Gourmet trip in Asia - watching on EBS Documentary

Published : Friday, August 31, 2018, 12:07 pm
Rice Noddles, Nasigoreng, Qingdao beer… They might be the first foods that come to your mind typical Asian foods. New and unusual food often presents us with a feast of unique fancy flavors you haven’t experienced before. Why don’t you join in an Asian gourmet trip with Baek Jong-won, the hand of Midas in the Korean foodservice industry, and melt into alleys of Hanoi, Jakarta and Qingdao!?

[Part 1 – Gourmet trip in Hanoi]

The first destination of Baek Jong-won’s gourmet trip is Vietnam. Vietnam has many famous foods such as Rice Noodle - Pho -, coffee, Buncha, and Banmi, among which, now, we will find out about Banmi. Banmi is a Vietnamese sandwich made of baguette with fillings. It is so popular that <Lonely Planet> has picked Banmi as one of the ‘World’s Street Food Best 10’. You can easily get Banmi in street vendors and small stores. Vietnamese love Banmi for its low cost as well as for its good taste.

How has Banmi, the Vietnamese food, been made of baguette? The history of Banmi dates back to the period of French colonial. From 1883 to 1945, Vietnam was under the rule of France, which made French confectionery, including baguettes, be naturally introduced to Vietnam. However, there is a difference in Vietnamese baguette from French one., which is that the Vietnameset baguette is made with rice flour. So, unlike hard and rough French baguettes, the Vietnamese ones’ are crispy outside and chewy inside. It is Banmi that the Vietnamese baguette is stuffed with Vietnamese traditional fillings.

"Is this all made of pork?"
- "This is a ham made of pork, beef, and rabbit"

"It’s so unique to put pâté in a baguette. This is a modified French dish, which seems to be evolved in a good way"

Now let’s take a look at the fillings of Banmi. Banmi is usually filled with ham made of various meats such as pork, beef, rabbit, etc. coriander, vegetable, and pâté. Pâté is also a French food that a mixture of ground meat and vegetables is baked. Not only bread, the outside of Banmi, but also fillings, the inside of it, were influenced by French cuisine.

In <The World Travelogue, Atlas>, Baek said that the taste of Banmi is similar to that of Korean food ‘Gimbap’. He stressed that the outer part of Banmi is really delicious though the inner fillings are also great. If you want to enjoy the best taste with your poor pocket, Banmi, the Vietnamese dish, ismay be the best choice for you.

[Part 2 – Gourmet trip in Jakarta]

Baek went on a second trip to Jakarta, Indonesia to find out why Indonesian food is so much loved by people around the world. Indonesia is a country with an old history of herb and spices so far as to pass them on to the Middle East and Europe in old times.

The World Travelogue, Atlas
Gourmet Trip in Asia PART 2
Exploration into Food of Jakarta

If you go to Indonesia, you should visit the restaurant named ‘Padang Restaurant’, which is located in Padang. That i's because you can taste 'Rendang,' which took first place in ‘the 50 Most Delicious Foods in the World’, announced by CNN. Padang Restaurant serves all the food in the restaurant including 'Rendang'. However, you don't have to eat all of the food, but just pick up the dishes that suits your taste and pay the price of only the dishes you touched. This is a very unique way as a restaurant.

 "This is my favorite menu at this Padang Restaurant, which is called ‘Rendang’"

'Rendang' is a stewed food with beef in coconut milk. Baek said that ‘Rendang’ is a little sweeter and tenderer than Korean Braised Short Ribs - Galbi-jjim - after having tasted it. The difference in texture is because Korean Galbi-jjim is made boiled with water, while 'Rengdang' is with coconut milk. He, eating 'Rendang', also wondered if Korean Galbi-jjim could captivate the taste buds of people around the world if using milk instead of water making it tenderer.

It is said that ‘To come to know a new taste is to meet a new world.’ Why don't you meet another world through exploring food cultures in Jakarta, Indonesia, the region of distinctive flavors?

[Part 3 – Gourmet trip in Qingdao]

As the saying ‘Even the Chinese can’t try all Chinese foods before they die’ represents, Chinese delicacies are no less rich than its ancient history. The last destination is ‘Qingdao’, representative region for Shandong cuisine which best suit Korean palate.

Qingdao, which used to be a small fishing village, has rapidly developed into the fourth largest port city in China. However, we can still find some regions beyond the reach of development. The “Licun Market” is one example.

Qingdao is really famous for short-neck clams as much as there is even the saying ‘Eat short-neck clams and drink Qingtao beer’. People here may regard eating them as the greatest happiness. You can enjoy fabulous plates of fried clams at street stalls in Licun Market. Street cooks of the stalls make charcoal grilled dishes on the spot by stir-frying ingredients customers bought on the Licun Market.

Although the price is really cheap 5 yuan, which is not more than 1,000 won, a plate, the store is not with a high-end kitchen but serves the dishes properly cooked with Chinese traditional recipe. The charcoal grilled pork and fried pork kidney taste light and great without much seasoning added except salt and pepper.

Baek said if you Ttriedy Qingdao’s famous Stir-Fried Spicy Clams - Lachao Gala – dipped in vinegar, you would get nothing to envy in the world.


Simple dishes on the street could be more tasty and attractive than a fancy meal. Such foods, without outstanding technique, provide warm consolation to someone who is tired of and distressed with everyday life. It may be for humanity inside them that unfamiliar exotic Asian street foods come to us in a familiar way. Although Asian gourmet trip has finished with Qingdao, simple but strong flavors and sincerity of the three Asian countries’ foods will always be supportive around us.

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