Thursday, September 20, 2007

A new dimension in culinary delights

A short post as there's still lots of work to get done before I leave here in just over two weeks.

Last night I finally got around to trying a dish I'd been promised by a Korean friend for a while. It turns out that it's not difficult to find around Wudaokou where there is a huge population of Korean students.

The dish is called San Nak Ji and is an octopus based dish, in fact it's just raw octopus. Nothing particularly strange about eating raw octopus which I've had many times in Japanese restaurants. However, San Nak Ji is still moving, on the plate, in your chopsticks, in the dipping sauce, in your mouth. The suckers make it pretty difficult to pick up off the plate, especially with the Korean style metal chopsticks. You dip the pieces in a chilli sauce and then eat. You don't feel them moving much in your mouth but they do stick to your tongue and palate as you're eating them. The suckers can be really rather strong.

Because the tentacles are detached, I certainly wouldn't count this as eating a living creature. Though some may think this is a particularly barbaric act, I would claim that the more you remember that your food was once a living being and don't take this fact lightly, rather than prepackaging everything so that you don't have to think of the horrors of the slaughterhouse or the terrible conditions that your Sunday lunch has had to endure, the better. I am in favour of choosing free-range where possible. Sadly in China this is not an easy task and would certainly mean that I would never eat out.

Anyway, San Nak Ji is worth a try and goes well with a good cold Soju. My camera batteries didn't work so no video from me. I will try and return before I leave and get a personal video of the events. In the mean time you can take a look at a Youtube example of a similar meal. (Obviously do not watch this if you think the sight of writhing tentacles may cause you to be put off your next meal).


Anonymous said...

I don't know where my earlier diatribe went to but it was on the lines of - If anyone has lasted the blog course long enough to read this they must now be gibbering wrecks and on behalf of the rest of the world I would like it known that I am entirely unable to understand how this apparently reasonable human being can have flipped so far over. I have challenged him to a quiet and peacemaking haiku to begin to crawl back into favour.

Anonymous said...

Biscuit - sorry i couldn't chat this morning on MSN but thanks for telling me about this blog. That looks like a very interesting eat.

Do you still need to kip at Cherry and Inman Mansions when you come back in a few weeks?

Unknown said...

Yeah, I think I'll need to reserve a room for a couple of days if that's still good. Looking to get back to the UK on the 23rd and then to Spain on the 27th. Will catch up soon.