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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Market Day

After encountering totally bare cupboards on Sunday, a trip to the market was immediately necessary.

Look at everything I got for under 10,000 won ($8.21) total! A massive bunch of bananas, 17 tomatoes (each basket is priced separately so you have to buy the entire thing), red and yellow peppers, carrots, kidney beans and seaweed.

Most of the time, I like shopping at the market. It's interesting to see how people react to a waegook their midst and usually people go out of their way to be helpful. Plus it's fun to interact with different vendors and compare produce from stand-to-stand.

The downside is not really being able to ask questions or bargain but it's alright in the long run. Every stand sells basically the exact same products so the only variation is price. There is one type of apple, one type of tomato, etc. Kind of boring but at least it keeps things easy.

Adding fresh market veggies helped make this Nueva Cocina soup from Sunday into very tasty leftovers -- how good does this lunch look?!

After adding some water to thin it out, I threw in yellow and red sweet peppers and a tomato. Is there any possible negative effect from eating too many tomatoes? I'm trying to eat as many as possible before they all go bad!

One item I couldn't figure out what to do with -- and ultimately tossed -- was this seaweed. The market was out of spinach -- as in, it was nowhere to be seen and even the grocery store had none -- so I figured seaweed was a super-healthy green alternative. After all, it's a superfood! I assumed this would be easy to throw into pasta or soup to add some greens.

Ummm... no. Maybe I didn't cook or clean it properly (likely), but the contents are completely coated in salt. Okay, fine, seaweed is salty. But wee're talking an inch thick all the way around. I rinsed it and got all visible traces of the white stuff off, threw it in the toaster oven with some tomatoes (again!) and peppers and the result?

Still disgustingly salty. It even gave a salty flavor to the other veggies in the pan.

I don't get it. Sometimes as a side dish, seaweed is way too salty for my tastes but other times, it tastes great and not salty at all, like in my favorite Korean dish, bibimbap.

What am I doing wrong?

Speaking of doing something wrong.... Should I being taking a B12 supplement? From everything I've read online, B12 sounds like a necessary vitamin supplement for vegans but not vegetarians.

According to The Vegetarian Society, B12 is found primarily in meat, eggs and dairy products. I only eat eggs rarely and dairy a few times a week. In the long run, a B12 deficiency can lead anemia or even neurological disorder so the question is:

Do I need to add B12 to my diet?


  1. that meal does look amazing! i remember the frustrations of not being able to negotiate prices at markets, but it always felt wonderful to take part in the culture nonetheless.

  2. To answer your vitamin question, I think you'd be good if you just took a multi. I don't know that you need to specifically target B12, but you'd get it in a multi vitamin with everything else.