6.043 Bibimbap


17 (Tue) Feb 2015



by Asiana Airlines

on Flight OZ 703

-Somewhere Over the Pacific Ocean-

with the family

The Prodigal Son Returns to Shepherd His Sons, Day 4 (see previously 6.042 Double Deluxe Shrimp Burger).

After hanging out for a few days in Seoul, the first of two trips during the week, I’m flying back to Manila this evening with the wife and kids to spend the lunar new year holiday there.

The Asiana Airlines Children’s Meal.
While I can’t deny that the box of treats does keep the kids occupied, at least for a few extra minutes, I do note for the record that it’s mostly full of processed crap.
Pasta & Meatballs (2.0)–not too bad actually; leftovers made for a decent anju later into the flight.
Lidded cups with straws: an obvious yet outstanding idea, a win-win-win for kids, parents, and clean-up crews.

In a comparison of in-flight bibimbap between Asiana Airlines and Korean Air (see generally 6.21 Bibimbap), Asiana is the winner, hands down, as described below.

So, not only has Korean Air failed to come up with anything new in the 18 years since it first developed this revolutionary idea back in 1997, the progenitor has allowed a copycat to improve upon the original–a one-hit wonder outdone by a cover band–à la Nicholas Cage in The Rock: “Shame…on…you!”

The one chink in the armor was the rice, loosely (and ironically) encased in a tin container, leaving it somewhat dried out by the time of service–unlike the Korean Air spread, which employed hetbahn.
The namul components [clockwise from top center]: radish, bean sprout, squash, carrot, shiitake mushroom, cucumber; the best part of the dish was that each vegetable was lightly cooked/pickled to maintain a crisp freshness; while I normally don’t like rainbow colors in my food, I gotta respect the gorgeous range here; kudos for the courage to omit meat!
Indeed, a few extra drops of sesame oil couldn’t hurt.
Come to think of it, many Korean dishes do seem to come with eating instructions for the uninitiated (see also 5.232 Woo Samgyupsal); Korean medical soap operas also include subtitles to explain a certain disease mentioned in the dialogue–someday, I will write more about what I believe that this tells of the Korean psyche.
Bukeo Guk (2.0)–pollack soup is ideal because the dried fish is meant to be reconstituted with hot water.
Kimchi (3.0)–actual kimchi, stench be damned; and from Jongga Jip, one of the most popular factory-produced kimchi brands in Korea, the only one that I buy here in the Philippines.
After Step 2, a little less than half of the gochujang.
After Step 3, with a spoon–no Korean would ever mix bibimbap with chopsticks.

12 thoughts on “6.043 Bibimbap

  1. i agree that bukeo guk goes well with bibimbap in-flight. curious about the subtitle things that tells something of the Korean psyche…maybe related to using jargon/acronym in our daily lives?

  2. i was thinking more that Koreans assume both (a) that the audience is ignorant and (b) that they want things explained or can’t figure it out themselves–very paternalistic.

    by contrast, the revolutionary American medical drama ER was popular in part because the doctors talked like real doctors and nothing was dumbed down or explained to the audience, who mostly didn’t understand anything technical, but that’s the fun part. When I watch The West Wing, I also don’t get most of the political talk, but it makes it feel more real.

  3. like the blogger of GMTD does write about “the subtitles”, such as what mandu/gimbap is/consists of, on the blog sometimes? (no offense); in my defense, maybe more like out of kindness or in the spirit of user-friendly/customized services? or might be related to jargons in english in korean medical drama.

    but i can see your point; come to think of it, my favorite medical drama Dr. House never provides the audience with the subtitles for some explanations, which is fine and fun enough.

  4. well, yes, i do provide explanations of food, but they’re not just for readers, they’re also records of the research that I do to educate myself on various dishes. in any case, this is a food blog, so explanations would be expected.

    a documentary about a medical topic, or a news segment about a medical issue would be expected to provide info, subtitles, etc., but not a medical drama.

    and back to the original subject, i suppose that a menu could include explanations, as a restaurant could be expected to inform its customers on how to eat certain dishes. but TGI Friday’s doesn’t explain how to eat a fajita, or Chinese restaurants don’t explain about Peking Duck–come to think of it, Crystal Jade in Korea that offers explanations on the menu for the xiaolongbao (about putting it in the spoon and piercing the skin, etc.), but the one in Hong Kong doesn’t.

  5. the chinese restaurant in Rockwell in Manila that i’ve been to does offer the note for explaining how to eat the xiaolongbao. i can’t see the pattern for this issue.

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