Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Food is My Comfort

I think many of us can agree that food is what gives us comfort in times of stress, and that food is what brings us happiness. Of course not entirely, but food is usually a huge part of everyone's lives. As a Korean-American with a huge chunk of Korean culture deeply engraved in my life, I love meat and I love Korean food like no other. I just wanted to share with you a specific KBBQ place that I absolutely love going to.

I can't even remember when this place opened, but I remember my first experience at Kang Hodong Baekjeong to be quite pleasant. I went with a group of people and the adults paid for the meal but I was fascinated by pretty much everything--from the set up of the restaurant's environment to the set up of the table and most importantly, the set up of the grill. I have never seen anything like that before, so it was really fascinating. I went there several times after that, and I had a blast and a party in my stomach every time I went.

I actually went recently with my beloved mother and a brother-in-Christ, Joseph Choi. The photos I will be sharing in this post is from the most recent visit I made. All three of us must've been super hungry because I feel like we barely talked during the meal.

As you can see, their grill is very unique. The yellow soup looking thing is actually egg, that eventually gets cooked. One of the main side dishes at a KBBQ place is Korean-styled steam cooked eggs and it usually comes out in a separate pot. However, they decided that it would be unique to make a grill in which they would pour the egg and the fire that is actually cooking the meat would heat up the egg and cook it. I think it is very unique and very brilliant, but I've been noticing a slight problem about this set up. It takes a really long time for it to cook because the fire isn't directly underneath the egg. One other thing is that when the meat is cooked (especially for pork), the oil ends up sliding into the egg. The concept is a really cool one though. And if you look on the other side, there are other things like corn cheese, veggies, and kimchi. The kimchi doesn't originate there in the set up but I always put kimchi there to cook and eat with the pork belly. It's delicious!

This meat is called the "Hang-Jung-Sal" and the english translation for this is "pork jowl" Hands down, this is my favorite selection of meat from this restaurant.

We ordered a small pork combo, which comes with three selections of meat and either spicy kimchi soup or bean paste soup. Because my mom wanted the bean paste soup, that's what we got as a part of our combo.

This is the second meat that we ate and this is just the regular kind of pork belly with thinly sliced sweet potato and mushrooms.
And as you can see, there is some difference in the appearance of the egg. It's slowly cooking...but kind of too slow.

This is pork belly that is cooked and cut into bitesize pieces. It's so good that just looking at the picture of this as I am writing out my blogpost is making me want to go back and eat some right now.

There is a third selection of meat that I couldn't get a picture of. It was thinly sliced pork belly that is marinated in spicy pepper paste before being cooked and because of the sauce, they cook it inside the kitchen for you. It's absolutely delicious. The spiciness really turns the table towards the end when you are feeling full because that is an appetite grasping factor for most people. And although it sounds like it would be really spicy, it's not overwhelmingly spicy. I feel like it's perfect -- not too spicy but not too bland. 

My experience at this place is always a pleasing one. The only downfall is that the wait time is usually super long because it is a very popular restaurant for not just Koreans but all kinds of people. As more time goes by, I feel like I've been seeing a lot more of Chinese customers and a lot of American customers as well. I guess KBBQ is becoming more and more popular all-around.

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