Monday, September 29, 2014

vegetarian meal at the Buddhist university

The faculty cafeteria at Dongguk University serves simple meals for W5,000, but you can also opt for the vegetarian buffet for W7,000. Below, you see a typical plateful of monk-approved goodies, but the Atkins freaks among you will doubtless notice the carby elements hidden among the leafier fare (e.g., the breaded-and-fried chili peppers at 2 o'clock on the plate).

The thing that looks like ground beef (at 12 o'clock) is actually well-cooked (fried?) tofu, I believe. It certainly doesn't feel like meat when I chew on it, but the visual impression of meatiness is powerful enough to wreak havoc in my brain even while I'm masticating. I truly want to believe I'm eating meat. The actual mouth-feel is tough and fibrous—perhaps an attempt at simulating meat's resistance to chewing. From 9 o'clock to almost 12 o'clock on the left side of my plate, you can see a lovely pile of sauced-up nuts and figs—very carby. But oh, so delicious. Korean veggies are in the middle, and a standard Western salad dominates the bottom half of this plate. (I did end up going back for seconds, but not of the porridge.)

Above my plate are (1) a bowl of hobak-juk (i.e., squash/pumpkin porridge) and a cup of raspberry juice (advertised as bokbunja, i.e., raspberries, but the fruits in the juice sure look more like blackberries to me).



Charles said...

Bokbunja are, more specifically, black raspberries. But blackberries and raspberries belong to the same genus. I didn't know this before, but apparently the difference between blackberries and raspberries is whether the stem stays with the fruit or the plant when you pick the berries. When you pick a raspberry, the stem stays with the plant, but when you pick a blackberry, the stem stays with the fruit.

Learn something new every day, that's my motto.

Kevin Kim said...

I didn't know raspberries had races.