Food in Korea: Ssam, Rice in a Bamboo and Neobiani

Posted on August 31, 2011


It is a common knowledge among my friends that I am not adventurous when it comes to food. So when we were informed during the Real Touch Korea Tour that we will have Ssam for lunch I was relieved though I must say I’m not a fan of healthy food like vegetables.

When you wrap a piece of meat, rice, condiment and side dishes with a leafy vegetable, then it is called Ssam. It literally means “wrapped.”

Our bus dropped us off in Insa-dong. We walked and after a few steps, went through an alley.

Both pictures from KTO

They said the restaurant cooks their rice in a special way. They cook it inside a bamboo. Well, it wasn’t new to me because it’s not that unusual in the Philippines, especially in the provinces. However, when it was served, I figured out what makes it special.

On top of rice are charcoal, date and some beans. I don’t know whether it has health benefits. ^-^

Our table was served with not just several but a lot of side dishes, which I think is a trademark of Korean dining.

After we consumed the first serving of pork and beef , a plate of marinated beef was provided. It was delicious and it was my first time to eat the dish. I just can’t leave the restaurant without knowing its name so I had to ask the reporter from JoongAng Daily to write it for me. It is called Neobiani.

Our first serving of meat. One of my group mates doesn’t eat pork and it was an advantage for me, if you know what I mean.

The beef I’m raving about.  When I did a little research, I found out that Neobiani is the traditional and royal  term for bulgogi but it is not the same bulgogi we have now.

We spent the rest of our lunch time by doing some games, like making the most nutritious ssam and the biggest ssam.

Posted in: Korea, Others