On my last visit to Seoul for honeymoon, we decided to try on Temple Food. My husband is vegetarian and he was so eager to try it. For me, I was just excited to try something new, especially Korean temple food has been known as a good cleanse and detox foods.
Originally we wanted to eat in Gam Lo Dang Restaurant. Unfortunately it was close and change into Mara Restaurant. So we decided to go to Balwoo Restaurant near the Jogyesa Temple.
|Posing in front of Mara Restaurant|
|We picked the one with 12 dishes meal|
There are 3 highlight of Temple foods;
1. Natural: The food will use only organic and natural ingredients and seasoning.
2. Healthy: Thanks to all the natural ingredients and seasonings, this food is healthy too.
3. Balance: Temple food is a good detoxifying food and a good balance to our bad eating habit.
1. Juk or Porridge
|Juk or porridge|
|The white marshmallow looking thing is actually hand towel|
|Kimchi Radish, side dishes/banchan|
2. Juksunaengchae, Bambu Shoot Chilled Salad
|Juksunaengchae, Bambu Shoot Chilled Salad|
This salad has a very strong flavor of ground mustard. It gives me brain shock, the kinda feeling you got similar to brain freeze or when you ate wasabi. The ground mustard has similar taste to wasabi. It was a good feeling tho. It woke me up immediately. It was like all my senses were finally open.
3. Japanese Anglea and Soybean Pancake
|Japanese Anglea and Soybean Pancake|
4. Vegetable Round Mandu and Tofu
|Vegetable round Mandu and Tofu|
5. Burdock Root
This was probably my favorite part of the whole meal. It was my first time eating burdock root. Turned out, it has a sweet flavor that taste similar to sweet potato, except that it also has a more fiber texture to it.
6. Lotus Root and Ginsaeng
|Lotus Root and Ginsaeng|
Probably the most expensive part of the meal. This dish is not available on the 10 course meal option. Definitely the reason why the 12 course meal is more expensive. Definitely feel healthier after eating the ginsaeng. I didn't eat the leaves tho. I am not sure if I should.
7. Fried Mushroom in Sweet and Sour Apple Sauce
|Fried Mushroom in a sweet and sour apple sauce|
A salty crunchy mushroom with a sweet yet soury apple sauce was a good balance to the tastebud.
8. Tofu and Wild Aster Soup
9. Lotus Leaf Rice
|Lotus Leaf Rice|
|Contain pine nuts, chestnut, etc.|
10. Chan / Banchan/ Side Dishes
11. Guk or Soybean Paste Tofu Soup
12. Dessert and Baverage
|dried kelps, lotus root, sweet potato, and orange|
We went home with a full stomach but it was nothing closer to the uncomfortable bloating feeling after a full course of less healthy food. I feel more energized and healthier. I could imagine if I get to eat this kind of food everyday I could live longer and It might also makes a different on my skin, hair, etc.
If you happens to run into this post and planning to go to Seoul anytime soon or you are already there. I highly suggest to try temple food. It might not for everyone's taste. But the benefit is good for everyone.
The place that I visited is Balwoo Temple Food.
Telp. (02) 2031-2081
Hours: 11am—2:30pm, 5:30pm—9pm
Prices: 25,000—50,000 won
Getting there: Exit 2, Jonggak Station, Line 1. Walk 70m to Jogyesa Temple. The Temple Stay Information Center is across the street. On the fifth floor of the Temple Stay Information Center. Serves Buddhist temple cuisine.