Wednesday, June 29, 2011

팥 빙 수 (Pat Bing Su)

Last week, at the end of a long and busy day I was called up to a different classroom to hang out with some other teachers. Considering most teachers don't speak english, it was a very nice invitation. Each grade of teachers is part of their own group and since I teach all grades, I am randomly lumped in with the grade 2 teachers group. So Mrs.Kim, my co-teacher and I headed up.
I was pleasantly surprised to a bunch of 2nd grader desks pushed together with chairs all around to make a get together with food covering the table. So nice! There was mashed up fish on a stick,
오 댕 (odang). 떡 븎 이 (deokbokki), which is rice cakes and fish cakes mixed in a spicy red sauce. There was also deep fried whatever, a combination of shrimps and maybe some vegetables. Lastly was 순 대 (sundae). In my head the word sundae conjures up lovely sweet and chocolate-y images in my head. But in Korea, sundae is something quite different (and tastes quite the opposite as well!). Sundae (pronounced soon-day) is like a blood sausage. I had the misfortune of not knowing what it was when I first arrived in Korea, and with an audience of about 8 Korean coworkers, had to choke it down while feigning enjoyment. Not again. It is either cow or pig's intestines mixed with a bunch of other unappetizing things wrapped in a sausage, and it's black. Ugh. Served with the sundae was maybe liver or other animal inside parts that are not so yummy tasting to me.
순 대

떡 븎 이
 I sat and munched and tried to follow as much conversation as possible (my Korean comprehension is improving SO much!), when in walked another teacher in the group with 2 bowls of pat bing su. I had heard of this but never tasted it anywhere. Pat bing su is Korean summer time treat. It is basically a sweet dessert similar to a sunday (not to be confused with the blood sauage, now I am talking sunday as in ice cream scoops, syrup, and overloaded with delicious toppings). But pat bing su is a Koreanized version of this, made of crushed iced instead of ice cream. So picture a huge pile of shaved or small chunked ice and then topped with a variety of different things.  I think the most important ingredient is sweetened adzuki beans. After that, Bob's your uncle. Fruit, syrup, chocolate, milk, yoghurt, deok, the list goes on. I think on our pat bing su we had a simple combination of milk (added last), deok, and the red bean paste. Once it was set on the table, it was all mixed into one big soupy mess and everyone dove in. As in most Korean dishes, communal eating usually occurs, so off we went. On a hot day, it was such a treat. I think if I were to ever replicate, I might spice it up with a few more ingredients, but on a hot Friday afternoon, in the classroom setting, this introduction to pot bing su was just right!

팥 빙 수

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