Before I get started on our Beijing trip I thought I'd blog about something less daunting - Korean food! I've only eaten it a few times, but dakgalbi is one of my favourite meals (and one of the most delicious).
I love the 'interactiveness' of Korean food. When you eat with Koreans, everything is shared. When you have Korean barbecue - ssamgyeopsal - you're in charge of chopping and cooking the meat, and when you eat bibimbap you choose how spicy you want it and what you want mixed with your rice. I like being able to see what goes into my meal and control how it's cooked. Dakgalbi's no different, although I think we received a little more help from the Korean waitstaff than the locals do!
First you get a hotplate. On to this you add a mix of chicken, cabbage, ddeok (rice cake), veggies and spicy sauce:
Watch the hotplate hungrily as you wait for the chicken to cook. Drink copious amounts of soju and crappy Korean beer.
Just before serving, sprinkle liberally with cheese (optional, but extra delicious.)
Eat! When all that's left on the hot plate are a few morsels of chicken and cabbage, and a smear of hot sauce, call over a handy dandy Korean waitperson. They'll bring some rice, gim (seaweed - nori to you Japanese food fans) and a few more veggies. Using the scraps, they'll make some scrumptious fried rice.
Stagger home, drunk and stuffed full of tasty Korean food.