Flavors amidst raindrops

0 Comments

DAY 10

(Reading time: 4 minutes)

South Korea was threatened from below by Typhoon Mitag. It hit Taiwan the hardest, but we also felt its force. Metro stations were closed, and residents of Busan were warned to only go out when absolutely necessary, as floods were imminent. Later (after our move to Seoul), we learned from the news that 6 people lost their lives in Busan, and strong winds and rain caused landslides in addition to floods.

In the western Pacific, typhoons are common in summer and even at the beginning of autumn, so you should be very careful when choosing the timing of your trip. In better cases, you’ll just be annoyed by bad weather, but let’s not even think about the worst. We flew at the end of September/beginning of October, when the chance of typhoons is minimal, and still, one caught up with us.

A day of continuous and relentless rain is ideal for eating properly. Several times.

We associate traveling with trying different foods, especially local traditional ones. Some of them taste so good that we need to eat them again and again, or even find ingredients back home and cook them ourselves. A shining example is jjajangmyeon, which we had several times in Korea: at grandma and grandpa’s in Gyeongju, in the Lotte shopping center in Busan, and also as a ready-made dish to be poured over with hot water (it’s very good and available in the Czech Republic too!).

The supposedly most beautiful food in the world is said to be Korean bibimbap (pictured at the bottom left).

It’s a dish served in a bowl, with rice at the bottom and various types of vegetables (cooked, fried, and raw), ground beef, and a bull’s eye egg arranged around it. Typically, it’s served with gochujang (Korean chili paste), which you can but don’t have to use to flavor/spice up the dish.

We probably enjoy curry the most. You can prepare it in roughly a million different ways, and it’s always good. Spicy or mild, with rice, potatoes, vegetables, or even with a schnitzel bigger than your head.

However, it must be added that no curry has ever surpassed the taste of our beloved CoCo Curry Ichibanya chain.

I mustn’t forget about kimbap. In the picture below, those are the sliced rolls that look like sushi but aren’t sushi. This popular Korean food is a rolled seaweed with rice and a diverse filling made from what the Korean land has to offer: radishes, carrots, eggs, beef, cucumbers, spring onions… but no raw fish. And it’s not dipped in soy sauce either, as that could offend Koreans a bit.

In the photo, also notice the small plastic bottle of banana milk (excellent sweet refreshment) and tea at the bottom. In every hotel room in South Korea where we stayed, this brown rice tea was regularly replenished for us. We’ve never drunk anything like it, and I must say that it tastes really unusual (not everyone we know likes it), but we got used to it so much that we regularly buy it in Korean grocery stores and always have plenty at home.

Korean food, especially after our trip to South Korea, has become a natural part of our menu about as much as others can’t do without, for example, Italian pasta.

-endy-

DONKEY’S SPECIAL:

  • The introductory photo features the aforementioned jjajangmyeon mentioned in the article.
  • The bibimbap in the photo has carrots, cucumbers, cabbage with chili, radish, salad, mung bean sprouts with corn, and beef in layers on top of rice; above it, there’s kimchi, tofu, gochujang (Korean chili paste), and miso soup (traditional Japanese fish soup).
  • In the photo with the schnitzels, notice the two cans of water on the left side; not only in South Korea is it standard to come with the ordered meal, the staff usually pours it for you after you’re seated and refills it as needed, or you have a self-service jug on the table/nearby.
  • In addition to banana milk, kimbap, and brown rice tea, you also see in the last photo instant jjajangmyeon and a small triangle, onigiri – rice wrapped in seaweed, with various fillings inside: chicken, salmon, pork… a great snack with an amazing price/performance ratio, filling, not expensive, and sold in almost every grocery store.

-mj-

Categories:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *