South Korean Foods
Apparently, its South Korea week, and I’m totally okay with that! One of my favorite parts of traveling is trying new cuisines. Sampling dishes the destination is known for is a great way to literally take in the culture of a new place. Seoul opened up a whole new world of delicious treats for me. That trip instilled a deep love of South Korean foods that I now actively seek out whenever I can. It was hard to narrow it down to just five favorites, but here they are, listed in no particular order:
- Korean BBQ, as a whole: I could eat Korean Barbecue every night and be happy. The process of cooking the meat and snacking on pickles, fish cakes and potatoes as you waited is so satisfying. The banchan (side dishes) are perfect compliments to the grilled meat, and good on their own too! Every restaurant that I had barbecue in Seoul, I was not disappointed. Wash it down with some Cass Beer and Sprite and you’re set for a beautiful evening.
- Red Bean Bao/Donut: An ode to the red bean: Oh how I love you so. Sweetened and encased in dough. Wherever you are, that’s where I’ll go. But seriously, I wish there was a red bean bao vender on every corner in Chicago. Fried or steamed, I don’t care. The red bean pastries were my favorite sweet treats from my time in Seoul.
- Bibimbap: It’s the perfect bowl of rice with sauteed vegetables, meat and possibly an egg or some spice. What more could you want? I have been practicing the art of bibimbap at home, despite the six pans the process dirties, just so I can enjoy it whenever I want. I like mine a little spicy, with some Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang).
- Kimchi: I can eat Kimchi out of the jar with a fork, because I love it. But it also compliments mostly anything. I love the spice of it, and the vinegary delicious crunch. I had never even tried it until I went to Seoul, but now I am so happy to have it in my life.
- Dak Galbi: This dish is very popular in Chuncheon, which is where I first had it after we returned from Nami Island. This spicy rice cake and chicken dish is absolutely amazing. They mix the ingredients in a pan at your table and after you feel like you can’t possibly eat any more, they mix the leftover sauce and scattered vegetables with white rice to make a delicious fried rice. It’s perfect.
Have you tried any of these dishes? What did you think? What type of cuisine are you obsessed with?