Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Korean Food Survival (on Seoul Podcast)

In the new Seoul podcast, Joe from ZenKimchi discusses how to find unusual food in Korea... the lecture does not translate so well to a purely audio format (ie. At the start he discusses how to sharpen a knife), and there's lots of annoying questions/interjections/sidetracks, but some good suggestions here which I will summarise here...

- While we can't always get every ingredient we need here, some ingredients which would be considered gourmet back home, are available here cheaply... ie. mushrooms (as I discussed last post).
-Appliances and homewares like toaster ovens and coffee grinders are easily aquired 2nd hand online or at Homeplus/Lotte/Emart.
-Herbs are sometimes cheaper to buy as plants, than cut and dried in your store. So its often cheaper to buy the herbs from the plant shop... even if they don't survive very long.
-He talks about the foreign markets alot as well, but most of it is Seoul related. Of course, in Busan, the main foreign market is in Sasang.
-Open air markets often hide good bargains.
- "Be open to ingredient substitutions. Experiment with different things [...] be open to what is available." This includes meats.
Some of the substitutions he suggests:
Sesame leaves - fennel or basil
Yujacha- marmalade
Mandu wrappers - ravioli
-Soju is a good cleaner
-Get toasted is a good resource for using your toaster oven.
-A rice cooker can be used as a pressure cooker or crockpot... and more.
-It is possible to make your own food products.He also shows how to make your own goat cheese, here is one tutorial.

Most of the emphasis in the lecture is on food substitution - the more puritanical you are about your ingredients in Korea, the more they will cost you. It is possible to get good food locally, without heading to costco.

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