Take a Culinary Journey with chef Joachim Textor
korea with joachim textor
traveling friends ,
Our last holiday destination combined the sheer excitement of
a bustling city and quiet rest and relaxation. We arrived on
October 13, 2001 at Incheon Int. Airport in Seoul the capital
of Korea. Seoul is a dynamic city that, a buzz with energy yet
keeps the traditions of the ancestors alive. Old temples are
still well visited, and many palaces of former rulers remind
visitors of Korea's ancient history.
We passed through Seoul on the way to our Holiday destination
is located on the east coast the journey took us about five
hours. With the breathtaking awe inspiring landscapes, lakes
and valleys our five senses are well stimulated during the "passage".
Sokcho is also the gateway to the famous Mt. Sorak National
Park, considered the backbone of the Korean peninsula and is
the highest mountain of the Taebaek Mountain Range.
The foliage was imbued already with brilliant autumn leaves,
which created a beautiful collage of colors. The Park is divided
by a long winding ridge known as the "Hangyeryeong Pass." The
ridge offers breathtaking scenery that is dotted with many valleys
and waterfalls like Piryong and Towangsong Falls as well a few
Buddhist Temples which are located in the vicinity.
As a relief from all our walking we took a jump into the Choksan
Hot Springs, which were actually sprouting from six hot spring
geysers. Another set of springs - the Osaek Mineral Springs
are believed to bring relief from digestive ailments!
finished of the day with some delicious dishes from the Eastern
area like gamjajeon ( potato pancakes ) and sotorimuk ( a corn
jelly ). But the Sorak area is also famous for food dishes made
with wild plants such as sanchoe bibimbap ( cooked rice with
assorted mountain greens ) or various fresh Tofu. Another new
thing which I had never eaten before was the fresh Sesame Leaves,
my wife who is more familiar with them than I just wrapped around
some grilled beef slices. Two bottles of smooth Korean Sake
a day was another part of the menu!
Another specialty which can be found only 70 Km away from the
North Korean border is a kind of root also known as Dou-la-gi.
During our few days visit in the Sokcho area we also enjoyed
freshly cooked and raw seafood such as squid, abalone and sea
cucumber, all at very reasonable prices and very tasty.
bought a few locally produced specialties as souvenirs such
as dried seafood, mushrooms and honey. Our last few days were
spend in Incheon and Seoul were we visited the traditional Kung-doung
wet market - one of the town's highlights.
It was also there where I saw people selling dried caterpillars,
roasted cocoons and mountains of different ginseng roots, woods
and various deer horn chips which are believed to be good for
Even fresh moos (a type of edible grass) were offered between
rows of various fresh seasonal specialty mushrooms. All these
ancient, unique products took me back a decade when I had worked
in Beijing. It seems that the local medicine here in Asia is
still booming as it were 10 years ago.
I tried a herbal forest bouillon and I felt pretty active for
a day - if you know what I mean .
Once I returned to my home in Singapore, I preserved some fresh
ginseng root which I picked up at the market. Using the finest
Armagnac in town I created a concoction that is excellent to
drink in the winter time - it can get you pretty heaty. So if
you are ever in Singapore you are welcome to stop by and try
Meanwhile happy cooking the Korean way - a little spicy and
The Mandarin Hotel Singapore
Joachim's food and travel photographs are now available on CD!
To find out more e-mail Joa at [email protected]