This has to be one of the highlights of my trip regarding food. It is the biggest bibimbap dish I have ever seen. Bibimbap is a dish of rice with other bits and bobs such as beef, eggs, vegetables and fermented chilli paste (gochujang). Dolsot bibimbap is served in a hot stone bowl to crisp up the grains of rice at the bottom. It is a real crowd pleaser and on this occasion there were over 15 of us watching this amazing dish been prepared. It often comes with minced raw beef and a raw egg, which cook as you mix it all together. The end result, was the dish tasted amazing and very light on the palette. Once again it left me not feeling bloated, actually I wanted more.
The Institute of Traditional Korean Cuisine (Jeong Gang Won)
Whilst in the area of Pyeongchang I was taken to Jeong Gang Won. This place was used as the main backdrop for the Korean drama ‘Sikgaek’ adapted from the famous work of the comic artist Heo Yeong-man. Jo Jeong-gang, who ran a renowned traditional restaurant named Dongchon for many years, opened this site, covering about 33,000 square meters, to exhibit the traditional Korean food culture. There is a food museum, a kitchen to learn how to cook Korean foods, a seminar room, a fermentation room and a vegetable garden in this complex. While the houses available for lodging have hanok style exteriors, they have modern convenient facilities. The food was wonderful and I would make time for this during your Winter Olympic Pyeongchang 2018
Dumplings / Chae Mandu
I am a huge lover of dumplings and whilst in Seoul I went to the famous ‘Gwangjang’ market. This has to be the cleanest food market I have ever visited in Asia. Whilst staying in Seoul, it is a must visit. I would recommend to eat here first to explore and understand South Korean Food. I opted for the dumplings which were being made fresh in front of me. They are dumplings that I have not experienced before. The dumplings are made of, beef, pork and Kimchi. I opted for all of them. There is nothing like hand-made dumplings made from scratch. I tried them with and with out the soy or chili sauce. This gave me a real appreciation of how wonderful they really are.
On big Korean holidays like New Year’s Day, families would gather together and make dumplings while catching up with each other.
Sesame Coffee Latte
I love my coffee and I was also intrigued to explore cafe’s in South Korea. This has to be one of the most unusual coffee experiences to date. The first one was called sesame black bean latte. It tasted delicious. It is made of carefully selected black bean, black sesame and black rice, obtained by boiling, roasting, and drying method.
Black beans prevents anxiety, osteoporosis and feeling cold. This is because it contains lots of Saponin which helps blood circulation to perigheral blood vessel. Saponin reinforces function of the kidney and it is also good for diuretic. Black sesame is a healthy ingredient to have when you have dizziness, numbness and constipation. Black sesame is also known to prevent aging.
Sweet Potato Latte
The other coffee I tasted was sweet potato latte. This was very weird but fun to have. So make sure to explore that whilst in Seoul or PyeongChang. The idea is to steam the sweet potato until it is cooked (for 20 to 25 mins). Once the sweet potato is ready, put the steamed sweet potato and the milk into the blender. Blend until the sweet potato is completely blended into the milk. Pour the blended mixture into a pot and add the sugar. Pour the sweet potato latte in a mug cup.
South Korea is a very clean place and its consistency and commitment to please the customer regarding food is commendable. The hygiene standards are amazing. So don’t be afraid to walk the street stalls and try. The food is different, fresh and well executed. The hygiene of the food is brilliant and the overall experience is you are never left feeling bloated or full. Hence why the Korean cuisines are one of the healthiest out there. Thanks for a great eating experience.