Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not-so-bizzarre-food in Korea

Muslims have place in Korea, there are more than 5 mosques in Seoul itself and many restaurants in Itaewon serve halal food as well. U can easily meet and be greeted by other muslims around Itaewon area (and sometimes to be mistaken as Indonesian), a place where many expats live and enjoy their western life in this asian country (there are lots of western bars and resto here than any part of Seoul). 

Oh I personally think I should say eating is a little bit problem to me when I was travelling in Korea through that 10 days. We didn't have the time luxury to commute to Itaewon daily just so our tummies are happy with rice although it is reachable by subway. It will be like get into a LRT from Kelana Jaya to maybe KL Sentral for lunch. Big NO for us. We have many OTHER places to cover then. That's when I appreciate staying in a hostel/guesthouse because many facilitate their guests with kitchen area where u can cook (or heat) simple dish. My survival kit then included Maggi cup (curry flavour with Mawi pic on it LOL), Brahim's rendang daging and ayam masak merah, tuna, cereal, biscuits and lots of chocolate bar. Those were also the major weight contributor to my luggage! I made sure everything finished before fly back to Malaysia and make the room for new clothes bought :D

But I didn't fly 2829miles to Seoul just to eat all those foods I bought at Giant u guys, the local flavour was what I looked for. Let's see what I managed to get myself while I was there.

1. Tteokbokki (Stir Fried Rice Cake)

It was the first Korean street food I tasted on my first night of arrival. Got one bowl while roaming the streets at Myeongdong and shared it with Sis Ernie and Sayra. There were many other street foods available but this was one I found edible. I doubt the rest. It's a rice cake with finger shape (and super chewy) cooked with spicy sauce. The pepper used for making its sauce had some kind of spiciness I couldn't eat more than 2 pieces. But it's a popular snack among Korean like how we like our goreng pisang for tea break.

2. Smallwillow basket of Korea

Practically the food wasn't served in basket but in this tin instead. 

What? U wouldn't eat this?
Fine, it's not ready yet anyway.

Underneath the rice is sauce to give some taste and u have to actually mix those ingredients before putting some in your mouth and taste a spoonful of Korea's smallwillow (no!).  

Now, how do u like it when its ready?

Honestly although it looks like nasi goreng telur mata, it tasted nothing like it. Again, the Korean pepper has weird spicy taste and I just have to brace up and swallow down, SLOWLY.

The special thing about this food was after paying at the counter, u were given a set of heat resistant glove. It was for holding the heated tin firmly and shake it as hard as u can to well mixed the ingredients. That was the best part, not the taste :')

I had it in Nami Island, and it's the only halal restaurant there.
Drama Cafe.

3. Vegetarian Bibimbap

My sister told me bibimbap literally means 'mixed rice'.

The ingredients minus meat (usually beef).

Mixed and ready to eat.

It was like no other. I don't know how they do what they did, it was beyond delicious. The taste is at my tougue end now, can someone suggest a good one to me now? I had tasted many here and always ended up in frustration.
The one I had was in Jeju and I couldn't go there in instance when my craving for bibimbap come.

4. Smoked octopus/squid

U recognize those aight?
That is tentacles, from very enormous octopus.

That lady is cutting into smaller pieces and smoking the octopus before rolled it with special hand operated machine into super thin layer snack like dried squid we usually buy at Pulau Pangkor. Bought them on my way to Everland.

And this is similar snack from smaller size squid I bought in Jeju. 

5. Ssambap (Korean lettuce wrap)

This probably my most enjoyable lunch time while in Korea as I enjoyed wrapping the seasoned seafood in leaf called kaenip.

In Korean, ssam means wrap and bap means rice. However there are many variation of filling to choose from in making ssambap than just rice. The restaurant I went only serve seafood ssambap, no other meat.

To eat ssambap, place the leaf on your palm and add some amount of seafood, rice and finish with other option of condiments. Wrap them neatly about a size that can fit into your mouth and enjoy every bit of it.

6. Kimchi

Kimchi is a famous Korean dish made from fermented vegetables with varied seasonings usually eaten as side dishes. It has soury taste and sometimes spicy. I tasted my first kimchi at Kimchi Museum in Coex Mall :D

That are all my food adventure in Korea. There are in fact many other I tempted to try but hindered by the halal status. Someone who enjoy Korean food, let's have them together. I miss Korea :')


Lily Riani said...

did you try the ginseng chicken?

faiez said...

mcm xde yg kena ngan selera tekak jerk...from my eyes ler...

Traveller's Anatomy said...

couldn't find one actually. Tp I makan dekat Saisaki KL je hehe...

nak buat mcm mane, diorang punye mkanan mmg mcm tu. Sekurang2 nye try jugak la. Nnt masak nasi ayam lg org dtg umah k ;)

Juno said...

haha Oh yea you did such a good job with all the food!! :) Great photos as well.

Zarina Jani said...

Salam Siti,

I reallllllly love Korean food but after having the authentic one in Korea itself, really can't compare it with the one in Malaysia.

I love your pictures, so tantalizing and making me hungry!

Traveller's Anatomy said...

I always like Korea, for many reasons. Would come back to Korea for more food definitely!

Glad u love the photos :D
Yeah, bibimbap is the one I miss most. Couldn't find one here comparable to one I had. Envy u so much!

xtopak said...

i found ur blog when i google search for halal food in korea. insyaAllah i m going there nxt month.. do u hv more tips to share? =)

Traveller's Anatomy said...

thanks for dropping by. Halal food in Korea is pretty tough to find but you'll get many choices in Itaewon. Drop me an email if u need more info :)

Honeykoo @ Hanimizuki said...

Can you please list a restaurant's name and address/place at where?? Because next year, my family and i plan to visit Korea. Usually we only go 4 people (including me) without any tourist helping us. We travel by ourselves. We had this experience once when we're visited Hong Kong last year. It was a bit kelam-kabut and sesat sana-sini. But, it so much fun and very challenging to us 4. Luckily i included "chinese" text in my schedule so we can show it to the driver taxi because they dont really understand english. Example like if we want to go to Madame Tussaud, I will show the driver the 'chinese' text version of it and he easily bring us to our destination. So, it really help us a lot since none of us speak chinese...

Shafika Rahim said...

assalam..nk tye,,akak pergi korea atas urusan kerja ke melancong je..???
kalau akak pergi jalan2.. saya nak tahu kos yang akak peruntukkan untuk ke sana.. perbelanjaan dalam sebuan..terima kasih kak...

Hamid Rizali said...

Muslim Friendly Restaurants in Korea.pdf