Hello from the Land of the Morning Calm!
We made it here safe and sound. My kids were actually REALLY good on the plane. Thank goodness for personal movie players, games, and grandparents. I am traveling alone on the way home, and I am a little worried…eek! But I’m going to pray really hard that Joshy sleeps at least half the way.
We’ve been here for about a week now and it’s been so much fun!
I’m not cooking over here, but thought I’d share some food that I’ve been eating! I think I’ve already gained a few pounds. Going to have to work out just so I can eat more!
So we start at the Asiana Lounge at LAX. You could tell I was a newbie lounger because I was the only one taking pictures of the spread.:) But I had to document it! Fresh fruit, cheese, sandwiches, Kimchi fried rice, butternut squash soup, cup ramen, coffee, etc!! It was awesome!! Thanks to my parents who have Diamond Platinum status on Asiana.:)
I am so sad, but I forgot to take pictures of my first real “Korean” food here in Korea. It’s a small hole-in-the-wall shop that I used to frequent from back in my high school days!! Red hot ddukboki with vermicelli noodles, kimbap, rice cake dumpling soup, and hot stone bibimbap! YUMMY! I will remember to take pictures next time. I was too engrossed in my food this first time.:)
We spent the first week at sister in law’s place, right by the Han River! My sister is the best host ever and she took us all over Seoul.
Kids had a blast at Lotte World and Pororo Park.
We also went to Cheonggyecheon, the “urban renewal project” that transformed a dirty stream into a nature escape in the middle of busy Seoul city life! I held onto my Joshie so tight. Knowing him, he would jump right into the water. Hence, he is not in this picture with my daughter, niece, and sis-in-law.
To cool off from our walk along Cheonggyechon, we mosied on over to Passion 5, a three-story dessert cafe! First floor, Haute Tea Shop with fancy schmancy tea and food; Second floor- main dessert floor packed with gelato, savory pastries, macaroons, cookies, and delicious cakes!! Third floor is the cafe where you can enjoy the abundance of sugar and sweets. No pictures allowed on the dessert floor, but here’s a glimpse into the decor and menu…
Strawberry Tiramisu was fluffy, not too sweet, with just the right amount of everything. Gelato was amazing! Grapefruit, Grape, Strawberry- they all tasted so tangy, fresh- as if I was biting into a piece of real fruit. The drink is a Grape-ade. Pureed grape, topped with sparkling water and grape sorbet. All so yummy! I want to try the other items on their menu…
Vatos Tacos in Itaewon. The concept is much like Kogi truck. Kalbi tacos, Fish tacos, Kimchi Carnitas Fries!!! Held me over for the time being, but come on now! I am a Socal girl. I need me the real deal- El Taurino and Taqueria de Anda!! 🙂 I’ll have to wait a month for it…
Now we are back home at my parents’ house, and the eating hasn’t stopped!
My mom’s home-cooked meal: Bean paste soup, Bossam(mom’s specialty), Eggplant, Perilla Leaf(깻잎), cucumber side dishes!
Since I have no Target here, I turn to my Korean equivalent- E-mart! It’s got everything you need from groceries to home supplies, clothes to beauty products. They even have an Odeng cart!
These carts are usually found on the streets of Korea and people just stop for a quick snack. It’s run on an honor system- you just pick out which odeng stick(s) you want to eat and pay later. The odeng soup from these carts is SOOO good, so you have to make sure to scoop out a cup of it. There is a soy sauce for dipping, and back in the day, it used to be a communal bowl. Gross!!! But now, they have come up with spray bottles, and even automatic dispensers for a more sanitary Odeng experience.:) The one I am eating is odeng that has been cooked in ddukboki sauce. OMG so good! The price per Odeng stick: 500 Won, or 43.75 cents, for regular Odeng stick, 600 Won for the spicy one or 53 cents! I wish we had this kind of fast food in LA…
Whew, this is a long post- hang with me.
Duck roasted in clay and sulfur. Don’t ask me how that works, because I asked the same thing and got no answer.:) Pictures don’t do it justice, but it was quite tasty! You dip each piece of duck in a special sauce and then wrap it with the circle radish, green Chwinamul, and marinated peppers. The rice stuffed inside the duck is really good- packed with healthy grains!
I love Kabocha squash already and they baked that yummy rice in it too!!
The last course was Soo Jae Bi ( dough flakes) cooked in a perilla seed soup.
Duhl-gae or perilla seeds is often used with duck in Korea. I think it helps with balancing some of the gamey-ness. Duck is the ultimate healthy food in Korea. So though my stomach was sooo full, felt good knowing that I packed it with healthy food.
Gosh, that’s only one week of food! Looking forward to four more weeks of this goodness..
P.S. Husband, we miss you!:) Wish you were here with us.. have a safe flight back from down under!