My friends in the US all loved Korean food, no matter where they were from. I'd had it on a few occasions and it never made an impression on me. It was just unmarinated ribeye slathered in the same fucking sauce every time and grilled, like BBQ but less inspired. For what it was, it cost way too much.
I've come to love Korean food in my short time here, because it's delicious, cheap, and makes it easy for me to keep my low-carb high fat diet.
But there are some oddities. Let me explain:
I find Koreans to be a very proud, ethnocentric people. They are very homogenous and relatively isolated, which leads them to believe funny things like Fan Death. When it comes to their food, they think their spicy food is really spicy.
I haven't had respect for the Korean definition of spiciness since I won a kim-chi eating contest in high school.
“Watch out dude, that stuff is REARRLY spicy!!”
Yeah okay, Han. Maybe if you wore it around your dick and fucked my ass with it.
I don't even like spicy food anymore. I loved it when I was 16, so I know what spicy is. Korean food barely registers above Irish.
When it comes to spicy food, Korea demonstrates a level of ignorance that impresses me, even as an American. I mean, what the fuck? How can you possibly think anything in your country is spicy? China is RIGHT there, you guys are basically making your dicks touch and snoodling back and forth. So is India, not to mention, every single country in Southeast Asia. I've eaten a Thai pussy with more heat than the shit I've had here. Bul-dalk? Bul shit. DDeok-bokki? Fuck-bokki. Kim-chi? Nigger-please.
Oh, and sugar, holy fuck. That pisses me off more than anything about Korean food. They put sugar on and in everything. Obviously every ethnicity has their local preferences. South Thais have the spiciest food in the world, Mexicans like corn and beans, Asians put corn and mayo on their pizza, those Greeks are lamb lovers (hehe), English people prefer a less flavorful faire, and Sub-Saharan Africans like UNICEF.
Koreans definitely have a preference for sweetness. Even the spicy things taste sweet. Now that I think about it, all the “spicy” Korean food I've had has also been sweet or sour.
The most egregious thing I've seen topped with invisible sugar crystals was god damn garlic bread. In both a bakery and a restaurant. Pizza tastes sweet, the crust has sweet potatoes in it.
Oh yeah, don't get your hopes up for real potatoes in Korean food. Nine times out of ten its sweet potato.
You'll encounter both the potato crisis and the sugar bullshit in packaged food. Chips, which you might know as “crisps” if you're an asshole are always so damn sweet and I don't know what the ones I've tried are made of, but it's not potato.
Well, I've said all I feel like saying about that. Sweetness has its place, I'm not a hater of Teriyaki or a good barbecue sauce, but in Korea you can't escape sugar.
Before I fucking forget- coffee. It's the hip new fad in Korea, but their idea of coffee is these Crystal Light packets of instant coffee that is far worse than any instant coffee you could ever imagine. I've seen people pour one in a cup only to find most of the coffee obscured by a mound of sugar granules. Korean coffee looks like shit-flavored pop rocks, except you can't even taste the shit because there's too much god damn sugar.
These two fuckers over here are talkin bout how Korean food tastes so not-salty that when they go back to Canada the food at the restaurant tastes so salty that they can't handle it.
That's bullshit, and nobody agrees with them. Korean food is loaded with MSG. They don't even measure it, I've seen my street food lady just toss a heap into her sauces and mix it around with some water. My Korean friends are telling me their family members warn them not to eat out too much because everything is extremely high in sodium.
Now that that's out of the way, I'll be chiming in from time to time on specific Korean foods that tickle my fancy, others that merely lick the shaft, and still others that are flat out gross.