Western food in Korea.
Part Two of Two.
As we looked at last week, pickles are plentiful and Italian food is an embarrassment. Did I already apologize on behalf of Korea? 이탈리아, 죄송합니다.
But this week we’re looking at the good stuff. We’re looking at what Korea does right.* Depending on how adventurous you are.
One thing that comes to mind when I think of Western food done right..dare I say it? better than Americans do it is fried chicken. In the states, I’m a fan of spicy chicken tenders. Strips of boneless chicken meat fried and coated with red pepper flakes. Take one of them bad boys and dip it into a cup of warm creamy gravy and you have yourself not only a dangerously meal but you are now suspect to heart failure.
But we’re not talking about that type of chicken. We’re talking back to the basics. We’re talking right-after-church-Southern-style-fried-chicken. Bone. Skin. Crispy. Deep. Fried. Goodness. Koreans do it right and they know it.
Fried chicken comes in the traditional breaded and deep fried fashion in Korea but it also has it’s own Korean spin to it. Like many other Korean foods, it can come with the a side (or soaked in) the ubiquitous sauce you either love or hate known as 양념.
Not only that but the chicken doesn’t come in sizes such as large, medium and so on. One must order chicken by the animal. A typical order might be half of a chicken - literally. Or a whole chicken. A face on your food? Oh yeah. I mean, it makes sense to do so but it still feels a little weird telling the sweet smiling lady behind the counter “I’d like one whole chicken for dinner. Yes I’m eating alone why do you ask?”
None of that compares to the recent monstrosity that is this little number. A little food stand sells this near my place and I tried it. I then promptly collapsed from fatness overload. Combine a soda with a little bit of fried chicken tender bits on top and throw some 양념 or ketchup and you’ve got Korea’s answer to KFC’s famous bowls. All the grease and none of the questionably nutritious vegetables or vegetable by-products like mashed potatoes. Just fried goodness.
We’ve taken a look at the good, the bad, and the pickley. I hope you’ve enjoyed this cuisine cruise. For more on food in Korea, both Western and non-scary, check out ZenKimchi.