Saturday, April 25, 2015

Korean Royal Cuisine

After spending a week in South Korea, we shared a lot about ourselves, our passion, our experiences and love for photography and among other things, a whole lot of Korean food.

Our hosts, Korean Tourism Organisation and Samsung has certainly outdone themselves. The group of people on this photo tour came from the Phillipines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. It is not an easy task catering to everyone's culinary taste and preferences. Some of us may have religious reasons, for not being able to eat certain things, others simply have allergies and then there's me, whom through personal choice, prefers not to eat pork.

I like that we were taken to International buffets when not having traditional Korean food, where we could indulge in the various dishes on offer. This allows for everyone to choose what they they would like to eat. As for me, I was eating kimbap, sushi, sashimi, prawns. There were crabs too. However, one must make room for lots of Korean Fried Chicken when possible. I think I overdosed on Kimchi on that first day and had to go on sorethroat medication the next day. Once my sorethroat was cleared, I was back on the Kimchi bandwagon again. Better hide your Kimchi pots!

There were an abundance of seafood on this trip as we travelled south towards Busan. We feasted on food of the land when we were inland up in the mountains, there were mostly vegetarian meals with some pork. I love the vegetarian meal. I didn't eat the pork but I am sure the others would have love it. I enjoyed the bean paste tofu soup. It was warm and delicious on a cold and wet windy night up at Taekwondowon.

On our last day, we were treated to an epic Royal Cuisine before we headed back to Seoul. These are similar to the meals one would served to the King during the Joseon period. So lucky!

I see lots of kimchi in the pots

I was fascinated by the amount of side dishes that were served with the mains. Unlike western meals that comes out by the courses, these Korean food are served out in a communal way for us to share, where all the dishes came out, all at once, to the table and it was surrounded by so many little side dishes called banchan.

The banchan could have ingredients from the land or the sea. We had raw veges, salad leafs, preserved root vegetables, fermented veges like kimchi, raw crabs, sauteed clams, chilli sauteed stingray etc. Dessert were mostly freshly cut fruits, flavoured rice cakes, similar to Japanese Mochi balls. There was also cakes when we had International buffet.

Mealtimes are always the happiest times for me, I like seeing people eat heartily, and be happy and satisfied. During that one week we spend together, we would have shared conversations, as you would in a large family gathering. It was a lot of fun, sitting together and eating and joking about our day. It was good to see such kinship.


The photos are a summary of a whole lot of eating going on that week in South Korea. I feel like my job here is done, when I saw people snapping away food photos before they ate :) because the camera always eats first, right?  Catch you on the next blogpost!

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