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25 October 2003
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Korea Life Blog - A Hearty Meal

The students and I went out for bulgogi last night. They had just gotten a fresh cow in that day and gave us extra "service" in the form of raw cow heart and liver. It grossed me out. Harry gobbled down the liver but it wasn't long before the other students put him to the ultimate test: eating a piece of the heart. At first he refused but eventually caved under mounting pressure.

In disbelief, I made him wait while I got out my camera. I didn't have enough space left to shoot a video, but I managed to snap the sequence and "gif" them together. It actually came out pretty good. Here it goes: first he picks up a piece and examines it, then he sets it in the salt sauce. After a preparatory shot of soju he gobbles down the red and bloody chunk. The ensuing expression on his face says it all: "Mmm, now that's damn good cow heart."

Here are a few more mouth watering pictures from the dinner:

This is called bulgogi jeon gol. Basically it means bulgogi boiled in water, spices, and vegetables. I prefer regular ole bulgogi, but this was pretty delicious too. There was a bit of an argument during dinner as to whether this style is traditional or modern.

The ajumma volunteered to have her picture taken while tending the meal. I'm not sure she would have volunteered so eagerly had she known she would end up on this website, however. I feel bad for these ajummas that have to bend over like this all day. Their backs must really feel awful by closing time.

Here are the side dishes. There certainly is no shortage of food in this country. In front of the lettuce salad on the left is stingray and go chu jang (thick soypaste mixed with red pepper). I felt a little disgusted after trying the yellow dish. I found out those are jelly fish. Yuck!

Another shot of the side dishes. The flat green things are bu chim gae, which some people call Korean pizza, although it has absolutely no resemblance in any form to pizza. It tastes delicious though and I ate most of it. That salad has entirely too much mayonnaise on it. I ate a lot of the two kimchis, coleslaw, and greens. All in all, a hearty meal indeed.


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