It’s that time a year again, where I’m whisked away to some part of Korea with all of my coworkers. This year we went to Taebaek, a mountainous area of Gangwon-do. On our way to Taebaek, we stopped for lunch in Hoengseon in Gangwon-do at a restaurant called Bakhyeon You Deodeok for deodeok (doraji 도라지) or bellflower root (platycodon) for lunch. Though they do serve meat nothing I ate included meat.
We had a nice set of deodeok 더덕 including doraji-muchim 도라지무침 which is a spicy sweet dish that’s usually a side or banchan with sesame seeds. We had a couple varying types, some of which I could eat and several which I couldn’t. (Too spicy!)
We also had pajeon (a savory pancake), japchae (stir fry glass noodles with veggies), tofu, kimchi and some doenjang-jjigae 된장찌개 (fermented soybean paste stew).
In a very hot bowl was our doraji bap, rice with some bellflower root mixed in. After removing the rice into the metal bowl a coworker handed me the water teapot so that I could pour it in and make myself some sungnyung or scorched rice tea. Not my favorite thing but it was still fun to do.
Bellflower root is considered healthy and is also used in medicine. It can be bitter and a bit similar to ginseng, but it was tasty and made for a nice lunch.