Food! Food! Food!


One of the things that you immediately notice when entering a new culture is the food. Every ethnicity, every culture has its unique foods that evolved over hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years. The Italians are known for pasta, the Germans for sauerkraut, and the Koreans for kimchi. But the "tastes" of the food go beyond just the "trademark" foods.

What sparked my thinking about this was lunch with one of my Korean friends this week. He was at my apartment and I was really tired so he volunteered to fix us some food. I took a short nap on the sofa and woke up to peanut butter, jelly, pickles, and fried eggs on toast. The funny thing is, once I took off the pickles, the peanut butter, jelly, and egg sandwich actually tasted good.

So, I thought I'd show some of the foods I've learned to really enjoy since I've been here.

  Dak Galbi is chicken with cabbage, onions, sweet potato and sesame leaves cooked with a medium spicy red pepper sauce.

Galbi JJim is "steamed chicken", literally a whole chicken slow cooked with potatoes, carrots, onion, mushrooms, peppers, and glass noodles with soy sauce.

One of my personal favorites is buddae jjigae, aka. soldier stew.  It is a hodge-podge of everything thrown into one pot:  hotdog franks, spam, sausage, rice cake, onion, green onion, kimchi, pepper sauce, sliced cheese, ramen noodles.

This is from one of the local carry-out places.  Fried rice, with soup and assorted sides (you always get lots of sides with Korean food).

Finally, while I've never eaten it myself (yet) beondaegi is cooked silkworm larvae.  It's supposed to be really good with soju (korean sweet potato vodka), but I wonder if you need the soju to be able to handle eating it!


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Rick is an English teacher currently living and working in Seoul, South Korea. If you have any questions about life in Korea, feel free to email:

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