Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Typical Korean Lunch (4/12/11)

At least at the little place down the street.

All the little side dishes are very typical. Kimchi is served with everything. I decided I don't like Kimchi (I can eat it if I have to without gagging, but if I have a choice I won't), but strangely enough I love Kimchi soup.

Everything is spicy. Even the stuff Koreans say is not spicy is a little spicy. I'm pretty sure Laura Dierks would die over here. :)

I tried everything at this setting. I really really liked the Bean Paste soup, until Shannon made a joke about being careful not to accidentally eat a fish head (up until this point I hadn't realized there were fish heads in my soup) I immediately imagined doing just that and my stomach flipped. This was after two full bowls of soup. Shannon laughingly showed me that I couldn't "accidentally" eat a fish head, they're too big. That calmed me down and I'd happily eat it again.... just the idea of accidentally crunching on a little fish head gave me the willies.

I've actually knowingly and willingly ate entire little fish (see the dried fish in sauce side dish), I didn't like them, but I did it!

Koreans get really excited about how "fresh" a meal is, so everything has very strong flavors one way or another. The fish tastes very fishy. The greens taste very green. Etc.

This meal, despite all the stuff that sounds bad about it, was really good, I was hungry and made Shannon sit there while I ate a ton. I especially liked the Sombop which you wrap, with rice and other toppings, in the fresh leaves, seaweed or pickled cabbage. Yum!

All this (Cokes included) cost us about 14,000W (about $14)

Food aside, we're sitting cross-legged on the floor. (My legs typically go numb after about 20 minutes of this and I have to change positions, but native Koreans can stay this way forever I'm pretty sure). We're also not wearing shoes, having taken those off in the entry way with everyone else. For silverware we have chopsticks and spoons. That's a big burner in the middle of the table, it can either keep your food warm or cook your food there in front of you, depending on what you order. 

We order bottles (glass) of coke with every meal, the only other thing to drink is rice/starch tea. 

We ordered Sombop and Bean Paste Soup.

This is a very local/rural place and we get stared at a lot when we go in here. Silly Mi-guks(americans)! There is no menu (as far as I can tell), you just have to know what you're ordering. 

Every meal is still an adventure to me. We have some fast food in the apartment (frozen pizzas, etc), but I still haven't gone real grocery shopping. So the current challenge is trying to figure out menus if there's no pictures and keeping ourselves from tipping (which is considered rude).

PS. Eventually I'm going to get to all those other topics I swear!


  1. I LOVE Kimchi!!! And yes, Korean = Spicy :)
    Have you tried Chopche (Jopche / Chopje... i have no idea how to write it) it is an egg noodle that is delicious.
    And if you think sitting cross legged is bad, try sitting on your knees for 30 mins...

  2. Didn't recognize the brown hair. Sounds like you're having a good time there. Did you try the fermented fish sauce? And why is there potato salad in the mix?

  3. Jamaal- I don't THINK I've tried that, but I may have. I keep forgetting names of stuff I've tried, but it doesn't sound familiar. Knees would definitely be worse, especially in jeans.

    Chris- my hair is naturally brown. Just when we went to school together I was working outdoors all summer long which would bleach my hair. Crazy right? I did take a dab of the fermented fish sauce. It tastes like it sounds, like super spicy rotten fish. I don't know why there was potato salad, the Koreans seem to like it, it shows up in their side dishes (which come with every meal) occasionally. It doesn't really go with the food (when I think potato salad I think BBQ) so I can't eat it. I try it, it's not bad, and then I can't eat it with the food. It just doesn't taste right. lol