After numerous jokes about eating dogs in Korea (as adventurous as I am doggies are off limits) we decided to head out in Hongdae, Seoul where we were staying. This is a great area to stay in, there’s lots going on and transport to get around the city is convenient.
Our first stop was for Soju – “Korea’s most popular alcoholic beverage”. You can’t go to South Korea and not try some. It comes in many flavours. We tried the unflavoured Soju and it’s like a mild vodka, very drinkable. I also tried blueberry Soju which was my favourite.
Be careful with this as it’s so smooth, especially the flavoured options, you can find yourself getting drunk easily.
After drinks the next stop was dinner.
Korean Organ Meat BBQ
Gopchang Gui and Daechang Gui – grilled intestines.
We sat down at one of the many BBQ restaurants in Hongdae and asked for a traditional Koran BBQ of organ meat (as well as we could as there was a language barrier). The table had its own grill and the waiter brought over raw beef intestines, heart and liver and a few side dishes of greens.
He started the grill and left us to barbecued the meat. It was a fun! He then came back over and added a tonne of garlic to the barbecue.
I struggled with the intestines as I didn’t like the soft texture but I was able to eat the heart because it was firmer.
Boiled silk worms
While strolling around Dongdaemun Market we saw women stirring big pots out on the street and I immediately thought – yummy roasted chestnuts. As I went over I saw they were not chestnuts but boiled silk worms. This seems to be a thing in Korea.
When biting into one, the soft insides spurt into you mouth which isn’t very pleasant.
Tatsuya tucking into some. After tasting one I wasn’t so brave.
Makgeolli is a Korean rice liqueur. It has a low alcohol content of 6-8 % ABV and is made from rice or wheat mixed with nuruk (a Korean fermentation starter). It used to be known as a “farmer’s drink” but has become more popular in the cities recently.
It had a milky colour and we drank it out of bowls. The taste was quite sweet but it had a sharp aftertaste.
We found it difficult to track down and try on its own without ordering a meal. So I recommend you try it when you’re in a restaurant as it wasn’t readily available in bars.
A trip to South Korea wouldn’t be complete without trying some pastries. Bakeries are extremely popular and “Asian-French” bakery chains, such as Paris Baguette are all over South Korea. It plays on the French theme with an Eiffel Tower logo, but they serve much more than the typical French pastries.