Korean Food Pt. I

I thought I’d start a mini-series of posts dedicated to Korean food specifically.  Because when I’m not cooking, Korean food is what’s usually going in my belly.

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure to eat with my boyfriend and his mother.  We went to a Korean “fusion” restaurant.  I suppose it’s called fusion because the dishes are traditional Korean food but slightly more modern?  I’m not exactly sure.  Anyway, at this kind of restaurant you order a set menu per person.  The set menu consists of at least 15 dishes and they are all served family style.  This kind of restaurant is really great for those who want to “sample” many kinds of Korean food.  *If your an expat in Korea and have friends/family visiting, definitely consider taking them to a place like this.

They bring you soup and 3 dishes to start.  10 minutes later, another 3 dishes come out.  10 minutes later, another 3 dishes…. you get the point.  It’s ALOT of food.  By the 3rd time they clear plates and bring new ones I know we’re all thinking, “Is this the last course?”  But, of course, it’s all delicious so I always manage to stretch my stomach just a bit more.

I wish I had taken a picture of each individual dish so I could make little remarks about each one, however, since I was with my boyfriend’s mother I felt a little sheepish for whipping out my camera every moment.  But I did embarrass myself enough to snap a couple quick photos.  I tried blaming it on my blog, but I’m not sure I got my point across and probably she just thought I am weird.

Anyway, here’s (some of) the food!

The tofu and kimchi was so good!  This particular kimchi was fried and had small pieces of pork mixed in.  It’s spicy but tastes so great paired with a block of tofu.  The muk shown is a type of muk (I’m not sure what kind) and I’m not even sure what English name to give it, but perhaps- Acorn jelly?  It is made from acorns!  The texture is like jello and the taste is clean and mild.  I really love muk.  The sweet potatoes have been glazed in sweetness, and the salad was topped with sesame dressing.

Japchae is one of my absolute favorite Korean dishes.  It’s basically noodles with mixed vegetables and sometimes beef. The unique thing about japchae are the noodles.  They’re made from sweet potatoes!  They are very soft and have a sorta chewy/sticky texture.  They are really, really good.  In Korean they’re called dang myeon, and I’m sure you can find them at Asian food stores in the States.  The green onion jeon also had some seafood in it; it was slightly crispy and had a surprising spicy kick.  As for the baby octopus- I’m not sure what this dish is exactly called.  If you like octopus, veggies and a little spice, you’d like this.

I’m not sure how the duck was prepared but it was really flavorful and delicious.  And the sesame mushroom soup was awesome.  I’m a big fan of anything sesame and mushrooms, so this was perfect.  It was slightly creamy, however it wasn’t that greasy creamy feeling you get from cream soups.

This platter had all sorts of banchan (side dishes) that are meant to be eaten with rice.  A couple different kinds of kimchi, mushrooms, seaweed, and soft shell crab.

There were other things that went un-pictured, however you can see all the variety that was served.  Besides the duck dish, everything else was mainly vegetable based.  With most Korean dishes, the main part is vegetables and rice.  It is quite a big contrast to the American diet where meat is usually the main part of a meal.  I think most of the more traditional Korean foods are pretty healthy.

Korean food in the States is slowly becoming more popular (Korean BBQ in particular), however I hope some of the more traditional foods will make their presence known as well.

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6 comments on “Korean Food Pt. I

  1. buzz KOREA
    April 16, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Hello, this is buzz KOREA.

    I loved your post about Korea so much!
    So i’d like to share your ideas and spread your contents to more people in the world.

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  2. Katie
    April 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    What is this restaurant called? Is it in Seoul?

    • makings of a better life
      April 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      Hi 🙂 it’s actually located in Ilsan which is a city just outside Seoul. The restaurant is called 해오름 (hae oh reum). But there are many of these “fusion” restaurants all over. Ill post more about Seoul specific ones soon!

  3. 60spunk
    May 6, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Reblogged this on 60spunk.

  4. amandatheatheist
    May 6, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Ahh, I’m jealous. That food looks delicious. Makes me want to apply to teach English in Korea!

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