionate and knowledgeable about all things Korean food, and together with her associates has been cooking up a storm since 2002. F&C’s ultimate goal is to share their Korean cuisine and culture with the world by providing training experiences, cooking classes and demonstrations for professional chefs and happy food aficionados alike.
There are two levels of courses available, suitable for both those who just want a taste-test of cooking (and eating!) Korean cuisine, and for those who really want to get down to the nitty gritty of Korean cooking techniques. Whichever option you choose, the instructor will demonstrate for each dish and be at your side every step of the way to ensure you get the most out of the experience. All prices include the following, and discounts apply if you tackle multiple recipes or book for large groups:
- All ingredients (freshly chopped and ready to use!)
- Use of an apron
- Copies of the recipes translated into English, French, German, Japanese or Chinese as required
- Certificate recognising your successful completion of the course.
Not only that, but when it’s finally time to sit down and eat your freshly prepared meals, you’ll also receive sides of rice and pickles and a glass or two of tea or coffee to enjoy as well.
During our three hour cooking class we were lucky to learn three deliciously authentic Korean meals to add to our repertoire. We can’t wait to share them with our friends and family back home! Check out what we made below, as well as links to each recipe for you to try at home.
Kimchi – Spicy Fermented Cabbage
Kimchi has to be one of the most well-known Korean foods, but did you know that there used to be around 200 different kinds? Today around 30 variations remain. Surprisingly, although the fermented kimchi seems like it must contain vinegar, that’s actually not the case at all; the recipe calls for salted shrimp and Korean fish sauce (not to be confused with Thai fish sauce) to give it a real flavour kick. Mixed with the sweetness of freshly squeezed pear juice, garlic and chilli, kimchi can be eaten shortly after preparation or left to ferment for a few weeks for added depth of flavour. Click here for the recipe.
Haemul Pajeon – Seafood & Green Onion Pancake
These delicious seafood and green onion pancakes are one of our favourite Korean street foods – you can find them almost everywhere in South Korea. The’re a breeze to make and very satisfying to flip. All the ingredients were supplied chopped and ready to go, so after quickly mixing them together we poured the batter in the pan with a decent splash of oil and fried until golden brown. The only addition needed to set off the flavour just nicely was a perfect Korean dipping sauce which Ellie whipped up for us at the end of class. Click here for the recipe.
Bulgogi – Marinated Beef with Shiitake Mushrooms
What could be better than thinly sliced beef briefly marinated in a sweet and salty blend of soy, garlic, onion, sesame oil and pepper, and tossed around in a pan until deliciously soft and tender? Nothing! The aroma and flavour is uniquely bulgogi and you’re sure to be hooked from the first bite like we were. Click here for the recipe.
All these fantastic cooking aromas set our mouths to watering and our tummies to growling by the end of the class. With all our dishes complete it was finally time to sit down and devour our delicious meals with a side of steamed white rice and crunchy Korean pickles. At the end of the class we received a certificate with our names and dishes printed in English and Korean and snapped a few photos with our brand new friends.
Book a Cooking Class
If you’re an expat living in South Korea or planning a holiday in the near future, you can’t go wrong by booking in a cooking class at F&C. Like us you’ll get to discover the hidden ingredients that make each dish so tasty, but of course the best part is eating the finished products at the end of the class. Be sure to check out the full list of options on their website – go on, check it out now, it will be a deliciously difficult task to choose only three!
To arrange a cooking class contact Ellie via email@example.com. Classes can be arranged at a mutually convenient time and can be booked privately or with other students.
If cooking and eating delicious Korean food is not enough for you, F&C also provide a hambok wearing experience for an extra 5,000 won per person, where you can dress up in traditional Korean clothing and experience another side of Korean culture.
F&C Korean Food & Culture Academy is located on Level 5, Shin-Woo B/D, 116 Pirundae-ro, Jongno Gu in Seoul, South Korea. The easiest way to get there is by Metro. Take exit 2 from Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3) and walk straight for 800 metres on Jahamoon Road. The building will be on your left hand side. Keep an eye out for the following landmarks and you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction: Woori Bank, Tong-In Market, Shin-Han Bank, Hyundai Car Centre, Café Pong Dang. The entrance to the buildings is located just off of Jahamoon Road. Click here for some great maps and photos to help you find your way.