Monday, December 5, 2011

korean food

I never eat Korean food any more. I thought that once I moved to New York, I would eat it a lot since it was easily accessible, unlike in Providence, but I guess that never happened. It's expensive! And it takes a lot of time to make. But also, I feel like nothing can really beat my mom's cooking, so now it's just something I eat a lot when I go home. It's weird because this is what I would eat every day until I went to college, and now it's just a special thing. I don't know how my taste buds have to learned to adjust without it. All this food is not Korean food anybody would eat on a daily basis's more "Hey Mom, I haven't had Korean food in so long. These are the things I want to eat."

My mom had this waiting for met when I got home from the airport, including cabbage and radish kimchee that my aunts made (which is a big deal) and sent from Korea. We get packages of kimchee every so often and the mailman always gives us weird looks, probably because the packages smell funny

This is one of my favorite things, ox tail soup. Because of the light, it looks like its all oil and fat, but it isn't really. You just boil oxtails for a very very very long time and keep adding water as it evaporates. The other version of this requires you to boil the soup for over 24 hours and it becomes a lot milkier and richer. Then you let it cool down, and once the fat solidifies and floats to the surface (gross I know) you take that all out. My mom does this whole process twice. I don't know why people are willing to do that but I'm glad they do because it tastes so good. Then you add salt and green onions.

This trashy Korean food. It's budae jiigae, which means "army base stew." This originated after the Korean War because there wasn't very much food to eat, and so people made use of the surplus food from the U.S. Army bases. So...basically it was a big boiling pot of kimchee and weird canned meats and sausages, miscellaneous noodles and I guess any other ingredients that were available. This is why my mom used to let us eat Spam when I was younger, then she learned that it was gross and she stopped using it. But really, I can't lie, it's good and SOMETIMES, my dad and I think about it and miss it. We hadn't had it probably since I was maybe 10, and we ordered this stew at a restaurant and got really excited to see the little fake meat bits, even though my mom wanted us to not eat them. We probably should have listened to her because it made us feel queasy.

This is my mom's version and she uses those sausages you put on toothpicks, beef chunks, udon noodles, tofu, and kimchee. It's so good but my mom only makes it when I come home because it's not really something you should eat often. I think this is why my dad looks forward to my visits, or else he never gets to eat this.

This is jajangmyeon, which is derived from the Chinese version of this dish. Its wheat noodles and a sauce made with black soybean paste, diced meat (or seafood), and vegetables. I LOVE this. It's a really popular delivery food in Korea, and I know this is the first thing I'm gonna get when I get there. But that black sauce gets everywhere! Or I'm the world's messiest eater. When I was little my mom told me that if I kept picking my nose, I would grow a mustache (what). I remember picking my nose, then having this for lunch, and then going to the bathroom to see this black sauce all over my face and I FREAKED OUT because I thought a grew a mustache. Worst day of my life.

This is pig's feet, which I really learned only a few years ago. My mom never told me what it was since she thought I would be grossed out, which I was. But by that point, I already liked eating it too much to care. Plus, I think that I knew what it was the whole time since its name has the word "feet" in it, but I just decided to ignore that fact. The pigs feet are cleaned (seriously, no little hairs have ever been found), and then boiled I think with some rice vinegar and ginger (maybe more things) until they're soft, then the bones are removed and they get sliced. It's served with cabbage or lettuce, which helps to balance out the heavy meatiness of it. And also with a super salty fermented shrimp only need a little dab of that.

AND we usually get the jokbal (pig's feet) with this, which is called soondae. I'm not gonna tell you what it's made out of because I don't like to think about it. I'm not even entirely sure I know what's in it besides noodles because my mom won't tell me because she knows I will get weirded out. Or I do know, and I've chosen to forget about it. She just tells me to eat it, and I gladly do because it's great.

And all this comes with sliced radishes and raw oysters.

I dedicate this entry to my pal Neal, who is in Germany and is an amazing food buddy because he will try anything with me. And I miss him :(

1 comment:

Dining Alone said...

I will come home and eat with you anytime! I have had very little Korean food and all of this looks amazing.