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Sunday, December 19, 2010

korean-style spicy octopus bento


Hi bento pals! We've had our first snow of the season this week, about an inch of icy white that has stayed as on the ground amid near freezing temperatures. This radiant pink camellia has remained in bloom...amazing!


While I enjoy authentic Korean anytime, it seems so well suited to chilly temperatures... last night we visited Goong Jeon in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Crispy Korean-style pancakes with seafood and scallions are a weakness of mine...really good version here:


Nakji bokeum was lovely with an abundance of octopus in a mellow, lightly spicy sauce served with fat, chewy noodles, peppers, carrots--perfect dish for a cold night:


Marinated cuke banchan:


 Soju...!





Monday's bento includes nakji bokeum tucked into an avocado half and a wedge of scallion pancake. It gains vibrant color from stir fried purple cabbage, pink radish pickles, scallion, romaine leaves, purple potato slices, orange pepper, green apple and a lavender foil-wrapped chocolate...a little gold bird ornament on the right looks ahead to Christmas, which is coming up so quickly, lots of last minute preparations to attend to this week!

Hope you are enjoying the season and its spirit of love and warmth...




28 comments:

Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan said...

Beautiful!!!

Bentobird said...

Thank you, J and J!

Megg said...

Wow, look at those colors! Incredible, and such delicious descriptions! I agree, Korean food is so perfect when it's cold out.

tofugirl said...

Wow, that purple cabbage is REALLY purple! At first glance I thought it was flower petals of some kind! Korean is one of my favorite cuisines, especially the tofu stews :D Stay warm!

Sysyl said...

Always love your bento color. Its colorful and radiant!

Robin said...

I am savoring the seafood and scallion pancakes, also a weakness. Luscious octopus, chewy and full of flavor. The delight of snow, good food and the expectant cheer of the season. Happy Holidays Jenn!

yunitarahmasari aka tatabonita said...

The octopus does look spicy Jenn :D. Wow, the snow sounds so exciting *never have and see directly snow in my whole life, so sad T_T*, would you love to send me some?

Bentobird said...

Hi Megg! Brrrrr, a very chilly morning here but not much relative to Chicago! Thanks for your sweet comments, wishing you a cozy day...

Bentobird said...

Hi Carol! Yep, the shade really pops...gotta love purple food! Mmmm, good point about tofu stews, must tuck into one of those next time. Have a great day--I'll bet the city is looking very festive and fun!

Bentobird said...

Thank you sweet Sysyl, really appreciate your great comments!

Bentobird said...

Hi Robin! Yay, another fan of these crisy treats ;) Looking forward to your holiday celebration posts--you bring out the festive, convivial joy of food so amazingly well! Happy Holidays my friend :D

Bentobird said...

Hi Ta! It would be lovely to share a magical, snowy winter scene with you...imagine what great pictures you'd take!

Ena said...

I love Korean dishes too, especially when they're not too hot. That octopus looks so delicious. Makes me want to make something like that too!

*Ena*

Lexi said...

Love the combination of the spicy octopus and the bright purple cabbage! Yum yum!

Lyndsey said...

Can I come over to your house to play? I'll ask my mom? :D
Everything looks spectacular (as usual) I wish we had a good Korean restaurant...actually I wish we had any Korean restaurant. The owners of our local Asian market is Korean and on Saturdays they have lunch which Maranda and I take advantage of often. One girls daughter goes to the school I work at and she is a pistol! What fun! I am now on 2 week Christmas break so I do hope to be posting more....but maybe I'll just be baking more!

I love your photos and can't believe you still have a tiny camellia bloom!

Bentobird said...

Hi there Ena! Nice to know...maybe we'll be seeing some Korean style treats at your bento blog?

Bentobird said...

Thanks Lexi! I stir fried the cabbage quickly over high heat and discovered what a treat it is made like this...tender but slightly firm with a lightly carmelized flavor.

Have been reading the UK papers re the snow and cold, sounds epic! Hope you do not have to travel over the holidays and can stay snugly at home :D Merry Christmas!

Bentobird said...

Hi Lyndsey, loved reading your comment/visit, thank you! Wow, homestyle Korean sounds awesome.
Cool that you are on break...maybe lending the season a more relaxed tempo with time to savor and enjoy it all?

Looking forward to your new posts and sending warmest holiday greetings! Here's to happy bentoing and cooking together in 2011 :D

Kay Heritage said...

What wonderful looking dishes! Being Korean, there is nothing more satisfying for me than Korean food!

Bentobird said...

Hello Kay! Thanks for sharing these lovely comments. Wishing you a beautiful Christmas!

javapot said...

guessing purple or lavender is your fav colour? -i like it too.
looks like you had a fab drooly korean feast, yum. those octopus, I've always dreaded the round 'sukers', too much tv influence i think haha!!

Wishing u and your family Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

Kuusou said...

My children would love the octopus but not the korean spiciness. The pictures make me really hungry and I just ate dinner!

Happy Holidays!

Bentobird said...

Hi javapot,

I do love all shades of violet/purple! They do look rather sci-fi, these octo, but taste so good...:)

Have a wonderful holiday, warm wishes to you and family and for a bright 2011!

Bentobird said...

Thanks so much Kuusou! Happy Holiday celebration to you and yours, looking forward to more bento fun in the new year!

Debra said...

Happy Holidays Jenn! Ah the first snow is always the best isn't it? Then after that...well.. :P

What a treat for us readers, through your photos and phrasing, to experience the robust flavors and colors of Korean cuisine.

Thank you for the lovely visit. :)

Bentobird said...

Hello Debra, Happy Holidays and thank you for this very nice comment/visit! Korean food does wonderfully melt the chill edges of winter...

Hope you are enjoying the special warmth of holiday celebrations this weekend :D

KidsDreamWork said...

Have been away from active blog visiting the last month, and so glad to be here now to see such a cheerful bento!

Bentobird said...

Hi Ai Ping, I've also been away for a while and look forward to returning to bentoland...

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!