Monday, June 7, 2010

Kalchi soup

This post originally took place on May 30, 2010.

For some reason we were in a different hotel in a different town from the rest of the group in Jejudo, so just the 3 of us had dinner at a kalchi fish stew restaurant in Seogwipo. The guide arranged for someone to pick us up from the hotel to take us there. It turned out that our driver was also our waitress.

This is kalchi:

I have no idea what it's called in English. But the stew was good.

I was eager to try fresh sea urchin, but unfortunately the season ended in April, I think. We estimated because our waitress only knew the season by the lunar calendar (May and June, lunar). They did have sea urchin milgook, which was good and had a mild sea urchin flavor. The sea urchin they used was frozen.

It was, however, caught and preserved by the waitress' mother-in-law who is a haenyeo or Korean woman diver. Here's a cool painting of haenyeo from the lobby of our hotel.

My mother says that she was taught 3 things about Jeju island when she was in school: rocks, wind, and women divers.


d said...

kalchi = belt fish. Right, Mabel?

Did you hike up Halla-san? Or visit the 4.3 Memorial Museum?

Did you try any horse meat? Jeju-do is also known for its horses, which were brought by Mongolian invaders. There's even a museum about it.

When you're at the basement of Lotte department store, try Mochi Cream and Roti Boy.

d said...

I mean, the Lotte department store in Myeongdong in Seoul.

David said...

Ah, belt fish sounds familiar. No hike up the mountain, but we hiked up smaller mountains: Sanbangsan dome with a temple at the top and Ilchulbong on the coast.

No horse meat. But during a medicinal horse oil sales pitch I was offered desiccated horse placenta which I declined.

Still haven't visited the Lotte Department store, but it's on the itinerary. Thanks for all the recs!