DMZ Tour, Korean Wine Tasting & A Family Dinner with Korean BBQ

This weekend I hosted a family dinner, to celebrate my mothers’ birthday. Earlier that week I was on the phone with her, asking if she wanted something special. She said, can’t you make something we normally don’t eat? We hung up and I started thinking. Hmm, I do have a bottle of North Korean wine at home, why don’t I make something Korean and create a Korean evening for her. Et voilà!!

But before telling you about the evening, let me tell you how a bottle of North Korean Wine entered my home. 😊

DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone)

Last year I went to South Korea to visit a friend I hadn’t seen for many years. We went on an amazing road trip, which I will tell you all about another time. However. While I was in Seoul, my curiosity told me that I just HAD to go up the boarder to North Korea. SO INTERESTING!

End of Separation, Beginning of Unification

How to book

There are a few companies that arranges tours up to the boarder, and they are all very well organized. In order to find the best option for you, check out TripAdvisor or ask your hotel upon your arrival. Most of the companies offer pick from your hotel.

The Visit

The tour started off with Imjingak Park where we saw the artillery and Freedom Bridge. Then we headed towards the Third Infiltration Tunnel. Going down the tunnel you can really feel the mystery at the same time as history becomes reality. Such a different experience!

Next up was the Dora Observatory, a spot where you look across the DMZ into North Korea. I must say it was fascinating to hear the radio from the speakers across. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand what they were saying😊 Before we headed back to Seoul, we stopped by the Dorasan Station, the railway station that once connected North and South Korea and the Unification Village.

DMZ

If you are in Seoul and have an extra day, I definitely recommend taking one of these tours. If you find it interesting, please see the recommended reading links above.😊

The Wine

During the tour we got the chance to visit shops where you could buy traditional items as well as liquor and wine. My eyes fell on the wine from North Korea, made not from rice but from grapes. I got so curious that I just had to get some. The wine that I got is called Kanggye Sanmorusul. I tried to get some information about the process, grape and what kind of food would be a good match, but it was difficult.

Kanggye Sanmorusul – Wine from North Korea

The Tasting

So, when planning a dinner for my family I chose one of my favourites from the Korean cuisine, Korean BBQ but with a twist. The food turned out great and was so appreciated, especially by my mother who is not that familiar with Korean food. Then the moment finally came to try the wine. After an amusing discussion we concluded: A dry wine with a hint of oxidative sweetness with sherry character, soya, red tea and a low level of acidity. Overall impression, a VERY interesting experience!

The wine of the evening!

As we only had one bottle of Korean wine, we added some Spanish, Argentinian and Italian to the table. A perfect fit as we finished off the dinner with some cheese.

Korean BBQ Recipe

Please see the recipe below (5-6 people)

What you need

900 gram of Entrecote

Rice

Lettuce

Kimchi

Spring Onion

Avocado Salad

Avocado Salad

2 Avocado

1 Red Onion (small)

10-15 Cherry tomatoes

Chili

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Marinade

1 dl Soya Sauce (light)

3 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp Sesam oil

3 tbsp White wine

3 Gloves of garlic

½ Red Chili

Ssamjang Sauce

4 tbsp Miso paste

3 tbsp sambal oelek

1 tbsp Honey

1 tbsp Water

1 tbsp Sesam oil

2 Spring onion

1 tbsp Rosted sesam seeds

How to Make

Day 1

  1. Mix all ingredients for the marinade. Put the meat in a plastic bag and pour the marinade over. Leave it in the fridge for an hour or preferably overnight.

Day 2

  1. Chop all ingredients for the avocado salad and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Serve in a bowl.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the sauce and pour it in a bowl to serve.
  3. Boil the rice and decorate with chopped spring onion.
  4. Heat up a frying pan (hot) and fry the meat with the marinade. Fry for a couple of minutes and slice it up. Decorate with some spring onion.

If you would like to eat in a traditional Korean style, take a lettuce and fill with rice, meat, sauce and kimchi, almost like a taco:) I have added the avocado salad in order to get some extra freshness.

You will enjoy it!!

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