Friday, 20 April 2012

Korean food

I have a bit of a hate-hate relationship with Chinese restaurants. With very few exceptions, they seem not to care about vegetarian food and will present you with a plateful of limp vegetables, tofu and noodles which - despite the fact that you could prepare something tastier at home having taken advantage of a vegetables + noodles + sauce offer from your local supermarket - they somehow seem to expect you to be grateful for.

I know, I said this was about Korean food, but it is relevant really! I had - because I'm a bad stereotyping person - assumed that this was true of all East Asian cuisine and so had never bothered to check out Korean food. Which turns out to be a bit of a mistake.

Korean food is awesome.  How did I not know this before?!  Yeah, that would be because I'm a bad stereotyping person.  Sue me.  I think it's actually a bit of a microcosm of what I was talking about in this entry - about meat eaters not always getting what vegetarians want out of a restauraunt.  I think a lot of meat eaters sort of think that Korean food is all about BBQ so, obviously, not good for vegetarians but, look, that Chinese place has loads of options so that would be great.  When it's rubbish.  Anyway.

There are four great reasons to go to a Korean restaurant, if you're vegetarian:

Firstly, to eat bimbimbap. Yes, it sounds a bit dull, "vegetables and rice with an egg on top," you say, "BAH, I could cook that at home". But it turns out that it is the lovechild of paella and carbonara and THEN they give you this sauce that is like West Indian Hot Sauce (one of my favourite things) but more so.  It is awesome.

Secondly, to say "bimbimbap" a lot.  It is fun.  Try it now?  Turns out, you can spend a very entertaining five minutes just saying "bimbimbap". 

Not that I have done this.  That would be silly.


Thirdly, to eat Kimchi.  I love pickles - particularly sauerkraut - and I love spices.  So kimchi is just up my street. 

Fourthly, to get the, relatively unusual experience for a vegetarian, of getting to eat a cuisine's signature dish - kimchi.  It just feels kind of cool. 

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