Wednesday, August 03, 2011


We went to Insadong recently. It's famous for book shops, calligraphy, tea shops and Korean trinkets/souvenirs. There were lots of white folks, but plenty of Korean tourists, also.

One side alley was filled with stores selling any imaginable ceramic product.

After strolling for a while, we took a side street looking for a traditional Korean meal. It was big, filling and delicious. The entire meal was 26,000W, or $24 American.

Here is the meal, from front and center and moving clockwise. A spicy stew of egg, mushroom, zucchini, onion and shrimp, rice in the metal bowl, a bitter leafy green marinated in hot pepper sauce, a large potato pancake fried with green onion, bean sprout salad, a bitter green salad (similar in texture to collard greens), a hot pot of bulgogi (shaved beef cooked with a sweet teriyaki sauce) with onion, carrot, zucchini and mushroom, more rice, fish cakes with a sweet and spicy sauce, kimchee (spicy pickled cabbage). In the center there are two quail eggs marinated with dried beef and spicy peppers in soy sauce, a sweet and spicy sauce with hot peppers and onions and, finally, a serving of tiny fried fish coated in a sweet and spicy sauce.

I think we ate every last bite.

I read about a place called Ssazmie-gil on a great Korea blog here:

It's a mall with modern architecture, but the wares they sell are a mixture of traditional and modern. There were no chain stores, and each shop seemed to be run by the designer or creator of the goods inside. I usually hate malls, but this one, with it's ramps and independently owned shops, was well worth a look.

Cassie on top of Ssazmie. We're overlooking the courtyard and Insadong-ro.

We'd just finished eating that giant meal, but no Georgia boy can pass a sign that says "Homemade Spicy Sausage." So I ate that, too.

I didn't read about this anywhere else, but we passed a picture of Wonder Woman, so I said, "Let's go in." It was a strange pop culture museum/junk toy collection. It cost about $2 each to check it out. I'd suggest it to anyone.

I was more amused by the Cabbage Patch doll than she was.

1 comment:

Ed Fierstos said...

I am so glad to get the update of your blog. I had forgotten you were doing it and this really gives me a feel for some of your experiences.I am so pleased for you and the lovely Ms. Cassie to be there, learning, experiencing and taking time to do so.
Best to both of you. Mom and I love you both a lot.