"Mrs. Pyke Eats Korea" 2017 Korea Tour

"Mrs. Pyke Eats Korea" 2017 Korea Tour

Korea Tour 2017
Is it time to eat again !! Part 3

As seen in the October 2017 edition of the Chosun Taekwondo Academy Newsletter

After a relaxing night and a wonderful breakfast at the Gyeongju Hilton we take a lovely ride through the lake region. Soon we head up a very steep entrance to the Golguksa Temple . We are met by the monks and are escorted to a changing room to put on our monk training clothes.  This outfit is a pair of fabulous loose pants and a button up vest. Everyone looks great! After some very rigorous training in their main hall we head outside for Zen style Archery. This year I finally was able to hit the target!! I was definitely much stronger this trip because of my continued training in Traditional Taekwondo.

Last time we were here Master Cook had a private Tea with the Abbot of Golguksa Temple. This time we are all invited into their new Tea House. It was so beautiful. We all sat around the perimeter of the room as the Abbot sat at his floor level desk. On his desk was a little plastic globe of the earth. It was odd yet so appropriate! As we drank our tea he spoke of many aspects of the Martial life. He himself had also studied Taekwondo. He emphasized the importance of meditation and to continue training in the traditional ways. Afterwards we all posed for a photo with him and then headed up to the dining hall.

Lunch here is always an amazing experience. Food when prepared in a spiritual manner enlivens your whole being. As we enter there are two very long low tables, one for women and one for men. Today our meal is served buffet style. You must only take what you can finish. Throwing away food is wasteful. The meal is so good…sauté mixed vegetables, spicy slabs of super yummy Tofu and black rice. Yes it’s black and if you haven’t tried it you must! They don’t have it at Shop Rite so you can head down to Woo Rhee and grab a bag. This is the rice you add to your sushi rice to turn it purple. One cup sushi rice to one tablespoon black rice. We are also served Doenjangguk. This is a wonderful fermented soybean paste (miso) soup with chilis , seaweed and vegetables. I went back twice. We all eat in silence. This is such a lovely experience.

It’s time to get back on the bus for our five hour drive back to Seoul. We will be having two rest stop breaks…what can I have!! First rest stop is a major highlight in my culinary journey of Korean food , my first time having Tteokpokki in Korea!! I make Tteokpokki at home a lot, but now I am having it the way most Koreans do. Served in a paper cup with a toothpick. I’m in heaven!! Tteokpokki is to Koreans what Mac and Cheese is to us! Cylindrical chewy rice cakes smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce.  I have to hold myself back from not ordering another because our next rest stop is for dinner!

Just like last time the cafeteria is a bustle with travelers and truck drivers waiting for their food. I scan the photos as they scroll by and decide on Sal Guk Su. This is a kimchi  seaweed noodle soup that is so soothing to my already Tteokpokki full belly. Dylan orders a hamburger, French fries and a coke and is hog heaven!!

Back on the bus and sated most of us doze off knowing that tomorrow will be our last full day in the Land of the Morning Calm. The must anticipated tour of the DMZ.

To be continued…

Haeng bog meogneum !
Happy Eating!

Pamela Pyke

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