Megan Bowen took us to Huggers, a vegan burger place, in Itaewon. The burgers were delicious. We are not vegans ourselves, but do try to cut down on meat consumption. Hugh really enjoyed his chili tofu burger, so I want to try and make it at home too.
Korean food and recipes
I was always quite skinny growing up and into my 20’s, but due to health problems I’ve been on medication that causes some weight gain. Not a huge amount, but when you are used to being a certain size and then suddenly not being that size it’s a bit of a surprise. And suddenly not having jeans fit can be a rude shock. I’m much more sympathetic to those that have trouble losing weight due to genetics problems now.
While Hugh has been a stocky guy for most of his adult life, he was very skinny as a young boy. So much so that he was constantly in the hospital and eventually his family went to an oriental medicine practitioner who gave him medicine to gain weight. Since then he has no trouble gaining weight or muscle and it probably saved his life. But he does love food so much! It’s one of his passions in life. Especially now that we live in Seoul and there is so much food easily available. We eat healthy in general… but there’s just so much to eat!
We didn’t have much food in the house today and usually we order groceries online, so we thought it was the perfect time to review some convenience store lunchboxes again. It’s definitely a growing market in Korea. For years there has been the triangle gimbap and instant ramen available in convenience stores but the option of having a proper meal for a cheap price is really appealing to a lot of people.
I actually really like tofu and it’s used so well in Korean cooking as a proper ingredient and not like a meat substitute in western cooking. Korean tofu is great too! But I just don’t get that automatic reaction of drooling at slabs of tofu on food shows that Hugh gets. I was just thinking about how I wish it was cheese. I’d be drooling if it was a big slab of cheese.
It seems like every country has their own version of Chinese food. We show you the best Korean Chinese food we’ve had. I think it helps that it’s actually Chinese people running the restaurant, because usually Chinese food restaurants are run by Koreans. Unless it’s an actual real Chinese restaurant with Chinese food, not food adapted for Korean tastes.
In Australia at Chinese restaurants there is usually a big list of dishes to choose from, but not in Korea. In fact, often it just comes down to the three dishes we show you in the video. Like any other country, the quality of the food can vary greatly depending where you go. There is totally gross delivery food, just average food, tasty but heavy and greasy, and then wonderful food like this. For example, the pork was strips of tender pork that you can easily see. Many other not as good restaurants will cut up tiny amounts of bad quality pork and batter it so much that it’s 90% batter and 10% pork. Not this restaurant, their sweet and sour pork is so good, as you can see in the video.
What is your country’s version of Chinese food?
We try these chocolate covered potato chips from Japan. My brother’s girlfriend gave us some gifts from Japan. This was the most interesting item! The other chocolates were lovely though.
Hugh and his friend Alex attempt this Jumbo Ramen Challenge. Can they do it?! Watch to find out. I think the hardest thing in these types of challenges is that it’s boiling hot! And you only have 20 mins!
Have you ever visited another country and discovered people weren’t following etiquette rules like you thought?
While it’s always important to have some awareness of etiquette while visiting another country, lists online can be overwhelming and anxiety inducing. We talk about some Korean etiquette found online and if it’s vital to follow it or not. We actually talked about a bunch more etiquette but had to cut out a lot. We just wanted to reassure people, especially those who suffer anxiety, to not worry too much.
This is some of our favourite fried chicken! Easy to eat, so much flavour and cheap and convenient. And not good for our diets! We went to Mangwon markets for it. If you go on a weekend, the lines can be ridiculous though.
I feel like what we chose wasn’t that weird? Or maybe I’m just used to weird things now. I really wanted to try this burger that has mac and cheese pasta in it, but it wasn’t there that time. I think Joel is less used to Korean convenience food though. Though it has to be better than what he ate in this video.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a foreigner love naengmyeon the first time they try it, because it can seem quite odd with how cold it is. But it’s a dish that grows on you. I like this type in Jinju in particular because of the strips of beef pancake in it.
What did you think of naengmyeon the first time you tried it?
One of my pet peeves about some BBQ restaurants is when the only side dishes they give you is some raw onions and some yellow radish…. I hate it! I need more vegetables with my meat! This restaurant in Sangam DMC (Hansang Gadeuk) has so many side dishes! And they are all included in the price of the meat. Not only are there so many, but they all taste good. It’s a very small restaurant down some back streets, but it’s a hidden gem. There are lots and lots of good BBQ places in Seoul and if you are only in Korea for a short trip, I recommend ones that are easier to get to, for example the YG BBQ restaurant, Samgeori Butchers, in Hongdae is really good and easy to get to. But if you are in Korea for longer, I recommend seeking this place out.
We are always so satisfied when we eat here because there are so many different things to eat. When BBQ places don’t have many options and it forces you to order more and more meat, in the end you can just end up feeling pretty crappy. But at this place not only is there the meat, but also kimchi, mushrooms, tofu, potatoes, rice cakes, kimchi jeon, doenjang jjigae, gaeranjim, tteobokki, salad, 2 types of sushi, pasta, bean sprouts, green onions, yukhoe, corn cheese, chicken wings, onions, lettuce and peppers. So we really recommend it!
한상가득 in 상암동
What do we think about strawberry sandwiches? As people who live on a strawberry farm, and who see the hard work that goes into growing strawberries, are we a bit horrified to see where some strawberries end up? Watch to see!