Korean Food Appreciation Post

I’ve recently been missing some things about Korea – particularly food. So, I thought I’d write a post about some of my favorite dishes I had while I was living in Ulsan!

Shabu Shabu

– While it’s not technically a Korean dish (it’s Japanese), there were shabu shabu restaurants everywhere in Korea! Steve and I probably ate this more than anything else when we went out for dinner. Shabu shabu consists of thinly sliced pieces of raw meat, which you cook in a boiling pot of broth at your table. You also add vegetables like bok choy and cabbage. When everything is cooked, you can roll it up in rice paper along with an assortment of other raw veggies!

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Barbecue (고기구이)

– I loved eating barbecue in Korea, especially samgyeopsal (삼겹살) which is pork belly. It was always so much fun going out to a restaurant with friends and cooking your dinner right at the table. My favorite restaurant in downtown Ulsan always put out a side dish of spicy bean sprouts and I also enjoyed ssamjang (쌈장), which is a thick sauce you can dip your meat in before you wrap it in a lettuce leaf.

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Gamjatang (감자탕)

– Gamjatang is a pork spine stew that has potatoes, radish greens, onions, peppers, and sometimes noodles or dumplings. It was one of my favorite things to eat during the super cold winter months because it certainly warmed you right up!

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Pajeon (파전)

– Pajeon is a green onion pancake that I wish I had gotten to eat more of during my stay. My favorite kind had seafood cooked into it (squid and prawn). Usually not enough for a whole meal, but definitely good for a yummy snack.

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Dak Galbi (닭갈비)

– Dak galbi is a stir fried chicken dish made with gochujang (red pepper paste), cabbage, onions, and rice cakes. You can usually add in other items, like cheese or ramen (that’s how I liked it!). Everything is cooked together on a big hot plate. When it’s ready, just scoop and eat!

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In addition to these particular dishes, I also miss chains like Paris Baguette, Lotteria, and Ediya. Paris Baguette had cheap, yummy sandwiches and salads which were great in a pinch. At Lotteria, I loved the Mozzerella in the Burger sandwich. And finally, at Ediya, they had a toffee nut latte which was absolutely to die for!

The Inconvenient Convenience Store

I woke up at around 5:30 this morning, stomach rumbling. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but it wouldn’t let up. I finally got up and ended up talking to my friend Carly on Kakao Talk. I Skyped with my mom last night, too, and it was good to hear familiar voices. While I talked to Carly, I powered through one of my remaining Luna bars and thought “maybe it’s time to go shopping.” It’s something I’ve been avoiding since I’m not moved into my apartment yet, but a girl’s got to eat.

I remembered seeing a 7/11 next to the Lotte Mart yesterday, so I walked over to grab a few things. Closed. Opens at 10 AM. I got really annoyed because I’m used to having 7/11 open 24/7 at home. What do you do if you’re drunk at 3 AM and need a snack? Have a really early shift at work and don’t want to make lunch? This is what 7/11 is for. But apparently not in Korea.

Why you no open 24/7?!

Why you no open 24/7?!

I walked back to my hotel and tried to go to the convenience store around the corner from me. Also closed. Walked down a random side street. Everything closed.

Frustration.

I finally walked back up towards the Lotte Mart and went into a chain called Paris Baguette, which is like a little bakery and coffee shop. I bought a red bean and cream pastry and a bottle of orange pineapple juice for 2,600 won ($2). The pastry itself was a bit sweet for me, but the red bean was delicious and nutty and the cream was similar to what you would find in a cream puff.

Delicious tiny breakfast!

Delicious tiny breakfast!

My first day of work is today, too. I think I will only be observing, but I am super excited! I’ll write more later.