Finally, we got to eat some Korean food today. While we had planned to try out Korean food in the last several months at Kimchi Korean Restaurant in State College, PA, we never made it.
Today was our first real experience with Korean food. Because we tasted some bad Kimchi at a Chinese restaurant in Chattanooga a few months ago, we weren’t really sure what was going to happen today. As it turned out, we really enjoyed a large variety of Korean food that we had for lunch.
We spent much of the day today with a Korean family (part of The Holy Flames Methodist Church that we’re connecting with for our cross-cultural experience). They took us to Insadong (a popular shopping district in Seoul), and to lunch at a Korean restaurant.
At the restaurant, we tried out a lot of different kinds of Korean food, including two kinds of Kimchi — traditional (which is very spicy) and a mild version (BTW, if you saw the photo of the pots in Joleen’s post on the Korean Folk Village, those pots are used to prepare Kimchi). We also had Bulgogi, another important Korean dish.
For the main course, we had Bibimbap, another popular Korean dish (we forgot to take a picture of it, but on the way out of the restaurant, we took a photo of a large model of Bibimbap). We also had several side dishes including dried seaweed and Korean pancakes (not to be confused with American pancakes). We completed our meal with a really good cup of plum juice. Again, we enjoyed everything.
We’ve also been trying out different kinds of Korean candy, which tends not to be overly sweet like much of the candy we are used to in the States. We’ve enjoyed all of it as well. The peanut candy (pictured here) is very good and reminds us of Planters Peanut Bars, but much softer.
I think my favorite is the rice candy (see the short sticks in the photo). Their sorta like taffy — but crunchy at first, then slightly chewy, with a mild taste. Another rice candy (pictured here) is very light and fluffy. And yet another rice candy (not pictured here) that we sampled at Insadong today was very soft. As you may have guessed, rice is an essential part of Korean food, including desserts.
Since we ate a big lunch, we walked to Dono Studio this evening and tried a couple of donuts (which we split). Donut shops have become very popular in Seoul. From what we’ve read, Dunkin Donuts has been very successful in Korea. The donut with the green powder is a green tea donut, which was more interesting than anything, and the coconut/strawberry donut was very good.
The next few days look to be pretty busy. We’ll be spending most of the day tomorrow (Sunday) in multiple worship services. Our time with church folks will also include two meals.
I’m not sure how much more, if anything, we’ll say about food, but you’ll definitely want check back in the next few days for a report on our time with the Korean family today, a report on our Sunday experience, and of course, a report on our first visit with our baby on Monday morning!