Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Seoul's Kitchen

The best kind of food is one that you don't cook yourself. The other, is food someone else cooked for you. And no, I don't mean on the spiritual sense, that oh, they poured their soul into ensuring that the food is fit for angels. Basically, when you can pull your seat in at the table and have someone slide a hot steaming meal in front of you after a long, arduous day. Food is the antidote to adversity that nothing else can achieve. So of all the food that I had in Seoul, hands down, the best came out of the kitchen out of the wonderful people I stayed with. I was spoiled rotten. For 3 weeks I did not raise a nail to cook my own meals, I know, this sounds increasingly self entitled doesn't it? Haha? I need a break from my own cooking every so often you know! It was like the ultimate palate cleanser, and who could best home cooked meals by Korean people? Hence why I love recreating Shokugeki no Souma recipes, they allow me to break through the mould, and try flavour combinations at their most orthodox. At times it's a reassuring hug, at other's it's an enlightening walk through a museum. Why am I talking? Let the food do all the talking.

My first ever dinner, the first blissful sign of the heavenly meals to come. I almost cried when they served me seafood jeon. This thing costs me $12 back at home, and here it's a typical dinner. Please don't wake me up from this blissful dream. 

Much enjoying the unspecialness trend of expensive dishes here! I loved the sweet and tangy dressing they used on the chicken, I had never enjoyed a salad more!

Yes this not a homecooked meal, but a snack consisting of a warm, mysterious fruit tea and macarons? Who would complain? 

I love that Korean cuisine is accompanied by banchan. Who knows the plethora of kimchi I sampled. I actually developed a liking to spice. Then I returned home and that eventually diminished to finding a shake of cayenne pepper too spicy. A pumpkin and seafood quick risotto. Any recipe that uses rice in new ways, feels me with inexplicable joy. 

Soondae has an interesting texture. It's somewhat spongey, it's pleasurable to eat, but I'm not overly fond of the taste. I never thought to add strips of seaweed for a sea essence and crunch, it's fantastic. An unexpected flavour is introduced. And I have simple tastes, give me stupendously cooked vegetables and a clear soup and I'll be content. 

Another recipe I intend to recreate! A simple home staple? Good, it'll use ingredients that already exist within the confines of my cupboards. 

Radish kimchi annnndddd kimbap. The beauty of fussfree tastes is that I'm easy to please and content with anything that anyone serves me. So long as it's not cucumbers. The devil's vegetable.

I never thought of merely cutting mandarins in half to serve as a garnish, nor sliced strawberries to spruce up a carrot cake, Being here taught me the importance of particular crockery and little twists to transform a plebeian dish into something that proudly steals the Instagram top posts.  

The best supper ever! How can you say no to cake and a luscious serving of fruit?? The strawberries are like desserts themselves, an impossible vessel of sugar! In addition, there was yubu chobap, kind of like a Korean inari, a pouch of tofu skin filled with rice and topped with a cucumber and crab salad. Yes I just ate my words, and it was delicious. No one hand me a watermelond unless under threat of death.

JAPCHAE. No how matter times I try, my attempts fall pearshaped. Whyyyyy. IS IT THE AIR? IS THAT WHY I CAN'T MAKE IT BACK HOME? Bulgogi was the star of the breakfast. Everything they made me was on the same tier of godly but there was always standouts. 

Bungeoppang, similar to Taiyaki. In summary, you can't go wrong and imperative street food. 

I should snack so unrestrainedly so often. Or live with people that consider a second I'm not eating is a second wasted. A seed bread that I ate by channelling the inner child, dipping it virtuously in the hot chocolate of course. 

The breakfast of the gods. I don't need to wax more poetical concerning the cream stew anymore do I?

Supper of potato bread! MUST. REMAKE. 

A breakfast bibimbap! I do love me a low maintenance version of my favourite food

The key to happiness, a sweet bread slathered gratuitously with fruit jam. 

Tres Milk! Banana milk was there for me when I was lonely. Banana milk was there for me when I didn't have breakfast. Banana milk was there to protect me. 

I asked for pesto and received a pesto risotto!

Spicy clam soup, seaweed!! SEAWEED1!! I could eat a gallon of this. 

Japchae, japchae. I'm almost scared to recreate this and destroy the fond memories I've built. 

As it turns out, leftover party food is so much better. 

I'm so relieved I can buy the rice cakes in Sydney!

Because you can slather spicy fried chicken in cream and cheese and bake to create something ethereal.

Even lazy meals are wonderful. Alternating bites of jeon, roast sweet potato and a fresh, spicy apple slaw. 

Every as bit as spicy as it looks. 

A curry that's much more on the milder side. Late night dinner friendly. 

Boozy cake that made us all drunk at the first bite 


A focal point of a soup with a comforting base. 

New Year noodles and kimbap of course!