Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pack a Headband - Part 1

If someone required an arrest by suspicion, I'd suggest wafting a minuscule slither of chili under my nose and then proceed to take me to a police station. I'd require a change of shirt, pants, socks, shoes while requiring a few litres of electrolyte to replenish lost fluid.

Therefore those that know me were surprised when I mentioned that my next trip was to the land of kimchi. Unfortunately I wasn't able to experience a Korean bbq due to the discrimination over the solo, loser traveller (minimum of 2 diners), however I was able to sample foods from Korea whilst also working up more sweat from each meal than I did running 10kms. There are still some posts from my Japan trips last year, but I'll save those for later while the excitement of Korea remains in my recent memory.

In the back alleys of Seoul, I ventured into this quaint little restaurant where staff were enjoying a meal before the day started. The staff here were preparing the rice into the cute little metal containers.
I like the fact with Korean food that you receive little accompanying dishes with your main meal and I found that gobbling up these side dishes will usually result in a free top up which is handy for those that tickle your fancy.

The sides:
Warm steamed egg, kimchi, greens.
The egg was the standout, tasty and unexpectedly warm (the majority of sides are cold dishes).

Main:
Noodles with beef in a clay-pot.
No complaints over a par-cooked meal here

Rice which was piping hot can be mixed in with the soup and noodles

I love the clay-pot concept, keeping your meal hot for a longer period of time and in the case of bibimbap gradually cooking the meal as you eat. The rice I was told goes into the soup which makes for a hearty meal, (in this case breakfast) perfect for a long day of trekking through the streets. The usual, friendly hospitality of Koreans helped me season the soup (generally these come out plain and you add salt/pepper to your taste), while giving a quick game of charades to help me consume my meal correctly.

4 comments:

  1. I really like korean food. There's quite a few amazing korean restaurants down here in Melbourne and I frequent their establishments way too often, I'm ashamed to say.

    So much so that recently I've started cooking korean myself. Love the richness, the flavour and the passion with which the korean approach food!

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  2. Wow- cool post Jonno- have been contemplating going visiting Korea for a while for gastronomic pursuits as well as enjoying a mud fight or two!

    Look forward to reading more of your posts.. if you're looking for extra bums on seats for korean bbq just give me a yell- love the stuff! :)

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  3. Celeste - Sounds great that you're cooking it yourself. Do you make kimchi too? There was a kimchi museum in Seoul, but I didn't get a chance to see it, but it seems to be quite a process! Do you have a few recommendations in Melbourne of where to go?

    Mel? - Thanks. I may have to take you up on that offer for korean bbq. I have a craving... Let me know if you're interested in where I went, stayed etc in Korea, happy to share some thoughts.

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  4. how exciting to visit korea, though a big fooey to discrimination against the solo traveller!

    and did you say kim chi museum...the mind boggles =)

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