Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Noodles, Dumplings and Meat

At lunch time yesterday, Sue and I hit a random noodle place (aptly called "Noodles Restaurant").

I got a bowl of fresh, home-made noodles with seafood.

Sue got a bowl of fresh mandu (Korean dumplings).

That night, we went out to dinner with Prof. Chung of KU. We went to a beef restaurant in Itaewon. Food was very good.

This is yukhwe, which is a mix of fresh raw beef, raw egg, pears, pine nuts, and I think some cucumber or green squash. Yup, you just eat it raw (think tartare). I've had this before in the states back when I lived in NYC, but hadn't had it since. Very tasty.

Here's a cut of kalbi. In Korea, the kalbi is cut with the rib bone on one end and then the strip of meat extending the other way. In the states, we usually get kalbi in what they call "LA style." I'm told that when Koreans first moved to Cali, they tried to get the butchers to cut their ribs for kalbi, but the butchers ended up cutting thin slices against the bone, and that's how the LA style kalbi was born.

This is another dish not for the squeamish. Raw beef liver! It sounded kind of scary/adventurous, but it was actually quite good. Sue and I both agree that the raw liver tastes better than the cooked version (yes, she ate some, too!). This didn't really have any of that heavy, dense, organy taste or pasty mouth-feel that you get from cooked liver, kidney, etc. It actually had a very mild and slightly sweet taste to it that was quite pleasant. One of the guys from my hockey team back home told me that when they would go bow-hunting for deer, after a kill, he would cut open the deer and eat a chunk of its liver right then and there (partly just because it grossed out his dad). He described it as really soft and sweet, and I can now sort of see how that might be the case. (If I recall correctly from my high-school biology classes, the liver is supposed to be the energy center for the body where short, simple sugar chains are stored for short-term energy needs.)

No comments: