Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 10 Part 2 - My Best Foodie Experience in Seoul!

October 31, 2009 (Saturday) Part II

After a quick nap, Emily and I did some last minute grocery shopping to take home with me in my trip. (It is advisable to bring bags or plastic bags to Korean shops, especially the supermarket.) Just when I thought I had learned enough about Korea, I was unexpectedly drawn in again with the conversations I had with my friend. I was sure that Seoul will forever have a place in my heart after this trip.


Image from http://insidekorea.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/screen_9777_pds_peperosong01.jpg

I saw lots of Lotte brand Pepero sticks and commented that my sister used to eat the Pocky brand in Beijing because it was fun to eat those thin flavored sticks as a snack. 


It turns out that the Pepero sticks were famous in Korea because of a different reason. Emily said it was nearing Pepero Day (November 11 or 11-11). Naturally, I asked, “What the hell is Pepero Day?” mildly. Pepero Day is like Valentine’s Day in Korea. Kids, couples, singles and people all over Korea spread their love by giving these chocolate-covered Pepero sticks.  11/11 looks like Pepero sticks, right? I think 11/11/11 will be a big day this year in Korea. Imagine receiving one giant Pepero stick from your partner (It might mean, “You’re the only 1 in my heart”. It’s corny but it happens). This is a usual giant chocolate-covered Pepero.


Read more about Pepero Day for Vegans here. If you ask me, Pepero Day is one ingenious marketing scheme for the Lotte Group of Companies (Pepero is their brand).

Some more interesting things I found out about Valentine’s Day in Korea during this trip include: on Valentine’s Day (2/14), women give men chocolates or baked goodies as a symbol of their love. On White Day (3/14, one month after), it is the men’s turn to give chocolates or baked goodies to women. On Black Day (4/14, one month after), it is the singles’ turn to meet with their single friends and eat Jjajangmyun (black noodles, see Day 6 for my Jjajangmyun food trip) to grieve for their status. On Kiss Day (5/14, one month after), it’s an excuse to kiss whoever you desire. I had a good laugh with these. It’s super interesting!

Going back, we both thought that the weather was perfect for more eating! I wouldn’t pass up the chance to eat ramenKorean style. We bought several packs of the Xin brand and headed back to the rooftop. The kimchis were still there as condiments and appetizers and desserts.

ramen on a rainy day

Behold - the 3 ways to eat Korean ramen! The ramen was put in a yellowish pot (the kind you always see in Korean series) and was cooked over a stove. 


Once cooked, the pot was placed at the middle and a raw egg was dropped. The yolk was whole and covered carefully with hot noodles inside the pot. The first way was to eat it plain – noodles with the egg white stirred in. 

1st way to eat ramen - plain with egg stirred in

It was okay and tasted like the ordinary noodles I cook back home. The second way was more exciting – cooked yolk mashed in soup. They got the whole yolk after a while, placed it on top my noodles and I mixed it all with or without the soup. 

2nd way to eat ramen - with egg yolk

They gave me the yolk since I was the guest. The third way was primarily an observation – Emily’s cousin got skimmed milk from the fridge and poured it on her noodle soup. I said I have got to try that one too. 

3rd way to eat ramen - with skimmed milk

It tasted like milky noodle soup.

i tried them all ahahaha

This was one of my most memorable days in Seoul – it was a simple and living (or eating haha) experience with a lovely family. I was full and it was already dark outside.

That pot of ramen I ate was going to stay with me for the rest of the night. I told Emily I couldn’t eat anymore but I would if we ever came across an authentic tteokbokki snack since it was my last day. 


It was simple to find really, she just had to ask her uncle where the nearest pojongmacha was that served good street food. Pojongmachas are set up at night and they sell different kinds of hot comfort food and soju. This is a common place seen in Korean TV series too (I got most of my trip wishlists from over-watching Koreanovelas as you can probably tell). I would think twice about eating in pojongmachas alone since there might be a lot of drunken men as the night progresses. 


Of all the tteokbokki I’ve eaten in Korea so far, this takeout in Sinchon was the best. The portions were big and the clear soup (odaeng guk) to balance the spiciness was free.


Little Sidetrip before we went back to eat the Tteokbokki: I was sulking a little while we were walking because I wished I had a few more days in Seoul. I wanted to go to Apgujeong for the fortuneteller experience. We suddenly passed by stalls in Sinchon and I urged Emily to translate for me. Needless to say, my money flew away and I was glad I didn’t go all the way to Apgujeong to do that.


I was perfectly complete to end the day with the best food trip ever in Seoul - ramyeon on a cold day and street tteokbokki!

Read more about Seoul in Korea (you can find Busan in the labels):
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 1 - On The Way to Seoul, Incheon & Songdo City
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 2 - Nami Island & Mt. Seorak Near Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 3 - Mt. Seorak & Everland Near Seoul, Dongdaemun Market in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 4 - Seoul City Tour - Kimchi-making, Hanbok-wearing, National Folk Museum, Cheongbuk Palace, Myeongdong, Drawing Show at Hyehwa, Banpo Bridge
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 5 - Lotte World (tour ends here), Seoul Tower (start of our extra day), Teddy Bear Museum, Myeongdong in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 6 - Hyehwa, Gangnam, Insadong in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 7 - Sinchon, Korean Universities in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 8 - Namsangol Hanok Village, Namsan Stairs, Nanta in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 9 Part 1 - Deoksugung Palace, Doldam-Gil, Tteokbokki Street in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 9 Part 2 - Cheonggyecheon Stream, King Sejong Story, Samgyeupsal, Coffee Prince Cafe
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 10 Part 1 - Making Kimchi in a Korean Home, Korean Hospitality at its Best, Korean Grapes & Persimmon, Kimchi All-You-Can, The Peppero Story at the Supermarket, Ramen Eaten 3-Ways, Pojongmacha
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 10 Part 2 - My Best Foodie Experience in Seoul!
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 11 - Bossam Day, Incheon International Airport Activities