In February, I wrote about a lunch that I had with international students. On Friday night, I got to spend time with several Korean friends (some exchange students and others permanent students) for a delicious Korean meal. Our main dish was called Samgyupsal (삼겹살), which, as I understand it, translates roughly as "three layered flesh," referring to the layers in the pork used. This meat is fairly fatty and pretty thickly sliced.
The pork is grilled unseasoned, often at a small table grill or outdoors. Because it was raining outside, we were unable to sit around the grill as the meat cooked.After the pork is cooked, it is cut with scissors (for bite-sized pieces) and served with dipping sauces, raw onions, raw garlic, and some other side dishes, wrapped in lettuce.
The dipping sauces are called ssamjang (쌈장; made of soybean paste, chili paste, green onions, sesamie oil, etc) and gireumjang (기름장; made of sesamie oil, salt, and black pepper)
We also ate a soup/stew known as kimchi jjigae (김치 찌개), which is made of the traditional Korean fermented dish, kimchi (김치) and various vegetables. A little bit spicy, but very delicious!
For dessert, we enjoyed a variety of delicious fruits: apples, bananas, strawberries, pineapples, mangos, and cantaloupes)
Because I am studying abroad in South Korea this summer, I am so happy that I was able to meet many of the Korean students attending UNC Asheville. The Study Abroad Office was kind enough to introduce me to several of these students, who have been giving me Korean lessons and letting me enjoy meals like the one we had on Friday night. I am even happier than ever that I am at UNC Asheville, a school whose small size has allowed me to meet and participate in cultural exchange with such diverse, amazing friends.