Re: [gardeners] Korean dinner

margaret lauterbach (
Tue, 21 Dec 1999 08:53:58 -0700

At 11:32 PM 12/20/1999 -0500, you wrote:
>All right,  I'll describe the Korean dinner we went to with 
>friends on Friday night...
>We started with a glass of chablis, diet coke, Korean beer
>and a Bud.  Green tea is always available. 

After drinking all of the above, you could perhaps "manufacture" your own
green tea. 
>Dinner gets shared all around. For appetizers we had a seafood
>pancake (yum), and some sushi -- Spicy Spider Crab (that's a
>fried soft shell crab rolled into a sushi and then cut into 6 pieces),
>tekkamaki (tuna) and unagi (eel).  Now in a million years people 
>would NEVER order eel unless they were tricked into trying it first, 
>but let me tell you, it's delicious when prepared properly. [A little 
>aside, but did you ever taste the eel with garlic in aspic served at 
>the Brussels in New York as an appetizer...?  To die for...]  
>After all of that they started bringing out the dozens of tiny dishes
>filled with cold spinach in sesame oil, and shredded daikon slaw,
>and tiny fish cakes, and hot spiced kim chee, and romaine lettuce
>bites in a marvelous dressing, and sliced oy (pickled cucumber)
>and subminiature dried and sweet anchovies (don't knock 'em...),
>and pickled garlic slices, and bites of fish, and --- well, they keep 
>bringing them until there isn't a square inch of space on the table top! 
>Along with all this they give each person a covered stainless cup full
>of steaming white rice, plus a cup of clear broth. Then they light the
>fire in the recess in the middle of the table, and squeeze a plate of raw
>beef marinated in sesame oil and soy sauce into this joyous chaos, 
>plus another of either chicken or shrimp or tongue, and a basket of 
>fresh romaine lettuce leaves in which to roll your bar-b-qued meat. 
>Oh yes, and there were 4 little dishes of  spicy sauces. Either the 
>waitress cooks the meats for you, or else, as we chose, one of the 
>diners takes charge, so it's not rushed. 
>You eat until you drop. And eventually, you drop. 
>The Korean restaurants always have a lot of young children and 
>babies at the tables, but that is completely not a problem. They are 
>NEVER obstreperous, NEVER cry, NEVER get up from the table and
>run around. The Daddy  invariably holds the youngest child on his
>lap, and feeds it with his own chopsticks. They are an object lesson
>in quiet, smiling, convivial togetherness...   
>Dessert was fresh sliced oranges eaten with your fingers. In
>summertime they give you instead a small slice of fresh 
>watermelon. Perfect endings..
>Penny, NY

I have a Korean friend who regards herself a good cook. She cooks
everything in sesame oil, garlic and soy sauce. The above may sound good,
but if it's all cooked in sesame oil, garlic and soy sauce, the bottom line
is that it all tastes alike. My Korean friend always wants people to come
to lunch with her, but she serves 1) greens she harvested out of a mountain
stream, never had them identified, 2)dried mushrooms she harvested from her
lawn -- she got someone, via telephone, once to tell her they were "fairy
ring" mushrooms and were safe to eat (the fairy ring has stood in the same
place for 30 years),  and 3) unrefrigerated eggs. She pooh-poohs any
suggestion of refrigeration. Doesn't know they sometimes come with
salmonella inside because she doesn't read newspapers or magazines (print
is backwards to her, although she does have a B.A. from an American
university in English). I would be as averse to eating at a Korean
restaurant as i am at her house. Margaret L