Jeju Island. Not a lotta time for words, just enough for some pictures…

August 10, 2011

A beautiful breakfast spread. (Yes, we eat fish and kimchi and all kinds of savories for breakfast, lunch and dinner…)

I think this is called beltfish? It’s a flat and long fish I haven’t seen outside of Korea. fried and sauced. We grew up eating a version of this but the owner of the restaurant also owns a fishing boat and this was caught that morning and it was absolutely the most delicious version we’ve ever had.

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Korea Day 1, lunch at the acorn restaurant

August 7, 2011

We went to this restaurant that specializes in acorn dishes. I LOVE Korean things made with acorn; mostly, acorn is ground into a flour and the flour is kneaded with water and cooked to form a jelly. All the variations start from there. It exermplifies my favorite features of Korean food: the resourcefulness, the thorough use of goodies that occur in nature, and the ability to create a scrumptious feast around something as simple and modest as… an acorn. Whodda thunk, right?

The shameless pornography you see above happens to be slices of smoked Korean duck, served with a bunch of vegetables and seasoning. Acorn jelly is hiding underneath the mound of yellow bean sprouts. With a side of sweet mustard sauce, this was insanely delicious, though not acorn-centric. YET. Observe:

This is acorn noodles hiding under generous sprinklings of crushed peanuts and spicy, tangy sauce.  The whole lot is mixed together thusly:

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Korea Day 1, Post-flight breakfast at home.

August 7, 2011

My mom had made a huge batch of gochujang-pickled Korean plums.

The plums are pickled first with sugar then marinated for a long time in gochujang, which is Korean pepper paste. The plums themselves are sweet and tart and meld beautifully with the tangy spiciness of gochujang. I’m definitely stealing a jar of this to bring back home.

My parents’ friends foraged for these leaves on an island off the Eastern coast of the Korean peninsula and gave some to my parents after pickling. I have no idea what these vegetables are called and I have never had them before.

We wrap morsels of rice with them and eat. If you’ve ever had Greek or middle eastern rice-stuffed grape leaves, it kind of tastes like that, except Asian-y and garlicky. In other words, super yumz.

Everything was home-made and not even close to anything I was able to access in America. We just ate these with simple rice. Wonderful.

Here’s to a jetlag-free rest of the day…