Friday, February 20, 2009

How to Order Korean Delivery

You have nothing good to eat in the house, you're getting hungry, and you're too lazy to go out to a restaurant. What do you do? Order some delivery, of course. But since you're in Korea, this is going to be a bit of a trick. Delivery isn't the same thing out here. Here are some helpful tips.

First, take a gander at the array of menu magnets someone keeps leaving on your door while you are out. You have quite the choice here. If you want, you could even have the convenience store downstairs bring something to your room. It's free is it's over 10,000won ($7.50). But no, you need a meal. Skip the Dominos. Go with something more Korean. 부대찌개, say BuDayJjeeGay, sounds good.

Next step. Call the number on the magnet. Of course, practice the relevant phrases beforehand.

Step 3, hand the phone to someone who knows how to speak korean after failing miserably. "Oh they were asking for my address?!?"

Delivery person knocks on the door. Exchange confused looks and hand him the 12,000won ($9). Take the big plastic box he brought... and say KamSamNeeDah AnYoungHiKaSayYo (Thank you goodbye), the only phrase you've really mastered so far. Just remember, don't tip him! That would just add to the confusion.

What's inside that thing anyway? It takes some unpacking. Let's see, we have a portable stove, a big pan, some brown water, ramen noodles, and banchan (side dishes). That's must be why it is so cheap, you have to make it yourself!

What exactly is Budayjjike? There seems to be everything in this dish. I mean... everything: ramen noodles, green onions, mushrooms, tofu, ground beef, thick rice noodles, more vegetables I don't know, hot dogs, spicy red pepper, and spam. SPAM??? How did that get in here? Well, Buday Jjike literally means "Army base stew". It originated in the time after the Korean war when there was little food to go around. So, story goes, Koreans had to eat the leftover food from American army bases. They just threw it all together, added Korean spices, and made it delicious.

But Spam? Why keep Spam in the recipe? Koreans seem to love this stuff. It is even given as a gift more often than chocolate. Remember around the Lunar New Year? Why did you buy that gift set 12-pack of spam? I know it was a cheap price, but seriously, you will never eat all that spam. At least is came with a cool Spam travel bag.

SPAM "For Your Smile" Gift Bag

Back to the food. Turn on the stove and throw everything in the pan. Make some rice on the side, too.

Let is boil for a while...

But don't add the banchan. That tupperware, which has bean sprouts, eggs, and (of course) Kimchi, is just a side dish. You would get something like this in any restaurant in Korea at your table along with your order. They still include these freebies in delivery.
Time to eat. Throw some of that rice in with the noodles.

Pack up the dishes in the delivery box...
And leave it outside your door. The delivery personnel will be there shortly to pick it up.

For anyone who enjoyed this post, come back later for the next installment in the food series, "Chicken Poop House".

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