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Crab should be its own food group

Posted By Sara Yoo on Jan 11, 2009 at 9:36PM

Who knew that so many wonderful flavors could be contained in that undersea armor? Now I know why little medieval knights were so appealing to dragons: crisp them up nicely, and they could take pleasure in plucking the delectables out with a dragon-sized toothpick.

And now you have a sneak peek into my morbid food associations.

We had a special treat while on a road trip along the eastern coast of Korea: the dae gae of Yeongdeok. Nope, not a little medieval knight (fortunately - since I'd probably eat that, too), but the aptly-named "bamboo crab" of the Pacific - Korea's version of the king crab with stalk-like legs. Yeongdeok is known for this delicacy, and they appear to know it - most restaurants have giant crab effigies wrapped around the exterior of the building or overseeing the entrances. And seafood markets display tanks upon tanks of the reddish-brown crustaceans (it is crab season there, much like Dungeness season here in the Bay Area). I'd say we passed 50-75 crab markets and restaurants on one street alone as we headed for the central seafood market in town.

There, Dave's mom deftly picked out three of the fattest dae gae she could find, and the lady behind the counter tossed them into a basket and led us up a slippery set of steps to a gentleman manning three giant steaming bins. We left our 3 treasures with him and went inside the adjoining restaurant to await our feast. This was no-frills dining: the waiter (who couldn't have been older than 14) spread a piece of thin plastic over the table, tossed down a couple large bowls containing spoons, chopsticks and bowls for water and told us to sit.

And the result? Incredibly flavorful, sweet-salty meat - remarkably, no seasonings were added so you could eat it directly out of the shell (good thing...I don't think I could have stopped stuffing my face). The waiter took the body shells away and returned with them stuffed with rice mixed with crab butter and seasoned seaweed. Uh, HELLO. I thought it couldn't get any better!  Read on for pics of our dining adventure/heaven!

Filed in: Korea, Restaurants, Food, Travel | Tagged with: new years 2009, dae gae, crab

Hello from Seoul

Posted By Sara Yoo on Jan 8, 2009 at 1:30AM

It's our last day in Korea, so while we may have some follow up pics
when we get a reliable Internet connection, we leave you with a view
of Itaewon from the local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf!



Pop Quiz

Posted By Sara Yoo on Jan 2, 2009 at 10:00AM

marketman named hwae-neng-myun as one of his favorite foods. Approximately how long do you think it took marketman to polish off his lunch of cold spicy noodles?


Some Things Never Change

Posted By Sara Yoo on Jan 2, 2009 at 5:38AM

...when you're Starbucks, that is.  When we came here in 2004, you were hard-pressed to find a Starbucks anywhere.  Back then, the premium coffee market was dominated by Dunkin' Donuts and - remarkably - Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  But by last summer, those green logos were everywhere (one even taking over a three-story building on a street corner in Seoul).  On our way through Time World shopping center this morning, we grabbed lattes and pastries at the local Starbucks in Daejeon, and we found that not much changes when you cross the Pacific!


It's all about the food

Posted By Dave Yoo on Jan 2, 2009 at 5:00AM

At least that's what my parents believe whenever mieko14 and I come out to visit.  The good news is that we totally don't mind!  So today we were able to check off 2 of the myriad things we were looking forward to eating on this trip:  Hwae-neng-myun (cold spicy noodles) for marketman:

...and Kal-guk-soo (hand-pulled noodles) for mieko14:


We are so not gonna enjoy the Korean food in the Bay Area once we get back home...


First meal of 2009

Posted By Dave Yoo on Jan 1, 2009 at 3:56AM

So in Korean traditional fashion, mieko14 and I had dduk-guk (rice cake soup) for our first meal of 2009 in addition to all the other ban-chan (side dishes) you see here.  It's said in Korean tradition that once you eat dduk-guk, you're officially one year older.  Good thing we ate only one bowl each!


Filed in: Korea, Food, Travel | Tagged with: new years 2009, dduk-guk, New Year's meal

See you in 13 hours

Posted By Sara Yoo on Dec 30, 2008 at 11:22AM

On our way to Incheon Int'l in Seoul, South Korea!


Filed in: Korea, Travel | Tagged with: new years 2009, airport

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