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Good ol’ fashioned Seoul food

September 20, 2009

I’ll get off the punning on Seoul-soul soon, I swear.

Whatever one’s personal stance on the ubiquitousness of kimchi in Korean cuisine — and I am warming to it, though I still reserve judgment — Korean food is fantastically balanced and cheap and permits of enough diversity to keep one interested for at least as long as it takes to find a decent doner kebab in Itaewon and devour it ravenously.

Korean restaurants often have plastic facsimiles of their dishes, making it a lot easier for the clueless foreign diner

Korean restaurants often have plastic facsimiles of their dishes, making it a lot easier for the clueless foreign diner

I am no chef (I cook myself scrambled eggs every morning, the only thing I’ll confidently attempt anymore) so I am extremely grateful that I can spend about 5,000 won (~$4) on a meal and get enough food to have a second meal the night after. And unlike American or even many European cheap eats, one knows one is getting all the nutrition one needs when eating out in Korea.

Bibimbap (in the big bowl), soup, sweet black peas, kimchi (fermented spicy cabbage) and this other dish that I still haven't identified

Bibimbap (in the big bowl), soup, sweet black peas, kimchi (fermented spicy cabbage) and this other dish that I still haven't identified

IMG_0012

Bibimbap means "mixed dish" in Korean. Here is my bowl, post-mix, with squid, mushrooms, rice, various vegetables and fish roe

Always one for the exotic limiting pushing food, however, the wholesomeness of your average Korean food was only half the fun for me. I won’t leave this country without eating dog soup, fried silk worm larvae and cow intestines (they are supposed to taste like chewy spaghetti). But after visiting the Gyeongbukgung palace the Saturday before last, I did check one edible adventure off my list: Sannakgi, live baby octopi.

We met our dinner beforehand

We met our dinner beforehand

It took us some time to find — we grilled old men at the Gyeongbukgung subway station for Sannakgi locales, then timidly asked a pair of cops when we finally found the right station for directions to the nearest octopus restaurant. But the experience, once we were there, was by turns frightening and glorious. I think I can let the videos speak for themselves, in the two posts below:

https://brownpassports.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/live-octopus-video-1/

https://brownpassports.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/live-octopus-video-2/

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3 Comments
  1. Laura G permalink
    September 20, 2009 11:35 pm

    Respect, dude. Respect.

  2. Laura G permalink
    September 20, 2009 11:36 pm

    But don’t eat dog.

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