Sunday, March 6, 2011

Korean Food: The Kimbap Place

When I was home, I was asked more questions about Korean food than anything else.  So, here begins a series of Korean food posts beginning with the most important:  what you can find at "the kimbap place."

Kimbap places are everywhere.  You can get cheap, delicious food pretty quickly.  MY kimbap place, near my house, is the BEST!  The ladies are great, they are always happy to see me:)  I often skip out on school lunches to head over to the kimbap place for lunch.  Kimbap places specialize in kimbap, but have a variety of other food as well.  Although there are many more foods you can get at the Kimbap place, this is what I order.

비빔밥 Bi Bim Bap ... meaning mix-it rice.
There are many variations of bi bim bap.  This is a simple one.  It is basically rice, vegetables, and sometimes meat with a fried egg on top.  As you can see in the background, you get your usual set of sidedishes...including 김치  kimchi.
Then you add lots of red pepper sauce and mix it, mix it, mix it...  Mmmm...makes me hungry! 
 오므라이스 Omurice. 
One of my favorites.  It's basically like an omelett with a fried rice mixture in the middle.  The fried rice mixture usually includes ham and vegetables.  Some places put ketchup on the top...I don't like that.  My kimbap place puts this special sauce on top that I love!
라면 Ramyeon...ok, yes Ramen.
Ramen is really popular in Korea.  You can find lots of teenagers slurping down cups of ramen in the back of the convenience store.  The ramen here comes in many flavors and is usually pretty spicy.  It's my favorite thing to eat when my sinuses are hurting...just like my dad and his Chinese mustard!

In a restaurant, it usually includes some meat and for sure egg.
김밥  Kimbap.  The specialty.
You can get all types of kimbap.  At home you might call it a sushi roll, modeled after Japan.  In Japan this may come with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.  But no need in Korea, it's tasty enough all by itself.  I prefer the 참치 김밥 Chamchi (Tuna) Kimbap (as pictured below).  It includes tuna, crab, cucumber, carrot, pickled beet, ham, and egg all wrapped in rice and seaweed.  You can get kimchi in many other ways including:  cheese, kimchi, or plain with ham.  Kimbap literally means seaweed (kim) and rice (bap).
 만두국수 Mandu Guk Su
Meaning dumplings in noodle soup.  This one also comes with 떡 ddeok (small rice cakes).  I used to hate ddeok but now I'm getting used to it.  The rice is compacted so much to make these rice cakes I have to be careful when I eat them.  If I eat too many, a half-hour later I feel my stomache expanding.  I can only eat it in small portions.  But mandu (dumplings) are sooo delicious.
 돈가스 Donkas-uh
Pork Cutlet smothered in sauce with rice and side dishes.  There are many types of donkas, even with cheese in the middle.
Well...looks like these are the types of foods I get at the Kimbap place.  I get a few more items but I don't have any photos at the moment.  You can get all of these items between $1.50 and $4.50. 

I will update with more Korean Food in the future.  If you live in an area that may have a Korean Restaurant, I encourage you to try it out.  I had never had Korean food before coming to Korea and I was pleasantly surprised.  I love Korean food.

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