Authors: foodies kitchen
Korean summer days are hot and ours started with torrential rain and ended with rice beer whilst experiencing some of the best summer Korean summer dishes in the Mapo area in Seoul as part of a food tour with Joe, the founder of ZenKimchi.
Finding your way around a Korean menu can be tricky, and with most of them not translated you may just end up with a surprising dish of Sashimi style sea worm or more. So, it was a great experience after 3 weeks of eating in Korea to have some of the best food tastes and adventures I’ve had. Joe, my guide, loves food and his immersion in the Korean food scene for the last eight years meant our day was packed with not only great things to eat, but insights into the ingredients and recipes. The first stop was to a small modest restaurant, Jumunjinhang. The outside patio had many tanks filled with a variety of unusual swimming, squirming and gliding seafood. We started with two dishes, both cold. MulHui is a spicy sashimi soup from Jeju island made with red snapper. This was a real treat! The spicy flavours were popping, cooled down by the ice cubes and alternated with the saltiness of seaweedand the Hui DeopBap (sashimi bibimbap) Red Flounder. The side dishes were delicious; Radish Kimchi, Soft Tofu, Seaweed Salad (Meoul), Edmuk Fish (Omelete), but the unforgettable dish was the Sea Squirt. A red, fluoro coloured bubbled cone shape creature is cut in half to reveal yellow coloured, oyster type of flesh. It’s eaten raw, without condiments, the only addition, being a glass of water after each mouthful which creates a strange sweet, snap crackle and pop aftertaste on the tongue after the initial taste of salty ammonia.
Next stop was chilly noodles from Gangwon province. And then, a dessert stop at Snow Top Patbingsu, a large bowl of shaved ice topped with red beans, Mochi, icecream, condensed milk, cornflakes.
And lastly, a couple of dongdongju rice beers and a selection of fried and battered small treats of Jeon (pancakes), Twigim (tempura), Bindaeddeok (mung bean pancake),Sesame leaf, Oysters, Sweet potato, Shrimp, Crab, and Crysanthenum.
A great day with Joe at www.zenkimchi.