Kimchi for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Dried Seafood Market in Busan

Dried Seafood Market in Busan

I have been bad about posting the last 2 weeks or so. I apologize for the lack of updates, but there hasn’t been much going on culinarily in my world. I have one recipe that I will be posting tonight, hopefully. But the bulk of my time was devoted to work, and specifically a trip to Busan, South Korea.

I hadn’t been to Korea before, and I was actually mostly new to Korean cuisine. I had previously eaten at Korean restaurants in the states maybe 4 times in my life. It was a style of food, that while I didn’t find it bad, was not something I frequently sought out in the same way I seek out Thai or Vietnamese. After spending 9 days in Korea, I can confirm that my opinions on Korean food have not changed.

To be fair I was working 12-14 hour days, eating frequently in a cafeteria type establishment, and was eating dinner at close to 10 pm, well after most of the local establishments closed their doors. So I wouldn’t say my sampling was particularly fair, but I did manage to try a number of staples.

Clockwise from right: Bibimbap; iffy leafy soup (kale maybe); cabbage kimchi (meh); sprout kimchi (less meh).

Clockwise from right: Bibimbap; iffy leafy soup (kale maybe); cabbage kimchi (meh); sprout kimchi (less meh).

I have decided that, while I keep seeing good looking recipes on Punk Domestics, I do not particularly like kimchi and will not attempt to make any at home.  Kimchi made with bean sprouts is a bit better than the cabbage, when it is made with squid it is far far worse. Korean Barbecue is delicious, but is essentially the same thing as Yakiniku, which is all over Japan. Korean blood sausage (Sundae) is not the best blood sausage I have eaten, though it was fun explaining what it was to my coworkers immediately after they took a bite. Bulgogi is delicious, but how could a big pile of cooked beef be bad. Ditto short ribs. The bibimbap was different than I have had in the states, but apparently it is like Pad Thai, everyone has a different recipe, this particular one was tuna with the rice on the bottom of the veggies. I enjoyed it, and it seemed healthy unlike many of the things I ate in Korea.

I did get to spend an afternoon walking through the “World Famous” seafood market. It really was incredible. There was a long street of just dried seafood (top photo), and that transitioned into several blocks of seafood markets, both in a buildings and open air on the street. The fish looked of very high quality, especially since a lot of it was still alive, but it was the variety of things that got me. There were many things I couldn’t identify, and many more I am not sure I would consider food. I was alone and had places to be, so I didn’t eat in any of the numerous places along the market that served the food they were selling in raw form on their doorstep. There is a good possibility I will be back in a few months, and I will make sure I sample as much as I can when that happens.

Seafood picture dump below.

Weird tail less fish soaking up the sun, and thankfully not smelling.

Weird tail less fish soaking up the sun, and thankfully not smelling.

Delicious smelling griddle fried fish, and a lot of it.

Delicious smelling griddle fried fish, and a lot of it.

Sharks and eels, oh my.

Sharks and eels, oh my.

Food?

Food?

Some molluscs. All of these stands had older women separating the clams and muscles from their shells and depositing them into bowls, presumably for consumption, but not for sale. No idea really.

Some molluscs. All of these stands had older women separating the clams and mussles from their shells and depositing them into bowls, presumably for consumption, but not for sale. No idea really.

I can't imagine a more tedious thing to do than put an octopus into a plastic bag but that's what she did.

I can’t imagine a more tedious thing to do than put a live octopus into a plastic bag but that’s what she did.

Just a tank full of hagfish

Just a tank full of hagfish.

Bonus shot of some fantastic looking pork belly, not shorn of ribs unlike what you find most places.

Bonus shot of some fantastic looking pork belly, not shorn of ribs unlike what you find most places.

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