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Sep 26, 2010 11:36 PM

Cooking in a Korean Motel w/ Only Boiling H20

Just like it sounds...I'm stuck living in a motel in a very rural part of Korea. The only supplies I have are filtered hot water and a VERY mini-fridge. I plan to buy an electric tea kettle so I can heat the water to boiling, and hopefully have a few more options for cooking.

So far, I've been buying pre-cooked rice that is meant to be microwaved (Doesn't heat well under hot, un-boiled water) and I eat that with some pre-made panchan (kimchi, etc) and/or tuna mixed with mayo, salt and pepper, and roasted seaweed. I also found some lower-calorie Ramen to which I add dried seaweed and shitakes and quail egg.

I'm getting sick of Ramen and Rice/Tuna though! Any suggestions that only use boiling water would be much appreciated! Please keep in mind that I'm in rural Korea so lunch-meat (other than Spam), cheese, and bread and many other Western goods are either unavailable or over-priced...

Thanks ahead of time!

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  1. Hi Vestavenus

    If you are allowed a hot plate you can cook what my husband cooked when he was young in college
    He put some chicken in some water and cooked it and then added tomatoes and corn and salt and pepper. It was very tasty. You can add any vegetables you like if the ones I mentioned aren't available. I am in the US so don't know what is available there. But if the above ingredients aren't available, let me know what is and I will try to help you.

    Hope that helps you.


    1. Wow, that's tough. Kind of reminds me of the setup I had sophomore year.

      Some ideas
      - Kimbap - If you can make rice, then you can add kimchi + al (pollack roe) and roll em up
      - Seaweed soup / Miyeok guk - pretty simple, you can just add some dried seaweed and perhaps buy some soup base at the store. Throw in some rice cakes too if you feel like it.
      - Hiyayakko - Raw tofu cubes with soy sauce, grated ginger, scallions and dried tuna flakes on top
      - Slice cucumbers and dip them in a gochujang/doenjang mixture
      - Buy dumplings and boil them in the kettle?

      1 Reply
      1. re: asiansupper

        The seaweed soup is a great idea--it's one of my favorites! Is doenjang fermented soybean paste? Also, I LOVE hiyayakko, but I haven't seen bonito flakes. Are they common here?

      2. I know probably a lot of people are going to recommend that "one" appliance you must have to help you cope without a stove... An electric kettle is a great idea. Another great multitasker would be a toaster oven. You can go as simple or as elaborate in one of those from plain toast to roasting a single portion of meat to perfection.

        You're gonna have to see what is regionally available but I imagine you'll be enjoying a lot of noodles. That can be quite an experience. Peek over local people's shoulders to see what they're putting into their noodles. My guess it'll be locally available cheap ingredients that you'll be able to purchase and stash in your tiny fridge and toss into a bowl of steaming brothy noodles!
        Hope this helps.

        1. If you cut/slice any meat thin enough, it will cook perfectly fine in boiled water.....or boiled water poured over it. Also consider small shrimp, scallops or fillet fish.

          1. Since you're living in korea, i would suggest denjang chigae. One pot of that soup and some rice is all I need for a delicious meal.

            3 Replies
            1. re: joonjoon

              is denjang chigae tofu and fermented soybean paste chigae?

              1. re: vestavenus

                Yes it is! Super hearty and delicious. Instead of getting an electric kettle, why not get a hot plate? That way you can cook almost anything you want.

                Along similar lines, Kimchi chigae is also super delicious and in a pinch can be made literally with just two ingredients - kimchi and pork (or spam).

                In Korean grocery stores they have little dried soup packs that you can just add hot water to also. When it's late and i'm in the mood for hot soup i'll often go this route.

                Just curious, what brought you to Korea? Hope you're having a good time there. :)

                1. re: joonjoon

                  Well, I already bought the tea kettle, but I may invest in a hot plate as well, since that would infinitely expand my cooing options! If I get a hot plate, I'll def go for the kimchi chigae--I think the kimchi I purchased at the store was there for a while and it's pretty damn sour...

                  I'm in Korea teaching English for a year and catching up on my cultural heritage. I was born in Korea, but was adopted and grew up in the US. So far, it's been great!...Other than not having a kitchen :(