Wednesday, December 06, 2006

bouffe à la coréenne

As promised, I'm eating more Korean-style. Behold:

Conspicuously absent from the above is soup, but I couldn't be bothered. I bought the above panchan (side dishes) at Lotte Mart. I'd give you a detailed, professional rundown of all the side dishes, but I don't know the names of some of them, in Korean or in English.

How about an unprofessional rundown, then?

In the front row, we've got a large bowl of dark, multigrain rice to the left of the sujeo (spoon and chopsticks); to the right of the sujeo, we've got tuna (looks like cat food) mixed with mayonnaise and Thai hot sauce, then a small package of dried seaweed, and a bowl of myeol-ch'i (dried and sweetened anchovies).

The leftmost bowl in the back row contains kimchi; next to it is a bowl of toraji-namul, a tough, crunchy root that's been spiced (one of my favorites). I don't know the proper name for the dish in the middle; it's got dried prawns and some kind of crisp green vegetable in it-- salty and crunchy. The fourth bowl is a very dry, very dull clump of shredded seaweed mixed with vegetables and sesame oil-- not very good. (I'm going to convert it into a soup, in fact.) Finally, the rightmost bowl contains two types of side dish-- odaeng (molded fish paste) and vegetables in sweet sauce, and dried squid in sweet, spicy red sauce. Yum.

The general rule, for me, is to eat only until the rice bowl is empty. Rice is essential. If you don't include rice with your meal, everything is a salty mess. Rice's neutral flavor and bulk compensate for those problems.

Anyway, voilà mon repas.


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