Saturday, May 17

Korean Food

So I know I still have seven weeks until I finally leave for South Korea, but I am extremely anxious.  Therefore, I am going to talk a little about the one thing I am nervous about...eating Korean food.  Those that know me really well, know that I am a super picky eater.  Because I will be in a brand new place, I have convinced myself (though I don't know how well) that I am going to try anything that is put in front of me with the exception of a few dishes.  Although I am nervous about trying many things and may end up eating at the McDonald's down the street or at the Popeye's near my dorm, there are a few dishes that I am excited about eating.  To give you a heads up before I go, I am listing foods that I want to try, will not eat, and am nervous about trying.

 Foods I Am Excited About Eating
Samgyetang - Chicken Soup with Ginseng - 삼계탕
삼계탕 (Samgyetang)
This is by far the dish I am most excited about!  South Koreans use this meal to help with sickness.  The chicken is normally stuffed with rice and the broth can have red chili pepper paste added to it.
Jokbal - Seasoned Pork Trotter - 족발
족발 (Jokbal)
This is basically pig's legs.  I am a huge pork eater and most of the pork meals in South Korea look delicious.  Another pork item I am excited about trying is 삼겹살 (Samgyeopsal) which is thick slices of pork belly meat.
Kongguksu - Chilled Soy Milk Noodle Soup - 콩국수
콩국수 (Kongguksu)
I don't know why, but this just looks delicious.  It's basically noodles in a chilled soybean broth.  I've not had any experience eating soybeans, so I'm not as nervous about trying it.  ^_^
Nakji Bokum - Spicy Stir-Fried Octopus - 낙지붂음
낙지볶음 (Nakjibokum)
I'm not sure about this particular style of dish because I'm not a huge spicy food eater and this is apparently as spicy as it gets.  I'm just very excited about trying octopus!
Gaeranjim - Korean Egg Casserole - 계란찜
계란찜 (Gaeranjim)
This is a steamed egg casserole which is made of mixing eggs and broth together.  They also tend to add some veggies.  It just sounds so light and fluffy!
Tteok - Sweet Rice Cakes - 떡
I've been wanting to try these little rice cakes ever since I starting learning Korean.  I'm not a huge fan of rice, but this little treat looks very appetizing.

 Foods I Am Nervous About Eating
Kimchi - Fermented Cabbage - 김치
김치 (Kimchi)
I am so extremely nervous about eating this.  It's basically cabbage that has been fermented in chili pepper paste.  I will not be able to avoid this one because it is served with just about every meal in South Korea.
Pajeon - Korean-Style Pancake - 파전
파전 (pajeon)
I love me some pancakes, but I'm not too crazy about the idea of veggies cooked in pancake batter and then dipped in soy sauce.  >.< 
Jeepo - Dried Filefish - 쥐포
쥐포 (Jeepo)
I'm not a huge fish eater to begin with, but all I can remember are the weird dried fish snacks one of my college friends would eat.  Dried, thin, fish meat does not sound so great...
Gopchang - Grilled/Stir-Fried Intestines - 곱창구이/볶음
곱창 (Gopchang)
Although I surprise even myself by saying that I would try this dish, I might have a very hard time getting it down.  I'm not a big intestine eater.  Haha.
Soondooboo Chigae- Spicy Soft Tofu Stew - 순두부찌개
순두부찌개  (Soondooboochigae)
I've never really had tofu, so I'm not totally opposed to this dish.  This is spicy, soft tofu stew.  I'm just a little nervous about everything all mixed together...
Odeng Guk - Fish Cake Soup - 오댕국
오댕국 (Odengguk)
This almost made it to my will not try list, but I'm curious about trying fish cakes since they are a huge hit with street vendors.  I'm not a huge fan of anchovy anything, though and this is cooked in an anchovy broth.

 Foods I Refuse To Eat
Soondae - Pork Sausage - 순대
순대 (Soondae)
I just can't in my right mind convince myself to eat anything that involves blood--this is a pork blood sausage.  I'm not a vampire...
닭발 (Dakbal)
I love chicken.  Chicken feet unfortunately is probably one of the few body parts of a chicken that I'm not sure I'm willing to try.
번데기 (Beondegi) thank you!  I will not eat bugs.  I don't care who I offend. 
보신탕 (Boshintang)
Although this may look very tasty, this would be dog stew.  I just could not in my right mind eat dog meat.  I would be continually reminded of my own dog at home.
보신탕 (Boshintang)
Just one look and I want to say no thank you.  These are spoon worms and when you cut into them, they continue to wiggle on the plate.
산낙지 (Sannakji)
I want to try octopus more than anything in South Korea.  I do not want to try live octopus, though.  More than anything, I don't like that there is a warning given when you eat this...because the suckers continue to function even after being chopped up.  They must be chewed very thoroughly or they will latch on to the throat

Well there you have it!  There are more foods that I would like to try or am nervous about trying, but I just thought I would give you a glimpse for now.  I feel slightly silly that the one thing I am nervous about is the food!  >.<  Hopefully I find some amazing dishes while there!

On another note, I am all set for my trip (minus packing)!  I finally complete my medical evaluation for the dormitory this week.  I am so excited, but I wish time went a little quicker--seven weeks is still too long!

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