First step to make makkoli was to add some pre-made makkoli to a bowl of steamed rice and yeast. This rice is a little bit different from normal rice, it's less sticky. The yeast is strange too, it's not a powder, but a rather hard, chunky substance. I guess you can add water to make it as well, but as we're novices, we took the easier route.
After adding the makkoli, we used our hands to mix the yeast and rice together, and make it into a big rice mush. It took about 10 minutes of mixing, breaking up yeast and squishing before our rice was ready to be added to to a common jar where our instructor will keep it at the proper temperature (not too hot, not too cold) and stir it every day to make sure it turns out alright. (The boyfriend tried making makkoli a few months ago, but it just turned to something more like vinegar because I guess we didn't keep in the proper conditions.) Sorry, no photos of this process, my hands were a bit busy.. and messy.
After making our makkoli, we learned how to make some 호박전 hobak jeon, or basically battered and fried zucchini and fried tofu.
It's super easy, though this method was slightly different than how the boyfriend makes this stuff. Basically, first cut up a zuchini. Then flour it on all sides. Then dip it in egg and fry. Super simple, super tasty. Same goes with the tofu. Just flour it, egg it and fry it. We all had a bit of a challenge picking up the tofu, dipping it in egg and getting it onto the frying pan with chopsticks without breaking the tofu somewhere in the process.
After making this, our teacher made some 파전 pajeon and 떡볶이 dukbokki. We didn't really get to learn how to make these, though, as she wouldn't share her "secret sauce" recipie. Anyway, it doesn't look hard, I'm sure it would be easy enough to figure out online.
Finally it was time to eat and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Along with some store bought makkoli in the spirit of makkoli making.
You might notice Tuttle from The Seoul Patch in this photo too. He found the ad for the event on my blog and decided to join us. It was cool to actually meet another blogger... it's the first time that's happened before (except for my actual friends that happen to blog too of course). I'll be interested to see his version of this story on his blog. :-)