Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Eve

Happy New Year!

(Peace out 2009)

For a final meal, and for the beginning of our "Take Over Seoul" New Years Eve celebration, we decided we'd grab some food in Seoul for dinner. We being Kong, my neighbor, and I. So we hopped on the train and headed towards the corner of the city where we'd be hanging out for the night. We didn't have a specific restaurant or type of food in mind for dinner, but we knew we wouldn't have any trouble finding a place to eat. There are restaurants on every corner and in between in this country.

So, we were walking around and after some deliberation, we decided to eat at a local Korean place. There are some restaurants that are used to having a lot of foreigners, and there are some that are not. It was obvious when we walked in that this place was not.

Sometimes this means its legit local cuisine, and sometimes this means that foreigners don't typically enjoy this cuisine. It's always a hit or miss kind of dealio.

So we walked in and made ourselves at home at one of the tables. It's a specialty restaurant, like most here, and they only serve a few variations of the same thing. So we point to a table and say we want the same as them.

We were in for a treat.

I told Kong that if someone had put this in front of me four months ago, I would've probably been disgusted or confused. I most certainly would not have known how to eat it.

I'm still confused most of the time, but when they set this down, I knew it was pork. Yeah, that was definitely a pig. I just wasn't sure what part of the pig it was.

This tipped me off:

Yes, that is a pig hoof.

I looked up this food tonight to try to figure out more of what it is. If Wikipedia is right, this dish is called Jokbal and it is, indeed, pigs feet.

Wiki says this, "The hair is removed from pigs' feet and they are thoroughly washed. Leeks, garlic, ginger, cheongju (rice wine) and water are brought to a boil. The pigs' feet are added, brought back to a boil and then simmered until tender. Then additional water, sugar and soy sauce are poured into the pot and the contents are slowly stirred. Once the jokbal is fully cooked, bones are removed, and the meat is cut into thick slices. It is then served with fermented shrimp sauce called saeujeot (새우젓)"

Sounds delicious, yes?

Actually, Kong and I left feeling mostly unsatisfied. Maybe its an acquired taste? It's also supposed to be eaten with soju, the Korean drink of choice, so maybe that's what we were missing.

Luckily this guy who worked there was awesome. He came up to our table to say something and I told him this was delicious (I lied) and he laughed all happy and proud and then I took a pic with him and then he got really excited and laughed some more and grabbed my camera to show all of his friends. Thank you sir!

As for the rest of New Years Eve, I made this video. It's not that awesome. But I made it, so its going on the blog.


Anonymous said...

I love you. The end. Happy New Year!!!

San Ba Po said...

A sea of asians and you. Please kiss a Korean man.

jjangji said...

Aw, you were in my neck of the woods! I grew up in Shindang-dong, which is probably in between the Seoul Tower and the place for the bell ringing. If you haven't tried ddukbokgi, Shindang-dong is famous for it. I hope 2010 is wonderful for you!

PS: the food you ate is jokbal. I'm sad that you didn't like it.