18 June 2013

Eat All the Things!!!!

Has more or less been my mantra since arriving in Korea. Overall, Korean food agrees with me. A lot of it is pretty spicy but almost everything is delicious.

I say almost everything because today, for the first time since arriving in Korea, I tried to eat something and failed. It was gross. Here's the story (of course there's a story).

Every morning I take the bus to the university hospital where the lab that I work in is. And every morning I think to myself that if the bus ride was about 5 minutes longer I would definitely vomit. Towards the end of last week, I think it was Thursday, I discovered that there is a vending machine near the elevators in the lobby of my building and have started buying a drink to settle my stomach in the morning. Last week I had this pineapple soda but I wasn't feeling the carbonation this morning so I opted for the one that said 'tea' and figured that would be good. Unfortunately, it turned out to be black bean tea and also gross. Generally I am a fan of black bean, but I can not handle this tea. If I had taken a little more time to sound out the Hangeul on the can (it says "bulak been") I would have known what I was in for but probably would have tried it anyway.

The offending beverage.

Now, on to the delicious things! First up, to cancel out that tea, is my favorite Korean drink: Milkis - new feeling of soda beverage.

Even the can is happy!

I mostly eat lunch in the hospital cafeteria with my labmates during the week. The only really Korean thing I've had there is kimbap, everything else is kind of generic cafeteria food with an Asian lean to it. Except for the weird "salad" they sometimes have. I think they think that anything mixed with mayonnaise is automatically Western style. The noodle salad is good and actually does taste like American macaroni salad but a lot of the other ones are just weird. Edible, but weird and maybe a teensy bit wrong.

Other things I've eaten include Korean style Chinese noodles, fruit juice (like a smoothie), bingsu, pizza (one half bacon and potato the other half shrimp) and, my personal favorite, jjim dak. I don't have a picture of the jjim dak because I was too busy eating it. In fact, I've been seriously derelict in my picture taking duties since coming to Korea and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the little 8 year old kids have better cameras than me... Or because I'm just too busy eating!

bingsu (flavored ice with stuff on top), banana milk, more tasty drinks, and the
thing I ate in Seoul with my host's daughter that I don't remember the name of (it was good!)

To make up for my poor picture taking, I went a little overboard last night at the lab dinner. We went out for samgyeopsal which apparently directly translates as three layer meat. 

AKA: pork belly

This is one of the many cook it yourself style Korean meals. I was actually super excited to try it because I saw this video before I came here and have been drooling, er, dreaming about it ever since. Anyway, here's how it works...

Step 1: cook it!
Step 2: choose side dishes/toppings
Step 3: pile it all in a leaf and stuff it in your face hole
Step 4: add soju and beer liberally
Step 5: cook remaining things with rice after meat is gone

That's pretty much all there is to it. The whole affair took maybe two or 2.5 hours and everyone was stuffed. Lots of talking, laughing, and drinking were involved, but fortunately no singing (I've heard singing often happens and am more than pleased to have not had that cultural experience yet). After dinner we went our separate ways, mostly to go watch the World Cup Qualifying match against Iran (we lost T_T but apparently still qualify).

This is what the table looks like after 10 people eat samgyeopsal

1 comment: