Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Korean Feast

I hiked Mt. Songnisan for the third time a few weeks ago. (Some Koreans claim that this is enough to ensure my spot in Heaven). I followed the longest trail and was happy to find that it was also the least popular route. I had a relatively peaceful ascent, thankfully free of yelling hikers and their jingling bells. I hope Koreans aren't confused about why they seldomly see animal life while hiking. I met a Canadian teacher at the summit and we exchanged teaching stories during the hike down. We continued our conversation over dinner at one of the restaurants in the small town at the base of the mountain. We ordered a bulgogi (beef) stew and this is what we were served:

I have never been served so many side dishes before! We were both pretty bewildered and couldn't identify 80% of the dishes, much less the ingredients. We picked at the kimchi while the beef cooked. The beef and mushrooms were excellent, but we avoided most of the side dishes; random brown roots still do little to excite my palate.


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