Having a Korean Mom isn’t always easy (or the story of soy bean paste)

I talk a lot about my mother to people.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore her.  She’s one of the most generous and loving people on the planet.  That woman would take a bullet for me.  She’s also one of the most unintentionally hilarious people I know.  A lot of her hilarity stems from being Korean and the cultural barrier is sometimes too much for me to handle.

Lately, however, she’s been driving me absolutely crazy because she never remembers anything!!  She is the prime example of why you should “exercise your brain” or your memory will totally slip.  My conversations with her end up being me repeating the same stuff over and over and over again because she never remembered me mentioning it previously.  A friend, who also shares the experience of having an Asian mother, said that my mom is probably watching TV and playing cards while she talks to me on the phone.  This is SO TRUE.

Being pregnant – I’m not getting a ton of crazy cravings for anything but what I have wanted for awhile now is good Korean food.  There are specific Korean dishes that I love and I look to my mom to hook me up.  The things I’ve wanted include:

  1. vegetable dumplings (Yachae Mandoo)
  2. radish salad (I have no idea what its called and while I realize it sounds gross, it is quite refreshing)
  3. soy bean paste (Doenjang) – this is like the Korean equivalent of hummus.

My mom has tried to claim that Yachae Mandoo does not come in a vegetarian form (LIES!).  And then she said she forgot how to make it.  Regardless – she still picked me up a frozen pack of these delightful dumplings.

As for the radish salad – getting her to understand what I was asking for was like pulling teeth.  She finally got it and hooked me up.  YUM!

But the real pain in my ass has been explaining the soybean paste that I so dearly love.  Again, I realize this sounds disgusting to most people but this paste is delightfully salty and sweet and magical.   I have gone around and around trying to explain what I wanted.  For awhile I thought that I was making it up because she just didn’t know what I was talking about.  I googled it and found it.  She then claimed to know what I was talking about so when I went to her house – she presented me with Miso.  MISO?! 

Don’t present the wrong food to a pregnant lady.

I was fed up.  So I looked it up again on my phone (oh how I love you, smartphone) and when I showed her the picture she said, “OOOH!  Doenjang!  Why didn’t you just say that?”  I almost had a nervous breakdown.  I’ve been wanting this stuff for the last 3 weeks.

My mom then went into her basement and came upstairs with this:

What.the.fuck.  While I give my mom a hard time about her English – she CAN read and that jar clearly states, “Soy Bean Paste”.  And this is like the Costco industrial sized jar of it!  

Needless to say, I got my damn paste this weekend.  I wonder if I’ll be just like my mom in 30 years.  God help my daughter if I do…


1 Comment

Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

One response to “Having a Korean Mom isn’t always easy (or the story of soy bean paste)

  1. There is nothing about that jar that looks appetizing, but I’ll take your word that it’s delicious.

    (Also, a tiny part of me is hoping that secretly your mom is just fucking with you for her own personal amusement. Just because it would be hilarious.)

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