I don’t eat vegetables. Oh well, I do eat squash, ampalaya (with lots of eggs), and malunggay, but I don’t eat vegetables in general. Don’t judge me. I tried, but the system just won’t accept the smell and taste. I did my best, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough. This is the reason why I don’t usually food blog even when there are variety of delicacies to try when traveling. However, there would come a time when you have to give up your disgust or initial perception of something for the better good.
If you’ve been following my daily grind in Facebook and Instagram, you’ll notice how I have slowly become a fan of K-dramas. When not hiking, I usually spend my time reading books, marathoning documentaries, and Kdramas. The influence of South Korea didn’t only limit to tv series but as well as how people dress and eat these days. Just outside my workplace, tons of cafés and Korean restaurants have mushroomed all over the place. For quite some time, my colleagues have long planned of trying those Korean cuisines, but broke and busy as we are, this plan has been long put on hold. Then came Jacque and the holiday.
Several months ago, Pierre and I gatecrashed into Jacque’s house and made the rest of the gang envious. We came up with exaggerated stories and descriptions of Jacque’s house which then led the group to invite themselves into her house. This was further fueled when we saw Jacque’s post about how her family spent their weekend by having samgyupsal and jjigae at home. So when a holiday came, we decided to finally visit Jacque’s house (before we went to Neri’s Ville Selfie Corner).
HOW TO MAKE SAMGYUPSAL? (Goodness, I can’t believe I’m writing this. HAHA)
- Korean Lettuce (Can be the regular lettuce but this one’s thicker and crispier)
- Marinated pork (thinly sliced)
- Fermented soybean paste/ Gochujang
How to eat? (According to Jacque)
- Start grilling the pork, hotdog and chorizo on the grill plate.
- Use the lettuce leaf in wrapping the rice, grilled pork, hotdog, and chorizo.
- Do not eat yet. HAHA. Add gochujang, pipino and kimchi.
- Now, savor all those delectable ingredients. Eat.
- TIP: Best served with Four Seasons Punch (Four season juice with watermeon, orange, and gin)
No, it was not a typo. I purposely highlighted the marinated pork on top. The original version of samgeopsal does not require marinating the meat so as the preserve its taste. No seasonings are required because all the ingredients worked perfectly so as to come up with a savory taste of vegetables, meat, and all other ingredients. However, because my colleagues knew that I am not fond of vegetables (why am I even joining them? HAHA), Jacque marinated the meat the night prior to the gathering so as to accommodate my taste bud. I cry.
Unlike them who immediately savored the dish after being prepared, I took each ingredient one at a time. First, the pipino. Then hotdog and pork. Then I tried kimchi and gochujang. This was followed by a glassful of fruity punch. HAHA. I continued eating with plain rice, hotdog, and pork; but it was not fun. So when I mustered all the courage I needed, got the smallest lettuce wrapper and added rice, a lot of hotdog and pork, pinch of kimchi and gochujang. All eyes were on me when I finished preparing my wrap. It was now or never. So, I took a bite. It was crunchy, at first. Then I began to taste the familiar meat and hotdog followed by the distinctive taste of kimchi. The gochujang added a unique flavor which made eating it bearable. HAHA. It was not as bad as I thought. Therefore, I continued eating… pork and hotdog. HAHAHAHA.
This samgyeopsal adventure made me realize three things. First, that we should keep our doors open to new opportunities and experiences. We should not limit our palate with what we have grown to. Sometimes, the grass is truly greener on the other pasture. Second, that respect and understanding are essential ingredients for a lasting relationship. It was only as of this writing that Jacque told us that it is unnecessary for the meat to be marinated, but she only did, so that those who are not fond of vegetables can still enjoy the meal. Upon research, I’ve also discovered that there is no need for hotdogs and chorizo, but she still included it so as to add variety. My friends didn’t force me to eat vegetables; and only real friends would understand that without seeing you as a killjoy. Third, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Gestalt Theory proved to be of good use for this. Sometimes, we have to look at thing at a macro level. Human being as we are, we love to dissect and highlight things without looking at the bigger picture. Just like the samgeopsal, all ingredients must be placed so as to create the savory taste. Everything that we have come to be is a summary of all the decisions, risks, and experiences we had – tag along with that the pain, victory, guilt, greed, and evilness we all have inside. Samgeopsal wouldn’t be samgeopsal if it’s just made up of pork. Life wouldn’t be life if everything is but of happy moments only. And this, my friend, explains why you are undergoing through what you are feeling right now. And it’s okay.
So, the next time you feel burdened, just imagine me eating all those leaves. You are stronger, braver, and more courageous than you’d ever thought you’d be. And of course, don’t forget to tag along your friends and a pitcher of fruity punch.
Samgeopsal on trails? Why not. Let’s start sharing each other’s food adventure? Check Facebook and Instagram for daily updates!