Okay, I did not really think that I would need to do another post about food in Korea…boy was I wrong! After the first week of eating different styles of food i.e. Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean I realised that traditional Korean can get so much better!
In the hotel I read a booklet on an introduction to Korean food for visitors and foods were graded as Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced and Veteran. I am happy to say that I have tried something from every section! There is some information on the Official Site of Korean Tourism.
I have also really made an effort to try everything that has been offered during the meal with the exception of dishes containing red meat, lamb or pork.
On Monday we went to a small buffet style Korean restaurant which was really lovely and had rice, crumbed fish with an amazing sauce, vegetables, radish etc. You could have a second helping and I was so tempted (photo on its own).
Wednesday brought us to a lovely traditional Korean restaurant for a course (not set) menu…there was so much food!
I tried the following
- Sesame and rice soup; which is possibly a type of sesame juk (1)
- Warm rice noodles with mushroom; Japchae – glass noodles with sautéed vegetables (2)
- Salad with root and orange and tomato (3)
- Another cold dish with different noodles (4)
- Sushi with spring onion and chilli (5)
- Cold chicken and chili; yum! (6)
- Water kimchi; cold
- Mixed vegetable dishes including sesame leaves and gourd (9/10), Korean cabbage with bean sauce which tasted like Miso soup (7); Namul
- Traditional Korean Bean Pancake; Jeon Bindaetteok/pajeon (8)
- Aged/picked vegetables onion, pepper and Korean garlic root (Jangajji – pickled vegetables)
- Aged Soya bean soup (11); Doenjang jjigae – Soybean paste stew. Apparently many Korean people who emigrate really miss this however do not cook it because of the smell and people potentially complaining
- A very sweet ginger and rice drink; icy (12)
After lunch I tried two ice blocks…melon flavoured and another that was icy with sweet red bean paste in the centre (13)
On Thursday we went to a little restaurant just behind the office; actually I had seen a cute little ginger cat outside there in the morning.
We had mixed sides
Kimchi cabbage, sesame leaf, traditional Korean pancake, mushroom and the most amazing side of acorn jelly! The jelly was the best thing ever…I could not stop eating it (14)
Then the main was the most incredible, traditional Korean chicken stew with chilli, potatoes and onion…be jealous…I have the recipe to try making it in New Zealand (15)
On Thursday night we went out for a celebratory dinner and started with Italian food and NZ Wine and I took photos of the beautiful cakes that I never ended up trying (16) and then we finished up at a Japanese restaurant with Japanese beer, chicken and mussels.
My final day (Friday) saw me finally trying a dish that I had read about in my little food guide
Samgyetang which is traditional ginseng chicken soup; amazing! (18). It is believed that in summer that this meal is good at helping restore people’s energy. You can read about it here.
I feel quite sad about being back in New Zealand as I really miss the people and the food in Korea. Today I had Japanese and it was amazing...kind of made me feel like I was back there. So I will learn to cook Korean food and we will frequent some of the beautiful Korean restaurants here in NZ.