Eating my way through the streets of Seoul III

Eating my way through the streets of Seoul III

You may remember my giant steam bun(hobbang) from my previous blog. The bun which was as big as my face?

 

hobbang

 

We arrived to have hobbang for lunch at this famous cafe near Gwanghwamun area in Seoul but realised they were only available from 2pm.  While we waited, we decided to try another famous dish, Chilli rice cake (dduk bok yi -떡뽁이).  The best part was that we get to cook it on our  table. This is called instant dduk bok yi(즉석 떡볶이). You can also add extra ingredients such as instant noodles, vermicelli, fish cake or chewy noodles . Instead of ordering our usual ddukbokyi, my friends suggested pizza dduk bok yi. What the??

menu

 

 

As you can see below, we ordered the extra chewy noodle on top, only S$1.70!

IMG_3160

 

 

Doesn’t this look spicy and delicious?   It was starting to get chilli outside and this was just perfect dish to warm us up. And then final ingredient arrived…

rice cake cooking

 

 

Mozzarella cheese was sprinkled on top as our final step.  We now have pizza dduk bok yi!

cheese piza

 

 

Cheese on top of  dduk bok yi wasn’t my thing. It just didn’t seemed to go together, but my friends loved it. I picked around the cheese as you can see below.

rice cake

 

 

As I am writing this I have a sudden craving for dduk bok yi right now… I might have to head out to Korea Town to see if I can find decent cafe or restaurant.  Hungry!!! 🙁   I tend to gain 2-3 kg while I am in Seoul for a week. The reason is there is breakfast, morning tea, lunch, snack and then dinner and supper and repeat for a week!

 

While we were waiting for hobbang to be ready, we stopped by a Coco Bruni cafe nearby and had some lovely cakes and teas… The cafe is a chain so you will be able to find it in many locations in Seoul.

Coco Bruni

 

 

The cakes were so delicately made and melted in our mouth so smoothly. Such a different texture and taste to what we just had…

cakes

 

IMG_3178

 

 

Now back to hobbang. This is the man behind this wonderful hobbang. He was making them earlier and waiting for them to rise and now he is steaming them.

 

hobbang man

 

 

Finally, they are ready. I have been waiting for these for 3 hours!!

hobbang

 

 

We ordered 3 buns with 3 different fillings. I think the owner thought we were 3 little piggies….  The first one is with red bean paste filling. This is my favourite but today it seemed too much red bean paste. The second one is with cooked sweet potato filling and this was new, not bad at all. The third one is mixed vegetable with pork. A bit like Chinese dumpling except it’s a giant bun. Out of 3, the one with vegetables and pork was the best. I noticed a lot of people of taking them back to the office or home.

red bean hobbang

 

hobbang with sweet potatoe

 

IMG_3221

 

 

This cafe is not hard to find but if you are not familiar with the area, it might not be easy. I would recommend your hotel to call the cafe and write down the direction.  Remember, the buns are not ready before  2-3pm in the afternoon. Have ddukbokyi as your main and hobbang to take away to your hotel. One side of the cafe is called Bbang Hana palgu and the other side is called Sanhane cafe. Strange…

 

Cafe name: Bbang Hana pal gu  (translation –  selling one bun)  Tel: +82-2-756-0189

빵하나 팔구

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bangkok Balcony garden

Bangkok Balcony garden

I have been hesitating to start my balcony garden for a while. I am not sure if it’s the height(we are on 29th floor) or the smog that I see every morning thats been putting me off. Also, all the vegetables for sale here are grown locally  and you can even find an abundant supply of   organic vegetables and herbs. And they are all so cheap.  Still, I  haven’t seen Thyme or any Korean vegetables, such as sesame seeds leaves(깻잎).

Cutting fresh herbs or picking my own vegetables from my garden has always been one of my joys (next to cooking). After going on a wild goose chase around Bangkok  for some Thyme, I decided it was finally time to start my little balcony garden. Luckily, the Australian and New Zealand Womens group (of which I am a member) organised a day trip to Chatuchak plant market and helped me to find all the necessary equipment to start.

Here are my little Corianders that I grew from seed. They are from the Chatuchak plant market and  I was a little skeptical on planting them as I had only limited success in Singapore. Even though it’s only a 2.5 hour flight away, it’s not as humid as in Singapore. So, I am hoping I might have better luck here. I am still not sure what Bangkok has to offer as far as the weather goes. Friends living here are warning me about the upcoming April heat waves… 🙁

 

Coriander

 

The first two boxes below are Sweet basils and Thai basils. They tend to grow really well in tropical weather so I am not so worried. The third box on the bottom of the picture  has two little chilli seedlings and rosemary cuttings. So far the rosemary isn’t looking so good :-(.

 

basil and rosemary

 

 

I also have thyme and two little flat parsley seedlings but they are still too tiny to show you. Here are the rest of the herbs that I bought from Chatuchak market. I have had them for a week now and so far, they don’t seemed to mind the full afternoon sun. Until the thyme seedlings grow big enough, this little plant will keep me happy.

Thyme

 

 

Mint is hard to grow  from seeds in the tropical weather but I am trying. Not a single beep from the mint seeds but I am going to be patient……..

 

spearmint

 

The rosemary is looking really healthy. This is my second one so far. Silly me though – I left the plant next to the air-con unit over the weekend and it dried out completely. I have never killed rosemary before and it was so sad…. 🙁

 

rosemary

 

 

My latest project is growing celery inspired by this website. I knew I could regrow spring onions if I cut the root and left in a jar with some water but not celery.  Apparently, its the same method. It has been a week since I started this little project and already I can see few roots sprouting out and few new green stems slowly growing as well.

 

celery

 

 

Looking through my little herb babies every morning(and afternoons) gives me sense of balance again and finally feels like I am home. Believe it or not, I also have some non-food plants. I have always said that I would never have ornamental plants but these are strictly to provide some shade for my little babies.  I actually don’t know what I am supposed to with these plants besides watering them. I hope they don’t die on me… 🙂  Happy Gardening!