20 (Sun) February 2011
-Gwangju, Gyeonggi, Seoul, Korea-
with the Family, MtG, CBD
After camping last night (see 2.045 Pork Bellies: Seared, Dipped, Topped, Wrapped), we spent today shopping at the nearby Yeoju Chelsea Premium Outlets Mall.
Baebatjib is a Korean restaurant. Specializes in baeksuk. Located on a farm, housed in a greenhouse.
We stopped by Baebatjib for dinner and drinks on the way home.
The baeksuk was excellent. First, the chicken itself was a free range bird with the distinctive gaminess and chewiness absent in its factory-raised counterparts. I didn’t see any chicken coops on site, but I’d like to imagine that it came from a chicken farm nearby. Second, with the exception of the head, the entire animal was present in the pot, including all the innards and the feet. Third, it was cooked in a pressure cooker, which preserved the texture of the meat by steaming the chicken in intense heat without the violent turbulence of boiling water that causes it to lose integrity and fall off the bone -not a desirable characteristic in baeksuk. Finally, the chicken was served in a richly flavored broth as an integral part of the meal, along with potatoes and leeks. Perhaps it was a bit overly extravagant for baeksuk, the name of which literally means “white” (baek) “cooked” (suk) and refers to the notion that it’s supposed to be a chicken prepared simply, without spice. Anyway, the remaining broth was ultimately used to make porridge. The sides were excellent, as well. All for 40,000 won.
By dinnertime, the camping crew was complete. Earlier this morning, we were joined for breakfast at the campsite by KIT, who had been unable to participate in the previous night’s festivities because he had had to attend to his restaurant in Seoul. Despite taking the bus and a taxi to get there, he brought his signature kimchi jjigae with him and cooked it for the rest of us. The baeksuk place was his idea. LHS and YYH, who had been on away on a separate camping trip that the rest of us had written off as being both too far away and too strenuous, folded their tent early and hightailed it to join us in time for dinner.