Bottom: mandoo; kimchi pajeon (notice the "food art" I snuck in there?)
I've only realized fairly recently that I actually don't know much about Korean food at all, in fact all I ever eat at Korean places is Korean BBQ (I love meat, what can I say?) and my mother occasionally will give me banchan (small dishes) that she's bought and those will appear in my bento (notably I speak about it here), or I'll even get gimbap (Korean style sushi). But the other stuff? Meh. I'm not keen on spicy, and a lot of Korean food appears to be spicy, and I don't have a guide, someone to introduce me to new things on the menu, so I just stuck to what I know.
(In fact, if you followed me to any or all of the Asian places that I frequent, I always order from the same selection of 2-4 things. It appears I don't really stray from my beaten path... will have to change that!)
But last week, having drinks with BF's coworkers, after which they wanted Korean food, and it reminded me that I wasn't too familiar with Korean food. When we arrived, however, they wanted Korean BBQ, but it brought Korean food to the forefront of my mind. So a few nights ago, while shopping with Cookie (of Cookie Bento fame), I did something unprecedented: I went to the same restaurant from a week earlier (I never go to the same place twice in such quick succession). But this time, I wanted something different; Cookie being there helped a lot because she's a vegetarian, so obviously Korean BBQ (which is mostly meat, from my understanding) was out, and because she's familiar with Korean cuisine.
The above bento is leftovers from our meal: ddukbogi, a sweet and spicy rice cake (not that kind of rice cake; it's rice noodles but in tube form) cooked with fish cakes, onions, and glass noodles; mandoo, Korean dumplings filled with glass noodles, beef and veggies (she didn't have any); and kimchi pajeon, pancake with kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) strewn throughout it. Pretty yummy, though I was sweating and tearing up from the heat at one point.
Yummy, here's to exploring new (to us) cuisines and making great discoveries!