I am finally back in the motherland for some winter adventures (As you can see from the return of my grandma’s feast)! I have been busy as a bee because I decided to get a driver’s license in Seoul, and I have been tutoring my cousins and helping them with English as well. But shopping, hangouts with friends, and incredible foodventures have never strayed off my to-do list! I’ve spent a pretty amazing summer in Korea, so here’s to an equally fantastic winter break!
I do have a learner’s driving permit from back when I lived in Virginia, but that was almost four years ago, which means that the permit will be expiring next year ;( So I figured… might as well try for a license here in Seoul! So far I’ve passed two of the three required tests, but the third one is apparently the hardest one, so I’m kind of nervous.
ANYWAY. The first thing I did as soon as I landed and unpacked at my grandparents’ house was to eat jajangmyun, a Korean Chinese dish. This noodle dish, prepared with pork and black bean sauce, is super satisfying and is a favorite of any Korean. What makes this experience even more special is that you can order online or via a phone call, and the delivery guy will come knocking at your door in less than ten minutes. Bam.
I almost got full just listening to the sound of the gooey savory sauce being incorporated into the noodles (you have to hear this with your own ears. The sound is just indescribable.)
I also had a handful of snacks: the first one is called boong-uh-bbang, which is basically a fish-shaped bread filled with sweet red beans. When I was a little kid, I used to hate red beans, but I’ve grown to love the flavor so much. This little treat is available only during the wintertime, and it just tastes amazing when you grab one off of a food truck and start munching on the burning deliciousness.
Next is honey pancakes! This particular one also had green tea in it. The outside is perfectly crispy while the inside is oozing with hot honey sauce…mmm.
I also got my hair dyed for the first time in my whole entire life! You might not notice the difference, but to me it looks and feels significantly brown. The people at the salon were incredibly nice and they explained every step in detail. If you wanna see a before and after picture check out my Instagram @maryseeo 🙂
Next on my list of foods to eat was fried chicken; Korea is all about the chicken madness! My family chose to order padak, which is fried chicken with green onions.
I also went to the Hongdae area to visit some of my friends, and we went to a Japanese udon restaurant for lunch. The place was called Gami-Udon, and was pretty authentic – apparently the chef there is Japanese. I could hear the slight accent when he spoke in Korean. The udon was good and so was the fried chicken!
For dessert we went to a place called Café Source, where we got moffles. Yup, these things are a hybrid of mochi and waffles, and with berries, ice cream, and a dollop of cookies and cream cheesecake, the chewy waffle tasted amazing.
I’m going to finish off with this tiny snack called Honey Butter Chips. I didn’t know these were that big of a deal, but apparently they’re so rare that my cousin and I visited the supermarket at 7:30 in the morning only to find out that they were already out of stock. Whaat!? I popped in the store a few more times afterwards, but to no avail. Then one day, my cousin called me and said that he got a bag of Honey Butter Chips on his way home! I was so stoked to taste this mysterious snack that I ran over to his house (even though it was like 10 p.m.). The chips were pretty good, but I feel like they’re a tad bit overhyped, aka wouldn’t buy again, especially because these chips cost you both money and calories (nearly 300 calories for a handful of chips). Nevertheless, the whole experience of acquiring this single bag of chips was fun.
I also spent a few days in CheonAn at my other grandma’s house, but I’ll post about that in a second part of my Winter in Korea – I think I’ll also do a huge haul post to write about all the serious junk I bought to bring back with me to America. But for now, qiao!