Saturday, April 28, 2012

Eating Mild in South Korea

Korean Food is Spicy!  It's not Mexican food spicy, it's not Indian food spicy, it's not even Thai spicy but it's hot!  So, how can one with very low tolerance for spicy food survive in South Korea?  Well, Korea has a little secret- you can actually find milder cuisine.  Here are a few Korean dishes, some spicy, some not.

Bulgogi (Korean Style bbq beef) with rice and veggies, dumplings,naemyeong (cold noodle soup), sweet pickled radish and kimchi.  Except for the Kimchi, not spicy at all.

Department and Super Store Cuisine. This is what the plastic food looks like in the window.

This is what it actually looks like when you get it.
One of my favorites-kimbap (pretty much like Japanese sushi roll)- Unless you make a special request for it, not spicy.

Chum Chi (Tuna/Mayo)  Kimbap
This is absolutely wonderful! I love having this meal in the winter and/or when I'm feeling a little homesick.  It's almost like my grandfather's hearty chicken and dumpling stew. but without the dumplings and carrots. This dish can be ordered as mild as you like it. If you're at all interested in maintaining the use of your tongue and taste buds,  make sure you say, Waygookin (foreigner) mild not Korean mild.  Yeah, I learned that the hard way.

Black Chicken Soup-Mild without the noodles.

The same stew as above but made the traditional Korean way.  See the heat?  Can you feel it?
Korean Black Chicken Soup
The Korean sweet potato is served up in many ways. Here it's fried, honeyed and topped with almond slices and sprinkled with black sesame. 

Korean Sweet Potato
Korea is known for it's varied inexpensive street food.  You can find Dokkbokki (spicy rice noodle) almost everywhere.  I once actually came across one that I could eat without scorching my tongue but my stomach's rebuttal was very stern and unforgiving.
VERY SPICY! Dokkboki.
One of my favorite side dishes in a very mildly twangy steamed broccoli.

Korean-style broccoli
Very Delicious Ginseng Hen in a Crock- Mild too.

Sides- Salad, garlic, radish kimchi, white kimchi, pickled radish, peppers, soybean paste
Pickled Eggplant

Spicy Sesame Leaves (I can't eat this one)
Spicy Shredded Radish (Too spicy for me)

Bulgogi cooking at the table

The Yummy Chicken Soup again with the noodles but without all the spice.
The Waffle. Koreans love their sugary waffles topped with ice-cream.

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