I have often been asked if I would ever consider working in a Korean restaurant, cooking Korean food. My answer had always been, “Heck no!” I grew up eating Korean food. It’s my go to comfort food and what makes my digestive system run smoothly. I can’t imagine going more than a few days without rice and kimchi (along with other main and side dishes). Something in my stomach just wouldn’t feel all that right if I went too long without it. And to think…..to have my necessary comfort food to become what makes me cringe would not be a good thing. That is exactly what would happen if I were to be cooking Korean food all day long in a restaurant setting.
I refuse to let the same thing happen with me and Korean food. I don’t want to grow to hate it! That would be terrible. Or else, what would I be eating 70% of the time? Yes, there is a wide variety of different Korean restaurants specializing in particular dishes. But I think I like most of them too much to even consider any of them. What a horrible thought! Of course, I am not insinuating that every cook at Korean restaurants despises Korean food…but I am speaking more from a personal perspective. I know how I am and how easily sick of things I can get if I am around something all day, every day.
I eat Kimchi Jjigae at least once every other week. One of my first blog posts was on Kimchi Jjigae (technically 5th post and 2nd post on Korean food or food in general). All I need with it is a bowl of steamed white rice. I can keep it in the fridge and eat it for days. Some people actually prefer it the day(s) after since the flavors have developed more.
I have never tried it without pork belly. I love pork belly!
Some people use tuna, beef, anchovies, or even make it Vegan, based on their preference. But I just leave good enough alone and stick with pork belly! I’ve checked out other recipes for Kimchi Jjigae and I have noticed that what I do a bit differently is that I add a crapload of Kimchi gukmul (liquid from the kimchi), probably more than the amount most people use. Personally, I just like that better…the juice from the Kimchi stewing together with all the ingredients (especially the Kimchi and pork belly) just turns into something so yummy!
It was so nice to eat, especially after I had been in major food coma mode yesterday from overeating. My go to comfort food sort of comforted my stomach and made me feel fully recovered.
When I got there, I was full on behgopa!! I was ready to pig out. The price here is not bad. I was considering the cheaper A menu (for $9.99). But that menu did not include gopchang (cows’ small intestines). And I really wanted to eat gopchang. So we decided to go with the B menu (more options for $12.99).
Not bad for $12.99! Ordered: Chadolbegi (beef brisket), Gopchang (small intestines), Samgyupsal (pork belly), and some bland Sirloin steak thing. I devoured everything except the Sirloin.
I didn’t really dig the side dishes here though. Actually, I did not like any of them.
The first rule is understandable I guess. It’s just too easy for someone to be ordering from one menu and everyone else (who ordered something from a menu with less options) grubbing on it. But sometimes, if someone in your group does not want so and so, they’d still be obligated to pay a little more if another person want something from the menu with more options.
My brother had the opposite encounter at a KKBQ place once. He and his friends were asked to stop ordering because they were eating the place empty LOL. And I have seen my brother eat. I heard his friends are just as big of pigs or worse. When I have eaten KBBQ with my bro, there were times I couldn’t even eat! He is always the first to grab each meat pieces every time it’s (they’re) ready to be eaten. This one time, there were about four of us at the table with one grill..he was the only one eating! He kept grabbing every single meat item off the grill as soon as they were ready. So I’d just patiently wait…and at the same time, he’s not slowing down either. When more pieces of meat are just about ready, I’d be eyeballing ’em…he’s already finished eating the ones he just grabbed, and then quickly grabs the new ones again too! And we just sit there looking at him like WTF? That is why when we go to KBBQ with my bro, we get more than one grill. He almost needs a whole grill just for himself it seems like.
With the fourth rule of requiring your party to be of minimum of two people…I am not sure if I have heard of this rule before (for KBBQ), not spelled out anyway. Or maybe I just never paid attention. Now that I think of it, I don’t think I have eaten at or seen anyone eat at a KBBQ place by themselves. I guess KBBQ restaurants are just not as solo-diner friendly yet. I saw a solo dining documentary thing on TV about solo dining places in Korea. The tables and grills are sized for one. I think they even have privacy booths for the solo diner.
And then I get a call saying he might be a little late because he had to finish up this and that. The behgopa-ness grew bigger and bigger. I couldn’t take it any longer. I had to start munching on things to keep myself from entering the behgopa rage. It was still a couple of hours until he’d be ready.
I had to learn to face the music and get out of my comfort zone. I eventually started to become more comfortable with eating out alone, especially since it meant that I did not have to wait for anyone. I can honestly say I prefer not eating out alone (more than half the time), but when I do eat out alone, more often than not, it is always when I am freakin’ starving and can’t wait for anyone. It’s usually when it’s last minute. If plans are made to go eat with fam/friends, and I am getting hungry, I’ll usually munch here and there to hold the hunger until then. I am more of a spontaneous, at the moment type of person most of the time. If I ask someone(s) to go eat and they can’t make it or can’t make it until past the time I’ll be way past the behgo rage phase, I’ll just go alone. It’s easier that way.