OMG! Internet access. It’s been quite a struggle behind “The Great Firewall” here in mainland China. I didn’t realize how much I depended on internet accessibility, much less Google itself…..or how addicted to Instagram I’ve become.
Anyways, I’m back. And par for the course, I’m hungry. After spending some time in Korea, I began to believe in love-at-first-sight again. Love for food, that is.
Korean Cuisine, I adore you
Depending on who you ask, the most adventurous part of traveling is tasting new cuisine. Even more: attempting to order in a new country can be even more tasking. Thank god for picture menus, am I right?
Traveling through Asia can be particularly sketchy, being that some people eat things westerns would balk at, and with a language barrier, you might not know what it is exactly you are putting in your mouth. I’m certainly scared of unidentifiable meat products, so I often choose vegetarian or vegan options. However, you can rest easy in Korea.
I have had few unpleasant incidents in Korea regarding food. Like this one:
…..screw this particular meal. I don’t know what it is. I still put it in my mouth. And I still regret it. This is a whole lot of nope.
……Moving on. The remainder of Korean cuisine is delicious, albeit spicy. And compared to my previous home in Tokyo, the portion sizes won’t scare you away.
This is Why I’m Fat:
Kimbap 김밥 is the equivalent of Japanese sushi rolls. Make sure you try spicy tuna Kimbap as well as the vegetarian types filled with radish and mushroom. Tasty!
Dukbokki 덕볶이 is my favorite. The chewy rice cakes are covered in gochujang 고추장, aka korean ketchup, and served on a stick, in a bowl of soup or stir-fried with other ingredients (like octopus and veggies! Yum!!!) I love the street – food types on a stick- its the perfect snack in between meals.
Handmade Bibimbap from my awesome AirBnB hostess. Noms.
Bibimbap 비빔밥, my first love. I had a short obsession for stone – pot Bibimbap while studying Korean in college. i couldn’t get enough of this dish. Its the bomb.com! Make sure to use liberal amounts of gochujang and if you can, opt for the stone pot type, it makes the outer rice layer crunchy.
Kimchi and sausage soup and barbeque pork wraps: Get in my belly. :
KBBQ: If you dont already know about KBBQ, you need to raise your right hand, and slap yourself. Kidding aside, this type of cook-it-yourself meal is really popular throughout the country, and its awesome, even if its a little more expensive. You can also opt for Kalbi 갈비 or Bulgogi 불고기 for a prepared BBQ dish. Bulgogi literally means fire-meat, so expect spicy!
Kim chi chigae, 김치지께, or kim chi soup is one of my favorite options for sickness. It sure clears up the sinuses!
“Fishie” Ice Cream/ Papingsu/ Lotte Ice cream pouches: There are red-bean and vanilla ice cream bars shaped like fish in almost every convenience stores. I’m obsessed with these bad boys. And the soft-serve ice cream squeeze pouches are also extremely delicious. Don’t skip dessert, everyone: Doctors Orders! If you are feeling a little adventurous, try yourself some “papingsu”, which is shave ice covered in fruit and condensed milk. It’s the tastiest.
What are your favorite Korean dishes? I’m headed west into mainland China soon: does anyone have any tips/hints for the cuisine I’ll encounter there?