Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bulgogi and the Han River Cruise

I have already written a little about my second day in Seoul.  It started with me teaching in Jezreel's back to back Global Business Communication classes and a trip to the local noodle restaurant for some naengmyeon.  It's a cold noodle dish (nang means cold, myun means noodle).  It was kind of an interesting dish because I'm not used to eating things like noodles cold.  Not only were they cold, but they were ice cold.  They put the noodles in an ice bath and it's considered a really refreshing summer dish.  I not only had trouble with the temperature, but also thought the flavor was a bit bland.  However, I added quite a bit of their hot pepper sauce and that actually made it taste much better.  We also had mandu, which is a kind of Korean style dumpling.  Personally, I thought they were much better than the Chinese dumplings I had been eating before.

After lunch, we rested for a while back at Jezreel and Hyunjin's apartment.  We were all a little tired from the oppressive heat in the classroom and from not eating lunch until 3 p.m.  At about 6 p.m., we headed out again for dinner.  None of us were really hungry yet, but we had a cruise of the Han river booked for 8:40 p.m.  Jezreel and Hyunjin have been trying to take me to different restaurants so that I can really get a sense of Korean cuisine.  This time, they brought me a restaurant and ordered what they argued was a very traditional Korean food.  It was called bulgogi, which is simply a marinated barbecued meat of some kind.  Usually it comes in beef or pork and we decided to get both.  They were very delicious.  We also ordered Kimchi-jeon, which is a kimchi pancake.  I know some people don't like kimchi because it's fermented cabbage and has a very strong and very spicy flavor.  I admit that sometimes I don't like it when it's cold because it's too strong.  However, over the last few days, I've been eating a great deal of hot kimchi (whether grilled or barbecued) and it's always wonderful.  I think the heat cooks out some of the really powerful flavors and makes it more mild and tolerable.  I've really come to enjoy this Korean food staple.  After dinner, we walked the street a little and found a street vendor who was selling hotteok, which is kind of like a scone with cinnamon inside it.  It was wonderful.

After killing some time walking the streets, we took the subway down to the Han river for our river cruise.  Jezreel thought it would be a good opportunity to see the Seoul skyline since the river splits the city into two halves.  When we are actually in the city, it can feel very claustrophobic because of the crowds and the tall buildings.  The cruise lasted about an hour and 15 minutes and the night time views of the city were spectacular.  We passed under several large bridges and could see very clearly the high rise skyscrapers and apartment buildings along the river.

Um...don't ask.

Hotteock is such a great dessert.

I actually tasted this one before I knew what it was.  Turned out it was a plateful of the tiniest fish I had ever seen.  They were probably the size of a very small paper clip and you eat them whole.  Not bad, but not that good either.

The pork bulgogi was my favorite dish of the night.  It had this chili paste spice on it that was very good.

The beef bulgogi.

Kimchi pancake.

View of the N Seoul Tower in the background.

Definitely missing my family.  I wish they could see this!

It's been great to see my good friend Jezreel again.  He left SUU in 2010.  

We kept laughing at this picture.  We can't figure out why my hand looks so huge in it!

At the entrance of the main gate to the cruise.

These were interesting.  Korean peninsula made up of coins.

North Korean money.  You don't see this too often!

On the subway.  I used to complain about how the young people in America are involved in their gagets.  It is 10 times worse in Korea.  Everyone has a smart phone and they are super absorbed with them.  At least they are too busy to care what the foreigner is doing.

No comments:

Post a Comment