Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Season 4 Episode 2

South Korea

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 21, 2009 on Travel Channel

Episode Recap

Andrew is in Seoul in South Korea where the memories of the Korean War are a distant memory. He is exploring the under-appreciated cuisine of the country. The Koreans like a rich variety of seafood, soup, barbecue and fermented food including a dish called boncharr which is vegetables spiced, mixed or stir-fried. Looking for seafood at the Noryangjing Market, he is met with Chef Hu-Nam Kim, the owner and star chef. They find live octopus and sea squirt, which is cut up and eaten raw. Andrew also discovers mussel, clam, scallop and fresh fish as halibut and snapper. At Chong Hei Chin, Andrew finds the Blue Sea Restaurant where he is served octopus still alive and moving and soup from the bits of octopus and fish.
Andrew explains that the winters can be cruel in Seoul and the Koreans preserve food during the summer. Kimchi is pickled vegetables, and cheong is a fermented soybean dish. Soo-Yeong Kang is a chef and English teacher with a fermented soybean farm. He creates a pork back soup with fermented bean paste served with braised pork meat and fermented snake soaked in uric acid. Andrew finds its taste and stench can't be overwhelmed.
Andrew explained that Korean cuisine is influenced by China and Japan. They have three types of soup known as guk, tong which is thicker and jjigae which is a stew. At the Nam Do Restaurant, Andrew is served the specialty which is called dead-body soup, well-known by its small and includes a round of ingrediants such as tofu and soy beans. At the Won Chu Jo Tang, Andrew is served boiling loach (mudfish) soup filled with live mudfish. Onn Ju Roi and Richard Choi, local event organizers, share with Andrew conjected blood soup, ox kneecap, oxtail and bloodcake.
Andrew also visits a Korean barbecue where the meat is baked in a kiln and a factory where cabbage is processed into kimchi. He meets Robert Egbert and his friend, Julli Yi. Richard is a food columnist who takes Andrew along to a sootgama, a baking sauna for their health, before their meal of barbecue pork meat. Soo-Jeong invites Andrew to view the kimchi factory and learn the secrets of making the dish.
On Kundae Street near Konknuk University, Andrew needs a snack and tries a popular dish called Dduk Bonkee, balls of dough with a sauce. He also finds blood sausage, cellophane noodles and a host of street foods including fried innards and leaves once he cannot eat anymore.
Wrapping up with the episode, Andrew teams up with food bloggers, Daniel Grey, Oon-Long Ji and Oon Hockley for a food crawl at Lamb Land for turtle soup, along the Hamulnara Restaurant for fugu, a blowfish which is poisonous unless it is served right and grilled eel at the Jango-Gui Restaurant.