Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

March 28, 2011

Our Korean Encounter

“Korean take-out. Interesting,” said George referring to a New York Times piece entitled "Grazing Tour of Koreatown." The idea of Korean food didn’t particularly thrill me but, since I am always ready for a culinary adventure, I headed for Koreatown, an enclave on West 32nd Street in Manhattan. On the way, I passed Artisanal, where George and I had several wonderful meals. I was tempted to buy some their cheeses but, mindful of my Korean mission, I tried to find H-MART, one of the stores listed in the NY Times. Street numbers were sporadic; and signs were in Korean.

By checking the phone number on the marquee of one place which matched that of the Times, I realized that H-Mart, stood for Han Ah Reum, a large Korean supermarket. It took a while till I found some one who spoke English. I showed her the NY Times article and asked her to locate the items marked interesting: pickled vegetables, blood sausage, and whiting pie. All were prepackaged and weighed a ton.

Next I searched for Koryodang, referred to as a “tony café.” Koryodang was tony alright. In fact it was an attractive, super modern establishment, filled with young people. The café specializes in sweet and savory pastries (called dutch) lined up at a long counter. I chose the bacon filled dutch which, according to the Times is so substantial, “it practically oinks.” Weight-wise, it further added to my load.

Preparing my purchases for dinner, I realized they could easily feed a party of six.


Pickled vegetables (Kimchi)
Bacon filled Dutch
Korean blood sausage
Whiting Pie
Wine: Willm Gewürztraminer 2009
Dessert: Bahlsen Choco Leibniz

The pickled vegetables-- carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, mushrooms, spinach, and fenugreek--were so spicy, my lips puffed up. Far from oinking, the bacon-filled dutch was dry and shy on bacon. The pan-fried whiting, to which the Times referred to as “the fabulous love child of a fishcake and an omelet”, was bland. The most interesting dish was the blood sausage. According to the label, it contained porkomasum, pork blood, sweet rice, soybean, and garlic. Fortunately I detected neither blood nor pork, only the sweet rice encased in a thin, edible casing.

The acidic and slightly sweet Gewürztraminer straddled the meal from the spicy kimchi to the sweet rice.

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