Friday, December 3, 2010

Our Favourite Korean 'Winter' Food

Everyone knows I love food! So, I thought I'd put together a short list and introduce you to our winter favourites.
Soondooboo jjigae (순두부찌개) My #1 pick! Jjigae is pretty much equivalent to “stew” and Soondooboo is “soft tofu” ~ thus, "soft tofu stew". It generally contains seafood, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, soft tofu (of course), an egg, and red pepper paste. It’s fabulously spicy and perfect with a bowl of rice, kimchi, and an assortment of veggie side dishes.
soondooboo jjigae

Geotjeori (겉절) Near the end of every year, Koreans take part in a traditional kimchi making event called Kimjang. Families and/or friends get together and spend hours (even days) make hoards of different kinds of kimchi (there are well over 100 different kinds, which I shan’t elaborate on) that they store and eat throughout the winter. Geotjori means “fresh/new kimchi” and is the result of kimjang (that is until the kimchi sits awhile and ferments. Then it’s called shin “old” kimchi.) I can’t get enough of geotjori (especially the cabbage, cucumber and green onion varieties) and munch on it all year ‘round.

me doing kimjang with my friend's family in 2007

Baechu "cabbage" geotjeori ready for winter storage. We made over 400 hundred heads of cabbage kimchi, as well as radish and green onion kimchi. If you'd like to see more pictures, follow the link on this page to my picasa web album.
Ddeok mandu guk (떡만두) Sliced rice cakes (ddeok) and dumplings (mandu) in an anchovy/beef broth with chopped green onions, a little black pepper, an egg, and bits of dried seaweed. Excellent on a cold winter day and a must on the Lunar New Year (unless you prefer not to age). Koreans believe that by eating ddeok guk (the mandu is optional) on the first day of the Lunar New Year you become one year older, regardless of when your actual birthday is.
ddeok mandu guk

Seolleongtang (설렁탕) Clark’s personal favourite. It’s just beef broth (they boil down the head, organs, feet, and bones) seasoned with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, and green onions. It’s served with geotjeori (see above) and a bowl of rice. Most people dump their rice directly into the soup. I also dump in heaps of geotjeori 


Hotteok (호떡) The greatest street food treat ever! It’s tough to walk down the street without grabbing one from a vendor. More or less like a pancake (can be fried or baked) filled with the sweetest, most delicious concoction of brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, and chopped peanuts. I have a nasty habit of burning my tongue on these things, but can’t resist the temptation nonetheless.
seriously awesome

Gyeran Bbang (계란 ) Another scrumptious street food morsel. Gyeran Bbang translates literally to “egg bread”, which I suppose it basically is. Sweet, cake-like bread with a whole egg baked into the center. Very yummy.

gyeran bbang

Sujeonggwa (수정과) A traditional Korean drink made from dried persimmons, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, peppercorn, and ginger; with a few pine nuts tossed in as a garnish. It's sweet with a mildly spicy kick. Served hot in winter and cold in summer (both delicious!).


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