Ohgyeopsal is related to samgyeopsal. the only difference is the number of layers. Oh means five and sam means three. I must say that I prefer ohgyeopsal. I believe that this pork was from Jeju Island.
As I have mentioned, this winter I went to Gyeongju for the second time. I had planned to take one whole day to hike around Namsan, a mountain south of Gyeongju. Namsan is a great place, but I will write about it exclusively in another post. As I arrived at the beginning of the path I found myself hungry; I decided to try a nearby Kalguksu (칼국수) restaurant.
Kalguksu (칼국수) is a special type of noodle; it is a freshly made soft noodle. The name literally means “knife noodles”. This type of Kalguksu was different than any I had tried before; the broth was nutty and thick rather than thin. This is because it was a very special broth made from many different grains. The server said that it was very healthy, and that it would be good for hiking. Another interesting thing was that some of the noodles were made from cactus. Cactus is not common in Korean noodles, but it was a tasty dish that gave plenty of energy for hiking!
While I was in Gyeongju I had a wonderful meal which was recommended to me by the hostess at my hostel. Across the street from Cheomseongdae and a little bit towards Anapji is a great place for bibimbap.
Bibimbap is a rice dish that has a little bit of everything in it. I think this one had carrots, mushrooms, beansprouts, kim (seaweed), some greens, and a bunch of other great ingredients. The first step in bibimbap is to add the rice; you can also add sauce according to your own tastes. Sometimes Korean food can be quite spicy, so it would be best to start with just a little sauce if you are not accustomed to it. The next step, and last step before eating, is to mix it all up in the bowl. Eventually the rice will blend evenly with the vegetables and sauce. The great thing about this dish is that the rice is steamed and therefore healthier. Normally I love rice and eat these types of dishes very quickly; this meal was exceptionally good!
About 8 months ago I had this dish for the very first time in Gyeongju. It is a little bit spicy, but absolutely delicious! In fact, as I am sitting here writing about it, I find my mouth watering and my stomach hungering for it. As with many Korean dishes, once you are almost finished you have the option of turning it into a rice dish. The server comes over, takes the remainder of the meal, adds rice, and fries it for you.
Even if you are not especially fond of seafood, this is a great dish to try!
Mashilju is next on our tour of Korean drinks. Maeshilju is an alcohol that receives its flavor from Japanese apricots. I have only had Maeshilju once, but I am looking forward to trying it again. It is sweet, but not too sweet, and it has a very distinctive taste. In the bottle you will probably find a few green Japanese apricots relaxing at the bottom of this delicious drink. I remember Japanese apricots being in season shortly after I arrived in Korea; this year I am going to try to make maeshilju myself! There will likely be another story on that process.
This is because “ju” means alcohol in Korean.
So, I finally got around to trying the famous peaches here in Jochiwon. I am really sad that I hadn’t tried them earlier! Back in the United States I was never a huge fan of peaches. Here in Korea however they are incredibly delicious! I paid about 9000 won for five peaches. Since I bought them in the traditional market, I am not really sure if that was a good price. However, I did check the local grocery store, and those peaches were only slightly more expensive.
So, as you may have guessed, I love gimbap! I eat it at least three times a week, and it’s a very healthy snack. Tonight I actually had tuna gimbap and another type of gimbap up for dinner. it’s considered fast food, but it’s much healthier than a cheeseburger, or a taco.
It is much like sushi in the sense that it has a seaweed wrapping, rice in the center, and other fillings. The main difference is that gimbap does not use raw fish. It uses everything from cooked tuna to kimchi!