Hi All! I’m currently in Japan at the moment, after spending a week in Korea, where I ate a LOT of amazing food. Seriously, I wish Korean food was more of a thing in the part of Cali I live in, because it’s so amazing, I don’t want to live without it ever again. I’m travelling with 5 wonderful friends, and we’ve made it a mission to conquer all the food that Japan and Korea have to offer.
I’m starting this series on the blog, since I can’t make recipes while I’m traveling, so stay tuned for more food from Japan next! Without further ado, let’s get into some of my favorite Korea food picks:
First up: Cajun- Fry Tteokbokki
Now I frickin love tteokbokki. I made it while still in America and fell in love with the rice cakes in a red pepper spicy sauce, as they’re traditionally made. The rice cakes were nice and chewy, and the spicy sauce really cuts through the softness of the rice cake to kick you in the tongue. This dish is a totally new take on that! It’s basically rice cakes in a slightly cajun spiced cheese sauce, with bacon and fries on the top. And while this sounds questionable, it was AMAZING. The cheesiness and creaminess of the sauce complimented the rice cakes wonderfully, and the fries added great crunch and texture to the dish. And, of course, bacon is always good.
Second: Cheese-Mango Shaved Ice
An cool summer treat. Shaved ice with fruit, mango sauce, cubes of cream cheese, almonds, and condensed milk. This was absolute heaven, and 100% shareable (as most things are in Korea). 4 of us ended up sharing this bowl, and we polished it off in no time.
Third: T.O.P. drinking Cass Beer
I love T.O.P., I hate beer. But Cass beer is actually pretty good. I had it with fried chicken (chimek) (sorry, couldn’t take a picture) It’s not very strong at all, which I like. I also like T.O.P.’s face in this poster. Thanks T.O.P. for making the consumption of this beer 100% better! 😀
Fourth: Dak Galbi with Ramyun, Rice Cake, and Cheese
Oh sweet baby jesus. So, funny story, I ordered the mild to share with a friend, and my other companions all went for the medium spice. I started to eat mine, and almost cried with how spicy it was. I’m a big spice crybaby, just can’t do it, so I could only eat a small serving and about half the cheese before I tapped out. But, all my other friends who ordered medium were like: man, this is so good! Great amount of spice! So I felt embarrassed to admit I couldn’t even handle medium.
We found out, after all the mild dak galbi was eaten up by my friends, that the waiter mixed up the plates and I was eating medium spice. Needless to say, I was pretty put out, as this was the meal I had specifically requested to eat. However, even through the spice, I really enjoyed what I had! The chicken was nice and tender, the ramyun noodles were nice and springy, and the rice cake was super chewy and delicious. The cheese was my favorite part- it stopped the burn (temporarily), and was a great contrast against the spice level of the dish. I wish I could try this again (just in a less spicy format)
Last: Korean BBQ
Of course, we had to have this. And let me tell you…this was amazing. It exceeded expectations. It was beyond comprehension delicious.
They give you an absolute MOUNTAIN of side dishes (YAY SIDE DISHES) and then the meat, of course. Our waitress cooked it for us, probably because she didn’t trust our foreigner cooking skills, but I was happy to let her do it so that I could steal meat away as fast as I possibly could.
Unlike America, where my typical all-you-can-eat KBBQ place just provides meat, traditional KBBQ comes with lettuce and perilla leaves to wrap small pieces of meat in, as well as an amazing fermented bean sauce which brings the meat to life. It was a seriously good, savory compliment to the meat, and I will now be purchasing this sauce when I return home. I’m pretty sure I know where to find it in the little mini Asian market in town…
We ate this twice- once halfway through the week, and on our last night in Korea. It was amazing both times! We ate a lot of other amazing food, but I couldn’t take pictures of all of it. These were some of the highlights, but Korea has so much more wonderful food to offer! If you get a chance, take the risk of spiciness in hand, toss it out the window, and eat all the Korean food you can find.
That’s all for today- thanks so much for reading! I’ll be back in about a week with a Japan update 🙂