A Korean food pilgrimage

We visted Korea in August-September 2018. Besides family visits, a big and delightful part was a food pilgrimage. The foods I missed while in Korea were not fancy: good bread and steamed spuds—just as Asians in Australia miss their favourite rice and noodles. Starch maketh the food homely, it seems. It used to be almost impossible to get good coffee in Korea. Now it is widely available.

Here are some of the dishes we shared.

Our first (delicious) food after we arrived, tired and famished: fish soup with sesame powder sprinkled on top.

Food pilgrimage

Dolsot bap (rice cooked in a hot stone bowl … there are many variations) in James’s home town, Gimhae-si.

Food pilgrimage

Almost every Korean meal is served with side dishes (Banchan). Sometimes the side dishes really are the meal.

Food pilgrimage

Andong-jjimdak (안동찜닭) a braised chicken stew with various marinated vegetables. One large plate serves two.

Food pilgrimage

Samgyetang: chicken in ginseng soup.

Food pilgrimage

Bindaetteok: mungbean pancake.

Food pilgrimage

Jeonbok-duk: abalone rice porridge. Something of a luxury and a traditional food for convalescence, it doesn’t look much but is truly delicious.

Usually we’re not big pork fans, but Jeju black pork barbeque is the best there is. Scrumptious. (Actually, it’s the pigs that are black, not the pork.)
Food pilgrimage

Celebrated our arrival in Seogwipo on Jeju with a scrumptious fish dinner washed down with some equally delicious makgeolli (막걸리).

Food pilgrimage

James continued the food pilgrimage with Al Tang, spicy fish roe stew; I was more conservative with simple fish stew.

Food pilgrimage

Galbi: Korean beef rib bbq with James’s brother and his wife in Gim Hae. The very best I have tasted.

Food pilgrimage

Traditional Patbingsu (팥빙수): shaved ice with red beans and nut powder; delicious for the summer heat, but not easy to find.

Haemul pajeon: seafood and spring onion pancake.

Food pilgrimage

Greengrocer cafe gone; Meridian cafe excellent.

James and stopped in Goulburn on our way northwards last weeked, planning on lunch at the much-enjoyed Greengrocer cafe. But there was nothing but a concrete slab. Sadly, I now learn that it was destroyed by a fire last January.

Greengrocer

Delegates to the Synod in Goulburn last September would have been bereft!

The Meridian Cafe in Marulan was excellent. I discover it to be so named because the town of Marulan is on the 150 E. meridan, base line for Eastern Australian Standard Time (The café is at about 150° 0 mins 25.2 secs E. longitude.)

Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce

An utterly indulgent recipe filched from a friend

Ingredients

Pudding

2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 cup seeded dates
¾ cup boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g butter, chopped
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup self-raising flour
1 x 300ml carton thickened cream

Sauce

2/3 cup thickened cream
100g butter, chopped
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

Method

Pudding

Line 25cm x 30cm slice tin or Swiss roll pan with Gladbake, bringing paper 5cm above edges of pan.
Combine dates, water and soda in a medium bowl. Cover and stand for 5 minutes. Blend or process date mixture butter and brown sugar until almost smooth.
Add eggs and flour and process until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Cook in a moderate oven, 180 degrees for about 30 minutes
You can then try to roll up the cake using the Gladbake, or cut the cake in three and put cream between each layer (much easier).

Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small pan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Serve either drizzled over roll or in a small jug for people to use themselves. Can be served either hot or cold.

Only a little of what you fancy

darkchocYes, a little of what you fancy does you good. Research shows that about 7 grams (not more) of dark chocolate (not milk chocolate) has a protective effect against inflammation and subsequent cardiovascular disease. This new finding is part of the Moli-sani population study by the Catholic University in Campobasso and the National Cancer Institute of Milan and was published in Journal of Nutrition

Read more …