Snacks from the Land of the Morning Calm

Pick Hall’s first-floor lounge overflowed with dried seaweed, or kim, and cooked rice, or bab, this past Thursday at the Korean Language Program’s annual Kim Bab Day. Every kim bab has these two components, and cooks add kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage), soy sauce, sesame seeds, vegetables, or meat, based on personal preference. Generally speaking, said Hi Sun Kim, a lecturer in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations department, the sushi-like Korean roll does not feature raw fish. Kim bab are a near-ubiquitous snack in Korea, often called the Land of the Morning Calm.

Donning plastic gloves, about 55 attendees—Korean-language students and their guests—spread a thin layer of rice over dried seaweed sheets. Packing in spinach, egg, carrots, fish cakes, and yellow pickled radish, they rolled up the sheets, sliced the rolls into individual kim bab, and devoured them on the spot or took them away in Ziploc bags. An hour into the lunchtime event, the supply of both gloves and rice ran out. Soon afterward, so did the Choco Pies (a contest had been planned for who could make the prettiest kim bab, with the winner taking home a box of Choco Pies—no one complained about its cancellation). As the event came to a close, remaining diners divided the leftovers among themselves, some saying they would use them to make bibimbap, a Korean dish mixing rice, meat, vegetables, a whole egg, and hot sauce.

The Korean Language Program’s other annual events include Dduck-kuk Day, a New Year’s celebration taking place in February (the lunar new year), and Korean BBQ Day, which usually takes place in the spring.

Hana Yoo, ’07

IMG_0473_thumb.jpg IMG_0477_thumb.jpg IMG_0476_thumb.jpg

Photos (left to right): Students work away; the ingredients; the finished product.

November 23, 2005