Maybe it's due to the quality of the restaurants I go to for Korean food, but I notice that Koreans tend to use metal chopsticks rather than wood or ivory.
Can anyone explain why?
"I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak!" - Calvin, "Calvin & Hobbes"
Otto, it’s really great to read what you’re writing. It would have been helpful 17 years ago. When I first met my wife and we were dating, some if the things she was telling me seemed so weird. Turning your head and covering your mouth/glass when drinking so the older people wouldn’t see. I seriously thought she was messing with me at first.
She has done well in teaching me how to behave politely and more so respectfully around other Koreans. Learning that when speaking to an elder, always ending with “yo”. It’s the little things that they remember, and are so pleased with. Plus when you’re super white and tattooed and speak Korean (enough to communicate), however my ability to hear how my wife speaks and pronounce the words exactly the same way, with accent is quite good. Many Koreans are quite shocked when we speak.
P220 Smudge, knowing approximately where you are, there are three places on South Tacoma Way I can recommend. I have eaten at all of them and they are very good.
Pal Do World, the supermarket right up the street from the 512. I think it’s 96th and STW. There is a Korean restaurant in the back (stay to the right as you go in, walking past the checkout stands). It’s the busy one, third from the end. Last one is a Mandu shop, second to last is a Korean woman with Chinese food, third to last is the one I am talking about. Pretty awesome food and pretty authentic. It’s kind of like fast food, but kind of like sit down. The food comes out quickly and someone does bring it to your table. You don’t clean up your table, they’ll take care of that. They bring out quite a few side dishes. It’s similar to restaurants that are in Korea, however their menu has multiple items. Plus to this place is you can eat after shopping, and take home some Mandu for later. Also since you’re there, they have a place that’s open half the time that makes pung o bong. It’s a doughnut of sorts filled with red bean paste. Quite good. They also make fresh ho-thoc. It’s kind of like a stuffed pancake with honey and brown sugar. My descriptions are terrible, as it does no justice for how awesome these are. You have to go try them.
Second is Sa Di Gol (used to be O-Bok), this is the first Korean restaurant my wife took me to. It is just North of Shin Shin plaza, on the same side of the street. There is a Mexican butcher shop and store in the same plaza.
Very authentic. Very little English if any is spoken. The food is quite good, but it is truly Korean food. Nothing westernized here. It will give you a 100% authentic experience, but many people care for the other two restaurants I suggest, as this one is just too Korean and most of the dishes are seafood. Most of them have a heavy seafood flavor (think mackerel) which is why many aren’t too fond. Now the Koreans, they all love this place.
The last place has two names. Royal and Palace. It seems to change frequently. It’s on the corner of the Shin Shin plaza. It’s a Korean style BBQ. They bring you meats and garlic and onions that you order, and you cook it in the center of the table. There are plenty of sides and the food is pretty amazing. Everyone I have taken there, loved it and we all left fat and happy.
My god, after typing this out, I realize that it is partially true. I’m an egg. White on the outside and yellow in the middle. (The Korean barber I used to go to told me that). I have been gone for almost two years and I miss the food so much. I am now sitting here thinking how much my wife must be missing it. There aren’t many Koreans in AZ, and there is a serious lack of good Korean shopping and stores and restaurants here. Even when we go to Phoenix. They did open an H-Mart in Mesa, so there is hope, but the restaurants and places with pung o bong and ho-thoc and the like, aren’t here yet.
Cleanliness. Wood absorbs too much. At least that’s what Mrs. Cooker says. She eats with silver. My dexterity isn’t as good, so I usually choose wood, which she dislikes.
When we have company, we eat with silver. I do pretty well with the silver ones, but the wood ones are thicker, and I use them like a natural.
Yes. It's because the wooden ones catch fire...
Yes, typically more hygienic and easier to clean.
14 years to retirement! Just waiting!
Korea '90-'91. Bibimbap is still my favorite; wicked hot stone bowl with raw meat and egg on top. Loves me some 'fresh' kimchi, especially daikon radish kimchi. Sesame leaf kimchi was far too potent for me. Tried the late winter kimchi one time but just couldn't stomach it.
Spent a few days out with the staff of the Korean 2ID helping them with a PPT presentation for the US 4-star. Went to dinner; lots of mushrooms. Saw an item on the lazy susan I could not identify and asked the ROK officer next to me what it was. He picked it up and brought it close to his face and looked at it. Promptly replied "Don't know!" I didn't eat any of it....
As OttoSig stated, metal chopsticks are more hygienic and easier to clean, but in the grand scheme of things, will also probably last a lifetime or two. I prefer metal to wood, as metal chopsticks can be more precise in picking up food, IMO.
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-- Robert Frost
Truly envious of where you are! I would love to go there. the food looks amazing too. I made some kimchi last year and it has finally got to the point it has fully fermented.
the asian market here in Naples is Korean owned and they have makgeoli which I intend to buy in the next week or so. soju is delicious too.
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- Mark Twain The Gilded Age
Didn’t royals use silver chopsticks to detect poison in food?
Metal spoon is ok but I don’t like metal chopsticks or metal rice bowl.
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|Frangas non Flectes|
Thanks for the recommendations! The first one and last one sound like winners to me.
The second one, I'm not so sure about. I used to think I hated fish, but after seeing me drink the water out of a can of tuna, a friend of mine said "you need to re-think that whole 'I don't like fish' thing, because I love fish and even I won't do that." I also go nuts with the fish sauce in home made Thai curry, so I guess I'm just picky.
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I was in Korea in '16 for business. We ate some great BBQ while there. Had hite Pale Lager and Cass Fresh, guessing each K BBQ place had a sole agreement with these brands, both were good.
|Muzzle flash |
OTTO, after having seen the ingredients list you posted I'm glad I did not grow up in the Deep South. Now I'm sure I'd not do well in Korea. The only Asian (?) I eat is Americanized Chinese (and not much of that).
Texan by choice, not accident of birth
Had you grown up in the South, you would have no problem eating anything on Otto's list.
|Something wild |
I lost an entire evening of my life drinking soju at Hoban in Seoul. Complete blank. They tell me I had a great time.
"And gentlemen in England now abed, shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin's Day"
|Res ipsa loquitur|
When I lived in Korea, it was interesting how much better 전주 비비미밥 was than “general” 비비미밥 from other regions of the country. Even in the US, I find certain restaurants have better 비비미밥 than others.
To me a funny story, a few years ago, I was at popular Korean restaurant in Salt Lake City. The waitress came up to ask me for my order and I asked her if they had any 보신탕. She about had a heart attack. When she recovered, she told me I would have to go to LA. I settled for 비비미밥. And yes, I had 보신탕 in 나주 back in the day. It tasted like greasy turkey.
Otto, I recall I suggested your hobby consist of writing about your time in Korea, and here you are!
What a great post, we look forward to many more like it.
When you get out in the countryside—or even in a city or town—take photos if you can (i.e. if not considered discourteous) and tell us more stories!
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|His Royal Hiney|
What I like about korean food is you can even make a whole meal out of the condiments.
"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
Update in OP.
14 years to retirement! Just waiting!
No worries FG, as another member mentioned, had you grown up in the south (and on the poorer side, not that I am assuming how you grew up) you would be very familiar with these dishes.
I can't for the life of me eat Cream of Wheat...some things are just regional.
Met a coworker from Louisiana the other day that said he don't like grits!!! I mean there are crazy people everywhere now days
There are a lot of good offerings here, really good cuts of meat and then some really traditional cuts as well...
I'll buy you a steak and pork chop and I will eat the grilled chicken hearts and Live Octopus !!!
Thanks for at least checking it out, sincerely.
14 years to retirement! Just waiting!
I’ll be honest, the first time I tried it, I was horrified to put it in my mouth. I was also warned to chew well as it can stick its legs to your throat and choke you if you try to swallow whole.
Bathed the little guy in some gochujon and to my surprise, it was quite tasty, albeit weird feeling your food try to evade the teeth. Now I will gladly eat them.
I will say, after that experience, I’m not really afraid to try much of anything.
I really enjoyed Korea, I was 19 and at Camp Casey.
Really would like to visit again....food was better than I appreciated at the time.
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