Instant Seolleongtang (Korean Ox Bone Soup)
Who would have thought that an instant noodle dish could taste as good as the original (okay, it helped that I was pretty hungry). But on this day my skeptical palette persuaded me that even though it was instant and took less than 15 minutes to make, it did taste pretty good. The dish is called seolleongtang (ox bone soup), which in its original form is a soup that takes hours and hours to make (at least 6 hours). The ox bones and other not-so-popular parts of a cow are slowly simmered to create a milky-white and healthy broth that is truly one of a kind. It is usually served with thin noodles called somyeon, different cuts of meat (brisket is a common one), and a good supply of chopped green onions. If you eat this in a restaurant, the soup will probably be served in a large stainless steel bowl with coarse salt, pepper, and chopped green onions nearby so that customers add at their own preference. Also, you will probably find a very popular type of kimchi called kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi) that really goes well with this soup. We will definitely make the real thing when the weather gets cooler. Getting back to the instant version, the broth itself was a tad salty but very unique and tasty despite only taking 15 minutes to make. It didn't compare to the original, but I must say that we will continue to buy this instant version for the few times we do eat instant ramen noodles.