Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Chuseok is upon us

Much culinary misbehavior planned for the upcoming Chuseok* holiday, one of two major family-oriented national holidays in Korea, the other being Seollal, i.e., the lunar new year. Chuseok is the time of the harvest-moon festival; some folks roughly translate this as "Korean Thanksgiving," which makes other expats cringe, but it's a decent enough way of expressing the local celebration of agricultural plenty. Thus far, I have these meals in mind:

1. chicken satay with peanut sauce
2. hwadeok mandu over in Incheon's Chinatown during one of my vacation days**
3. hamburgers
4. spaghetti with shrooms and homemade pork sausage
4a. some sort of Alfredo/bleu-Fredo
5. Amurrican-style breakfast with bacon, eggs, and pancakes
6. shrimp/prawns bobo (see this video)
6a. if not bobo, then American-style Chinese cashew shrimp

*Pronunciation note: the "eo" in romanized Korean words is pronounced somewhere between an "aw" and an "uh" sound, so "Chuseok" sounds a lot like it's somewhere between "chew-suck" and "chew-sawk." The name "Seoul" is the same: break it up into "Seo" and "ul" for a more accurate, Korean-sounding pronunciation: "suh-ool" or "saw-ool."

**I'll be bringing along some dipping sauce this time. Last time around, the mandu were fantastic in terms of meatiness and texture, but they were also bland as hell. "Needs sauce," is what I thought. I'll be packing some along when I head out west.

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