Oh Korean Food we love you! So many different flavors. Lots of fried goodness. Everything with intentionality. Beautiful presentation. Meticulous dicing and matchstick-ing of vegetables. We will definitely be hunting down Korean restaurants, ingredients and recipes once we get back to Orlando (beyond our favorite Korean BBQ Taco Box food truck).
L to R: kimbap, sushi buffet, patbingsu, korean bbq, fancy traditional Korean restaurant, fresh fish at Jigalchi, fresh fish broth at Jigalchi, hotteok
Here’s some of the food we tried in Korea:
- Gimbap / kimbap: sea weed wrap with rice, veggies, and meat. Kinda like meat sushi wrap in aluminum foil. Snack food or picnic food.
- Chicken and Beer / Chimek: it’s a thing here, you’ll see tons of signs in English advertising Chicken and Beer. Syndrome was the name of one place, and after a few rounds of Chicken and Beer, you sort of feel like you do have a syndrome.
- Dak galbi: chicken, veg and tteok in a spicy red sauce
- Korean BBQ: frying pan and exhaust fan and all of the amazing Korean side dishes (banchan), wrapped in kkaennip (perilla, a big green leaf from the mint family) and served with lots of raw garlic cloves and delicious sauces
- Patbingsu: really fine shaved ice, sweetened condensed milk, and traditionally red beans (sweet), ours was covered with peanut dust and had bits of tteok/dak (chewy rice cake)
- Shabu shabu: rice paper wraps and various thin slices of meat and a variety of finely chopped vegetables; little hot pots next to you with your own broth and you cook ingredients at your own pace and make wraps, though it is a bit tricky to soak only one of your rice papers and not stick them all into one
- Traditional Korean: all kinds of fish and kimchi and other side dishes, multiple courses, stunning presentation, but the hongeohoe was awful, see video below
- Mandu: fried or steamed dumplings filled with deliciousness
- Dwaeji gukbap: fatty pork soup served with rice and side dishes, Nate liked, Amy not so much
- Kimchi jjigae: soup with kimchi, pork and tofu, brought out in a boiling pot – you get a spoonful of rice and dip it in – we had a few varieties of this with various meals.
- Kimchi itself: always showing up in meals with different variations, vegetables, level of spiciness and stinkiness… almost always delicious
- Fish at the fish market: some raw, some grilled, some as the freshest and most delicious fish broth we had ever tasted
- Udon (thick noodle soup) at the 50 year old place that Samjang showed is near Jigalchi
- Hotteok: Nate’s favorite sweet treat in the market, fried dough stuffed with seeds and nuts and butter and brown sugar
- (name?): a restaurant we ate at after visiting the temple; we sat on floor, ate meat and kimchi and stuff
- Korean buffet: a fancy place to go, not a bottom of the barrel place to go in this country (no offense to people who like buffets in America). Some of them have really fresh sushi, Korean-style Chinese food, create your own Bi-Bim-Bap and Patbingsu, and lots more.
- Cooking at home: as much as we ate out, we did cook and eat at home as well. Spaghetti, eggs in a nest, lentil and potato dahl, fajitas, and more.