Sunday, September 23, 2007

Korean BBQ - Our Adventure in Eating

The morning after we arrived in Sanbon, we were picked up at 11am to go to the school. Our jobs for the first week or so was to observe various classes and get to know the kids we would be teaching as of October 1st. The school is laid out really nice and everyone there is great to work with. We also get FREE lunch at the school! How awesome is that? :) (sure it tastes like cafeteria food, but did I mention it is FREE?).

Here are a few pictures from the 3rd floor balcony looking out behind the school.

During lunch on the first day Art (a teacher from Colorado who is leaving soon) took Krista and I to the bank to exchange our $US into Won so we could actually afford to eat and buy cleaning supplies for our apartment! Thanks Art! After the bank we went a few doors down from the school for lunch. I can’t remember exactly what we had – Kimchi Jjigae? (Next time we’ll get a pic and remember exactly what it is!). This was basically a spicy beef stew that came with rice and some sort of soup. For those of you who do not know what Kimchi is, click here for a definition. It is a side dish for EVERY meal and Krista and I soon found out we love it!

After a long day of observation, Krista and I went out for supper with John and Christie (yeah, it is a bit confusing for everyone, and they’re from Saskatoon!!). We went to a restaurant just down from the school for some Korean BBQ. Upon entering, we had to take our shoes off (normal in traditional restaurants and homes), we then sat at a table on the floor with a few thin cushions under us (For anyone that does not know, Jon does not do well sitting cross legged!).

In the middle of the table is a grill where we can cook up different cuts of meats, garlic and vegetables. It is typically served with lettuce, perilla, or other leafy vegetables used to wrap the meat, which is then dipped in ssamjang, a sauce made of fermented bean curd and red pepper paste (didn’t know it was fermented bean curd until now, but it was good). For those of you in or around Regina – on Victoria Ave E there is a place called 100 Kings Korean Restaurant – I really recommend checking it out!
Our share of the meal was about $12, including the beer. Did we mention we LOVE Korean BBQ?

Of course 99% of meals are eaten with chopsticks and here in Korea they like to use metal flat chopsticks instead of round. Krista is still getting used to them.. we are considering purchasing kid training chopsticks for her.
The beer in Korea is pretty good as well and cheapy cheap! 500cc or 500ml of beer at various places is 2000W (roughly $2US).