Friday, March 05, 2010

My long overdue final Korea post

I've been back from Korea for a while, and though I've been pretty busy getting settled into becoming someone who can pretend to be doctory, not a day goes by when I don't absolutely miss the bustle of Seoul. It's not just the TV, which I've been able to keep up with thanks to the interweb, and it's not just hanging out with my sister. How could anyone not miss this?

Loaded chili cheese fries from New York Fries...a source of poutine in a subway station.

Or these:

Genuine churros in the fancy beautiful-people-filled apgujeong-dong.

I'm also nowhere near a doughnut plant anymore. So I can't eat a mascarpone-filled square doughnut, or a citron glazed cake doughnut.

I certainly wouldn't mind warming my hands over a cylinder of charcoal, followed by grilling delicious, cheap, pig skirt meat over the same charcoal (well not the exact same one... a new one).

I wanna duck back into the tent of a food stall and eat fishcake and spicy rice cakes until I explode.

I could even go for more Japanese food in Korea. This bowl of ramen with char-grilled pork was pretty fantastic.

The last meal I ate in Korea was simple and delicious. It was in a "restaurant" that all the employees ate at, right next to the more glamorous food court (everything about Incheon airport is many airports do you know that have 24/7 personal shoppers to help you navigate all the high-end shopping?)

Maybe one of my favorite meals in Korea was at a bo ssam chain. When I got back and told my mom that's where we'd gone, she-in the blunt Korean manner-said their food is terrible, but I liked it. I guess it's not really a fair contest for "favorite meal" because this meal was with my grandma. Hanging around Atlanta, I wanted bo ssam again, but decided that I'd maybe eaten a bit too much pork belly, and that I should use tenderloin instead.

So there it is...tenderloin bo ssam with a quick endive kimchee. Hopefully I'll be able to go back soon and make this for my grandma, but with pork belly because she says you gotta have some amount of fat for it to be tasty.

Second favorite meal? When my aunt basically went insane and cooked five different things that require a lot of time and effort, including braised kimchee and pork belly. It takes a while...

With the help of my semi-new le creuset, I went for it...and thus the pork belly embargo was officially lifted.

Yeah I miss Korea a lot. So much so that I felt like I needed to ease myself back into eating American food at restaurants. I enlisted the help of a high school friend who flew in to Atlanta (for work...and when I say he flew in that's exactly what he did...he flew the plane).

How to bridge the gap? Korean BBQ burger at Flip. Wagyu patty, braised short rib on top...pickled vegetables (which are eaten at every meal in Korea pretty much), and kimchee ketchup. The kimchee ketchup wasn't really noticeable...everything else was tasty though.

Tempura fried rutabaga and zucchini fries have appeared on the side menu. The breading on the zucchini was a bit mealy, but good.

*sigh* What am I to do? I've finished the dramas I was interested in watching, and variety shows only air on Saturdays and Sundays. I need more Korean-ness in my life right now. I googled "Paris Baguette Atlanta" and found three locations...but they had all since closed down.

The new H-Mart in Doraville is close by, and they have:

A Tous Les Jours? Dammit! So close, yet so far away. I guess I'll have to make a trip to LA, Philly, New Jersey, or New York sometime soon. I suppose I could (and definitely would), drive the hour from Lafayette to Santa Clara to hit up a PB.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Korean-ness, we all could use some of that