Sunday, September 6, 2009

Interesting Food

So, I was out with my friend tonight eating street food and I realized that I have never written about food n Korea. Without further ado... I give you all an introduction to food in Korea... with pictures...

My first attempt at Korean cooking. It doesn't look very pretty, but it's tasty (and looks better when you order it at a restaurant. It's called "mandoo guk" or dumpling soup. In a way, it's kind of like the chicken noodle soup of Korea, or at least that's what it tastes like. Anyway, it's really good to have in the winter.

Then, there is "bar food" in Korea. They call it "anju" which basically means appetizer. Often times it's something fried or spicy. Oftentimes we go out and get a couple of different things to eat while we drink. Most bars here make you order some sort of side dish in order to drink there, mostly because soju and draft beer is so cheap.

Something new that I recently discovered is a type of seafood, which is incredibly popular in Korea. It's basically shellfish on a grill that you dip into chili sauce or this kind of salty sauce. At the end of the meal, they melt a bowl of cheese and put some of the leftover shell meat into the cheese. This is best with a bottle of soju which is Korean alcohol similar to vodka but crazy strong. These kinds of restaurants are popping up all over the place in my area. You can't miss them with the giant fish tanks in front of them and tons of shells and crabs in them.

In tune with the spicy stereotype of Korean food, this particular dish is probably the spiciest. It's called "jaeyuk dobap" which is basically spicy pork that you eat with rice. There are a couple of different ways to eat it. Like this, or in "jaeyuk dosambap" which is cooked on a grill at the table and eaten wrapped in lettuce. Either way is tasty. But, as I said, it is pretty spicy.

A post on Korean food wouldn't be complete without street food! This is kind of the fast food of Korea. Mostly it's found in little stalls on sidewalks and they have everything from corn dogs to kimbap to fried shrimp and squid. These particular dishes are "tteokboki" and "sundae". Tteokboki is rice cake and odong in a spicy sauce and sundae is blood sausage. Blood sausage is basically a type of sausage that is cooked with blood. Yes, it sounds and looks a little nasty, but it's actually really good. Sometimes it comes in a stew and is really good.

Street food is really good when you're hungry, but don't want to eat a lot. Or if you're short on cash. These two things together were about 5,000 won total. (around $4) Or if you've been out dancing and want something to eat before heading home.

Of course, there are plenty of other dishes that I want to talk about, but I don't have pictures yet. Kimch-chigae is delicious and my favorite. It's kimchi stew and really spicy. There is also samgyeobsal, which is pork cooked on a grill and galbi which is marinated pork or beef that is cooked on a grill at the table too. Oh! And dalkalbi, which is spicy chicken mixed with vegetables that you also cook on a grill at a table...

Ugh, all this talk about food is making me hungry...

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