I was running really late today and ducked in for lunch before entering the office. I only had a slice of bread for breakfast while heading out the door. Here is today’s temple lunch.

Doenjang Guk – A thin soup of soybean paste and that really good tofu with some greens

Mixed rice – Had some beans in it

Cabbage Kimchi – It’s really sour here, so I gotta make sure I got enough rice on hand as a chaser

Japchae – Unlike a lot of foreigners, I find japchae boring. But this one was a little sweet and flavorful. Really good shiitake mushrooms in it.

Chwinamul  – A peppery green herb that I like in small quantities. Just plainly steamed.

Kidney Beans in Soy Sauce – The dried kidney beans are partially rehydrated in a sweetened soy sauce. They have the texture of boiled peanuts, and they were quite tasty.

Mixed Salad – I love salads, and I like the way Baru does their salads. Too often Korean restaurants drown their salads in some sickly sweet cream dressing. Baru tends to use pureed fruit as its dressing base. Today it tasted like citrus, like yuja.

I sat at the bar facing the window. I noticed that the tree out the window was full of ripe daechu–which are like dates.

Click to see the dates up close

Since I had lunch a little earlier than I usually do, I’ve been munching on my bamboo salt almonds this afternoon. So… I’m making myself do this for a month, right?

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Joe McPherson founded ZenKimchi in 2004. He has been featured and sourced in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, CNN, KBS, MBC, SBS, Le Figaro, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, The Chosun Weekly, and other Korean and international media. He has consulted for "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain," The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, the PBS documentary series “Kimchi Chronicles,” and other projects in the UK, Canada, and Australia featuring celebrity chefs such as Gizzi Erskine and Gary Mehigan.Mr. McPherson has written for multiple Korean and international publications, including SEOUL Magazine, JoongAng Daily, The Korea Herald, Newsweek Korea and wrote the feature article for U.S. National publication Plate magazine’s all-Korean food issue. He has acted as dining editor for 10 Magazine and was on the judging panel for Korea for the Miele Guide.He spoke at TEDx Seoul on Korean food globalization, at TED Worldwide Talent Search on the rise of Korean cuisine, and in New York City on Korean Buddhist temple cuisine. The company ZenKimchi International organizes food tours for tourists and corporations and acts as a media liaison for foreign and Korean media and local restaurants and producers.
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