My sweet addiction: shaved milk+fresh house made red bean paste+house made rice cakes.
Okrumong 오루몽 was among some my favorites.
So I was thinking about writing a serious post on all of the places I went to during my 2 month stay in Korea over the summer. Oh what the heck, I just had to start this post off with a large image of my favorite Korean dessert-Red Bean Bingsoo (aka 'Pat bingsoo'). Growing up in a Korean home, you just knew that it was the best treat when your mom busts out the ice shaver that takes like 30 minutes to shave a cup of ice, pours milk and bean powder, throws some fruit and rice cakes, and of course the glorious red bean paste. Then when you have 2 younger brothers, forget it. Game over. You can barely get spoon of this down without a battle. I wasn't a huge fan of red bean paste during the early years, as I just couldn't figure out why it tasted the way it did. Definitely an acquired taste. Did you know that a persons taste buds changes every 7 years??? Is what a teacher friend told me once...which I can definitely relate to because I hated fish growing up, and now it's my first choice of protein. Random story. But true. Anyhow-I love how simplicity of this dish, and the key is to have shaved milk, house made red bean paste, and house made Korean rice cakes. Definitely tempting to make my own version of this in Brooklyn. Next summer that is :)
So my favorite part of this trip was the red bean bingsoo. There were some amazing things that I tried for the first time, or new discoveries. However, the *winner* was definitely this dessert. I think I ate it uh...every week? haha. This explains the extra kilos my body picked up along the way.
순창고추장마을 Soonchanggo Gochujang Village-first stop on our two-day road trip.
An array of hwangari filled with all kinds of fermented bean paste.
For this post-you can just thumb through the photos below, as it's a brief diary of images of some great places I had an opportunity to check out with my business partner out in Seoul. I have a huge library of other photos I took while I was there, but I would rather share the story of what 'going back to the roots' means...to me. Everything from Korea's green tea fields, to beautiful house made bean pastes from different villages/restaurants, and of course the most important-tasting the ingredients as its supposed to taste. So often my heart breaks when I dine at restaurants throughout Korea (as well as the U.S.) where things are so processed and modified, that you actually can't taste the food. Just the preservatives left on the tip of your tongue. This is why I am working on projects at the moment to start a movement to reverse this. Readers-will keep you posted on this!
In the meantime, let's eat healthy, eat with love, and eat with meaning.
Process of drying fermented bean paste.
My dream modern hanok.
당산마루-Dangsan Maru restaurant in Jeollanam-do province...is known for their black bean chungukjang (청국장). This one was insanely delish-mild and not as strong as other over fermented chungukjang soups, and the black bean gave it a great balance. To the right, posting with the artwork the owner gave me after dinner *love*.
Then the owner Mr. Nam (the tea scholar) sat down with us to have proper Korean tea ceremony. Okay so he's family friends with my business partner which explains all the amazing hook ups, haha.
Live octopus for lunch in Jeollanam-do before heading back to Seoul from our road trip.
Chef Im Ji Ho's original 'Sandang' in Yangpyeong-stunning!
The beautiful Dawon green tea fields in Bosung.
Flowers that bloom for a short moment from the green tea leaves.