From June 2008 to April 2010, I lived, worked, and ate in Seoul, Korea. I started this blog before Tumblr added the Content Source field. I took all of the food photos here, unless otherwise noted (like in a link or via). Use your judgment.
Chang: You look at menus all over the place, like a French restaurant. Look at any three-star Michelin restaurant in America and there are Asian influences, Spanish influences, all over—a very global menu. It just shows you how categories fail to really describe the food. But going back to grits and Southern flavors it was a lot about imagining what if our ancestors moved to Charleston, South Carolina—would they not be using Anson Mills grits? Would they not be using the local shrimp? Would they not be using butter in their food? Of course they would, eventually. That’s how food evolves. And vice-versa. What if people from the South moved to Korea? How would they replicate certain flavor profiles? For us it was a matter of trying to figure out what food might taste like—it was a little bit of a leap of faith. That’s how a lot of the recipe took place.
Via McSweeney’s, an NYC restaurant dubbed A Taste of Pyongyang:
“The menu is full of North Korean delectables like, Kim Chee and Pesto ragout over broiled Tilapia and Bulgoki and pheasant eggs over mushroom medley. However, don’t bother too much with deciding what to order because in the end it won’t really matter, as the only dish served is the Patriotic Rice Dish, which consists of several rice grains that were personally inspected (and rejected) by the food tasters of Kim Jong Il. It’s served in a lacquer bowl with a stone spork.”