Sunday, September 2, 2018

II. Food! in Korea

Continue with my first Korean Food blog I, Daejeon is 5th largest city in Korea and there is nothing to do, hahaha :). But! it's true.  That's why Daejeon has one of the lowest crime and natural disaster rate in Korea.  In this blog, I'd like to talk about Daejeon and my lunch food and the food from my trip to Seoul, Sokcho and Jeju Island. 


When you talk about Daejeon, one can't miss Sungsimdang bakery:it's famous for the Fried-sweet-red bean-paste/ sweet potato paste bun but in my opinion, there are so many more delicious bread and pastries than the fried buns.  Whenever we could, we'd gone to the bakery and bought lots of bread and pastries for us, our friends and especially for my father.  My family lives in Seoul and it was a treat to eat some Sungsimdang's yummy things. 

I just love their display!  So very overwhelming yet appealing.  I miss you!!!

Daejeon people try to avoid this bakery during weekends: there are so many outsiders lol :) .  We love also the tasters.  Who doesn't?

Most of the famous Korean bakeries started right after the Japanese occupation era: when the Japanese bakery owners fled Korea, the employees started their own bakeries.  There are still lots of Japanese influence in them as you can see the Melon Buns thingy in front of the bakery!

Koreans love pickled veggies.  All kind of fermented Kimchi to marinated veggies, one can buy at this market.  

Another my favorite place in Daejeon, Jungang Market! It's a traditional market with lots of shops, local produces, and pre-made food; walking distance from the Sungsimdang bakery.  

Some would say it's not clean nor sanitary enough but after Mexico and Zanzibar markets :P  We didn't have any problem eating this food: We, even my American all the way through husband, never got sick from this delicious Korean pancakes. One of our favorite stops in Jungang market. 

Kimbab (Seaweed with rice) is like Korean maki.  This small one, I love them: Baby kimbab!

Elephant dumpling!  It's their Dumpling/Mandu/Bun place name.  

Koream tempura; Tweekim

Woo~~ my favorite, Tteokbokki, Spicy rice cake with fish cake and other veggie and stuff. 

Assorted rice cakes

The first time when I went to the market, I bought these foods!  It was delicious and cheap. 

My husband loves this market. He was waiting for the Mungbean pancake :) 

If you ever visit Daejeon, you must try this!  Steamed clam and Clam noodle soup!  OMG! I miss you!!!  Daejeon is very famous for the noodle dish, 물총 칼국수, 오씨칼국수 which is made with wheat flour because Daejeon is located in the middle of Korea and it was the place for distributing all the aides' good from the other countries and UN right after the Korean war: We used to be so very poor T.T


While I was in Korea for 2 years, there were so many things happened!  I learned English vocabruaries like impeachment, constitutional court and so on.  I've never had any interests in politics but last 2 years, oh man,  it was so much better than any soap opera, I started pay attention to all the political drama.  In fact, I was in Seoul in the middle of the Candlelight revolution on the first night! Wow, it was super cool!

In Jongro, near Pagoda park, there is an ally where are filled with more than handful of Bossam restaurants.  If you ever tried David Chang's Ssam restaurant, this is the original one.  I'd not know this place if my brother didn't take me to this restaurant :)  Just like any other old, cool, and awesome restaurant, one must know where to go!

My husband and I stayed and visited Seoul many times when we were in Korea.  I took some photos  of the most delicious food in Seoul.  This Korean Pancake restaurant is located in Bukchon.  It was delicious!  So much better in à la carte!

After appetizers in the pancake house, we went to this BBQ restaurant, 중경삼림, which also located in Bukchon area.  This restaurant has a wonderful Cold kimchi noodle soup. 

Hwangsaengga, 황생가, 78 Bukchon-ro 5-gil, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea, 
Noodle soup place in Bukchon area. I love their fresh chili pepper kimchi.  

Cute bakery in Jongro

In Bukchon again, super nice owner and delicious food!

We met our friends who used to live across from our apt in Ithaca in Samchungdong area where is super protected by tons of police force since it's next to the Blue house, Korean presidential house. 

Our must-go-to place in Seoul, Vatos in Itaewon.  

Famous Samchungdong dumpling soup place. We arrived right before they are opened and got lucky: didn't wait at all! 

Jeju Island

Jeju island, we loved everything!; food, scenery, ocean, and even the place we stayed.  Pork and fish! You must try.  Our first meal, braised hairtail fish and sautéed Jeju pork

Jeju Island also has lots of non-Korean but Koreanized restaurants and some of them were very good.   The pasta dishes and the Tiramisu was really good but this huge pork burger was meh..

One of the famous Korean cosmetic company, Amore Pacific has a huge tea farm, shops and museum in Jeju island.  We had simple yummy brunch at the Innispree shop. 

The one restaurant that we'd like to go was closed so we just went to this restaurant, Korean-Chinese restaurant.  There were so many people waiting outside and thought, this must be good and it WAS very good one.  :)  Worth waiting !

Ben's birthday dinner at an Italian restaurant.  I have no problem to eat Korena food everyday and night but for my husband, it was nice to have something other than Korean food, for once :) 

Woooo the most memorable food we had.  Hairytail fish/Belt fish restaurant.  The fish was so fresh that we can eat as sashimi. 

Only in Jeju island!  Huge grilled fishes, yummy side dishes, braised deboned fish.  It was so delicious!  I want to eat right now!

Beef tartar Korean style.

Because of the Pyeongchang Olympic, the east coast of Korea finally got the KTX, the fast train.  We took the KTX, passed the Pyeongchang area and arrived in Gangneung.  My brother took us to the famous Stinky fermented bean paste, 청국장 soup restaurant.  Gangneung is famous for the Tofu and the bean paste and apparently the coffee :) 

Home made tofu and all kind of yummy side dishes. 

My husband was facinated by this huge fire-charcoal pit.  This won't be permitted in U.S. for sure :) 

The charcoal grilled fish. OMG it was so good!  We could've eaten another portion for sure.  Fishes weren't fishy at all :)  So fresh.  It's very interesting since the whole South Korea is super small, one can take a train Seoul to Busan in about 4 hours yet, one can only have fresh seafood when you are in the coastal places like here, Sokcho :) 

Sokcho Jungang market with lots of dried/ half-dried fishes!

Famous sugary chicken, 닭강정.  How famous?  Cheetos has this flavored one :P

Fried! all fried!

Famous stuffed squid!

Korean Sashimi, Hoe restaurants usually serve the side dishes while the chef is skillfully cut the fish for the customers. 

I believe it was 4 different kind of fish... Our main Hoe. 

Always finish with the fish bone soup - the bone from the fish that we ordered.  One can usually add Ramen noodle in it.  Super delicious :)

Breakfast, Dried golden pollack soup!  

The most memorable food fron this trip according to my husband.  Matsutake mushroom bulgogi in Yangyang.  The menu even doesn't have this menu.  One must know what you are ordering :) It's seasonal and/or limited quantity per season.  The first time my husband tasted the praised mushroom, Matsutake and he wasn't disappointed!  

My favorite!  Sokcho Mulhoe,  Watery Sashimi.  Originally from the fishermen on a boat who usually don't have time to cook or properly prepare their food. They just cut up whatever available on that day and mix with water and the spicy & sour sauce and eat quickly between the hard work.  Now it's specialty in this area and was soooooooooo good!  I love abalone!

Sea- urchin seaweed soup and abalone porridge

Stuffed squid pancake.  Yummy!

In Korea, the artisanal coffee syndrom is faded away and the newest booming is the Craft beer. Gangwon province has lots of craft breweries and this was one of them that are closed to our hotel.  Delicious food and yummy beer. 

Our last meal in this trip, Jang-kalguksu, Spicy Bean paste noodle soup.  Too spicy for my husband but it was very comforting for me and my brother. 
I love this kind of thick noodle.  It's like udon noodle but flat instead of round. 


We decided to go to Busan for Christmas weekends.  Its second biggest city in Korea after Seoul, so there were lots of international cuisine restaurants all over the place. 

Our first meal at a Indian restaurant.

Busan is the capital of Craft beer in Korea. 

Spanish Tapas restaurant

Our favorite bar, Owl and Pussycat.  We can see the Gwanganli beach where the Black panther was filmed.  There was the Black panther statue lol.

So so beers

One of the best breweries in Busan, Galmegi - means Seagul. 

Our last meal in Busan, Chicago style pizza and pasta 

Busan is famous for their fish cake and it was soooooooooo delicious!

Food around my work, SICA

This is where I worked.  Isn't it so pretty?  

I probably spent most of my money at this little Korean auntie restaurant.  Sooo cheap and lots of choices

Spicy cold noodle bowl

Tteokbokki, Spicy rice cake with fired mandu, fish cake, and boiled egg

Spicy soft tofu soup :)  There is many tofu soup place in the SF bay area but it's much cheaper in Korea, of course. $3!

Omg-rice ( Japanese style Omelette-Rice)

My husband's favorite, Tonkatsu.  This is less than $5.  See?  I didn't cook in Korea: so much cheap to just eat at restaurants around campus. 

When we have some time, my colleagues went to this place, Mandu(Korean dumplings) Shabushabu restaurant. 

My TAs' favorite place to go with their professors, Jayeonbyelgok buffet restaurant. It was amazing to see how much small skinny girls can stuff themselves :P  I was very shocked at the first time because everybody just left their stuff, purse, iPhone, iPad, wallet on the table and ALL went to the buffet table togather.  I said "I will wait for you guys" and my TA said " Prof. See around!  Everybody leaves their stuff on the table.  Let's go!" :)  

Donburi - Japanese Tonkatsu rice

Once in a blue moon, I got something from the student- run cafe in the SICA building.

Mr. Nagasaki restaurant.  White spicy seafood and beef noodle, chili shrimp and Chinese style fried garlic chicken.

Solban, Woosong Student-run restaurant

Lunch at a rice restaurant - We ordered the rice set menu and we got all this.  I believe it was less than $7 per person

Pork and spicy soup

Lunch at the Auntie place by myself, Korean Kimbab and Kimchi udon

Lunch at a Tonkatsu restaurant with Prof. Mina. 

The famous clam noodle soup

Lunch with Prof. Mina :) Potato soup which often doesn't have potatoes in it.  Apparently the Pork joint bone looks like potato that's why we call it Potato soup. 

Lunch with my student, Summer, at the Solban restaurant. 

Our first meal together - Prof. Mina and me! 

Again, Korena Auntie place

One of famous restaurants in Daejeon, Smile noodle soup restaurant. 

Shabushabu time with Julie and Sarah

Lunch with my TAs. One stone pot is about $3.  Cheap, huge portion, all spicy and yummy :) 

Seafood-green onion pancake

Side dishes

Smoked duck

Crispy Kimchi pancake

Grilled squid - it was on the house :)  Above 5 photos from our favorite night-out place, 흙과마루.  

The best cocktail bar, Adonis

Tempura dish from our favorite Izakaya, Haema, 해마

One of TAs' birthday party at all-you-can-eat sushi place. 

Gangnam Style

My colleague, American sister, Sarah's birthday lunch at Michelin-stared restaurant, Dosa in Gangnam

My last Korean BBQ

The night before my departure, I must have the pork bbq again... Thank you Sam and Mina!

Bye-bye Daejeon

I will probably never go back to Daejeon unless something happens :)  We had a wonderful 2 years in Daejeon.  Thank you our friends, students, colleagues, all the restaurant workers and aunties!