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Egg Fried Rice
Written by Keuntae Kim | Published. 2018.01.18 08:45 | Count : 488
“New eggs!” I ran into the kitchen excited as my host mother walked in with a carton of eggs and other groceries. I had no idea that eggs worth fifty cents would bring me such happiness and appreciation for life.

Although my host family prepares dinner every night, there are times when I desperately crave my mom’s cooking, especially after having been sick. I was sick all week from the stomach flu, so I lived on some gruel and Gatorade. I started to feel better last night, but I wasn’t ready for today’s menu, BBQ pork ribs, so I texted my host mom to pick up some eggs on her way home from work.
I have never cooked anything other than instant ramen. Every time I have tried, I have given up because there aren’t proper tools or ingredients. However, I was determined this time. I took a bag of rice that was stored in the kitchen. It was not Korean sticky rice, but it was Japanese starchy white rice. Similar enough! I realized that there was no rice cooker, so I decided to cook it in a pot. After receiving instruction from my mom, I boiled the rice and simmered it in low heat. Then, I minced the onions. Then, I fried the ingredients and the rice altogether. Finally, I went to my desk and grabbed a packet of soy sauce that I saved from the take out Chinese food from months ago. I ripped the packet open and sprinkled it on the rice, adding eggs at the end. When it was done, I was so proud.
 I put the food in a bowl and added seaweed flakes on it, trying to make it look as neat and professional as possible. I sat on my table and grabbed a spoon and set it in a way that my mother would. I know she would have given me kimchi and some kind of soup with it, but this was good enough. I took a bite. Even though it wasn’t bad it was nothing like my mom’s egg fried rice. It didn’t really taste Korean. The soy sauce was a bit too sweet and the rice was too light. However, the seaweed flakes that my mom had sent me added a tinge of my mother’s cooking and satisfied my appetite. Then, I started to think about my family. I have always missed my mom whenever I was sick and felt even worse thinking about her. However, this time, I just focused on getting better. I had too many papers to write and exams to prepare for to sit around moping. Now that I got better and was feeding myself, I started to think about my family again.  Then, I suddenly realized that I no longer have that pang in my heart thinking about them. I realized that I have gotten more used to living away from my parents. I got used to and even started to enjoy the life that America offers. I no longer focus on the things that I lack here, but have in Korea. I now cook and enjoy fusion fried egg rice with American eggs, Japanese rice, Chinese sauce and Korean seaweed. 

UNESCO data shows that the population of students in Korea who study abroad, away from their homes exceeds over 100,000, and exceeds over 5 million students around the world. Many Korean students study abroad, not only to improve English, but to mature as a person by becoming independent from their parents in a setting far away from home. I acquired a higher education and immerse myself in extracurricular activities. I have improved in English and my grades are high, but I think the most important way I matured is that I can take care of myself even when I am sick and I now utilize what my circumstances offer to bring happiness in my life even if it is merely cooking Korean fried egg rice with American ingredients.

Keuntae Kim
Concordia Jr/Sr High School

Keuntae Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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