Sunday, January 11, 2009

10 things to nom in Korea

It's the "10 things" that i've put together after each trip again. This time Seoul, Korea " Soul of Asia". It's a wonderful experience especially travelling with a bunch of great friends:) *winks to Christine* and by a happy chance, they are all unshrinking eaters:) I'm so glad i got to try both popular local dishes and cringe-inducing "delicacies". Well, i'm definitely starting to miss the weather (and food) in Korea BUT! you can't have too many of the good things right.. I'm no greedy person, maybe another trip back after 10 years? haha...


1) Wet BBQ

Anyways, we had lotsa BBQ food in Korea (mostly pork) and when i say "lotsa" i actually mean many DIFFERENT types of BBQ. There's the wet BBQ (pork) where you heat the meat a little and add water too it.. and chomp! (wrapped in vege AND KIMCHI).. it's delicious! i really like their bean paste btw. Did i mention that it's FREE flow?

2) Ginseng Chicken Soup

Korean ginseng aka Gao li Ginseng/Tai Ji Ginseng is probably the most applaud tonic known to men, Chinese especially. But don't be too happy when you gulp down your ginseng soup. It's cooked with 2 year old ginseng that has been cast out in their first inspection. Well, not that they have no nutritious value at all, there's still the "chicken" part in the ginseng CHICKEN soup. The chicken is stuffed with red dates, glutinous rice and other tonics. In all it's really really a very self-indulgent dish:) i love this too btw.

3) Abalone Porridge

MMmmmmm... tasty tasty tasty. Sorry to the Cantonese out there. I used to think that Cantonese (and my mum's) have the best porridge until I dipped my tongue into this bowl of gold! so good, so nice and sounds soooo expensive. It's mmmmmmm.. p/s. Mama i'll still enjoy your homecooked porridge.. don't be mad:)

4) Spicy Rice cake and KIMCHI dumplings

Must try! cos your in SPARKLING KOREA! It's like going Japan to have sashimi or pizza in Italy. Chek yong didn't enjot it a bit though.. he was complaining that he was fooled by it's crabmeat appearance and only to find out later that it's a piece of rice "thing".

5) SILK WORMS!

Credits to Eric for buying this cup of innocent looking worms. 10worms=1egg without the cholesterol. Nutritious and yulks.. Some statistics: Chek Yong - 1 worm, Christine - 1 worm (i forced her to eat it), Me - 2 worms, Eric - about 5 worms, Dustbin - the rest.

6) Bibimbap/Stone Rice with seafood pancake and raspberry wine

Another healthy dish. Basically it's a mixture of side dishes and rice mixed with bean paste. Nice, filling and satisfying. We had a few variations, one in a metal bowl, one in a ceramic bowl and last in a stone bowl... come to think of it, we have quite a big appetite, threatening to become a pit:) p/s. the raspberry wine is a must try. It's the wine that is being served to Mr Hu Jing Tao in APEC 200X.

7) Black Bean Paste Noodles aka Ja Jiang Mian


This is another commonly ordered local dish in Korean Dramas. The actress would usually have a really really big serving and would slurp the noodles with utmost satisfaction. The next scene? Black bean paste all over her mouth. Cute! Since Chris and mee had some form of etiquette training, we kept the sauce within the premises of our oral cavity. HA! Nevertheless another delicious dish which is nothing like the instant ja jiag mian you find in supermarkets okay.

8) Seafood pot

I think this is Chek's favourite. He/We actually counted the number of clams.. a whopping 43 clams can! if i remembered correctly, it's about 5500 won.. which is around S$6.50. SO WORTH IT! Btw we had this with the Ja jiang mian at aroung 11pm/12am? We're not hungry to start with but we still finished everything, every noodle, every clam.

9) BBQ beef with soju

Probably the only regret. This is not the BBQ beef we were expecting. We were hunting for DRY Bbq beef, but with all the protest over US vs Korean beef, it's quite difficult to find what we're looking for. However, we still had beef, only it's the wet version (very wet actually, i think it's more like a steamboat). The soju? yulks.. i'm never gonna have another sip of that liquid. It made me more thankful that coca cola was invented.

10) KIMCHI!


AH! of cos KIMCHI. What's a Korea trip without KIMCHI. KIMCHI, which was voted one of the top 5 health foods, has never dropped out of sight from our dining tables. It's good that i can take spicy foods and don't mind KIMCHI at all. Infact i still continue to see KIMCHI on my dining table even when i'm in Singapore NOW. There's many variations to KIMCHI btw, there's the more common cabbage ones, radish, beansprouts, black bean and even seafood. You can make KIMCHI dumplings, KIMCHI soup (which i had at the airport) and KIMCHI cake. Surprise? Don't. Koreans try to fully utilize their KIMCHI as much as possible. WHo knows you might see KIMCHI latte someday too:)

Digressing. I think this turned out to be quite a long post.

Well there's more than 10 foods to try seriously.. there's still the mushroom pot and chicken steamboat blah blah blah.. and many many more.. Well in short, Eat all you can! because you would be surprise that you didn't gain that much weight as what you've expected. The foods are really pleasing to the taste buds with reduced calories.

6 comments:

chrisXcross said...

gosh! I saw this post while eating my breakfast harmlessly on my desk and you just reminded me of the horrors of horrors - the silkworms!

Now, I can feel that yucky "prawny" aftertaste amidst my nutella bread.

boo hoo!

*.*MENGNI*.* said...

keke~ if you stare hard enough, they're of the same colour as your nutella too..

just picture "blended silkworms" keke~

chrisXcross said...

eh hem, by the way hor, can you scan in the grp pics you bought from Leo-si?

hee =D

Eric said...

i think i ate more than 5 silkworms. did u count the last one that was stuck in between my teeth? yeah.. gross but interesting. i want to ski now.

Eric said...

busy with chinese new year preparations? no new post?

FatManSeoul said...

A few notes:
the ginseng in samgyetang (chicken soup) isn't old, discarded ginseng. Sometimes there's dried ginseng sold in DIY kits for the home chef, but virtually all restaurants will use fresh ginseng.
Second, the "dry" bbq you were looking for is called "galbi/kalbi", and the "wet" version is bulgogi (although fatman doesn't quite know what you're talking about when you describe wet bbq pork - people don't really eat anything like that here in Korea. At least, not that fatman has heard about) Even with anti-US beef protests going on, there was still plenty of domestic beef in Korea, along with imports from New Zealand and Australia.