Friday, February 20, 2015

currying favor

My local grocery stocks a surprising number of non-Korean goods. I found bay leaves and cloves there, much to my delight, and the biggest jackpot of all: I found a huge plastic bottle of curry for only five bucks. That's the good news: I won't need to go all the way to Itaewon to fetch my much-coveted spice.

The bad news, alas, is that it's East Asian curry, which I think of as the Bill Murray of curry: sweet and not very serious. Indian curry doesn't fuck around: it's got an aroma and a flavor that both hit you. Hard. Indian curry isn't shy about its pungency. It's like the guy who deliberately refuses to shower for a week, then sits next to you on the subway, breathing heavily and staring at you with a Dafuckyougonna doowuhbahdit? look on his face as he wordlessly assaults you with his brain-raping fetor. East Asian curry, by contrast, is a dainty little geisha who titters in shame when she farts accidentally.

Be that as it may, I'm going to try to use this curry to make my old shrimp-and-chicken curry dish, assuming I can find fresh basil somewhere.* And proper peas—not the shitty little flavorless green jawbreakers that Koreans normally eat.

*Every now and again, I'll mention fresh basil on the blog, and Charles will ask me why I'm not growing my own. I'd love to try, but I'd need to know where to find basil seeds and the proper soil. I assume the local E-Mart or Home Plus will have planting/gardening supplies, but will they have the seeds? Or should I order the seeds from iHerb? Because if I could grow large quantities of basil, I'd make myself a ton of pesto. Pine nuts are expensive in Korea, but at least they're readily available.


1 comment:

Charles said...

Don't bother with growing from seeds--just buy basil plants from your local plant/flower vender. A single plant will be a few thousand won, and they're incredibly easy to take care of. Just make sure they're properly watered, and harvest the top leaves whenever you need some.

We usually end up making pesto before we go on a trip somewhere--we slaughter what remains of our basil plants and then just buy new ones when we get back.

(You can grow from seeds if you really want--it will be cheaper, but it will also take a lot longer.)