first time I’ve had green onion pancakes made with acorn flour
our gracious host + sly
Patbingsu or bingsu is a shaved is a korean shaved ice dessert — somewhat related to a hawaiian snow cone. This particular bingsu was made with shaved ice milk (snow ice) instead of regular shaved ice. So good. One of my fave Korean desserts.
I don’t know much about Daejeon — still don’t, really, as we weren’t there long enough to really get to know the city. It’s somewhere in the center of Korea, not too far from Seoul, about a 45 min KTX ride from Daegu. There are mountains, like most Korean cities. There’s a street known for its hanbok shops, a lot of industry and research companies, and, according to a mug I saw in Starbucks, somehow hot air balloons are symbolic of the city*
We took a day trip to meet up with one of Sly’s buddies from their Academy days. Our train left at 11:06 am. We left the house just before 10am, walked a few blocks to the wrong bus stop, realized our error, then walked another 10 blocks or so in the opposite direction to the real bus stop. We watched two buses pass us as we waited to cross the street. At around 10:25 the bus finally arrived. Sloooowwly it made it’s way through the city, hitting traffic and what seemed like every single light. At 10:55 we arrived at the train station, bolted off the bus, up two flights of stairs, across a bridge and then waited in line to pick up the tickets we purchased online. At 11 am Sly was still waiting in line while I looked up the train number to determine our track. It was then that I discovered our train would be arriving three minutes early. Awesome.
At 11:01 we finally had our tickets. We raced down the escalator, weaving around people that were standing still, taking up both ‘lanes’ of the escalator. The train had just come to a stop. But we had to be at the front of the train because we bought first class tickets. The thing about trains in Korea — the ones that make multiple stops (which I think it like all of them) is that the trains don’t stop for very long. You need to be ready to board or de-board because there is no waiting around for anyone.
We scrambled towards the front of the train, deciding to board a couple cars down and walk through the train to our seats in case the train decided to take off. At least then we’d be on the train.
We barely made it.
All of this in a pencil skirt and wobbly heeled shoes that had yet been tested for things like frantically running around train stations..
The rest of the day was (thankfully) less dramatic. Sly’s buddy, who he hasn’t seen since he left the US, came with his wife to pick us up at the train station. We ate at a Korean restaurant that served dishes made from the local specialty — acorn, or “muk.” Muk dishes are made from acorn starch, which on its own doesn’t have much of a flavor. We ate acorn jelly dipped in soy sauce and chili paste, acorn soup with acorn flour noodles, chewy acorn flour balls made mixed with sweet potatoes in a kind of sweet potato salad, and my favorite: acorn pajeon, (green onion pancakes) . After our huge lunch we groaned that we couldn’t eat another bite. Then we went to a nearby dessert cafe and ate a huge bingsu — shaved milk ice topped with fruit, ice cream, and a shot of condensed milk. We left off the condensed milk, you know, because we were too full.