Student Stories: Derek Margulies

In the 2019 minimester, I studied abroad in South Korea at Yonsei University. As a half-Korean, I wanted to go to South Korea to learn more about Korean culture and gain confidence in speaking the Korean language in order to communicate with my family in South Korea better. The program at Yonsei offered multiple field trips, one of which was a Korean cooking class. I chose to take the Korean cooking class because I wanted to learn how to cook my favorite Korean dishes.


Before starting the class, we were introduced to a brief history of Korean nutrition. Here, we learned about the different meals that are prepared for different occasions in the year, how different rice grains are stored and prepared, and the value different foods have within Korean culture. Then, we were led into our cooking class.


The dish we were preparing for the day was bulgogi, a popular meat that is served in Korea. The class was led by a chef who had professional experience cooking bulgogi for over 30 years. In the lesson, the chef not only taught us how to prepare bulgogi, but also taught us how to prepare a bean sprout and carrot mix, which served as a side dish, and how to incorporate different vegetables into the bulgogi, such as mushrooms, carrots, and onions. After savoring all the smells from cooking, each student ate their newly-cooked meal. Each student received additional food that was prepared beforehand, including rice, kimchi, and pepper paste. To enjoy the meal fully, students could wrap all foods mentioned above in a large leaf of lettuce. With this class, I can confidently say that I can prepare bulgogi independently.


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