Sunday, November 4, 2007

Korean BBQ

I have a Korean friend who has explained to me a traditional Korean meal, but I had never had the luxury of experiencing it for myself until we stopped by the Korean Restaurant in Schaumburg on the way to the Sear's Center. She had told me about the abundance of side dishes (banchan) in Korean meals - in this case there were nine! It was great fun to dive into so many unfamiliar taste sensations - all complimentary with the entree. I had never seen this sort of setup outside of Indian restaurants.

Conch was on the menu, so naturally I snatched it up. I was surprised when it arrived cold (as all the side dishes), but it was very attractive and delicious. The vegetables were cooked perfectly and the conch was not tough or chewy. And it was spicy! My only complaint is the overabundance of the ketchupy/sirachaey sauce (I know it doesn't look like it from the photo, but towards the bottom it was very intense).

Edit: I researched banchan and found the names of several dishes. Some of these things were much harder to identify than I had imagined.

Left to Right, Top Row: Simple Green Salad with Cucumber and a Gritty Unknown Vinaigrette, Steamed Squash, Kak Tu Gi - Daikon Radish with Red Chili Sauce, Kimchi - Fermented Cabbage and Seasoned Vegetables, Unknown Little Brown Sticks - possibly dried squid.

Left to Right, Bottom Row: Kong Na Mul - Cold Bean Sprouts with Sesame Oil, Seasoned Rice Noodles, Shi Geum Chi - Seasoned Spinach, Possibly flat egg noodles or fried tofu strips.

Conch Salad with Red Peppers, Onions, Green Onions, Zucchini, Sesame Seeds, tossed with a spicy chili sauce.

Notice the button at each table used to summon a waitperson.


Ken P. said...

Would that "Korean friend" happen to be Jen? We had a traditional Korean meal at a Korean restaurant in Plano, Texas. It was awesome. I really enjoyed the family style sharing, and the fun of tasting lots of different side dishes.

Keith Shank said...

That would be her!