From BBQ pork belly to "crack" gimbap, these are a few of our favorite Korean dishes:
Gimbap is Korea's ubiquitous rice roll. This particular roll featured ham, omelette, braised burdock, cucumber, carrots and pickled daikon radish. The fillings are nestled in "bap" (rice / 밥) and rolled up in "gim" (김 / dried seaweed) -- hence the name! We made this drawing with our friend Liz Marshall.
Mayak gimbap (마약 김밥) is a miniaturized version of gimbap. Stripped down to the essential fillings of rice, carrot and danmuji (단무지 / yellow pickled radish), it’s dipped in a spicy mustard that's sure to clear your nasal passages. This snack is so addictive, it’s earned the name "mayak," which is the Korean word for hard drugs or narcotics. Seoul's bustling Gwangjang Market is our favorite place to get them.
Tsss! Tsss! That's the sound of sizzling meat! ♨️ At Korean BBQ joints, your meat is cooked on your very own grill at the table. You can't beat samgyeopsal (삼겹살), or pork belly, which is even better with grilled slices of king oyster mushroom (새송이버섯) and cloves of garlic (마늘).
Grilled fish is a favorite in Korean cuisine. This grilled mackerel (godeungeo gui / 고등어구이) was grilled over hot coals at Hannam Bugeotguk, a no-frills Seoul eatery that specializes in seafood. The restaurant is named for a flavorful dried pollack stew, but we loved their grilled mackerel and rice bowls with raw fish, too!
Ojingeo sundae is a really unique dish: ground meat, squid tentacles, rice, scallions and other ingredients are stuffed into the body of a squid, which is then steamed. Slices of the squid sausage are battered and pan-fried. This delicious recipe originated in Gangwon Province, on the Northeast coast of South Korea.
Koreans love raw seafood, and Hannah is no exception. 😋🦀 She has a supernatural love for ganjang gejang (간장게장) in particular. Mouthwatering raw blue crabs are cured for about two weeks in a stock and soy sauce marinade. If you're lucky, you'll get a plump female crab filled with creamy, briny orange roe -- perfect for mixing with rice!
There are many types of rice dishes in Korean cuisine. This dolsot bap (돌솥밥) includes white rice, a sprinkling of black rice for a purple tinge, a chestnut, ginkgo nuts, black soybeans, and kidney beans. Individual portions of dolsot bap are cooked in stone pots on a stove. The residual heat in the stone bowls create a layer of crisped rice. At the end of the meal, be sure to add a glug of hot water to the bottom of the bowl and scrape up the delicious nurungji (누룽지 / crisped rice).