As I am writing this review, I kinda feel like I’m treading on dangerous waters cause any slip-up might get me hoards of hate-mails from loyal fans. Haha. Dae Jang Geum was the next big series to hit Malaysian shores after the emotional hype of Winter Sonata. I’ll be first to confess that I’m not really a fan of Korean drama series but when Dae Jang Geum hit local channels, I was pretty hooked. All because they showcased all that glorious food fit for a king to eat.
The story follows Jang-Geum on her journey from a young girl with an unfortunate past to high court physician. Long story short, her aim was to get into the palace to seek justice for her parents and also to clear the name of her wrongly accused mentor. She started off working in the kitchen. She was a very skilful cook, so skilled that it garnered malicious jealousy from the people around her.
Through some unfortunate events, Jang-Geum was demoted from the royal kitchen and was exiled to Jeju island. There she worked hard to obtain skills in healing and medicine. I was pretty caught up with the series, up until Jang-Geum was no longer working in the kitchen and started practising to be a physician. From there, it was rather downhill for me cause that means, no more delicious food to view. But I take comfort in the fact that though the plot of the story has switched to the lesser of my attention, I have something else to focus on in the mean time;
Hello, there! Haha….the hero in the story, Min Jeong-ho. Never have I come across any Korean man that good looking with a beard (eg; the trend now are those porcelain-skinned boys in Boys Over Flowers), but here’s how he looks without the scruff (pic below);
Hmmm, I think I prefer the beard. If you’d like more visuals of the show, here is the link.
Dae Jang Geum was THE show…dare I say…that launched the popularity of Korean food. I mean sure, Korean food was there all along but most people were still into the sushi-conveyor belt-bars thingy. I wasn’t a Korean foodie myself till this show. It was so popular to the fact that they even came up with a restaurant named after this show. This is where I had my first Korean barbecue. Here is a link about the restaurant.
I tried to look for some pictures of dishes that they made in the show but I guess the actress was more popular. I remembered that they also launched a cooking show based around the recipes of the series. The lady chef wore a traditional hanbok and all and had her hair tied up in that wide fan fashion while the hostess was more modern.
Here’s a snippetfrom the series where they were making this dish, I don’t know what it’s called, there’s steam everywhere, but it looks rather nice for a winter weather.
There’s even an anime spin-off of the show. It is very different from the series, rather dramatised and with more bizarre characters.
If you’d like to see for yourself more of what Korean food is about, do check it out. No harm trying. There’s always Mr. Eye-candy there.