We went out for lunch today, but we didn’t eat Shi-ya-boo Shiya-boo. It was simply a suggestion we all liked, but when we got to the restaurant, it was 20,000 a person which is about 20 American dollars a person, so we decided not to eat there. Every time I suggest going for shi-yaboo shiya-boo, there always seems a reason why we shouldn’t eat it, and today, the price was high because it was Sunday. I decided that even though we didn’t eat there again, I would tell you about shi-yaboo shi-yaboo.
To begin with, I have heard they eat it in more places than just Korea. I have heard that China and Japan eats it too. The first time I ate it, I told my Japanese son in law about it, and he told me that Japan and China eat it too. I asked him where it originated, and he said he thought it came from China. After that, it went into Japan, and as usual, the Japanese changed it a bit. Japanese have a knack for making things better. They begin with something good, copy it, and then improve on it, not just with food. They copied the American Atari game and came up with Nintendo, a better version. They took paper after China made it and not only began making paper too, but began origami. Recently, I have heard they took natto, fermented beans that they eat,and improved them so they don’t smell bad anymore. They took the Kit Kat candy bar and made a wonderful version with green tea. Japan just knows how to copy and improve. Anyway, they copied Shi-yaboo shiya-boo from China, and then improved it. After that, someone brought it from Japan to Korea, and the Koreans, from what I understand, eat it the same way the Japanese do.
This meal is cooked and eaten at the table. They have a big cooking pot on the table in front of you. There is a burner on the table. If there are two of you, you share the same cooking pot. In this picture, it looks like the big metal bowl with handles is the cooking bot. The meat is sliced into very, very thin pieces. You boil the water in the pot and put the meat into the boiling water with your chop sticks. It doesn’t take long, and the meat is ready to eat. On the side they have a dish of soy sauce and another dish of spicy sauce since this is Korea. They take a piece of boiled meat with their chop sticks out of the pot, dip it in the sauce, and eat it. After that, they put the vegetables in the same way. They share the cooking pot. You can see bean sprouts, mushrooms, and even leaves in the picture, and they are all boiled and eaten. I am not sure what kind of leaves they are. The Koreans eat lots of leaves as if they are lettuce, but a lot of times, I don’t know what they are giving me. They eat leaves we don’t eat in American or in Europe. There are also long noodles on a plate in the picture. They also do them like they do the meat and vegetables. If you look close, you can see slices of pumpkin. The pumpkin slices are on the bean sprouts. They put the pumpkin in last. After it has cooked a bit, the waitress takes the boiling pot away with the pumpkin in it. They mix the pumpkin and the broth from what you have been eating with rice and bring it back to you. It is delicious!
If you visit Korea sometime, it is worth trying this meal. The spicy sauce is optional, so you wont’ be having to eat something that hurts your stomach. The price is not always as high as what we saw today. At times, you can find it half that price. I went to a shiya-boo shiya-boo place with my brother when he came for a visit, and there was a whole bar like a salad bar where you could choose different kinds of meats and vegetables to put in your shiya-boo, shiyaboo. I used to go to a shi-yaboo shiya-boo with the other English professor from the university occasionally when the university sent us out to eat and the university paid for it. It is some really good food that Korea has to offer, so if you decide to visit Korea, try some.