Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My love affair with Sundae (not ice cream)

I'm going to be completely honest with you (if only for a moment): Korean food, in general, is a repetition of a few ingredients done in a few different ways. This isn't to say that it's bad, but with so few ingredients there are very few original ideas coming out of the Korean kitchen that don't incorporate foreign ingredients.

On days when I feel put off by the tart flavor of Deonjang (된장) or have had enough of rice and kimchi, I often stroll the carts lining most every street in search of my favorite guilty pleasure -- Sundae (순대). Sundae is only strange if you don't realize that every culture has it's own blood sausage. The English have black pudding, Americans eat hot dogs (the epitome of mystery meat). The only real difference is the flavor. Korean Sundae is peppery with a very meaty quality reminiscent of taking a bite out of a living Buffalo.

My absolute favorite way to enjoy Sundae is on a griddle with noodles, cabbage and liver. The Sundae becomes crisp and charred, as do the other ingredients. There's nothing like walking out of a restaurant having gorged yourself on the blood of an animal. It's rather manly (but using the word 'rather' is not).