In 21 days, I took over 1,300 photos. Granted, not all were gems but I did have some photographs that I was quite proud of. One of the subjects that I love to photograph is food – as you can see from my previous posts – and there was plenty of food porn inspiration in Korea.
I should have known this when I had the best airplane food of my life when I flew Korean Air. They served bibimbap! And yes, it was good.
And they even served it with the traditional gochujang (spicy paste) and a small pouch of sesame oil to mix in with the bibimbap.
The food I ate during my fellowship was a lot more decadent than what I usually at home. When I eat with my family, I’m used to eating just rice, soup, a few sidedishes, and main course (usually a protein). Not in Korea. Course after course, food just kept coming out to our table! The other fellows and I were there to learn the culture and we definitely got a chance to eat our way into learning the food culture.
There was an endless amount of food that would come our way. Sometimes, I’d put down my chopsticks but the server would tell me more food would be coming out. Is it a surprise I ended up gaining weight in the motherland? But in all honesty, it was all worth it.
Here’s one of the traditional sit-down meals we had. Yes, there are plenty of restaurants like this here in Los Angeles but I don’t go to them. I usually go out for a bowl of jajangmyun, soon tofu, or Korean BBQ… etc. I felt so spoiled in Korea gorging during the multi-course meals.
The great thing about Korean cuisine is that it’s healthy – no preservatives or unhealthy oils in the meal. However, there is lots of garlic and sesame oil which I love. For those who don’t know why sesame oil has a special place in my heart, have to listen to this.
I loved looking across the table and seeing all the vibrant colors. The tastes were bold. In Korean cooking there’s a lot of pickled vegetables and spicy food so be open to new flavors. There’s also a mix of fish and meat for protein at the table. The vegetarians in our group did have a bit of a hard time with some of the prix fixe meals. My advice to vegetarians and vegans, plan ahead and be sure to check menus before you decide where you’re going to eat when you’re in Korea.
I think I feel myself getting full just by reliving my meals. Our food journey is just beginning so be sure to come back with an empty stomach next time for some more bites and reads.