Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dog: The Other, Other White Meat

When I first came to Korea, I heard rumors that they eat dog. I was told that it was borderline illegal, although it had been making a comeback. The meat is served many ways, with the most popular being in a spicy soup. There are some five names for the soup, but the most common name now is 보신탕 "boshintang." A wooden translation comes out "Invigorating Soup." Another name is 개장(국) "gaejang-guk." Which literally means "dog soup."

The dog meat is somewhat of a "dirty little secret." Most Koreans will deny ever trying it or will say they don't like it. Usually it is something consumed by men with a lot of soju. However, if a foreigner does show enough interest, then it is possible to have some boshintang.

My friend Jeff was given a pre-cooked, complete boshintang meal by his boss--including side dishes. After church, a Filipino guy from church, Jeff, and I gathered at Jeff's to eat dog for the first time. I was a little surprised that our Filipino friend had never eaten dog before--its quite a popular dish there.

The dog meat was prepared in a spicy soup and cut in thin strips. The three of us were very apprehensive. We had dogs as pets back home and it seemed strange to now be eating one. We heated up some rice, set out the vegetable side dishes, and poured some soda. The soup had been prepared the day before, so we reheated it in the microwave. The meat looked a lot like pork, although it definitely had a taste of its own. We took the first bite together.

Best I can do is describe it as pork-like. Of the exotic foods I've tried while in Korea--gaebul (raw sea worm), whale, and dog--I'll have to say the dog tasted the best. If I had only had known sooner!

External Links:
Dog Stew Recipe
Wikipedia Article: Bosintang

1 comment:

I appreciate comments. If you have a personal message to me, then e-mail would be best.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...