Thursday, February 1, 2007

Snacks, North Korean Cuisine

Throughout Asia, and probably any foreign country, you can find interesting, different and sometimes just plain weird food items. Paul spotted this particular gem in the market the other day.

They do look like little shake-and-bake coated chicken drumsticks, which I guess isn't quite "fried chicken", but it's still pretty cool.

The other night, Dr. Byun took us to a restaurant specializing in North Korean food. While the food items and tastes seemed somewhat similar to me (compared to the other Korean food I've been having), there were some subtle differences. The Pajon (pancake-like things) had a different shape and seemed to be more seafood-loaded than the other ones I've been having. They also had some pickles that surprisingly enough were very much like the pickles you'd find back in the US.

The pickes are in the bowl on the left. The dark stuff on the right is sausage casing filled with rice and noodles I think. I had a version of this before (see the earlier posting on street food). We also had some kind of dried fish (pollack, I believe), some sort of egg-coated meat patty, kimchi (of couse), and a rice cake soup at the end. Out front they had several baskets of the rice cake:

Growing up, I think I only ever saw rice cake in the shape of slices. Here in Korea, they seem to have been a lot more creative with it and it comes in many sizes and forms. These were sort of dumbbell shaped, or perhaps more closely described as two conjoined spheres (the nerdy first reaction I had was that they looked like a hydrogen atom or the shape of a p-orbital for those who remember what all of their electron distributions look like).


Dong Hyuk said...

This post reminds me of one of Korea's 'have-to-go' place: DMZ (demilitarized zone). Visiting DMZ might be a really novel experience that you cannot feel elsewhere in the world anymore.

One of my friends bought a piece of rusty hedgehog before, as a souvenir. I don't know whether they are still selling this.

It would be perfect if you learn a little about 20th century history of Korea, before visiting DMZ. Ask Younggyun :) something like why Japan invaded Korea, and why Korea was divided by two big brothers later.. :)

Dong Hyuk said...

mm..a hyperlink was not posted well..
I'll paste it again, or you can google 'DMZ tour'.

Gabe said...

I know the USO also runs a tour. it's on my to-do list.