Healthier, there is not… (South Korea)
I love south korean cuisine.
Leaving Australia, I quit steacks (kangourous, crocodiles, beef), junk food (burgers, french fries, pies) and beers. I rediscover joyce of healthy food. I wish I could loose the few kilos I put on.
There is a big change for me. I eat vegetables, seafood and fish again. I even start drinking tea. I am pigging out mandus, kimchi, bibimpap, soju, and all that specific cuisine from the street.
Well connected with nature, south koreans have principles. They consider all that grow and live on land and under the sea have curative virtues. They are often said to eat to cure themself.
We could call it, The South Korean dish. It is served at any meal. Its name : Kimchi, do you know? I am keen on. When you read its recipe, you back off. Made of fermented cabbage leaves with a sour sauce made of pepper, garlic, ginger, with onions and radish, the first bite is a challenge itself. That’s the more common recipe. It exists more than 160 others. Then you get kimchi spirit and become addicted.
If you ever feel like having some kimchi for your meal.
What can I get you with that? Mandus, fine… These dumplings, meat-filled, can be served boiled fried or in a soup. Any kind of sauce will fit them. Excellent choice for a starter!
Get to the main course : bibimpap. You have choices. It’s basically served with warm rice, sautéed vegetables and chili pepper paste. You make your own choice for the rest. As usual in south korean cuisine, there are many different recipes. Seafood or meat, spicy or vegetarian, any mix will you bring south korean flavor in mouth. No excuse not to try…
Still hungry after such a meal, pojang macha, “street cuisine”, will help you sastify your appetite. Social, exchange and meeting point, they are part of the urban setting in Seoul. This local touch in such a global environment creates links with the population.
I forgot to talk to you about Soju. Though it is traditionally made from rice, most modern producers of soju replace rice with other starches, such as potatoes, wheat, barley. It goes with every meal. From 20° to 45°, it is as important as red wine for French.
While I was having dinner with younghwa’s parents, I got to know some south korean rules. Drinking a glass of Soju, I wanted to cheer with the father to thank him for his invitation. As we usually do. Don’t even think about it in the Um and Yang country.
Remember this rule : you cannot cheer facing at eye’s drinker when you are the youngest at the table. You could offense them.