left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Satisfying Seoul food

Updated: 2013-01-21 11:02
By Pauline D. Loh ( China Daily)

Satisfying Seoul food

Four little platters of spinach, braised yellow soybeans, spicy radish strips and the cabbage kimchi [Photo by Fan Zhen/China Daily]

Satisfying Seoul food

Korean seafood soup [Photo by Fan Zhen/China Daily]

The plethora of cold dishes that accompanies your usual Korean meal has been pared down to four little platters of spinach, braised yellow soybeans, spicy radish strips and the ubiquitous cabbage kimchi.

For starters, we ordered sweet and sour deep-fried mushrooms and deliciously piquant chicken wings topped with little cubes of lightly pickled white radish that were really refreshing.

We also had some fried tofu triangles served with the traditional onion sauce. That, together with the mushrooms, would have made a vegetarian very happy.

However, our voracious group wanted meat, and so we ordered a spicy Korean seafood soup and then the classic ginseng chicken soup. Both were well-flavored and hearty and would hit the spot nicely on cold winter days.

If you are still hungry, as we were, order the seafood pancake and the bibimbap, or Korean stone pot rice.

The pancake is full of pink shrimps and snowy squid strips on a base of wilted spring onions and brings you right back to the Namdaemun street food stalls. Our bibimbap was rapidly shared out and demolished.

Incidentally, the waiter is careful to ask you the degree of spiciness you can accept, and although we insisted on the spiciest they could offer, we saw the warning in his eyes. It is not unwarranted and the less initiated should go cautiously forward. It can get pretty spicy, especially the liquid fire that is the seafood soup.

Satisfying Seoul food

Satisfying Seoul food

Calm the soul, clear the broth

Brixton's Beijing jiaozi