Let's Eat Feet

Let's Eat Feet Image Courtesy of The Soul of Seoul

Two Popular Korean Dishes that I Personally Enjoy Commonly are Made Up Entirely of Feet.

They may not be the first dishes people are drawn to, but eventually your taste buds adapt. Eating in Korea is a bit like a game. Level one is for the newbies and encompasses meals like galbi 갈비 (grilled meat), bibimbap 비빔밥 (a mix of rice, vegetables and a spicy pepper paste) and mandu-guk 만두국 (dumpling soup). These are the meals you take visiting friends and family out for because they may not be as adventurous as you [are] if you have lived in Korea for a year or more. As foreigners develop a taste for these meals, they gradually start tasting the side dishes, which tend to be fermented and spicier thereby developing taste buds for some of the other Korean main dishes. Level five might encompass such dishes as sannakji 산낙지 (live octopus) or kimchi jjiggae 김지찌개 (kimchi stew) and jok-bal 족발 (pig’s feet). As you go higher, you get into the foods that you may have thought to be inedible, like chicken feet  닭발. 

In Korea, chicken feet is made with a spicy red pepper sauce, and if you’re lucky they have already been deboned. The skin and tendons that make up the feet make the bite a bit crunchy, but squishy at the same time. If you don’t like strange consistencies in your mouth, this probably isn’t the dish for you. Chicken feet wouldn’t be the main dish of a meal but would be a dish eaten while drinking alcohol. The spicy sauce on the feet makes them perfect for that bite between drinks with friends. It would be comparable to eating spicy chicken wings in the States. The feet are fatty and coated in a spicy sauce that will keep you coming back for more, that is, if you can get past the idea that chickens were once up and walking around a coop on these. A great place to try them is at Gwangjang Market where they are served at numerous food stalls by old women who really know their stuff. Sit down, order a plate and maybe a bottle of soju and you’ll be good to go for at least an hour. One helping costs between W7,000 to W10,000 and it’s enough to feed a couple people just feeling a little peckish (is that a weird word to use when you’re eating chicken feet?).

Another favorite feet dish that simply can’t be missed is pig’s feet. While on a family trip from Ohio to Florida, I remember my young eyes having a glimpse of pigs feet in a pickling jar on a shelf in a convenience store. For that reason, it seemed natural to eat these sort of things. In Korea, the trotters aren’t pickled like the American version. Instead, they are braised in soy sauce, garlic, ginger and rice wine. Enjoy these trotters with a couple of bottles of soju and a dipping sauce made of fermented shrimp called saeujeot 세우젓. Enjoy it dipped in sauce or wrapped in a piece of lettuce and topped with some nearby garnishes to make for a filling meal. Either way, this dish is a tasty, filling meal. Restaurants that sell this dish can be found all over the place. One of our favorite spots to get some are at Mangwon Market, where they will package it to go, making it the perfect meal to grab before heading to the Han River for a picnic. Both kinds of feet are worth a peck, a gobble or a munch while you’re in Korea. Delicious meals any time of day.

 

Author Bio : Hallie Bradley is the creator and writer/photographer for the blog The Soul of Seoul. Originally hailing from Dayton, Ohio, USA, she has been living and working in Seoul, Korea since 2006. She writes on her travels in Korea, daily life, the culture and traditions as well as lessons learned from her Korean husband and in-laws.

( Source : http://thesoulofseoul.net/ )

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