Sunny's Seoul Food
Sunny Anderson's trip to South Korea last year was more than just a vacation — she was on a quest to reconnect with her past. Here's her take on the classic Korean dish bibimbap, plus some favorite vacation photos.
Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan K Liebe
Simple Seoul Bibimbap
On her must-eat list: bibimbap, the classic Korean dish of rice topped with meat, vegetables, fermented chile paste and an egg yolk. "It's what people always get at a Korean place," Sunny says. "The colors are crazy." She sampled several versions of bibimbap around Seoul, including one that she swears could have fed six hungry people.
Returning to South Korea's Capital City
In 1993, Sunny was stationed in Seoul for a year with the United States Air Force, serving as a radio disc jockey. She hadn't been back since. "Being an Army brat and Air Force veteran, you move every year," she says. "I've been trying to revisit the places where I grew up."
Worth Waking Up Early
Sunny woke before dawn to snap photos of the dramatic sunrise over the Han River.
"The coffee here is great! I wasn't in my coffee-drinking prime when I lived in Seoul, but during this visit I drank one cup after another."
Sunny wandered the city with a list of old stomping grounds and favorite street foods, like yaki mandu (fried dumplings), bulgogi (grilled marinated beef) and tteokbokki (rice cakes in a spicy chili sauce). "I ate from the moment I got there until I left — I didn't want to miss a meal," she explains.
Good Eats — Everywhere
"Korea is like New Orleans — it's hard to find a bad plate of food," she says. "You can walk into any corner place and you're guaranteed to get something new, flavorful, spicy [...] I waited in line for this crazy-delicious battered and deep-fried spiraled potato. This stand had a seasoning station with flavored powders like chili and cheese."
"The attention paid to packaging in Korea is tops." Proof: this display of gift-wrapped fruit in a grocery store.
Shopping in Seoul
The Myeongdong shopping area is too narrow and crowded for bikes, so food is often delivered by hand — and head.
After a Long Day
"It was hot and I had been walking all day, so it was nice of this establishment to know I'd want a companion."