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ZenKimchi

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    Anyang, South Korea

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  1. Buddhist temple style kimchi uses overripened fruits, like persimmons. If you're interested in really extreme vegan Korean cuisine go for temple food. I think it's picking up as a trend with the general populace in Korea.
  2. Aye? What's that you say, dearie? Speak a little louder! I remembers that back in the olden days. Back in aught five. HEY KIDS, GET OFF MY LAWN! Where was I? Oh, yeah. There's been a stink, even to today, of people asking the ajummas if they use Chinese products. They reply, "If I didn't I couldn't keep the prices this low." We're overdue for a new Chinese food scandal in Korea.
  3. We use those Ziploc containers. They work well. The containers with the folding snap locks work the best to prevent your fridge from reeking of kimchi. Most all the ingredients you listed would make good kimchis on their own. Celery may be a bit watery and could work as a water kimchi. There's a good book that's been translated into English called Good Morning, Kimchi! by Sook-ja Yoon, which has some more international kimchi recipes, like broccoli. I really want to experiment with them one day. In the meantime, may I humbly suggest my recipe--simply because I know firsthand that it works. ZenKimchi's Signature Kimchi Good luck!
  4. Do most or all good Korean restaurants make their own kimchi and banchan? All Korean restaurants make their own banchan. The good ones make their own kimchi. In Korea, there's been a concern over restaurants using imported kimchi. Is refilling banchan common? I've been offered refills on my banchan at only a small handful of places. Korean restaurants usually don't offer. They wait until you ask. But banchan is supposed to be complimentary, including refills. Believe me, I went nuts the first time I had raw oysters as part of my banchan. I think I got four refills. Some restaurants give you so much banchan it's enough of a meal for one person. Would it be acceptable to go to a restaurant like this by yourself and just offer to pay for only banchan? A simple meal of rice, soup and banchan (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) is called "baekban." Lots of lunch spots offer this in Korea. You're not the only one who is happy eating just the banchan. Many restaurants seem to only have really big dishes that need to be split with four or more people. Is it more common in Korea to go with larger groups? That's a complaint that is even starting to get some traction in the homeland. Korean restaurants have a hard time accommodating single diners. In fact, some of them turn them away. Dining is a communal experience with family and friends. It's a big issue I have, and I've put it into my writings and talks. Are metal chopsticks common? Being Chinese, I find the disposable wooden ones much easier to use because they're not flat. Metal chopsticks are traditional. Historians debate as to why it came to be. I'm leaning to the idea that the royalty ate with metal chopsticks, and everyone wanted to copy the royals. It also makes sense to use metal over wood when handling food over an open flame. But Koreans also use wooden and plastic chopsticks at home and when eating quick foods. Are metal bowls common? I hate the sound of metal spoons and chopsticks scraping against them. But that's the sound of lunch! Heh, heh. Metal bowls for rice, yes. Everything else is usually plastic or ceramic, unless it's a boiling soup bowl or metal naengmyeon bowl.
  5. I'm gathering that the intention of the original post--"underappreciated" covers foods that are considered common or are regularly thrown away or given to animals. I've learned to appreciate a lot of foods in Korea that Americans may throw away or just not even try. These may get their day in the sun one day or become prized for their rarity. - Horse meat - Grilled intestines - Pork neck meat (the most perfect part) - Fermented soybeans - Winter collards - Goat meat - Liver - Canned tuna (may not always be so common) - Deodeok Root (Korean root vegetable that's like a cross between carrot and horseradish) - Cod - Sole
  6. Myeolchi Bokkeum (Stir-fried Anchovies) Recipe here
  7. I think I've had that one too. It was Makgeolli, though, with pine needle dust on top. I've also had another interesting one in Insa-dong that has ginseng in it. Earthy on top of earthy flavors. I'd caution about making your own makgeolli and dong dong ju. Unlike beer and wine, the process for making these has a high risk of going fatally foul. Just this summer there was a story of a group of people dying from a bad batch of makgeolli.
  8. Lotteria sucks, but I'm addicted to their shrimp burgers.
  9. Part of me wonders how this banchan would taste battered and fried.
  10. Yep. The Korea episode was good.
  11. Never heard of a Jjim Dalk in Korea that was not Andong style. And the rule is--the darker the sauce the better. Jjim Dalk, like HaejangGuk, seems to be one of those mystery dishes here. It's something you get in a restaurant, so recipes aren't floating around much. Eun Jeong and I have experimented a bit, and I want to spend a good day or two getting a good recipe down. I went to Andong this past February to try Andong Jjim Dalk at the source--known as "chicken alley." I know what the taste is, and it's very deep. And you know what? My guess for the secret ingredient is Coca Cola. Eun Jeong later made a recipe she found online from a Korean site that braised chicken with a sauce based from Coca Cola, and it tasted almost dead on with Andong Jjim Dalk--just needed more garlic.
  12. When we were brainstorming foods for the Bizarre Foods shoot, poo pig was high on the list. Eun Jeong and I did a lot of research online and calling places. The most common thing we heard was that REAL ddong dwaeji only exists way out in the country nowadays. The restaurants that advertise it are just using marketing ploys to promote Jeju pork--which is darn good.
  13. Out of all the extreme Korean foods I've tried, including the fermented skate, nureungji (the water in the bowl kind) has been the hardest for me to like. But as they say, you should try something ten times before developing a taste for it. A couple of weeks ago we had some during our meal, and I started to like it. Still not my favorite.
  14. Just a reminder that "Bizarre Foods" -- KOREA -- premieres Tuesday, April 21st at 10 p.m. EST. Got some behind-the-scenes posts on the ZK Korean Food Journal.
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