3.076 Scrambled Egg Ssamjang


21 (Wed) March 2012

Scrambled Egg Ssamjang


by Nanny 6

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ

Nanny 6 Bullshit Saga: Part 1 (stay tuned)

With the baby on the way, we hired a new nanny, the 6th in the series.  Like the others, she’s an ethnic Korean from China.  Having moved to Korea just 10 months earlier, and to Seoul just 2 months earlier, she’s as FOB as they come.  Until Monday, her starting day with us, she’d never used a vacuum cleaner and had no idea what a humidifier was; the clothes dryer blew her mind.  We soon realized that communication could also be problematic because the vocabulary of the modern Korean language (influenced largely by Japanese and English in the past century) differs dramatically from that of the Korean dialect now used in China (based on archaic Korean and augmented with Chinese words); case in point, she didn’t know “orange” or “juice.”   At lunch, she tasted sundubu jjigae for the first time ever.  We were taken aback by how utterly unfamiliar she seemed to be with virtually everything.

But after 3 days, our initial concerns are quickly abating.  She’s demonstrated an unrelenting work ethic, going out of her way to find things to do (like cleaning the leaves of our plant), even when we plead for her to take a break.  She asks a lot of questions and admits to being clueless (by contrast, Nanny 4 would always pretend to understand everything and try to guess the solution, like I’d ask for orange juice and she’d bring me sundubu jjigae).  And she seems good with DJ, hopefully a sign that she’ll be good with the baby – the most important thing.  Fingers crossed.

In fact, to make her feel welcome, I made it a point to ask about her favorite food and prepare a meal on her behalf, which turned out to be samgyeopsal. Of her own accord, she contributed a homemade ssamjang that included scrambled egg, a combination that I never would’ve imagined.  As noted previously, ethnic Koreans from China have a unique culinary tradition that’s neither here nor there (see for example 1.251 Stir-Fried Pork & Cauliflower).  The egg provided a nice touch of softness in terms of both texture and taste. I’m not the biggest fan of ssamjang in general, but this I couldn’t stop eating. Very nearly 4.0.  It turns out that Nanny 6 can cook, so long as the ingredients are within her comfort zone.  So far so good.

(See also FOODS)

(See also PLACES)

These are screen-shot comments from the prior site.  If you wish to leave a new comment, please do so in the live comment section below.

Leave a Reply