I want to tell you about the amazing food experience I had the other night.
It’s called 꼬치 (Go-chi) and it will change your life.
I know what you’re thinking: What’s so special about food on a stick? We do it everywhere. In South Africa, for example, we have “sosaties”:
Kyk net hoe lekker … Check out Recipes Hub for more.
In Japan they have Teppanyaki (鉄板焼き) and my host in The Philippines told me that they just add the suffix “-cue” to anything they put on a stick and cook over the fire. (We had brinjal-cue, for example.)
So what makes 꼬치 so special? I’ll tell you.
First, it’s a completely unique Korean experience. For the longest time, Sean and I walked past the restaurant near our house in Jungri-dong, Daegu, not quite brave enough to go inside and figure out the reason for the delicious smell coming from the small, dimly-lit interior.
Finally, we put our (rice) balls where our mouths are (my metaphors are out of control!) and went inside.
What a treat.
Think Tteokbokki (떡볶이, or rice cake) on a stick, wrapped in thin slices of bacon. Think cherry tomatoes on sticks, wrapped in bacon. Green chili peppers, wrapped in bacon. Pockets of spring onion, WRAPPED IN BACON. CHICKEN! (Not wrapped in bacon. What are you, crazy?)
You can also get octopus on a stick, shrimp on a stick, prawns on a stick. The possibilities are endless, and that is why I love it. Universal concept, mixed with Koreans’ love of pork and rice cakes and over-feeding their guests. My favourite was the chili on a stick. It was so spicy but I endured (through big gulps of beer, see part three).
(To counter-act all the bacon, we also ordered a tomato and mozzarella salad. It was divine.)
Second, the sauces. Koreans love their sauce. There was a sweet sauce, a spicy sauce, a sweet-and-spicy sauce, and dried chili powder in case you’re not spicy enough. And pretzels, because why not?
Third, you have to drink it with beer. Hite, Cas or Max, if you don’t like Korean beer, you haven’t had it ice-cold with spicy dishes before. I had to remind myself that it was a Monday and I had school in the morning. Then my husband had to cut me off.
The menu was all in Korean but luckily I can read Korean. Not that it helped me, the words were actual Korean words that I didn’t know – not Konglish, as is sometimes the case – so I had to fall back on the classic point-nod-and-hope-for-the-best routine.
It’s not that risky; 꼬치 is 너무 맛있어요.