Traditional Korean food

So, it is a common in Korea for people to get together for a meal, as in many places. This communal meal usually involves some central cooking thing with many people sitting around it.  Hot Pot is commonly used.

Nakji Bokeum 

However, there are variations on the theme. Normal Hot Pot involves lots of meat. One day we had the same boiling pot in the middle, but with sea food. The meal is called nakji bokum. It means “somehow cooked octopus“. The thing was the the aforementioned octopus was alive. Well, everything is alive at some point. That beef that we were frying on the grill was running around also. But at least I didn’t have to kill it. Strange it seems that humans are fine to eat food when it was killed by someone else, but they get cringed when they have to do it themselves. Maybe it is just us – city folks – who are not used to it.

Anyway. So the initial setup represented the pot with some water and some spices and vegetables in the middle of the table. There were also many little plates with some small complimentary things like kimchi or some marinated vegetables. Then the waitress brought up a metal bowl with two octopuses, still alive and wiggling their … legs. Then, after the water heated up enough, she put them into the bowl. They twitched a little and then ceased all activity. It was a bit difficult to watch. After they cooked a bit she came back with metal grabber and scissors. Then she just cut those two octopuses into small pieces leaving the head as a hole and left them to keep boiling.

Well, to tell the truth an octopus is a rather chewy meat.

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