2.294 Deep-Fried Mandu

-Cycle 2, Dinner 294-
26 (Wed) October 2011

Deep-Fried Mandu

* *

at Mandu Hyang (만두향)

-Sinsa, Seoul-

with Wife

This restaurant offered mandu (만두) steamed, boiled, or deep-fried. The name of the place means "dumpling (mandu) aroma (hyang)," which sounds marginally less strange in Korean. On the upside, the skins were hand-made, as appropriate at any self-respecting establishment proclaiming to specialize in mandu. Hand-made skins, in contrast to factory-made (see 2.278 Steamed Mandu), are denser and chewier and tastier. On the downside, the filling was somewhat bland, more tofu than meat and not enough seasoning, even for a someone who prefers the subtler style of North Korean mandu (see 2.201 Mandu Guk). And though the deep-frying added a nice crisp to the texture, the flavor of the oil was unpleasantly overpowering.

Then again, I may not have been in much a receptive frame of mind at the time, given that I was threatening my wife with grave bodily harm.

As announced ever so obliquely in yesterday's post, we are expecting our second child.

We visited the hospital this evening for a checkup and hopefully good news about the child's sex--in that order, I would've thought. The ultrasound initially showed the fetus crouched over to obfuscate a clear view of the crotch, prompting the mother and the doctor and the nurse together to poke at the tummy and beseech the little thing to spread its legs, all the while giggling giddy with anticipation like they were playing a goddamn peekaboo game. We saw glimpses of an ambiguous cylindrical shape, which at this early stage could've been a small penis or a large clitoris. "That doesn't sound good, either way," I remarked, in complete seriousness, unintentionally eliciting more giggles. After a few minutes, I asked, "How about pausing the fun for a moment and determining first whether the baby appears healthy?" Yes, thankfully, healthy. We then saw the scrotum, a sure sign, and realized that we would be having another boy.

With that, the festive mood suddenly turned funereal. The mother wailed in anguish, the doctor and the nurse consoling her as if the exam had revealed the kid to have tusks. "Noooooooooooo! It can't be! What am I to do? Woe is me! How can I go on?!?!" "Don't worry. It'll be all right. You can always have another." Another?!?! Could we please focus on this one for now?!?! What the fuck was the matter with all these people?!?!

I was disappointed myself but recovered real quick and settled into an anoesis of pure gratitude. While I'm not the most positive of people, I am a realist. We flipped a coin and didn't get the call. Alas. Fuck it. Let's be happy that he doesn't have tusks.

Over dinner, I got fed up with the wife, who kept whimpering and wondering aloud what she possibly could have done wrong to deserve such a miserable fate. I swore to her that I would strangle the breath out of her if she didn't shut the fuck up and rejoice.


  1. I don't mean to belittle her distress. But I giggled so hard reading this (couldn't laugh out loud bc David is sleeping on the next couch over) that I had tears in my eyes. More dragons and puppy towels for baby boy Hahm #2 from me I guess. I am very bummed for you guys but on the upside, all three Hahm boys can go checkling out hot women together in a couple years. I mean D is already so well trained!

  2. as i was writing the post, i wondered if the tone would come across as funny or dark. i was hoping for funny. i'm really really glad that you found it to be funny.

    i'd wanted a girl 100% but, now that i know otherwise, i'm 100% happy that it's a boy. maybe it's because we'll save loads of money on clothes and toys.

    not so sure about conditioning the boys to check out hot women, which had seemed amusing until a few days ago, when we caught D watching porn--PORN!!!! (granted soft core)--on cable tv early in the morning. he's 4, for crying out loud. oh man, the look that she gave me. and i had no defense. what's especially amusing/interesting/disturbing was D's reaction. i'll write about it in a post.

  3. this is pretty funny. Congratulations about the boy!

  4. yikes! he is no longer allowed to play with becca!!

  5. Congratulations on Baby #2!!! And... Why isn't porn blocked on your television?!?

  6. it's not so much that i failed to block the porn--it's that the wife ordered it without telling me. apparently, she got a call from the cable company offering her additional channels on a trial basis, and she said yes, thinking they were movie channels.

    i was like, "great, so i conditioned the kid to leer at women, and you supplied him with porn--we're awesome parents."