These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things…
Now that we are almost halfway through our first year here, I think we both have a much better idea of what Korean foods we do and don’t like than when we first arrived and posted about Korean food. So, I think it’s time for an update!
I mentioned this in my first food post, but it is still one of my favorites! It’s glutinous rice cakes, ramen noodles, fishcake, cabbage and usually a hard boiled egg in a spicy red sauce. It’s sold at Gimbap restaurants (Korean sushi) or at street food stands. Plus, it’s usually only about 3,000 won!
This is a spicy soup that has chicken, potatoes, cabbage or other vegetables (in this picture, leeks) and sometimes rice cakes. When I say spicy I really mean it…it’s like fire in your mouth. Delicious fire. The first time I had this, I had a little bit of a hard time getting over the fact that all the chicken bones are in the soup, and usually the feet and neck too…but I’m slowly getting over all my aversions, and now I just avoid those parts when dishing up! Restaurants that serve this would usually be chicken-only places, or they might serve only this and a handful of other dishes.
This is essentially a bowl of rice, veggies, a raw egg and sauce (sometimes meat) that you mix together yourself. What makes this kind (dolsot) extra delicious is that it is served in a piping hot cast iron bowl, which then cooks the egg and makes the rice crunchy. You can get this dish at lots of restaurants, but most commonly at the Gimbap (Korean sushi) places.
This is thinly sliced beef that has been grilled or marinated, and Matt thinks it tastes like Philly cheese steak. They serve it at our school’s a lot for lunch, or at some restaurants you can grill it on your table. But Matt’s favorite bulgogi is actually the bulgogi bake at the Costco here…laugh if you want, but it is pretty delicious, and that is coming from a reformed non-beef eater!
Our all time favorite, hands down, best thing about Korea is the duck. If you would have told me I would have said that before I came here, I would have laughed in your face. I was not an adventurous eater before, and duck was definitely something I considered “weird” and out of my comfort zone. But OMG is it good. The way duck is prepared here, it takes more like ham (which I don’t even eat…), and usually it’s smoked or baked. Our favorite duck place serves two courses: the first is a shabbu shabbu (hot pot soup) where you are given a plate of veggies, a bowl of noodles and a plate of what is essentially duck bacon to boil together in the pot. As if that weren’t already delicious enough, the second course is pumpkin duck, a platter of baked pumpkin slices topped with heaps of smoked duck and almonds. The pumpkin below absorbs the duck fat…and it is heaven in your mouth.
We also really like duck bbq, which is your standard Korean bbq setup, but with duck meat. You just cook it on a grill at your table, wrap in lettuce or kimchi, dip in sauces, and enjoy!
This is essentially just chicken fried rice, but it’s also spicy, and sometimes they throw some “cheese” (the cheese quality here is not good) on it, which actually tastes okay!
Korean cheese pizza
Korean pizza is just like Western pizza…except they put corn on it. It sounds disgusting, and the first time we had it we were so confused, and then after one piece each we were sold. Cheese and corn pizza is delicious!
This is street food–it’s a Korean pancake filled with brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon. It’s sold at street food carts everywhere, and costs only about 700 won (70 cents), so it’s perfect for satiating our sweet tooth cravings on the go!