Tuesday, April 12, 2016

dreaming of food

I mentioned in my previous post that I'm not on a starvation diet. This is true. At the same time, I am putting myself through a rather extreme privation, and while it's done wonders, in a short time, for my health, it's also been driving me slowly mad because all I do, these days, is think about the enormous pile of food I'm going to eat this coming Saturday.

Now, I realize full well that I can easily undo two weeks of effort by plowing through an entire groaning board of hot, steaming delectables. But know this: my brain and my stomach don't give a fuck. My stomach, in particular, has been sending siren-song signals to my brain, making it fantasize about all sorts of food. I've been trying to leaven these fantasies with thoughts of how to make the food low-carb, but that effort hasn't been going well.

I've comforted myself with modest thoughts of lettuce-wrap tuna and quail eggs, maybe with some chopped-up tomatoes and sweet-vinegar marinated cukes inside. I've thought about going to Costco, buying another large package of shabu-style beef, and frying it all up for either French dips or more lettuce wraps, possibly with a chimichurri sauce for the beef, Argentine-style. I've pictured myself buried under a pile of cooked jumbo shrimp, eating my way out with the aid of some ice-cold cocktail sauce.

Worst of all, I've imagined making my own fried "amugeona" platter* composed of all sorts of bad-for-you food: chunky-chopped sausages, tiny but meaty mandu, hunks of ddeok, salty French fries—all gently drizzled over with a nice, spicy-hot Korean yangnyeom chili sauce.

I'll do my best to rein in my raging appetite this weekend, especially now that I know what I know about how my body works. That said, things are going to go a little overboard, and you'll just have to trust that this will be a one-day paroxysm of eating.

*The term amugeona ("ah-mu-gaw-nah") means, roughly, "anything." This word actually appears on some restaurant menus, and it's a hilarious response to those indecisive customers who don't know what they want: just order the "anything" platter if you really can't decide!



Bratfink said...

Even potato peels are haute cuisine to a starving man.

Charles said...

Somehow, I've never seen an 아무거나 platter (though I've seen a bunch of 모듬 platters). I must be patronizing the wrong restaurants!

Kevin Kim said...

My Sookdae students first clued me in on this years ago.

Here's one example on a menu.
A second.
A third.
A fourth.
A fifth.
A sixth.

What gets me is how the cost of "아무거나" varies from place to place.

Charles said...

So basically it's like a chef's choice? I can't believe I've never seen this before. How long has this been a thing?

Now I have an irrational desire to go someplace and order 아무거나.

Kevin Kim said...

It's been a thing since at least when I was working at Sookdae (2005-08). Probably before that time, too, given that it was something my students already knew about.

The menu photos themselves provide clues as to what sort of resto you'd have to visit to order 아무거나. Happy hunting!

Charles said...

Yeah, I suspect that's why I haven't seen the platters--I don't really frequent those types of restaurants. Still it's surprising that I've never seen it. I probably just haven't been paying attention.