Sunday, June 26, 2011

Memphis, TN: Korean BBQ, Asian market, and shoes.

I went on a day trip to Memphis yesterday, as I stated in a previous post. It was great. I left Little Rock after work (yes, I'm a working girl. I make sushi at Whole Foods) at around 3 o'clock. We arrived there at around 5 o'clock and went straight to the DSW at Germantown. To all the guys that may be reading this, I like food and shoes. Just saying. I got a pair of Audrey Brooke's gladiator sandals. On sale. Blue label's 30% off, baby.

Pretty shoes.
After about an hour and a half, we were all pretty hungry. So, we commenced to DWJ Korean BBQ & Sushi Bar. We never eat the sushi though. We just go there for the barbecue. I know I told you I was excited for the soups, but it was way too damn hot for soup. So, we had barbecue--lots of barbecue.

One of the things I absolutely love about eating a Korean meal is that there are so many side dishes, or banchan. You get a lot of small plates of side dishes, and before you know it, you have a whole table full of food. Some of the more common side dishes include kimchi, fish cakes, and bean sprouts. My favorite--other than the ever-so-sacred baechu kimchi--is the potato salad. I know; it's potato salad. I don't know. There is just something about this potato salad that is absolutely wonderful. I don't know if I'm even allowed to call this a potato salad.

the very godly potato salad at DWJ
It's mashed potatoes mixed with some corn, peas, mayo and some other seasonings, I suppose.
We asked for more of this at least twice. I was kind of embarassed. But, then I ate it. Again. And, again...

So, the meat came. Or, it was more like meats. We ordered the Galbi, which is the marinated beef short ribs, Bulgogi, which is the marinated sliced steak, and Samgyupsal, which is the straight-up pork belly. Yum.
The barbecue meat is traditionally eaten in a lettuce wrap. I will now show you how I eat my galbi.

Condiments that came with the barbecue. Or, at least what was left of them.
My super awesome wrap.
There is actually no set way to eat this, or what you put in your wrap. You know, it's like a sandwich. Just put whatever you like in there. As you can see in the picture above, I added the fermented bean paste, roasted garlic, baechu kimchi (in case you don't know, baechu kimchi is the kimchi made of napa cabbage), and some rice. That's it. You just wrap it up in a nice little package and pop it in you mouth. Some people add raw garlic instead of roasting it off first on the grill, but I can't handle that. It's too pungent.
What was left of my plate after an hour and a half. Yes, I eat around the bone. Good stuff.

Amazingly, we did not overeat. At least, I didn't. I don't know if I can say the same about my brother. He ate like three bowls of rice with a mountain of pork belly and galbi. He was the designated driver for the day. I guess he had an excuse.

We went to the Asian market on North Cleveland Street. I think the name is Viet Hoa, but I'm not quite sure. To those of you who have never been to an Asian grocery store before, I have taken pictures. I mean, it's not all that different. They have your typical fruits, vegetables, meats and etc. But, many of the smaller stores don't carry household items like soap or laundry detergent. In short, they sell stuff you won't find at Walmart and Kroger.
Chicken feet (left) and pig's trotters (right)
Chicken gizzards cooked with some chilies
Cooked pig's ear with some cilantro
Cold dishes are important. If you go to an Italian market, you find prosciutto, salami, and mortadella. In an Asian market, you'd find stuff like chicken feet and pig's ears. They're not dreadful. It's good stuff, man.

My favorite part of an Asian market is the seafood section. It's also my least favorite part because, well, it smells. Like, really bad. Anyway, I assume you've seen fish in tanks before. So, I took it upon myself to document more interesting stuff.

These crabs still had some fight left in them. Especially, the one my brother was harassing.
Snails... I think.
Huge oysters
We also met a feisty little crayfish. We liked him. Or, her. Do they even have genders? I think they do. I mean, crabs do. Anyway, we named him--or her--little Johnny.
Johnny the crayfish. chomp.
OH, I almost forgot to show you my absolute favorite shot of the day.

I love fish heads. Just awesome. The purest, strongest essence of a fish. These are salmon heads by the way.
There is an Indonesian curry made traditionally with red snapper heads called Gulai Kepala Ikan. We never find a red snapper big enough for us to use the head here in the States. So, we just use salmon heads. It makes for a richer and fishier fish head curry, but it's pretty good. 

We left Memphis at around 8 o'clock and got home at around 10:30 PM. T'was a fabulous day.

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