It has been two years since I returned to South Korea. Although I haven’t seen all the places yet, I tried to travel around the country as much as possible. So far, my favourite part of the peninsula is definitely the east coast. Last year, I have done two long-distance bike trips along the east coast and those were my favourite traveling memory in Korea. The newly constructed bike path along the coast is well maintained and easy to follow. Even a novice rider like myself could undoubtedly carry a cycle in the cargo of an intercity bus bound to sun-rising east sea.
On our second day of riding from Sokcho to Gangneung, we stopped over at a small port village called Susan Port (수산항). Just like most other port towns across Korea, the coast of Susan was also lined with restaurants with tanks of live sea creatures up front. After all the calories we burnt from riding, our engines were screaming for some protein and carbs.
The fresh squid was pulled out from the tank and sliced in thin strips. It’s served with two kinds of dipping sauce–chilly paste dip and soy sauce with wasabi–along with lettuce wraps and other side veggies. I am an adventurous eater and I’m always eager to try raw seafood. The squid sashimi was hands down one of the best raw food I have ever had. Once you start to chew, you can immediately feel the unique texture. Slimy but not mushy and still has a bite to it like al dente pasta.
I love squid in every way. Back in Canada, I used to have fried calamari with beer at least once a week. Grilled or steamed is also good with traditional spicy chilly sauce or with modern mayo dip. In Korea, dried squid is a common sidekick when drinking beer. They’re also main in seafood hot pots and stir fries. But above all, I had to select the raw squid sashimi (sliced in the right thickness and length) as the best way to enjoy the freshness of ten-legged sea creature to the max.
The east coast bike trip was the memorable one not just because of the food (although the food played the big part). The view of the ocean as you ride into the sea breeze is the most amazing sight. I intend to complete the rest of the bike path on east coast this year. Next up: northbound from Sokcho to Unification Observatory.