Saturday, April 26, 2008

In Suwon: Hwaseong Fortress and Agutang

Visiting the family usually = getting stuffed with food.

This time, they wanted to introduce something new to my diet: agutang (아구탕). Agutang is a soybean based stew featuring, well, you guessed it, the "agu" fish, also know as the anglerfish...or more commonly, monkfish. It's a terribly ugly looking thing. Apparently, "in most places monkfish is sold with the head cut off, an in fact at one time in France it was illegal to bring monkfish into port with their heads for fear of frightening passers-by." This was the first time I had it prepared Korean-style...

Not quite my taste. I prefer it panfried and finished in the oven, drizzled with a red wine reduction, served over a bed of mashed potatoes and wilted greens, or something to that effect, but it was an interesting experience.

One thing I love about going to Suwon is easy access to Homeplus, Korea's Samsung/Tesco operated super store... of course, the best part is the food court... where you can get two burgers, fish cutlet, salad, mac salad, pickles, fried rice, and soup for the bargain price of $5.

But there's nothing like eating from your own kitchen. While JJ and I studied US states and capitals...

...Hyun fried up some eggs and Spam. Koreans seem to take quite the liking to Spam. I can't eat it, since it's made of pork, but it sure reminded me of Hawaii. (Spam Oven Roasted Turkey, however, is pretty awesome. It's a shame they don't carry too many varieties in Korea.)

And when we weren't eating, we took a little trip to Hwaseong Fortress, whose wall spans nearly 6km, the perfect place to burn some cals!

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