Dear readers- I’m excited to introduce you to the wonderful variety of eating options in South Korea. This (hopefully weekly) feature will bring to your computer screen some of the meals at my table- I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Living close to Seoul, I do have access to cuisines from around the world- Indian, Thai, Greek, Mexican… and of course, burgers and fries. For now, I’m quite happy to mainly focus on new Korean ingredients and dishes, and leave the American-style hamburgers and strange, strange pizzas for when I’m craving a taste of home.
Produce selection in Korean markets and grocery stores is influenced by the changing seasons- although I hear that greenhouses allow items like chives and leafy greens to be continually available in the winter (thankfully!) Fruit and veggie prices fluctuate from week-to-week, even day-to-day, and scoping out the produce selection makes for a fun daily game. When giant boxes of peaches go on sale, it’s time to discover how many one can eat in a week and a half! (Answer: a lot. A lot of peaches.)
To take advantage of this sudden abundance, I decided to combine both Canadian and Korean ingredients for a dessert both inventive and familiar.
Having been here over a month and a half now, I’ve experienced definite seasonal shifts. Sultry weather and an abundance of wine grapes, peaches and chummy fruit marked my first few weeks here.
Temperatures dropped slowly but surely, and rain became a less common occurrence. Cherry and grape tomatoes and green pumpkins were common. One day, eggplants, 5 for 1000w, made an appearance at the local grocery store- what a fool I’d have been to pass that deal up.
This is one of the more interesting dishes cooked in my apartment- my coworker Grace showed me how to make Filipino-style fried eggplant. Grill an eggplant, peel off the skin, and mash the flesh while leaving the skin intact. Dip the eggplant into beaten eggs and chopped scallions, fry until fully cooked, and serve over rice. It was delicious!
Lately, nearly every day is warm and sunny, with trees making their glorious, gradual autumn transition. I try to spend time outside every day- this weather won’t last. It sounds like I’ll be both biking and hiking next weekend- I absolutely look forward to that!
These days, persimmons and figs are ubiquitous. I’ve eaten plenty of the former, but it’s time to pick up some figs and see what all the fuss is about! Stay tuned, hopefully, for figgy and/or persimmony inspiration!