Posts Tagged food

Krabi, Thailand

For me, the best part of traveling is tasting the local cuisine.

I love Thai food.

Coming to Thailand was always on my list of ‘Must Go’ places because of the food.  In the States I would enjoy the occasional curry, and even made a few myself from pre-made curry paste packages.  Never did I imagine all the different flavors found here.  Honestly, I’d have to say that it’s a Flavor Explosion with every meal.  Two times a day I eat some sort of curry: Green, Red, Yellow or Massaman.  Before coming to Thailand I would have said that Green was my favorite, now it’s most definitely Massaman.

I can’t only brag about the curries, because most of the Thai food is equally as wonderful.

My Favorite Thai Foods:

  1. Massaman Curry – “Muslim Man” Curry is originally from Persia, but the Thai people have been perfecting (at least I’m guessing because it tastes soo darn good) this recipe for a long time now.  It is made with peanuts and potatoes.  That sounds weird, I know, but trust me it’s amazing.  This curry is usually eaten with chicken or beef, chicken being my favorite.
  2. Rice baked in a Pineapple – This is usually served with shrimp.  The rice and a few other veggies are baked right in a hollowed out pineapple.  I love pineapple even more when it’s warm.  This is a real treat for me.
  3. Thai Spring Rolls – I specify Thai spring rolls because they are made with rice paper, where Vietnamese Spring rolls are made with flour.  Usually they are vegetarian, but they can be ordered with any kind of meat you prefer.  I’ve only eaten the vegetarian ones, and they’re fabulous.  Plus, spring rolls are served with an orange sweet chili sauce.  It’s similar to the Duck sauce you get at Chinese restaurants back home.
  4. Fried Rice with Chicken – I’ve had this a few times and it’s different everywhere I go.  The fried rice is very different from the typical fried rice varieties I ate in the States.  This dish is the most simple of my favorites.  It’s a good choice because you can add your own spice and sauce to suit your mood of that particular meal.  In Thailand, there are usually four condiments on the table at all times: sugar (in case you like your food sweet or it’s too spicy for your liking), crushed red peppers (for even more kick), vinegar/soy mixture (don’t know the name but it’s used instead of salt), and a clear spicy sauce with chili bits (this one is super hot!).
Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry

Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice

Spring Rolls

Thai Spring Rolls

P3051845

Chicken Fried Rice

Condiments

This is what's on every table.

Trip Update

Panorama - Maya Bay - The Beach
Phi Phi Islands

  • “The Beach” – this is where the Leonardo Dicaprio movie was filmed in ’99
  • More snorkeling with views of coral and fish in a rainbow of colors
  • This place was too touristy and too expensive.  I enjoyed the sights, but we left right after our snorkel trip

View from Our Balcony at Ko Lanta
Koh Lanta

  • Less people
  • Stayed on the West side of the island on Long Beach
  • Super cheap food and shopping
  • Rented motorbike – a bit scary for me, but had a blast
  • Cooking Class!!!  – learned how to make my very own Massaman curry paste (I’ll have to do an entire blog on this later.)
  • Night Carnival – found some shirts that actually fit me, Seth ate giant bugs (ewwww) and I got some cotton candy
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Kim chi

Korea is known for their spicy kimchi.  It is served with every meal, and if you ask any Korean they will tell you their grandmother makes the best kimchi.

To make kimchi you must have a kimchi pot.  This is a pic of old upside down kimchi pots of different shapes and sizes.  You get the point of what they look like.   That’s my little head in the middle…

The ingredients must soak first.  While walking in the night market of Dongdaemun we ran across this giant tub of cabbage being prepared for kimchi.   I thought it was hilarious they used a crate of soju bottles on top.   Onions will be chopped and added.  In the bowl to the right, you can’t see, there is a huge pile of red pepper powder, salt and some other ingredients I couldn’t recognize.

Once the cabbage is drained and spices are added, it will be placed in a kimchi pot and buried in the ground.

Kimchi can be eaten right after making, but is best when it ferments for at least 2 weeks.  I have heard that some kimchi is left as long as a few months.  Originally, kimchi was made to be consumed in the winter months when the crops weren’t in operation.

There are over 100 different kinds of kimchi.  The most common is made from cabbage.  Other varieties include radishes, cucumbers, bean sprouts or onions.   My favorite kind is cucumber.

That´s A Lotta Kim Chee! Kimchi at Kimbap Chunguk! So Many Kimchis

Kimchi is definitely not for everyone, but you can’t come to Korea without trying it a few times.  Every restaurant has their own special recipe and it tastes different every time I eat some, which is quite often.  A good way to eat kimchi is hot, cooked on a grill.  Soo good.

:mrgreen:

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Chicken is Good

The bright orange sign calls my name on a nightly basis.

Chamnara Hof (hof = pub)

Just around the corner from our apartment, is a pub that serves the best rotisserie chicken.   I’d go as far as saying it’s the best chicken I have ever eaten.

<– close up view

First off, I’d like to say that I love eating with two forks.  Most places in Korea do not even have forks, but this place gives you two!  It’s the easiest way I have ever eaten chicken.  I love this idea and will probably use it in my own home at one point or another.

The entire rotisserie chicken is cooked to juicy, golden brown perfection.  Then it’s chopped up into random chicken bits and served on a wooden board.

Served on the side is honey mustard, salt and Yom Nyom.  The yom nyom sauce is as close to BBQ sauce you will find in Korea.  Sweet and spicy.  I love it, but Seth doesn’t… so it’s definitely a personal preference kind of thing.

The best part of Chamnara’s yummy chicken is that we can eat an entire chicken on our break.  We have 40 minutes for dinner, some nights, and this is a wonderful place to grab a quick bite to eat.

This place is super fast.   :razz:

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Food Week 2009

I love food.  So, why not go to the Food Week Expo?

Overall, a fun experience.   Big crowds, pushy old ladies, long lines, but the free samples of amazing Korean food made up for any of these annoyances.

<– samples of rice cakes and salad with onions

It was only 3,000 Won to get into the Expo.  Located at the COEX mall in Samseong, giant exhibition halls hold events such as this.  So after eating delicious food, we went shopping. Win-win situation.

People wandered around getting into various lines and sampling mostly traditional Korean foods.  Such a good way to try new cuisine and drinks.

Organic food was a big part of this Expo.  Fresh vegetables, juices, and teas…. wonderful.

<— soo many mushrooms

Transgenic animals were even featured in this Expo.  I was surprised to find a bin of pigs and chickens in the back of a food expo.  How funny?!

These are animals that have heightened genetic qualities.  The pigs on display were possible heart transplant candidates.  The chickens were producing eggs that contained more vitamins in the white part of the egg.   I’m fascinated at what science can do these days.

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More Street Food

At all hours of the day and night delicious food can be found.

Fish biscuits are a common street food.  I’ve seen them in every part of Seoul I have visited.  My students eat these too.  They’re cheap and yummy.  (I’ve never actually eaten one, but I hear all about them.)  They’re a sweet bread filled with a bean paste.  Usually costing only 500Won ~ $0.45.

Ahhhh, mandu.  Meat or kimchi filled dumplings.  Every night, like clockwork, a mandu truck sits in random spots throughout Sanbon.  It’s always packed with people enjoying these tiny cones of goodness.  To accent the mandu, there is always a warm broth you can drink for free.

Egg bread is usually the I’m-about-to-get-on-the-subway-snack.  It’s cornbread with an egg cooked in the center.  Two of these for 1,000Won.  Seth rarely ever passes these up when heading into Seoul.

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Market Food

YUM. Corn pancakes from the Anyang Market.

It starts as a bowl of cooked corn.  Scooping big cup-fulls into this stone grinding mechanism the corn turns to mush.  Once the mush accumulated, other ingredients were added.  Two types of onions, garlic, bean sprouts and maybe carrots are all mixed together with the corn mush and then fried like a pancake on a flat grill.

Corn grinder.

This is at the market in Anyang.  I was thrilled to find this food vendor because I could actually eat this corn pancake since there was no wheat involved.  It tasted wonderful.

There are a few seats around the grill for people to sit and enjoy these culinary creations.  Other than corn pancakes, they made some sort of meat pancake too, but we didn’t try those.

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Good Food… Good Times

I love to discover that there is yet another amazing place to dine in Sanbon.  It’s hidden away in the basement of a giant building near the subway station.  Once inside the restaurant you are surrounded by deep hues of red and purple, curtains hang around many of the tables, candles are lit, pillows line the floor, a crystal chandelier hangs over a small pond full of shiny rocks, and the smell of food makes you salivate.  Sadly, I don’t even know the name of this restaurant.

This place is wonderful in that it brings all the food out in various courses.  The food just keeps coming and coming.  If you want more of one of the courses, they’ll bring out more of that course.  It’s great.   We ate salad, potatoes, pineapples, 3 types of beef, chicken curry and grilled teriyaki chicken.  There was soo much food that we only ordered more of one of the beef dishes.  The spices were unique in that I couldn’t even begin to describe them.  I will be going back to this place for sure.

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Sam Gyup Sal

When the door opens, the smell makes me salivate.  Instantly I go from comfortable to starving.  It is time for delicious food.  Sam gyup sal translates roughly to mean 3-layered pork belly… or “bacon”.  This stuff looks like yummy bacon, but it’s not cured, so it’s extremely different than the bacon we’d eat back home for breakfast.

One thing I love about Korea is getting to cook our own food on the tables.  There is a small restaurant called ‘Don Day’ extremely close to our apartment that we frequent because the sam gyup sal is fabulous.  The menu is simple, but it is a very filling and satisfying meal.

Put the meat and kimchi on the grill.

Now the meat sizzles and cooks.

Once it cooks, cut up the meat and kimchi into bite size peices.  We always throw garlic and onions on the grill too. YUM.

Now roll it up in lettuce and enjoy.  YUM.  :razz:

The aftermath… a dirty grill.

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Uncle Tomato’s

A new restaurant has opened up between our apartment and work.  How convenient.  It’s called Uncle Tomato and it is meant to be an Italian restaurant.  The menu does have spaghetti and serves pasta with various meats, but it doesn’t look anything like an Italian bistro and serves things like breaded pork chops.  Nana’s Kitchen came to mind when I entered this establishment.  We were surrounded by ruffled curtains, ceramic cow figurines, pink doilies and white scalloped lamp shades.

It was the giant red sign that made us drool.  It was a 1 + 1 rib meal deal for only 23,000 Won (~$20).  Who can resist BBQ ribs, french fries and a salad?  We couldn’t.  Pork BBQ ribs aren’t exactly Italian cuisine either… but nothing in Korea ever makes perfect sense, so it’s OK.  Seth’s face is priceless.  He hates when I take pictures of him and I made him smile for this … so he looks really funny, I think.

Surprisingly, our meal looked very similar to the picture on the sign.  Usually that never happens.  Needless to say these were the best ribs we have eaten in a long time.  The BBQ sauce tasted like BBQ sauce… and not some horrible concoction of Korean fusion cooking.  The sides were pickles that almost tasted like dill pickles but not quite and jalepenos.  Strange combination.  The picture on the right is Seth’s plate… he didn’t lick the plate clean, but he did eat the entire rack of ribs.   Three ribs remained on my plate… and actually that’s my tomato that I threw on his plate.

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Short but Sweet

I had the best time visiting WV.  It was the recharge that I needed.  My family and friends are just amazing.  I ate good food (had spaghetti for breakfast even), received more hugs than I can count, bought the cutest clothes to bring back with me, and hung out with my nephew as much as I possibly could. I got to visit with my parents, grandparents, sister, one of my uncles, 2 cousins, the in-laws, and most of my friends. Thank you to all that made an effort to see me while I was in… it really meant alot to me.

The thing I wasn’t expecting to happen was how I felt when I came back to Korea. I missed it while I was gone. I got off the airport shuttle, was walking to my apartment and couldn’t stop smiling. Maybe it was the recharge that made me appreciate what I actually do have here. I was happy to see my park and even had a chamchi (tuna) kimbap for lunch, which I absolutely love.

Things are back to normal around here. Working and relaxing. I am soo much more calm from being here, instead of working 2 jobs, going to school, and student teaching. I forgot how to enjoy down-time.

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