Saturday, June 18, 2011

Vietnamese Shabu Shabu

A while ago, two Koreans took me out for my first taste of Shabu Shabu and I've loved it ever since.  I convinved a friend to try it - but, I couldn't remember where the last place was so we went to a different restaurant, to find out later that it was a Vietnamese Restaurant.
 OK, so the food section of this blog should be dedicated to Korean food.  BUT - western food in Korea is never REALLY western so I'm sure there's a little mix of Korea in this Vietnamese dish anyways...so, here's Korea's take on Vietnamese shabu shabu (which I believe is really a Japanese dish to start with).

First you start with a brothy soup mixed with lots of vegetables.

Here are some veggies to mix in the shabu shabu wrap.
 The meat.  First you throw a few pieces of meat into the soup to cook.  You don't want to overcook the meat, it's best when it's sort of rare.
You add the rice last. 
 Rice Paper.
 You dip the rice paper in hot water.

Place the rice paper on your plate.  Add the meat, veggies, and sauce.  I like the spicy and peanut sauces best.
 Voila!  Just wrap and eat.
 I'm terrible at wrapping.
 After you are finished with the wraps, you throw in the noodles.
 After you eat all the noodles, you throw in the rice and squash/pumpkin.
I thought it was really delicious but I prefer the Korean-style.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Camping on a Deserted Island!

The sight of peeling shoulders reminded me I needed to post pictures of last weekend's camping trip on the deserted island, Sa Seong Bong Do.
 Now, before you get too jealous - let me remind you what my typical travel weekend entails.  Usually I have to catch the first train into Seoul to meet up with the group.  And I'm usually the first one there before they even turn on the lights.  This usually means getting up at 4 a.m. or so.  Right now, as my brother is reading this, he is laughing - I know, Mike.  Heaven forbid I get up that early!  But it's early for ME!  I'm usually busy packing until 1 a.m. because I, well...I don't know why I don't go to bed sooner.
5 a.m. at the subway station.
 Once taking the subway to Incheon, then a cab ride to the port - we carried loads of camping equipment onto the ferry.


 And off we go...
 I love and hate this bridge.  It's the 7th largest cable-stayed bridge in the world and spans 13.28 miles. 
 I took a snooze on the 2-hour ferry ride.  I noticed something wet on my feet, I didn't pay much attention to it until I heard someone say, "Did that bird JUST..."  NICE!  Even nicer when I noticed it in MY PURSE later in the day!!  What did I say about hating those seagulls?!?
 We hopped off the ferry right onto a smaller boat to take us to the deserted island.
 Are we...  Yes, transporting people and cargo in the middle of the ocean...ok...
 I LOVE these visors...pretty popular in the ROK!
 Our fearless captain steering with a packed boat.
 There it is!
 Of course we HAD to camp on the other side of the island and carry everything with us!
 But once we got there...it was nothing but relaxing in the hot, mid-day sun.

 Lunch time!  Hamburgers!!

 Haha...William (our leader) had this great idea.  Since the water was too cold to swim in...he led people out on the floaty chair with a string so you wouldn't end up in China.
 As the day went on, the tide went out and the beach got bigger and bigger.  It was incredible.
 Wait a minute...where's William?  No one is holding the string?  Where's the floaty chair - and more importantly, the person on it?!
 The bathroom!
 Digging for clams!
 Dig, dig, go, go, go!
 Incredible, right!


 This is what the rock from the previous photo looks like up close.
 Some people and chiseled away at the seafood stuck to the rock.
 Clams under the sand.  When the tide goes out you see all these straw looking things poking out of the sand.  It's like the clams' noses!  They're really sensitive so if the clam thinks it's in danger, it cuts it off and moves quickly.  That's why you have to dig fast!
 Lots of "noses."

 I saw Jun ho talking to this scary man.  You can't really tell from the picture, but he was wearing army clothes and carrying some scary fishing hook.  My first thought was...I don't wanna sleep on this island with this man running around!
 ahhh...relaxation!




 We burned whatever we could find...  Some crazy stuff gets dumped into the ocean.
 It was a great trip but my skin wasn't used to so much sun (despite my hourly thick lather of sunscreen).  And I didn't bring nearly enough water.  I got so burned on Saturday I went swimming on Sunday to numb my body.  It wasn't so bad once you had the mindset it was going to make your skin feel better.  I also realized I wasn't quite the girl scout I used to be.  I really missed my shower and convenience store around the corner:)

All-in-all it was an amazing time and really, something I will probably never experience again.  I needed somewhere to relax after the last few weeks I've had.

On the ferry ride home, I had to buy my favorite Korean snack.  Shrimp-flavored chips!!