I'm satisfied that I've been able to reflect Seoul through my eyes...mostly because I never write anything down and it's nice to leave knowing that I've documented something other than 200 photos of Namsan Mountain and Korean Folk Villages.
I'm forever grateful to my cousins on my mother's side who spend their vacations navigating me through Seoul, translating, and showing me that squid ink really isn't anything to be afraid of. It just turns everything black. Anyway, I was touched that they would cart around their clumsy American cousin.
I totally thought I was going to lose weight as I walked (while eating street food) everywhere (to go eat).
|Fried Chicken Thigh on a stick smothered in spicy Korean red pepper sauce. I know you can't tell by the picture, but I am lunging in excitement. First food lunge ever.|
Since this is a cooking blog I guess I should share one of my favorite meals here. There are plenty of restaurants here that are just like back in the states. Wait staff (NO tipping in Korea), tables with long legs and chairs, Cokes...however my favorite were the ones that literally look like you are stepping into someone's old fashioned living room. Heated wooden floors, heavy wooden doors that slide, short tables with mats to sit on the floor, and you must take your shoes off before entering the dining area.
We drove and drove and drove for miles until we took a sharp turn under an underpass into a small restaurant situated next to a mountain and a rabbit stew house. Restaurants in Korea generally specialize in one thing and you will know it by the name or reputation. We stopped at a "Bo Saam" house. This just means you will be wrapping your delicious food in some sort of lettuce, cabbage, leaf, whatever is green. We were in the country, about to eat some real country food. Food that makes you feel so at home that you are compelled to take the dishes to the sink in the back.
I don't like to write about food because a. I hate writing. b. Writing never does justice to what is going on in the mouth. But I can say that kimchee was crisp, spicy, salty and sweet. It reminded me of tasting my mother's kimchee as a kid right after she made it. Some people prefer the stuff that's been able to sit and ferment longer. I prefer it fresh, right after it's made. There was a piping hot pot of Soon Dubu Chigae (spicy tofu soup) with home made tofu and a spicy broth that makes my mouth water simply thinking about it. There's whole fried fish (guts and all, just avoid them), fermented bean paste stew, sprouts....the table is a rainbow.
Nobody speaks, the universal silence of "this is some good food".