Andrew Zimmern is now following me on Twitter. Whoa! I guess my Bizarre Foods posts and tweets got his attention.
Speaking of food… I have had the hardest time finding spicy food in Korea. I came to the conclusion that either Korean food isn’t as spicy as many may think it is, or that Koreans are afraid to serve this Westerner anything too spicy for fear that I can’t handle it.
My definition of spicy means you must blow your nose continuously while eating. There are bonus points if your eyes begin to water. I grew up eating food seasoned with Scotch Bonnet and Habanero peppers, so I think I can handle it. Well, I think I finally found a contender!
I stopped by my favorite noodle spot a few weeks ago and picked a dish from the photo menu that looked appetizing.The ajumma (older woman) looked at me skeptically and said “spicy.” You already know what I was thinking, right? Challenge accepted!
It’s called Eolkeun Sujebi (얼큰수제비) and is a peppery soup with hand-torn green tea noodles and plenty of fresh seafood such as octopus, calamari, mussels, and clams. Delicious! Did I mention that it’s also spicy? Don’t worry. I don’t think it is so spicy that it’s overpowering. You can still taste the other lovely elements of the dish. However, my lips were still tingling long after I was finished eating.
That big bowl of soup cost me ₩4,500 (around $4 US) and was quite filling. I’m pretty sure it can be shared by 2 people, but I’m greedy so I devoured it all. It’s also good for clearing out your stuffy nose and helping your sore throat if you’re feeling a little under the weather. At least, that’s when I have it and it works wonders. Just be sure to wash your hands after eating so you don’t mistakenly get any pepper residue in your eyes if you so happen to rub them. Just trust me on this one.
If you’d like to try your hand at making Sujebi, check out Maangchi’s blog post which includes recipes for both mild and spicy versions.