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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Bibimbap, a meal even fit for a king

Michael and I are taking another cooking class with Sherly in Zürich.

Later start to the day as we are off to Zürich again for another class with Sherly. This time, it is the Bibimbap class.

This morning, we walked to Bucherer to collect our souvenir spoons. It's a free advertisement for Bucherer and Rolex and it comes as part of the Interlaken tourism card. I have taken advantage of this over the years, and I have a small collection of the spoons.

Stopped in the Top of Europe Store to look around. Michael had me try this hat. The sad but funny part is this is a child's size.

Three women from Colorado are staying at the guest house. They were waiting at the house to be picked up to go paragliding. They were very excited.

Later in the morning, as luck would have it, we were close to the Höhematte and I was able to capture the last few seconds of two of the ladies landing. What were the chances?

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning......someone is always cleaning.

Getting the cobwebs off the ceiling of the train station at Interlaken West

We had to change trains in Bern today as we took the 12:35 train instead of the 12:05 train where we would not have had to switch trains in Bern. The train from Bern to Zürich originated in Geneva and will terminate in St. Gallen. It is a new train with the travel screen, so you know your location in real time. The speed of the train is also displayed along with the time, wagon number, train number and the name of the next stop and time of the expected arrival.

Spent about four hours walking around Zürich.

Old town and the Limmat River. The river commences at the outfall of Lake Zurich, in the southern part of the city. From Zurich it flows in a northwesterly direction, continuing a further 35 km until it reaches the river Aare

The Grossmünster is a Romanesque-style Protestant church. It is one of the four major churches in the city. Its congregation forms part of the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich.

Door of the Grossmünster

Two bronze doors with 24 panels show scenes from the life of Hulrych Zwingli and other images of the history of the Grossmünster.

Fifth row down

  • Zwingli preaches in the Grossmünster since New Year 1519.

  • Ittingen Monastery in Frauenfeld is stormed and set on fire in July 1524.

  • The Bailiff of Stammheim, Hans Wirth, is beheaded in Baden on 28 September 1524 because of his Protestant faith.

  • The Lord's Supper in Grossmünster after the abolishment of the Mass, Easter 1525.

Last row

  • Seal of the City of Zürich, with the text felix regula exu- | perantius. It shows the three patron saints Felix, Regula and Exuperantius with their heads in their hands.

  • The 14-year-old Huldrych Zwingli making music in the Dominican Monastery in Bern.

  • Zwingli preaches for the Swiss mercenaries at Monza before the battle of Maringnano, 1515.

  • Seal of the deanery of Grossmünster, with the text carolus magnus | defensor et rector | ecclesiae, showing Charlemagne.

Michael and I would love to have this stove.

Michael used to eat at this restaurant when he lived in Zürich in the late 1970's.

Some interesting hats

The church clock of St. Peter has the largest tower clock face in Europe, the outer diameter of each of the four church clocks measures 8.64 meters (28.3 ft), the minute hand 5.73 meters (18.8 ft), the hour hand 5.07 meters (16.6 ft), and the minute crack of the large pointer measures 0.455 meters (1.5 ft).

The Fraumünster is a church which was built on the remains of a former abbey for aristocratic women. It was founded in 853 by Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard.

The choir of the abbey includes 5 large stained glass windows designed by artist Marc Chagall and installed in 1970. Each of the 5 has a dominant color and depicts a Biblical story. From left (northern wall) to right, the 5 works are:

  • Prophets, depicting Elijah's ascent to heaven

  • Jacob, displaying his combat, and dreams of heaven

  • Christ, illustrating various scenes of Christ's life

  • Zion, showing an angel trumpeting the end of the world

  • Law, with Moses looking down upon the suffering of his people

Equally impressive is the 9 meter tall stained glass of the North transept, created by Augusto Giacometti in 1940.

Cleaning the floor at the main train station in Zürich.

Michael finally won a bet!! I am a huge fan of Korean Netflix dramas/romances. Well, I thought one of the scenes from "Crash Landing on You" was filmed at the Grossmünsterplatz. Well, it actually was filmed at the quaint park in Lindenhof. I have watched the TV show numerous times so I can't understand how I got this wrong. Michael will remember this for a very long time.

The roots look like they could walk away.

Back in 1978, 1979 and 1980 Michael went to school at the ETH where he studied mathematics as they didn’t have a degree yet in computer science.

ETH Zurich is a public research university. Founded by the Swiss federal government in 1854, with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists; the school focuses primarily on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, although its 16 departments span a variety of disciplines and subjects.

ETH Zurich is widely recognized for its influence in the progression of advancements in science and technology. In international rankings, it consistently places as one of the best universities worldwide, typically securing a position as one of Europe's top five universities besides the University of Oxford, University College London, Imperial College London, and the University of Cambridge.

Before class, Michael and I stopped off at Sprüngli at the Paradeplatz to have a piece of cake and something to drink. As Michael was walking to the table, a waitress didn’t notice him and turned around quickly. The strawberry sundae crashed on the floor but not before having the strawberry syrup or sauce splatter all over me.

Chocolate milkshake with whipped cream and chocolate

Sprüngli's Napoleon is an OMG dessert!

The Sprüngli staff were very apologetic. We smiled and said it was fine as it was an accident.

One of the waitresses brought over a wet cloth to try and get the stain out but it didn’t help. I was told by the waitress the manager said they would pay to have the shirt cleaned. Accidents happen. The waitress said we were too nice. They would have people screaming at them. Well... it is on the Bahnhofstrasse. They did give me two Napoleons when we were leaving. That was very nice of them. As I said to Michael, I can now say,” I have been Sprünglied!

A little history about who Sherly is:

"Coming from a traditional Korean family that has produced artisans, chefs and restaurateurs, I grew up helping my mother and aunts cook delicious meals and host lots of dining events for the community.

Our authentic Asian cooking classes are a result of a long time home cooking and helping out in the restaurants of my relatives.

I made Switzerland home 17 years ago after international moves between Seoul, Manila and San Francisco. I spent over 10 years in the food industry; majority of them working in the confectionery industry.

My job was developing recipes and products based on Swiss tradition for artisan bakers and cookie companies around the globe. I’ve worked with world-renowned cookie companies, helping them develop products and bring the products to supermarket shelves."

Bibimbap class description:

"Bibimbap is a wholesome historical dish that is more than a rice bowl.

"Bibimbap has been eaten in Korea since centuries and according to statistics, every Korean eats it at least once a week. Always voted within the "World's top 50 delicious foods" list by CNN, Bibimbap is a traditional dish that was served on the King's table too. With colorful vegetable toppings, egg and Gochujang sauce making the dish so beautiful and umami-rich, it's also a very healthy and balanced dish. Learn the history and the recipe of Bibimbap in this hands-on workshop with Sherly who is originally from Seoul."

We talked about the history of bibimbap. It is a fascinating subject.

BibimBap (비빔밥) Bibim (mix) + Bap (rice) Sherly’s Kitchen Where Cooking Meets Culture

South Korea •Capital: Seoul (20 million metropolitan) •Language: Korean • Land size: 2.5 times bigger than CH (70% mountains) •Population: 52 million (vs CH 8.7 million) •Religion: 57% None / 25% Christian / 15% Buddhist •One of the top largest economies in Asia •World’s fastest internet speed, heavily wired •Trend & culture leader in Asia (movies, fashion, cosmetic, music)

Traditional Icons of Korea

Jeonju Well-developed gastronomy that is characteristic of the region

Jeonju: 30 toppings, bronze bowl Stone pot (Dolsot): 1970s

Oceanside: Raw fish & fresh seaweed Tong-Young (Sea Squirt, Algen) Jinju: Raw beef tartar sea squirt 멍게

2006 Mercury Awards for Korean Air Catering

BibimBap (비빔밥)

Bibim (mix) + Bap (rice)

오방색 (Obangsek): Five Directional Colors

There are five colors – known as ‘O-Bang (meaning ‘five direction’) Saek (meaning ‘color’) – which are considered especially significant as Korean color symbolism.

These five colors are blue, red, white, black, and yellow. You will find these colors to be prominent in ‘Hanbok’ (Korean traditional attire), Korean paintings, musical instruments and festivals, architecture, flags and traditional symbols, and of course – Korean food!

Five Directional Colors

North is Black (meat)

South is Red (carrots) Carrots in Korea are a reddish color and not orange as you find in the U.S. and Europe

East is Blue (spinach, zucchini ) There aren't any blue vegetables so the color green is substituted

West is White (bean sprouts)

Center is Yellow (egg yolk)

Not only do the five colors represent directions: east (blue), south (red), center (yellow), white (west) and north (black), they are also said to symbolize the ‘five elements of life’ according to traditional Korean teaching. The five elements of life are wood (blue), fire (red), earth (yellow), metal (white) and water (black). All of these elements – and all of these colors – were considered necessary for a healthy, prosperous, and long life. More recently, green has also come to be used commonly alongside the five original colors.

Adhering to ‘obangsaek’ in Korean cooking was – and is – thought to ensure a healthy meal, both physically and spiritually. Eating a meal containing all five colors of ‘obangsaek’ (with ‘blue’ often substituted for green) was thought to be nutritious for all five vital organs of the body, while maintaining balance in life.

Interestingly, many, many, years later, modern day Western nutritionists also began to recommend eating five different colors fruits and vegetables a day, to ensure a balanced diet!

One of the best-known Korean foods to incorporate ‘obangsaek’ is bibimbap.

Other foods which adhere to the ‘obangsaek’ color spectrum are kimbap, gujeolpan, and japchae.

Tangpyeongchae – a popular noodle dish in traditional Korean court cuisine – also followed the ‘obangsaek’ principle. You will find, too, that many soups in Korea are served with ‘obangsaek’ colored toppings sprinkled on them.

Korea is the only country in the world to use metal chopsticks. Not only are Korean chopsticks made of metal, but they’re also flatter, square in shape, and often more of a ‘middle length’ than the chopsticks you’d find elsewhere.

Korean Chilled Cucumber Soup (Summer Recipe)

Roast your own sesame seeds. Do it on slowly on a low heat. Roasting on high heat will make them jump.

You could also add noodles to the soup.

Korean Chilled Cucumber Soup (Summer Recipe) For 1 Serving

Soup: • 1/4 lemon zest • 1 tsp mild honey • 1 tsp pressed garlic • 1 tsp fish sauce • 1.5 tsp soy sauce • 2 Tbsp white/apple vinegar • 0.5 tsp salt • some black pepper • 450mL cold water Garnish: • 2 pinches of roasted sesame seeds • ca. 60g cucumber sliced thinly • some slices of red chilli • 2-4 ice cubes Optional: - A wedge of lemon for serve aside - You can also add some soaked wakame seaweed into the soup - Can replace half of cucumber with baby radish


  1. Mix the soup ingredients in a bowl

  2. Add the garnish ingredients to the soup

  3. Taste for salt. If needed add more.


Recipe for bibimbap

Ingredients for 2 people

  • Minced beef/pork 200g

  • Sushi rice (short-grain) 180g, cooked

  • Handful dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 carrots, peeled

  • 150-200g fresh spinach (2 handfuls)

  • 150-200g mung bean sprouts (2 handfuls)

  • 1 zucchini

  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, pressed

  • 비빔밥 (Bibimbap): “Bibim” means mix, “Bap” means rice. One of the most popular Korean all-time favorite dishes loved by the world. The five colors used in this dish (white, yellow, red, black, green) represents the five elements/directions of the universe according to Korean traditional philosophy. Measurements 1 Tbsp = 1 Tablespoon = 1 Esslöffel = 15 mL 1 tsp = 1 teaspoon = 1 Teelöffel = 5 mL • 1 stem of green onion (spring onion) • sesame oil • salt, pepper, sugar • soy sauce • fish sauce • cooking oil (sunflower oil or Rapsöl)

• toasted sesame seed • optional: 2 Tbsp ground almond

For Spicy Sauce: mix below ingredients well and set aside • 2 Tbsp Gochujang, mix with 1 Tbsp water

• 1 Tbsp sesame oil

Prep work as below: 1. Mushroom Water: Put a handful of dried shiitake in a cup, fill it with hot water. Set aside

2. Cook rice

3. Boil a medium size pot with hot water for blanching vegetables

4. Let’s do the prep work for our ingredients:

  • Cut the carrots and zucchini into match sticks. Set aside.

  • 1 stem of green onion: chop thinly, set aside

  • Peel 6-7 cloves of garlic and press using a garlic presser. Set aside

  • Mix sweet soy sauce (for spinach and beef later): 2 Tbsp soy sauce + 2 Tbsp shiitake water + 1 Tbsp Sugar + 2 tsp pressed garlic + 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

5. Blanch Bean Sprouts: When the pot of water boils (from step 2), put in 1 Tbsp salt into the pot. Cook two handfuls of bean sprouts for 1 minute in hot water, use a sieve to remove and rinse with cold water. Squeeze water out and place in a small bowl. Add in 0.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp sesame oil, and chopped green parts of the green onions and toss the bean sprouts to marinate. Set aside on a plate.

6. Blanch Spinach: Put spinach in the hot water, blanch for 10 seconds, pour water over a sieve and rinse spinach with cold water, squeeze water out. Add in 1.5 Tbsp of the sweet soy sauce to the spinach and toss with hand. Set aside.

7. Cook Zucchini: Put a frying pan on high heat, drizzle 2 Tbsp cooking oil. Add in the zucchini, 1/2 tsp salt and fry until it is softened. Add in 1 tsp garlic and 2-3 Tbsp shiitake mushroom water, 2 Tbsp ground almond and and stir fry to blend. Turn off heat and drizzle 1 tsp fish sauce and 0.5 Tbsp sesame oil. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate.

8. Cook Carrots: Drizzle 2 Tbsp oil in the hot pan and put carrots with 0,5 tsp salt. Stir-fry for 1-2 min until cooked al-dente. Add in some mushroom water when the pan is too dry. Add in 0.5 tsp garlic just before carrots are done. Turn off heat and drizzle 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil. remove from pan and set aside on a plate.

9. Shiitake mushroom: squeeze the water out and set the mushrooms aside

10. Cook Shiitake & Beef: Drizzle 2 Tbsp oil in the hot pan and fry green onions for ca. 10 seconds. Add in the shiitake mushroom and fry for ca. 20 seconds. Add in the minced beef and sprinkle some black pepper on the meat. Fry until the meat is almost cooked. Then add in the remaining sweet soy sauce mixture and cook for ca. 30 seconds on high heat so the sauce blends well with the beef. Turn off heat and remove beef from the pan and set aside.

11. Cook Sunny Side Eggs (1 egg per person): Drizzle 2 Tbsp oil in the frying pan and fry eggs (keep the egg yolk uncooked) sprinkle salt and pepper.

For this class we used a the yolk of a raw egg.

12. Assemble and serve: In a large bowl, put in a scoop of rice, and on top of the rice in the middle, place the fried egg. Place the prepared vegetable and meat around the egg, arrange it nicely so that you see the egg yolk. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over the toppings and serve with the spicy sauce. Mix everything before you eat. Enjoy!

Sherly taught a class on making Kim Chi so she had a little left. It was delicious as a side dish.

Pumpkin rice cake recipe

Pumpkin Rice Cake (호박 인절미) Dough • 250g pumpkin puree • 4 Tbsp sugar • 0.5 teaspoon salt • 250g glutenous rice flour (Mochiko) For dusting: -A cup of Kinako (roasted soy bean flour), OR sponge cake rubbed over sieve

Tools: -Baking paper -Steamer -Spatula

  1. Mix all dough ingredients above in a bowl.

  2. Knead with the hand until the dough becomes soft.

  3. Divide the dough into two and make them flat to fit in the steaming basket.

  4. Place a baking paper on steamer bottom and punch holes on the paper so the steam can go through.

  5. Steam for 10-12 minutes

  6. On a large plate, spread the Kinako and place the steamed cake (hot!!) and cover with the powder so it is easier to handle. Cut the rice cake into bite size pieces and roll them in the Kinako powder.

Traditionally, they were cut by the side of a plate. You still see people using a plate to cut the dough.

7. Serve with a cup of tea. If you want it more sweet, drizzle some honey over the rice cakes.

The bibimbap class was so much fun, as usual! Unfortunately, my shirt looked bloodied when I walked into the class. Good thing I wore an apron to cover the stains.

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