Berkel Berkel, I came to to trying to satisfy a craving for Korean but now just feel sick and jilted instead. A couple days helping a friend move house, sleep deprivation, and six hours of work in a freezing room called for spicy, bubbling, theraputic kimchi stew.

But my stomach ache’s gotten progressively worse since I starting typing this post.

Anyway, we went into the empty restaurant and I wanted to, should have, ordered one of my favorites – bibimbap or dukboki – but the cold weather tricked me into thinking I would feel complete with a bowl of boiling chili soup inside my belly. False.

what i <i>should</i> have gotten. bibimbap (6)

what i should have gotten. tofu bibimbap (6)

 C’s bibimbap looked cute and meticulously prepared and scruptuous, as usual. I’m always into the variety, so with the five different veggie toppings and fried egg on top of a bed of rice, in addition to 3 dishes of banchan (sweet soybeans, marinated cucumbers, and kimchi), this totally delivered on the nutrition and taste/texture front. Also, I love bibimbap as a vehicle for the awesome gochujang sauce, which I don’t think they serve on anything else.

kimchi stew (6) with rice and banchan behind

kimchi stew (6) with rice and banchan behind

I can’t really blame Korean food for being too spicy or hot (temp) to enjoy but that’s why I didn’t. This was my first kimchi stew so I didn’t know what to expect, but there was no depth of flavor at all, compared to other Korean stews I’ve had. Halfway through, I knew it was missing something and stupidly decided it was salt so I used some soy sauce which did NOT improve things. Eating any more felt like a chore. Excluding the enoki mushrooms on top, eighty percent of the stew composed of simple, boring cabbage kimchi and twenty percent of tofu. Tofu at a slow restaurant is iffy but thankfully, theirs was very fresh. But substituting it for pork must have really hurt the dish’s flavor profile, and Korean food always tends to be too salty for me, with all the marinated/pickled sides. As usual, it’ll be another few months before this Korean/kimchi craving strikes again and I’ll probably come back for dukboki.

So despite feeling really full – you know that feeling when you’ve eaten a pound of lettuce and you’re too uncomfortable to move, but you also need sustenance? – I ate a graduation cupcake that I found waiting for me at home. And some caramel corn. And I’m going to lie on my bed until I stop feeling like a washed-up whale.

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