October 16, 2013

해장국 (Hangover Soup) for breakfast on Jeju Island, South Korea, Aug. 2013
Pentax K1000, Kodak Portra 800 Film (double exposure)

Autumn has arrived in Geoje. Thank goodness. Summer here on the island was hot and humid and it seemed at times it would never end. I'm always happy to say farewell to summer and to welcome the fall. This is especially true here and now, in beautiful Korea. Once the leaves begin to change, to the top of a mountain we'll go, picnic in hand!

Now is the season of cabbage and apples; chestnuts and persimmons; saury (꽁치) and mussels. I want to make kimchi and 유자차 (citron tea, also known as the tea that saved me from my winter illness earlier this year).  I want to eat pumpkin stuffed with rice and fruit. It is also possible to make persimmon kimchi, so of course I must prepare some.

We've decided, for a variety of reasons, to leave Korea after our contract ends in January. Until that time, I will be cooking as much seasonal Korean food as I can. Though I am looking forward to some comforts of home (aged cheese; microbreweries; an oven), there are aspects of the food culture here that I will dearly miss. I love that the cuisine centers around a set of simple dishes with many varieties (for example, soups, kimchi, noodles). I love that meals include a dozen different side dishes (반찬) and that everyone shares food rather than ordering their own dish. I love the deep, earthy flavor of fish or cabbage or radish braised in soy sauce and red pepper paste.

Today, I made a large lunch consisting of thin-sliced, marinated beef wrapped in perilla leaves, brown rice, quail eggs and whole garlic cloves soaked in soy sauce, opo squash, sticky steamed shishito peppers, and tofu pickles. It was so good, I forgot to take photos.

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  1. can you have a korean dinner party of sorts when you come back to the states?

  2. I think a Korean-style dinner party is an *amazing* idea!

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  4. Ummm.. I would definitely like to come for dinner sometime! *hinthint* haha. Have you gotten around to making that pumpkin stuffed with rice and fruit? That sounds so interesting..

    - Lily

  5. Please, you are welcome any time! I have not yet made the pumpkin dish - it's a bit of work! I'll let you know when I do!


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