Yongsan Market

Selling cabbage on the street

Traditional markets are everywhere in Korea.  Seomun Market is the largest in Daegu, but there are countless smaller markets on practically every street corner.  Elderly women spread out tarps and sell whatever is in season.  All of the food is grown locally.

Kimchi for sale

Late November is cabbage season, which means its kimchi season as well.  Recipes are passed down through families.  The markets are bursting with cabbage and other kimchi ingredients.  Many families make enough kimchi to last an entire year – although others are starting to buy kimchi at the grocery store.

Radishes?


The Yongsan Market is pretty small.  It’s mostly women sitting on the ground, but there is an actual structure.  It’s in bad shape after years of not being maintained.  Still, it’s a great place to run out to if you need some more potatoes or onions for a recipe.  (You’ll have to buy a dozen, but they last a while.)

Dried rays… yummy

Radishes, turnips, garlic, and cabbage
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Duck in Pumpkin and my first Pimm’s

For a few months now, I’ve been hearing about a magical fusion food in Korea: duck in pumpkin (호박오리, hobak ori).  I’d classify this dish as “gourmet Korean food,” considering you have to make reservations several hours in advance so they can prepare the dish.  The duck and pumpkin are smoked for several hours beforehand… it’s so good!! A friend of mine wrote all about this restaurant and dish on her food blog, My Big Bite of Life.  I recommend checking it out because it has a lot more information, including the restaurant phone number and a map.

Somehow I managed to make a reservation at 고야 for 5 people on the phone… entirely in Korean.  Might not seem like much but it was a big hurdle for me! They obviously understood because after walking to the restaurant, the hostess ushered us to a prepared table and started setting up the banchan.  The restaurant smelled divine and we couldn’t wait for ducky to arrive! The waitress could obviously sense our excitement because she quickly came back with the chef d’oeuvre.

Duck in Pumpkin at 고야 (Photo Credit: Ché of mybigbiteoflife.wordpress.com)

After finishing up every scrap of delicious duck, we went back to my place for some Pimm’s and lemonade! For those who don’t know, Pimm’s is a spicy, citrusy English liqueur.  Our friend Claire was desperately missing the stuff, and so she had a visiting friend bring it in his luggage! I think Pimm’s is mainly a summer drink, and it’s mixed with lemonade (which is really Sprite, but in England they call it lemonade…) and assorted fruits.  As far as I know, Pimm’s isn’t really available in America, so it was totally new to me.  It was certainly tasty!! All of the following photos are from the talented Emily Bell:

Preparing the fruits
Oranges, lemon, and cucumber
Claire creating the concoction…
Tada! Happy Pimm’s face!

Since it was Saturday night… we headed to my local makgeolli bar, 대포 3000.  The owner was quite taken with 5 foreigners in his bar and gave us two dishes on “service” – free! All in all… a pretty good Saturday night!

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