Saturday, 2 January 2016

Seoul Land

Terrible selfie brought to you by Budget Power Rangers
So, we've been to Everland and rated it, so this time we went to Seoul Land for Nick and Justin's joint birthday party, even despite the forecast for rain, because what could possibly be more dismally fun than a slightly creepy off-brand theme park in the pouring rain?

But first, I want to turn your attention to this:

This is human ingenuity at its finest.
I'm totally blown away by this. I'm not even kidding. I was so amazed. This, my friends, is basically the best snack invention ever. Why fumble around with a box of popcorn chicken in one hand and a paper cup of cola in the other? Why not combine them?

Basically, it's a specially designed cup that you fill with a drink of your choice, and then a tray of popcorn chicken slots in over the top, with just enough room for a straw to poke out. Bam. Problem solved. They even give you little sample sticks so you don't have to worry about getting your hands dirty (or your dirty hands on your food, whichever).

"Elephant Train" sounded a lot cuter and less ethical than it really was.
Seoul Land is in a huge area of Seoul Grand Park, along with a couple of zoos, a lake, an art museum and basically all kinds of cultural development and entertainment. Due to this, there's a little 'train' that drives around, similar to the ones you find at the beach (at home, anyway), to save you some time.

Quite possibly the most confusing sign if you can't read Korean. One is for the exit and one is for the entrance.
We bought tickets for the little train because, in addition to being lazy, it was also raining a lot and we didn't really want to be soaked before we even got there.

We also bought some cheapo ponchos from some entrepreneurial old ladies and ended up looking like some sort of superhero team. I'm not sure what we were fighting against. Soggy jeans?

Looks nothing like an elephant tbh

Friday, 1 January 2016

Seoul Food | Budae Jjigae 부대찌개

Our fridge looked so Korean I couldn't not take a photo (ignore the spilled yoghurt, oops)
This is just a very brief post to share one of my favourite things to cook. Budae Jjigae, or "Army Base Stew" is one of these beautiful inventions made by people who miss their home's food, but can't quite get the right ingredients. So, during the war there was a lot of "American" food, like Spam and sausages, as well as filling, convenient foods like instant ramen and rice cakes.

I love budae jjigae because it's one of these "one-pot" recipes where you kind of just throw everything in and hope for the best. It's hearty, filling, and (when I make it at least. I've had some pretty volcanic jjigae before) just spicy enough to warm you up and give you some energy.

I'm pretty proud of this one, because it was the first time making a Korean-style stock rather than just using water or a stock cube, and also because I had to touch those dried anchovies. I'm notoriously squeamish about touching things, so when I saw that the recipe called for me to rip off their heads and scrape out the guts I was a little bit horrified. But I did it.

As ever, I used Maangchi's recipe, which worked a charm and it tasted just as good as the budae jjigae I've had as part of our school dinners (which are delicious). I usually make a huge pot with enough for maybe 6 people, so that there's enough for the two of us to have a second helping and I don't have to cook the next day...but usually we end up pigging out and there's only enough to eat a much smaller portion the day after, hahaha. It's too delicious ㅠㅠ

blogger template by lovebird