Friday, 25 May 2012

Korean food

Top photo is Ben and Jiwon on our last nigt with them. We went out for a traditional Korea meal where you sat on the floor with a little table. The lady serving us went crackers with the side/dishes nibbles, so much so that there nearly wasn't enough room for the food! Jiwon translated the menu and we ended up with a smoked duck which was delicious and definitely the culinary highlight of the trip! Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of our first Korean meal (up in the mountain the first day) we had lots of pickles, some chicken to cook over a stove and some potato omlettes with bits of veg in. I even managed to not photograph our second which was buckwheat noodles in ice (yes actual ice) in a big dish served with hot pork that came on a wooden board. With this you could either have water or a kind of oxo drink (which Jam tried but I managed to avoid). I thought the combination of icey cold and warm might be too much for me to handle but it was oddly pleasant. Our next meal (on the evening of Ben & Jiwon's wedding) however I did manage to capture
Here is ben doing his best man & fire pose. We were brought large cermanic bowls with a little water in them and then this self contained griddle/BBQ was placed inside it on which to cook the meat. There were three different types we started with some thin stuff (which tasted really like bacon but it was beef) which once cooked you were supposed to tip lightly in some flavoured salt. The second and third were more substancial bits of meat marinated in different ways. I'm not that fond of beef myself so I had Doenjang jjigae (which was a soup with seafood & tofu in as well as rice).
Our next excursion into food came on the streets of Insadong (on which I will do a seperate post as it was that awesome). There was a great big queue for this street stall selling what looked to be donuts. On purchasing two we discovered they were a great dal more than donuts containing as they did a sweet nut oil (which took us by suprise on the first bite as it was molten)
Later on in the day after that taste of food heaven we were confronted by food hell. I picked the restuarant & we both opted for sea bass, mine was poached and Jam's was baked.. Here is what arrived
the poached one is in the foreground and next to it on the green dish was Jam's baked version. I quickly learned two things about Korean fish dishes. 1/ the fish is cooked as found with very little trimming alteration (scales, tail, head and bones present, check). 2/ That it is quite common for fish to be cooked in red pepper sauce which is as it sounds a sauce made of red peppers - chili can also be added and in this case I think a bit too much chili was added (I like spic food it just has to have a bit of flavour as well as the spice). Between the bones & spice we didn't get much, however thanks to the Korean tradition of providing you with nibbles as well as your food we didn't go hungry (assorted white dishes other side of Jam). That night we decided to play it safe ordering dishes we recognised from the food court of a shopping mall. Here is James enjoying his
and here is a close up of my soup, can you spot the bits of tofu, mmmm lovely tofu!
Ahh that's better. We also enjoyed a very nice curry at that food court (here is me with mine)
On the whole the food was good and we didn't feel the need to seek out western restaurants every night, which was awesome!


Alex said...

An awesome post Vikki! I'm very jealous of your adventures recently! Your blog is very entertaining to read. Good to keep up with you while stuck here in London! :-)

Alex x x

Vikki said...

Aww thanks Alex Korea was certainly the biggest adventure I've had in a while & was great fun!


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