We didn’t have enough room in the magazine to show all the incredible food I was fortunate enough to try in Korea, so here’s a larger sampling. I was amazed at the variety of dishes and the beauty of the food. I can’t wait to go back to Korea—next time with my husband and kids! (Read about my journey here.)
VIDEO: My brother Tim is the first to lift a wiggly tentacle of “live” octopus. The octopus wasn’t alive, really—the animated tentacles were already separated from the rest of the animal.
Mandu (dumpling) soup with enoki mushrooms at Koong restaurant in Seoul
Lovely pumpkin porridge and cold radish kimchi soup at Bean Table restaurant outside Seoul
Fermented tofu soup at Bean Table
Toasting with soju at a restaurant called Cheers! in Seoul
The incredible fried chicken and potatoes at Cheers!
Various mountain herbs, classic temple food, at Sanchon restaurant in Seoul
Sea squirts at Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul
Other offerings at Noryangjin Fish Market
Seoul’s Tongin Market Tteokbokki—crispy, spicy stir-fried rice cakes
Tteokbokki Town rice cakes cooked on the table with noodles and fish cakes
Tteokbokki (rice cakes) baked in a pumpkin and smothered with cheese at Song’s Kitchen in Seoul
Typical lunch: Kimchi Jjigae (kimchi soup) with large scallion pancake and assorted kimchis
Ann and her brother enjoy the patio at San Maul restaurant with food writer Joe McPherson.
Japchae: slippery glass noodles with beef and vegetables
Milmyeon—chewy noodles in slushy cold broth with spicy gochugang sauce and boiled egg—at Milmyeon Jeonmunjeom restaurant in Busan
Huge seafood pancake stuffed with mussels, octopus, shrimp, and clams at Busan’s Dongnae Halmae Paejon
Surprisingly delicious dessert called patbingsu. A bed of shaved ice is topped with sweet red beans, pine nuts, rice cakes, and kiwi.
The lure of Busan’s street carts, loaded with delicious fried goodies
Tim squeezes a water-full echiuroid sea worm at Busan’s Jachalgi Fish Market.
Photography: Lauryn Ishak
More: Bring Korea to your kitchen with these Korean Recipes.