Seoul Food Adventures

As many of you already know, I recently spent a chunk of time (3 months) in South Korea for a work assignment. A daunting task to leave my beautiful home city of Chicago for months at a time, turned out to be a terrific adventure. An adventure including LOTS of food. Spicy food. Local food. Raw food. LIVE food. Yes my friends, I ate a live lobster tail (the proof exists below).

Before I jump into the details, I should introduce my theory to eating and cooking. Any combination of local, organic or natural foods is the way I try to go. If it's available, that's what I'm going with. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Korea was the perfect spot, except for the "not too much rule". Hey, nobodys perfect.
I started my trip never having been too excited about kimchi or any Korean food in general. I left as a huge fan. I traveled (with a colleague who loves food as much as I) from the northern part of Korea, Seoul, to the southern most, JeJu Island. We were stationed in PyeongTaek, a small city south of Seoul, at the oh so fantastic Asia Tourist Hotel (which provided cute, used kitten slippers!!!) I have regrettably not caputred most of the traditional Korean food, like kimchi, bulgogi or Korean barbeque. But this was my experience, and here it is!
From top left: 1. Chili bushes along the path on our walk to lunch, 2. My favorite dish in Korea (clams, mussels, whole shrimp, squid, octopus, peppers, garlic, and super spicy, greasy Sichuan spices) for about $10, 3. Korean water (beer), 4. King crab we grabbed for dinner at the Seoul Fish Market (Noryangjin Fish Market), 5. Dinner with our Korean friends "Charles" and his wife, 6. Largest mussel I've seen in my life, 7. Our favorite Japanese Ramen place in Seoul (hangover helper), 8. Live shrimp being cooked in a pot of salt (see video below), 9. Live abelone being grilled table top at dinner with the Korean Yakuza (gangsters), 10. Beachside seafood buffet in Jeju Island, 11. Typical Korean meal with lots of side dishes in Jeju, 12. Leek patches growing on the side of the road for local restaurants, 13. Eel tank! that was served to us as sushi a few minutes later

From top left corner: 1. Korean vendor that sold us fresh tuna at Noryangjin, 2. Enjoying our purchases from Noryangjin at the restaurant in the market with some Soju (Korean rice liquor), 3. My request for different cheese was interpreted as side of cheese on a plate, 4. Drying chili peppers on a mountain-side on my hike in Busan, 5. Pale, blonde girl in Asia.... 6. Sweet fish retrieval technique (if you weigh less than 100lbs.), 7. Sheet of hot peppers drying in the street?? in Busan, 8. Fruit cart in the busy streets of the Myeongdong shopping district, 9. The Noryangjin fish market was about 1/2 mile long and smelled AWESOME, 10. Pe...errr Sea Cucumbers

Shrimp Video (Warning: live shrimp being cooked.)

Lobster video

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