Steamed pork 'bossam' 보쌈 론 빌라쥐
I am embarrassed to admit that the two plus years I have been in Seoul, I have yet to take Korean cooking classes. Although I have been cooking Korean for some time now, never really got around to learning the authentic Royal cuisine courses offered in Korea. Aside from the usual excuses like 'no time, no money, not sure where to go, blah blah blah' I have finally committed to signing up for classes this summer! I've got real hopes...
While I had this in mind, the last ghetto gourmet theme was just this! We were so fortunate to get a taste of the food that was carefully prepared by someone who has extensive knowledge of Korean royalty cuisine. Eunji was the mastermind behind this fabulous meal, and not to mention she did a wine pairing with every course. Crazy. Well, I was the only one not drinking that evening because I gave up liquor for lent, and this dinner fell right smack in the middle of lent. Yeah seriously Sarah. Really.
Chilled beef and mung bean jelly 'tang chae' 탕편채
Eunji is a sommelier by day + freaking amazing chef when she's in the kitchen. We were the fortunate piggies to get a glimpse.
To be honest, my mom doesn't even prepare Korean royal cuisine. There are tons of restaurants in Korea that serve this type of cuisine, but to prepare it at home??? Uh yeah, no one that I know. Why? Well, it's no easy kimchi jjigae or simple bibim bop. The prep that goes into each and every course is intense and time consuming…and the sauces? Dear God. You need days in advance to prep. I decided I will probably NOT cook Korean food for this ghetto gourmet group, haha. We'll see...
Korean rice porridge 'jjuk' with chicken 닭죽 to the left, tangy octopus wrapped with Korean sesame leaf 문어초회쌈 to the right
Assorted veggies wrapped in thinly sliced beef 소고기말이 (cannot believe I did not participate in the wine festivities).
Nonetheless, Eunji served a refined, authentic Korean meal. A few of my favorites were the chicken porridge (닭죽 which hit home, it reminded me of all those times my mom made this when I was sick), braised pork belly (보쌈), and the rice cakes (쑥꽃떡).
This was our first Korean meal in our dinner group (is this funny since our dinner club is in Seoul?), and it was more than just a treat. I hope that I too can hone my Korean cooking skills, and wear my certified badge around. Oh just you wait folks :)
The crazy kiddies-Darren to the left, Sid in the back, me and Sooyon downing a bottle.
Mugwort 'ssuk' rice cakces-쑥꽃떡
I think everyone was on their 8th glass of wine at this point. I was the sober one that was able to take this shot.
Love this group...
For you wine lovers out there, visit Eunji @ Enoteca wine shop in Sinsa-dong. You will not walk about disappointed:)