Korean Street Food

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Incheon: Seoul

I visit South Korea always in winter, never in the hellish summer heat and humidity, which I avoid at all cost. This year I went in March (late winter) instead of January (deep winter) and I could deal with that type of cold much better. Our South African winter this year is colder than normal, or so it feels to me at least and today I miss the Korean street food which is fascinating and delicious. My favourite place in Ulsan is stricly speaking not on the street but rather a “hole in the wall”‘type of place with limited seating, so eating standing around huddled together in the cold is just the thing! The tempura fried vegetables are served with a rice vinegar dipping sauce.

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Vegetable tempura and glass noodle roll.

Tempura Vegetables

Tempura Vegetables

In Seoul the street vendors are lined up one after the other and walking around, tasting and eating from one vendor to the next with a spot of shopping inbetween is a nightly pass time, which I embraced whole heartedly if my bank balance was anything to go by…

Vibrant candy floss!

Vibrant candy floss!

Strawberries dipped in chocolate

Strawberries dipped in chocolate

Street food Seoul

Street food Seoul

I absolutely LOVE the traditional Bibimbab which is not street food but my favourite sit-down Korean meal. There are always a million and ten side dishes of all sorts of soups, pickles and kimchi of course. The main dish is served in a piping hot bowl and consists mainly of rice, root like “things” and vegetables, meat is optional. The raw egg comes on top and you then fry your own dish in the piping hot bowl with a mild chilly sauce. Oh the joy!

Vegetarian Bibimbab

Vegetarian Bibimbab

Pickles&Kimchi

Pickles&Kimchi

Street Scenes and goodbyes:

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Seoul at night: photo Tara

Why do I always have to leave her behind…..

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My Tara walking away

Random Photo:

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Oops! Handbag shopping in Seoul. Just could not resist

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Street Art Down Town Ulsan

 

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Hello and Goodbye South Korea

Beach huts Busan

Beach huts Busan

So I am here again and it is one continuous hello and goodbye.

Busan

Busan

Hello food experiences, sights and sounds. Also experiencing temperatures between  -3 and – 15C, much colder than last time, especially after 30 degrees C in Cape Town when I left.

Seoul minus 8 C.....

Seoul minus 8 C…..

Well at least the under and outer layers and piles of clothes helped, even if it was just to make me look like I am in a moon suit.

Traditions

Traditions

Funny shop in Seoul. Pick a box for a set price and be surprised at what is inside. A bit like Korea, always a surprise after the next layer.

Pick a box

Pick a box

Goodbye to my daughter that stays behind for another long year. I am not getting better at this, in fact I really just suck at this.

Ulsan Station: Tara

Ulsan Station: Tara

Happy 2015 where ever you are and decide to go and let us make it a good one.

Random Photo:

Save the Rhino! Photo by Tara in Korea

Save the Rhino! Photo by Tara in Korea

PICKLED PINK

Aside

Pickled Radishes

Pickled Radishes

I always wondered how the contestants on Master Chef could pickle all they pickle within one hour. I thought pickles had to sit pretty in brine or whatever for weeks to be just right .Well I was wrong. No suprise that I was wrong on that score as I only for the first time preserved guavas a year ago after putting it off for half of my natural life, because yet again I thought it would take lots of time and effort, which it did not.

Today I made a bon voyage lunch for my sister and her husband who is going for a week of 5 star holiday in Mauritius, awful I know….If she loved me she would have taken me with. Another first for me was to make Eisbein which is a robust German dish of smoked pork knuckle and which deserves a blog on its own. I did not have sauerkraut and wanted some pickles to go with the obligatory mustard and veggies for the Eisbein feast.

No hard work for these pickles

No hard work for these pickles

A bunch of big fat radishes lying around in the fridge ended up being just the thing to pickle and low and behold, ready in 10 minutes. I bought a bottle of Verjus which I have never tried before (a lot of firsts being tried out here!) and the label says:: “use instead of lemon juice or vinegar”, perfect for the radishes.image

Mix the following:

1 cup Verjus/Vinegar of your choice

1/2 a cup water

2t salt

2 T honey(I used ginger infused honey)

A bunch radishes sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic

Pickled Pink!

Pickled Pink!

Cook the first 4 ingredients for 2 minutes in the microwave or warm up on the stove top. Add the radishes and garlic to the liquid(do not cook again, the heat is just to melt the honey) and leave to cool down. Taste the liquid and adjust the sweetness if you have to. 10 minutes later you have pickled radishes! Pretty and pink. I will definitely use Verjus again, I like the gentle taste of it and can think of a lot of ways to enhance food with my newfound bottle of joy. If I do not have ginger honey, I will definitely add ginger to the normal ingredients as it just took it to another layer of taste.

Random Photo:

Miss you Tara! Starbucks all the way from Ulsan, South Korea.

My Tara to the right, Jeanri to the left.

My Tara to the right, Jeanri to the left.

 

Good bye South Korea

And so the last day arrived. We shall be leaving the country on New Years day and to say good bye to my daughter is leaving a hole in my soul (again).Below a few of the sights and sounds of our trip.

Seoul Station: photo by Tara

Seoul Station: photo by Tara

Old market Seoul. The photo was taken by Tara early morning and it really captures the atmosphere there.

Old market Seoul: photo Tara

Old market Seoul: photo Tara

We visited the  Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju after reading the comprehensive temple blog of Dale’s Korean Temples http://koreantemples.com/?p=245 and chose to do so on the coldest day ever! I wish I could spend time alone at this temple to absorb the tranquility.

Bulguksa Temple – 불국사 (Gyeongju)

Bulguksa Temple – 불국사 (Gyeongju)

We took a bus, trains, another bus and a taxi to get there and honestly, it was so cold I had to look down to see if I was still wearing my pants because this cold is a “nekkid” cold. I think we stood out like two blonde thumbs in a dark haired country! image This particular cold lunch consisted of dishes all unknown to me. Even the ingredients I could not decipher. Still don’t know what I ate but hey, when in Rome….or at least, when in Gyeongju…..image And last but oh so not the least! I am in love with the way the Koreans think about kitchen sinks! You can take a bath in the thing. I so want one to take home with me.

My dream kitchen sink!

My dream kitchen sink!

Happy New Year to you all. I shall be in several planes for 23h30 minutes to be exact to get home to sunny Cape Town in 2014!

Roast lamb and farewell lunches

I prepared a farewell Sunday lunch of sorts today.

“Of sorts” because every lunch and dinner these past weeks had that farewell feeling of meals with meaning and meals with a brick in my throat every time I see me daughter’s face, who is yet again leaving for a year’s working stint overseas.

Excited for her and she is doing exactly what I would have done but still, oh but still…..the mind understands but the heart is not on the same page.

She had a list of favourite things to eat and meals to have when she returned from Chile last year and the same list is repeating itself for the “I am leaving again” list and then some! This time the destination is South Korea and I have absolutely no idea if she will find some of the ingredients there, or all, or nothing but she is leaving armed with a few favourite handwritten recipes to try on her own there in the faraway lands.

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On the menu:

  • Roast lamb in apple and white wine sauce- the recipe is that of Nataniel, a well known foodie and cook in South Africa and he made it on his television program Die Nataniel Tafel. See http://www.dienatanieltafel.co.za
  • Pumpkin fritter with caramel cream sauce- yes we did not hold back on the sugar today….my son eats these for desert he loves it so much
  • Green beans with red pepper, onion and feta
  • Green salad followed by chocolate mousse
  • Music on the go- golden oldies

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Pumpkin Fritters with creamy caramel sauce

1 cup cold cooked pumkin (any variety)

1 cup flour

1 egg

1,5 teaspoon baking powder

25 ml sugar

2 cups vegetable oil-to deepfry the fritters

Mix the ingredients together and fry spoons full in oil over medium heat until cooked through-drain on kitchen paper

Caramel Sauce:

Boil over medium heat until thick

2/3 cups cream

25 ml butter

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1/3 cup sugar

Pour over the fritters.

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Leg of Lamb with apple and white wine sauce

2kg leg of lamb-season with salt and pepper to taste

250 ml apple juice

180 ml white wine

1 grated apple

1 onion-diced

2 table spoons flour

salt and pepper

fresh thyme

Seal the meat in a pan and therafter lightly fry the onion in the pan juices.

Put the meat in a casserole, pour over the wine and apple juice and add salt and pepper to taste again. Add grated apple and fried onions and a few sprigs of thyme and bake for 3 hours covered on 150 degrees Celsius.

Remove the leg of lamb from the casserole dish and place in an open dish for 30 minutes in the oven. Pour the juice/sauce in a saucepan, thicken with the flour to make a thick sauce.Taste the sauce and season (if necessary) to taste.Serve with the warm carved meat. Thank you for this recipe Nataniel!

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