Food is arguably one of the most important aspects of any culture, and Korea’s food is worth boasting about in my book. I couldn’t help but dedicate a post just to some of the things I’ve been eating lately…
Let’s start off with this 해물 칼국수 (Seafood Kalguksu) from the restaurant called “통큰 해물 손 칼국수”. Kalguksu is a noodle dish, where the knife-cut noodles are served in hot broth along with a variety of toppings. In this case, we ordered the seafood variety so the soup came with all sorts of seafood- squid, shrimp, clams, mussels, etc.- as well as the traditional vegetables such as zucchini, carrot, and scallion. We ate the seafood separately first, dipping them in 초고추장 (Cho-gochujang – a sweeter, seasoned variety of red chili pepper paste), and then the noodle in the marinated broth. The best part about it was that this big bowl (2 person serving size) was ₩18,000– meaning it was about $8 per person!
Next we have this 돈까스 (donkatsu), a breaded and fried pork cutlet, which was actually served at the same restaurant but was surprisingly good for not being a specialty place. Whether through proximity of the two countries or the Japanese colonialism of Korea in the 20th century (which arguably still affects Korean culture today), Korean cuisine has definitely adapted a lot of Japanese foods. Donkatsu, for instance, was originally a Japanese food but now is super common in Korea and can be found in many restaurants. This donkatsu was served on a HUGE plate (the reasons as to why are still unknown?) and served with rice and various small sides (pineapple, a type of cole slaw, and pickled radish).
For a sweet treat, we have 팥빙수 (patbingsu), a popular Korean shaved ice dessert that is traditionally served with red bean paste, condensed milk, and rice cake. Nowadays, there are many variations and flavors to this,with toppings like fruit, ice cream, cereal, and syrup. If you’re thinking “why would you put beans in a dessert?!” and the notion turns you off, I would encourage you to try it before you knock it! The red bean paste actually has a very sweet taste but it is not overpowering so it makes this treat an easy one to enjoy.
We got our patbingsu from a place called “Zen”, which serves the red bean paste and sticky rice cake separately for you to mix in.
With a full stomach, I’m signing off here. Look out for more food posts to come in the future!