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    Seoul, Korea
  1. In Seoul, dumplings (mandu) are said to be more sophisticated, smaller, and elegant. Sollongtang, a beef bone and tripe soup, Kujolpan, a nine selection plate associated with royality, chat juk, pine nut porridge, and yakshik, glutinous rice cakes are representative of the capital's cuisine. Other regions Gyeonggi Province (Seoul, Incheon). Sjujebi- soup with flour dumplings Pyonsu- dumplings Samgyetang- ginseng chicken soup mu pinul kimchi- stuffed radish kimchi Chungchongman Province. North West coast, known for being rustic, soybean paste is often used to season food (Daejeon). doenjang jijjae- soybean paste stew oiji- pickled cucumbers origul chot-fremented oysters Gangwon Province. North-East coast, famous for seafood and beaches (Sokcho). Kamja chon- potato dumplings totori muk- acorn jelly and mushrooms Squid bulgogi Jeolla Province. South-West coast, well known among gourmands. The cooking is characterized by sensible seasonings with salt and spices (Gwangju). Chotkal- fermented seafood dishes Jeong ju bibimbap- mixed rice with various namul Sannakchi hoe- live octopus hobak siru ttok- pumpkin rice cakes Gyeongsang Province. South East Coast (Busan). Cooking is described as simple, salty, and hot (Daegu, Gyeongju, Ulsan, Busan) Jinju bibimbap- mixed rice dak kal guksu- homemade chicken noodle soup yukgaejang- spicy beef soup Jeju-do. Southern most island. Less dependency on rice and kimchi, seafood and oranges abound. jonbok juk- abalone rice porridge haemul guksu- fish noodles bingtteok- buckwheat pancakes rolled with sliced white radish. And, I guess this poo pig you speak of. I wonder why poo would make the pig taste better? Would it cause the pig to be fattier? Hope this helps.
  2. Threr are a couple of dishes that come to mind, one is haemul-jeongol a seafood hot pot with vegetables and beef, or two maeuntang, a spicy, thick stew of fish, clams, and veggies. But I am unsure of the actual dish you are thinking of, as I can't reacll any dishes with divots in them.
  3. That soup does look delicious! It is dark, but it looks savory! Yum.
  4. I used to live off those chocolate covered almonds. I also like the Hi-chu. Pomegranate is all the rage right now. My favorite is the spicy rice crackers shaped like boomerangs. Mmmmm. I am also a big fan of shrimp chips.
  5. That's interesting that you think it is sophisticated. To me, this is one of the plainest dishes. And I like it. Vinegret 2 medium potatoes or 1 baking potato, boiled, then skins peeled 2 small or 1 medium beet, cooked, peeled 2 medium carrots, cooked 1 cup canned or frozen peas 1 4-oz can sauerkraut (liquid squeezed out) 2-3 pickled cucumbers 3 tablespoons oil Dice vegetables; add oil, salt, pepper; mix well and let stand at least an hour. You may also add caraway seed for this Eastern European cuisine flavor . Maybe it was your photograph of the vinegret that looked so sophisticated, or that I am drawn to anything pink! Anyhow thank you for the recipe. I look forward to trying it soon.
  6. I have never seen powdered honey at the markets in Seoul, but maybe that is because I haven't been looking for it. I know that honey is very expensive here in Korea (so much so that every time I go on holiday I stock up), and I think it has something to do with supposed health benefits. Here we don't use honey in tea or in a peanut butter sandwich. It could be for a type of cookie Yakkwa, Fried Honey Cakes ,or Maejagwa, Thin Cookies, but both recipes I have call for regular old honey.
  7. Alinka thank you so much to take the time and show us food culture in Moscow. You have completely broken through the cultural stereotypes plaguing Russian cuisine! Everything looks delicious! Could you provide a recipe for "vinegret" please? It is such a sophisticated looking salad. Thanks and I look forward to more pictures!
  8. Like Tony Bourdain (but I agree about the Hunter S. Thompson shtick wearing thin) The Minimalist- Mark Bittman Jamie Oliver (although he is getting a little grumpy lately, no?) I like people who try new things, relate to their fan base, and encourage people to eat, taste, cook and to be unafraid to go for it. Dislikes Bobby Flay Nigella Lawson (I have a great deal of respect for her professional work, however I think she is a little too posh for her viewers, and isolates herself in an upper society lust area unattainable by the majority of her fans.) Don’t like people who obviously think they are above their fans or put themselves on pedestals. Then there is the teeth grinding personalities Sorry Rachel Ray and Alton Brown, I know you two have encouraged and inspired millions of people, content to sit on the couch and order in, to get off their butts and cook. But, evoo? Yikes.
  9. I agree with Nakji, I love adzuki beans, but not in my dessert. I asked around and one theory is that this is originally a Japanese dessert, and that would make more sense to me. Korean desserts aren't usually as complicated. In a bakery the English translation on the menu was “ice castle”. http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/11549943...3121_158501.jpg http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/11550068...3121_161116.jpg So far I've tried the original, and a fruit and yogurt one (sans the beans). Both are considerably more expensive than a scoop of ice cream (7,000 won / 7USD). A green tea variety is also popular in Seoul, but I think the pasty-ness of the beans and the aftertaste of powdered green tea wouldn't be pleasing. Nevertheless I'll try it soon. I am starting to prefer pat bing su to ice cream because it is so light (without the red beans) and more refreshing. Ice cream can be so cloying sometimes. On a side note I am having trouble getting my photos to appear in the post. Any advice?
  10. When I lived in America, I would notice how the Korean restaurants appeared to be little more than holes in the wall, or strip malls, with zero to none atmosphere. Service brisk -bordering on rude, little English spoken, k-pop blaring from cheap speakers, and chances were you were the foreigner in the restaurant. Would that make you wanna drop 30 bucks on dinner? But since moving to Korea, many of the restaurants are the same. Some of the most popular Korean restaurants in Seoul are ones notorious for their bleak interiors and rude "ajumas,"- older married lady- who will usually throw a smile at the foreigners bumbling their way through a meal. As far as being mainstream, my husband found upon our first visit back to the states, that our parents were better versed in Korean cuisine than us. Both our eyebrows rose when we announced that we were headed to the supermarket and my mother-in-law asked "could you pick me up some of that gal-bee. It's delicious." It took me a year of living in Korea to even eat kim bap (like maki rolls). Three years later I salivate when I smell kim chi, and worry how I’ll satisfy my ddokboggie fix when I return to the states.
  11. Last night I stopped off at A.O.C in Chungdam for some wine with friends. A.O.C is a 1920's style art deco wine bar and restaurant. Palm trees intersect dining areas; a back room sports a Moroccan theme complete with metallic flecked fabrics and low cushion. The main dining area provides elegance with dark wood tables, and cream leather dining chairs. Everything from Pink Martini to Madeline Peyroux lightly wafts through the speakers. I reviewed it a couple years ago for the free community magazine KScene. Since that time I was pleased to see that A.O.C had expanded their menu, to include more main dishes, however the cheese and charticure selections were drastically reduced. When I first came to A.O.C there were more than 70 wines by the glass, now there are about 15. We ordered a bottle of CAVA, only to be told 15 minutes later that they were out of CAVA. Why it took so long to get this information to us is a mystery. Our server suggested a Jacob's Creek Brut Cuvee, Chardonnay Pinot Noir, I asked for the Prosecco, her again suggested the Jacob's Creek, I again asked for the Prosecco. Finally he broke down and told me that they were out of all their sparkling wines with the exception of this one bottle. We agreed. The price 60,000 won, roughly 68USD. How much is this bottle of wine in America? 10USD. Ok, I know I am not in America, and I haven't lived in America for quite some times. But still. Ouch. With our bottle came complimentary snacks; some raisins, some peanuts, and some saltines. I'm not sure if the saltines were part of the fruit-nut set or if they were to accompany our 12,000 won serving of goat cheese. Which, I found to be a fair mark up considering the price of goat cheese in the foreign supermarkets. Score one for A.O.C No matter, it was a slap in the face with a limp lace glove. Worse, this is one of the nicer wine bars in Korea, located in the Hollywood of Seoul. Frequented by pop stars, actresses, actors, producers, well to do Kyopos and businessmen. It is another sad example of how a restaurant here has so much potential, yet rarely live up to it. Many are flawed by easy mistakes and overlooking the simplest of details. I don't think I will go there again. Maybe if they start serving ritz.
  12. During the Korean Summer the curious of iced treats pops up. Pat bing su. I have yet to try it, and plan to soon, but from what I can figure it is a scoop of crushed ice topped with sweet red bean goop, some sugary sauce (chocolate, melon, sweetened condescended milk) and jellied candies. Does anyone know where this originated from and why?
  13. I just ate at JG at the beginning of July. The tasting menus were about 100US per person. But it is a lot of food! My husband and I ordered appetizers, mains, and a dessert and we were stuffed. I think the bill came to around 200 US. I highly recommend the duck. Dinner starts with a complimentary amuse boushe, and ends with complimentary chocolates. It is a stunning stunning restaurant. Also, M on the Bund is nice for brunch. Very affordable, around 35US for a three course meal.
  14. Did anyone catch Sara Dickerman's article on slate.com concerning the covers of Gormet? http://www.slate.com/id/2145883/
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