Simple Soup for the Seoul

9 Oct

As the temperatures dip and the leaves turn shades of deep red, orange, and yellow, I’m pulled (against my will) into the crisp, fall season (soon-to-be winter, its chilly cousin). Gone is the warmth and sunshine of summer, now replaced with a cool new air (or should I say ‘heir? : P). Autumn is queen, and though I can’t contest the changes of Mother Nature, I can adapt as I’ve done year after year. So where’s the best place to start? While I do enjoy the opportunity to snuggle up under a warm blanket or to crank up the heat in my apartment, my stomach begs to differ, and I feel best warmed by a nice hot meal…My dish of choice in times like these? Hot pot.

Last year, I flew down to LA to visit the bro for Thanksgiving. He introduced me to a Korean restaurant called Seoul Garden, which specializes in a dish called “Jing-Gee Skhan.” Seeing the pictures on the wall, I was reminded of Japanese shabu shabu, one of my favorites. Of course we had to get it.




Essentially a hot pot of sorts, the “Jing-Gee Skan” starts off in a pot of boiling water, into which goes an assortment of thinly sliced beef, tofu, enoki mushrooms, kamaboko (fish cake), and mixed greens (I wasn’t sure exactly what this was comprised of, but something along the lines of napa cabbage and green onions). The contents are quickly cooked by the scalding water and ready to eat in just a matter of seconds – this is the beauty of hot pot; that everything is ready in a flash, and there isn’t much prep work to be done beforehand. I proceeded to scoop out a big serving of the beef+veggie combination, then dipped everything in the tangy ponzu-like sauce that came with the meal…delish! The flavors melded in my mouth so nicely, and I voraciously chowed down.


After finishing off the vegetables and meat, my tummy was quite content…yet there was more. The waitress proceeded to place a batch of udon noodles into the pot, which (surprisingly) we were able to eat all of. I thought for sure this was the last. Yet to my surprise, a final round of rice, egg, and nori (seaweed) strips went into thet pot, forming a gruel or porridge. This was an ingenious end to a meal, and perhaps my favorite part. What’s brilliant is that nothing went to waste.


I left the restaurant feeling warm and content to the soul.

And now as I embrace a new season of fall, I am reminded that with the change in temperature comes a return to hot meals, and I am excited. Though I can’t recreate the “Jing-Gee Skhan” exactly as I had it in LA, I can make something equally as filling and warm on my stove at home with just a few veggies and some meat. Mmm, bring it on, Mother Nature!


2 Responses to “Simple Soup for the Seoul”

  1. janny October 28, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    Did you know that the name came from Genghis Khan? lol.

  2. karlyn October 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Yeah I actually found that out later on, after searching online…how interesting : P

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