nakji bokkeum

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A bit of food porn:

(TOP) “Bassak” Bulgogi, Nakji Bokkeum and Boiled Slices of Pork at Gongdeok’s Yeokjeon Hoegwan, a Seoul institution run by the same family for three generations. Actually named one of Seoul’s “future cultural heritage.”

(BOTTOM) Eobok Jaengban (boiled beef slices, sweet potato noodles, pear and other veggies), Doenjang Guksu Noodles and Potato Dumplings - authentic North Korean eats at Jongno’s Neungnabapsang, run by North Korean defector, culinary researcher and North Korean human rights activist Lee Ae-ran.

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anonymous asked:

im planning to go to korea soon and was wondering if you have any suggestions on some korean cuisine i should try. btw i love your blog ^^~~

okay kiddo, this is going to be a long, long list that probably doesn’t even suffice the delicious and infinite amount of food korea has to offer, but here i go…

if you want to taste some popular “traditional” cuisine:

  • 비빔밥 (bibimpap, rice mixed with veggies and red pepper paste)
  • 냉면/비빔면 (naengmyeon, cold noodles in broth/bibimmyeon, cold noodles mixed with red pepper paste)
  • 순두부 (soondubu, spicy soft tofu soup with veggies)
  • 부대찌개 (budae jjigae or “army stew”, a mix of sausages, spam, cheese, ramen, rice cakes in spicy broth)
  • 된장찌개 (doenjang jjigae, fermented soybean paste stew with tofu, potatoes, and a variety of veggies)
  • 삼겹살 (samgyupsal, grilled pork belly)
  • 갈비 (galbi, basically korean bbq)
  • 불고기 (bulgogi, grilled marinated beef)
  • 간장게장/양념게장 (ganjang gejang, raw crab marinated in soy sauce/yangnyeom gejang, raw crab marinated in spices)
  • 삼계탕 (samgyetang, whole chicken soup with ginseng and other heathy nutrients)
  • 매운탕 (maewoontag, spicy fish soup with veggies)
  • 감자탕 (gamjatang, pork bone soup with a whole lot of potatoes and veggies)
  • 콩국수 (kongguksu, cold noodles in a soy milk broth)
  • 칼국수/수재비 (kalguksu, noodles in broth/soojaebi, dough flakes in broth)
  • 떡국/만두국 (ddukguk, rice cakes in broth/manduguk, rice cakes plus dumplings in broth)
  • 잡채 (japchae, stir-fried noodles with veggies and meat)
  • 보쌈 (bossam, boiled pork belly)
  • 족발 (jokbal, braised pig’s feet)
  • 도토리묵 (dotorimuk, acorn jelly seasoned with spices and usually mixed with veggies)
  • 낙지볶음 (nakji bokkeum, stir-fried octopus with veggies)

if you’re into more quick, on-the-go snacks like street food:

  • 김밥 (kimbap, rice rolls)
  • 떡볶이/떡꼬치 (ddukbokki, spicy rice cakes/ddukkochi, spicy rice cake skewers)
  • 파전 (pajeon, green onion pancakes with seafood, veggies, etc.)
  • 빙수 (bingsu, shaved ice with red beans, fruits, cereal, pretty much any kind of topping possible!)
  • 오뎅국 (odaeng, fish cakes in broth)
  • 튀김 (twigim, fried veggies, shrimp, noodles in laver, etc.)
  • 핫바 (hot bar, fish cake bars)
  • 호떡 (hotteok, pancake usually filled with cinnamon, brown sugar, and nuts)
  • 붕어빵 (bungeobbang, fish shaped bread with red bean filling)
  • 토스트 (toast)
  • 닭꼬치 (dakkochi, marinated chicken skewers)
  • 감자도그 (gamja dog, a corn dog covered in french fries)
  • 뻥튀기 (ppeongtwigi, puffed rice snacks)
  • 계란빵 (gyeran bbang, egg bread)
  • 뽑기 (bbopgi, a melted sugar and baking soda sweet)
  • 회오리 감자/감자 스틱/고구마 스틱 (hwoeli gamja, potato twister on a stick/gamja stick, fried potato sticks/goguma stick, fried sweet potato sticks)

and places i ate at/ordered from (delivery) this summer that i recommend:

  • 페리카나 (pelicana, seriously one of the best fried chicken delivery shops!!! their spicy sweet marinated chicken is amazing ;^;)
  • 오븐에 빠진 닭 (oppadak, a healthier option to fried chicken since their chicken is oven-baked!!! and the dipping sauces are A+)
  • 피자에땅 (pizza etang, i ordered both their box sets which come with a small pizza, ddukbokki, spaghetti, potato wedges, and chicken tenders for only 19,900 won!!!!)
  • cafe mama’s (they sell the most delicious paninis oh my god… i recommend the mozzarella tomato and the honey camembert cheese *v*)
  • ashley’s (a cheaper alternative to buffets with a salad bar and a variety of main dishes, appetizers, desserts, etc.)
  • caffe bene (the shaved ice is very good here and so are their summer drinks!)
  • a twosome place (the yogurt berry bingsu and tiramisu bingsu are both so perfect~)
  • primo bacio baci (their cream pasta in a bread bowl is absolutely scrumptious bc it’s not too heavy or greasy *u*)
  • 반가 (vanga, i always get their garlic tonkatsu bc it’s just soooo good and filling for the low cost!)
  • 조스 (jaw’s, their ddukbokki is very spicy so if you can’t handle the heat, then i am very sorry bc it’s the best ddukbokki you will ever eat :<)
  • lotteria (get the shrimp burger!!!! i also recommend their squid burger if you want to try something spicier~)
  • mc donald’s (okay this may sound dumb, but korea’s mc donald’s taste ten times better than the ones in the states. get the mcspicy shanghai burger or the mcspicy cajun burger and you will understand.)
  • gs25 (this also may sound dumb, but if you’ve never tried a tonkatsu sandwich, then go into any convenience store like a gs25, 7/11, mini stop, etc. and buy yourself one!!!! it’s only 2,000 won!!!!!)

yeah… that’s it for now…. korea is great.

Like a true Idiot ‘Merican, most of my introductions to foreign cultures are through movies. 

On a recent trip to Seoul, after the first day of working with really great people, I was asked what I wanted for dinner. I said, “live octopus?” and looked at the woman for a reaction. Totally, unfazed, she said, “I don’t know any places close to here, but I’ll find one.” I was pretty surprised, I guess it’s way more common than I thought it was. We didn’t get a chance to go that night, so for the next couple of days, word got around, and I became the live octopus guy. 

After a few days, I had a night without obligation, so I felt like it was a good opportunity to get into it. Luckily, the two women from the gallery were such awesome hosts, they were totally into taking me. One of the women had had it before, the other wasn’t sure if she remembered having it or not, but none of us had gone to the particular restaurant, so it was an adventure for all of us! My favorite! 

The restaurant is unassuming, like most Korean restaurants I went to. Not a lot of thought to the interior design, but amazing foodings. It’s a good style, I’m on board for sure. There were aquarium tanks right as we walked in, with octopi stuck to the glass, must be the right place!

The live octopus dish, sannakji, was an octopus cut up into pieces, but still writhing away, served on a plate lined with lettuce. Also, we got a cooked octopus dish, nakji bokkeum, that was really spicy, but apparently, this place serves it mild, still hot enough to wake me up with spicy punches to the stomach in the middle of the night!

Sannakji is totally about the experience. The taste is virtually nonexistent, but the mouthfeel is totally unique. Chewy, but you can feel it moving in your mouth, and the little suction cups stick to everything, the utensils, every part of the mouth. I was nervous about the suction cups sticking to my throat, so I was the master masticator that meal. I was told it’s all about the dipping sauce, which is sesame oil and salt, but I found the sauce too salty for my taste, and ended up eating them plain.

Apparently, you’re supposed to drink alcohol with anything you are going to consume raw, but I didn’t feel up to the soju, so we had a raspberry sake. I also learned, that not only is it bad luck to pour your own cup of booze, but it’s also impolite to pour a half measure, even if that’s what is asked. It’s better to take the full measure and only drink half of it than to pour a half measure.

When asked where I’d heard of sannakji, I sheepishly admitted from the movie Oldboy. There was laughing and “of course” -ings, but they admitted Oldboy was a good movie. Even if it was out of courtesy, I felt better about it.