Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bibimbap for the First Time

The weather in the Bay Area has taken a real turn.  For the past week, it has pretty much rained every day. It is snowing in the hills, and the view from my street looks pretty much like this...

 Pretty, but cold and wet.  Today the sun came out for the first time all week, and husband and I decided that getting out of the house was in order.  As mentioned in an earlier post, we found a very cool signed Korean cookbook at Tyler Florence (the store, not the man) and had been interested in trying some recipes ourselves.  But first, a trip to an actual Korean restaurant (called Korea House) was in order (all in the name of research, of course).

Going off of the recommendation of a friend that lived in South Korea for a while, I decided that I was going to try the bibimbap.  Sure, I wasn't really sure what it was (and the menu didn't really describe it all that well), but I was ok with just diving right in. 

So the waitress brings out a delicious soup, that I can only describe as tasting like miso with cabbage in it (if you are a fan of Japanese miso soup, you would definitely like this), and then all of the sides pictures above. There is a roasted seaweed, a daikon radish salad, some fish cake, kimchi, and this dried salted anchovy side (which I adored, but I do love salt). 
Then this comes out. 

 I must have looked like a deer in the headlights, because the sweet waitress came over to me and started tell me what to do with it.  I still must have looked confused, because then she started doing it herself, mixing in the chili sauce and rice.  And then it looked like this:

It was fantastic.  Not like anything I had ever tasted before.  We happily ate as much as we could (it was a LOT of food).  And then husband and I felt ready to tackle the Asian market to get the ingredients that we need to try some dishes at home.  This wasn't our first trip to the market, but I always get so overwhelmed with all of the different types of similar things the market carries- noodles, rice, condiments.  It looks exactly like this:

The labels aren't easy to read, but hopefully, you get the idea.  And eventually, we found the items we were looking for

And a few snacks to munch on while we are doing the cooking.  Garlic cracker nuts are addicting.  If you like very strong garlic flavors, they are definitely something you should try at least once.  If garlic is not your thing, stay far, far away.  They are pungent. 

Hopefully, a Korean cooking blogpost will be coming soon.  Any else experimenting with Asian cooking?

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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