A Foodie's Delight

The Korean Meal
When it comes to food, Korean dramas are foodilicious. They believe is showcasing the oriental dishes of their land, their eating and drinking culture. The characters are mostly foodie, that’s a given in most of the Korean dramas. And the Korean meals have so many dishes covering the entire table with no two plates having the same dish - starting from soup, salads, other appetizers, to main dishes and side dishes to accompany them. Having a meal is a social activity. List us skim through the most popular dishes from this land, as delivered to us through the screen. It’s not at all an exhaustive list, and it covers mostly vegetarian dishes as meat is a bit dangerous area(umm... you get it, right?).

1.       Kimchi – This is the first and most important dish that makes Korea. It’s a part and parcel of almost every traditional meal in a Korean household. They cannot imagine a house without its own stock of Kimchi to go with rice, noodles, soup, sweet potato, etc. It is essentially cabbage or radish pickle, in simple terms. The napa cabbage is fermented, preserved with chili paste, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. They can make any dish with just kimchi as the flavoring element- Kimchi rice(made with leftover chicken or meat, rice, kimchi, and covered with an omelet), Kimchi stew are popular among bachelors and students apart from ramyeon.

2.       Sea Weed Soup – It’s a soup that is mostly savored on birthdays. Mothers make this soup for their kids, especially on the birthdays. It is a part of the Korean culture to order seaweed soup on one’s birthday. It has both veg and non-veg version, served with either tofu or meat in it.

3.       Instant Noodles(Ramyeon) -  Though this is famous all around the world, the Korean version is really awesome. It’s a foodie’s delight. You can pack in so many flavors into a steaming hot bowl of ramyeon. The packet comes with its own spice sachet, which is put into water, stirred and boiled to perfection. Once half cooked, you can add little bits of tuna or an egg or cheese for enhanced flavor. In veggies, you can add spring onions or/and carrots or/and bean sprouts for a bit of sweet flavor. Eat it from the bowl when piping hot. Heaven!


4.       Gimbap – Gimbap is an easy-to-have dish in our busy lifestyle, or during picnics and outdoor events. It has Korean sticky rice, the meat of choice or sushi, veggies, sesame oil for taste. All these are wrapped tightly inside greens(toasted seaweed) in layers, which is cut to bite size pieces and served.

5.       Bibimbap - There is this culture of that meal-in-a-bowl here. So the lunch boxes are packed aesthetically with all kinds of food for proper carbohydrate, protein, fat and vitamins intake. It’s a mix of Korean sticky rice, meat of choice or sushi, veggies, bean sprouts, mussels, egg, sesame oil and chili paste for seasoning. A Little bit of almost everything.


6.       Noodle and Dumpling Soup – Buckwheat noodles in a spicy sauce full of meat/veggies is a dish most sought after. Lettuce and sesame leaves are the much-needed greens for these dishes. The soup is of chicken or bone broth goes with scallions, clams or shrimp. Dumpling soup with any kind of noodles looks so yummy on screen. It’s on my wishlist!! Oh ya!

Apart from these spicy rice cakes, rice crackers, sweet potatos, kimchi dumplings, fish cakes, goldfish bread, potato tornadoes, and ice cream filled waffles are popular street foods.

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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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