30 (Sun) May 2010
at Tongnamu Jip
-Hoengseong, Gangwon, Korea-
with MtG et al.
After a long night of eating and drinking (see 1.144 Grilled Yangnyeom Galbisal), we managed to wake up and spend the day trekking across the land. It was magnificent, magical.
We had lunch on the hills, as only Korean backpackers can do – in the video below, check out the guy who brought along an iron griddle to make pan-fried dumplings.
Yuk sashimi is a Korean dish, sort of. As primitive as a plate of meat can get, just slices of raw beef with a sprinkle of salt, maybe with a dash of sesame oil. The oxymoronic/redundant name combines “yuk” = meat, usually beef unless otherwise noted; “sashimi,” a Japanese word, which breaks down into “sashi” = pierced, and “mi” = meat/flesh, usually raw fish.
To be clear, this is not a mainstream dish – I can’t recall ever seening it on a menu in Seoul. I suspect that it may be a recent invention to promote the hanwoo (Korean beef) industry, for which freshness is a key marketing point.
In keeping with our custom of sharing a final meal at a local restaurant to wrap up a camping trip, which had taken us this time near the vicinity of Hoeng-Seong, an agricultural district famous for hanwoo, someone suggested we go for yuk sashimi.
Personally, after this first and only experience, I’ve concluded that I’m not a fan. I happen to prefer my cooked beef on the ultra-rare side, seared on high for an instant, but even that brief period of heat develops some texture, gets the juices flowing, and brings out the flavor. But yuk sashimi, frankly, doesn’t feel or taste like much of anything, just flabby cold animal flesh. And because it has to be totally fresh, it’s expensive – in this case, 40,000 won per 150 grams. No thank you, never again.