How Korean make Kimchi in home?-Part 1 Shopping

Kimchi is one of the essential food for Korean and people eat it at nearly every meal. Now many Korean buy the packed Kimchi product but still lots of Korean families make Kimchi in a home. Today I will introduce about what I went shopping today for buying Kimchi making ingredients.

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This is the packed Kimchi. Making Kimchi is a hard work that many people buy packed Kimchi instead making it.

Kimjang(김장) is the traditional process of preparing cabbages for fermentation into Kimchi. Usually, cabbage for Kimchi is most delicious in November that Korean usually do the Kimjang between the end of the November and early December. My family planned to do the Kimjang in next Monday(Dec. 5th) that me and my mom went the big market for buying the ingredients.

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In above picture, it says ‘Kimjang vegetable collection'(김장채소 모음전). Currently, it is the Kimjang season in Korea that the market I went today made the new sell section only for selling the Kimjang ingredient.

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There are many kinds of Kimchi but broadly it is divided into cabbage kimchi and radish Kimchi. My mom decided to make the radish Kimchi which is called Kkakdugi(깍두기) in Korean that we bought the radish.

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It is my cart for Gimjang shopping. It got full of the radish and other Kimjang ingredients.

For making the Kimchi, first the cabbage needs to be salted. But it needs a lot of effort to put the salt in every cabbage leaf as you can see in below that many Korean buy the cabbage which is already salted.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-6-23-43-pm Continue reading

Korean Street Food eating Habit-Bunsik part 2

I introduced in Bunsik part 1, how much Korean love eating street food with dipping the food in the sauce. Today I will introduce another Korean eating habit and good combination menu to order in Bunsik restaurant.

1. Crush a boiled egg in Ttobokki(떡볶이)

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Normally one or two boiled eggs are in Ttobokki. Some Korean like to crush a egg in Ttobokki and eat with the sauce.

2. Frying powder in Odeng-tang(오뎅탕/Fish cake soup) or in Tteok-bokki soup(국물 떡볶이)

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The left one is fish cake soup with frying powder, and right one is Ttobokki with frying powder.

3. Completely mix rice balls(Ju-Mok-Bap/주먹밥) in Tobokki

Some Korean who really love sauce even put the rice balls into the Ttobokki sauce and eat after mix.

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Right one is the picture rice balls mixed with Ttobokki sauce.

Some Korean Bunsik restaurant made new menu which already foods are dipped in Ttobokki sauce. I think this is because they found Korean like sauce.

The new menu with sauce is:

1. Fried food with Ttobokki sauce.

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This dish already has the sauce in it that people no need to additionally order Ttobokki for the sauce.

2. Fried rice with Ttobokki sauce.

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Thanks for reading. 🙂

Korean Street Food eating Habit-Bunsik part 1

Bunsik(분식) literally means “food made from flour” like Ramyeon, noodles, bread, but currently all the cheap food which sells in Bunsik restaurant are all include, such as Tteok-Bokki(떡볶이), Gimbap(김밥), Sundae(순대), Fish cake(어묵).

“Dip the food into the Sauce” is a typical Korean eating habit which you could easily see in Korea.

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This picture eating cucumber and pepper with red pepper paste(Gochujang).

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This is onion eating with chunjang(Back soybean). Many Korean eat like this in Korean Chinese restaurant.

Today I will introduce how Korean love eating street food with sauce. Korean use Ttokbokki or Rabokki’s soup for the souse and some people dipping almost all the food when eating.

1. Gimbap(김밥) in Ttokbokki

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2. Korean spring rolls in seaweed(Gimmari-김말이) in Ttokbokki(떡볶이)

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3. Sundae(순대) in Ttokbokki(떡볶이)

Sundae(순대) is originally made by steaming cow or pig’s intestines that are stuffed with various ingredients. It is similar with Sausages as it originally also made by stuffing an animal’s internal organs into its intestines.

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4. Chicken in Ttobokki

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5. Rice balls in Ttokbokki

Rice balls are traditional Korean and Japanese food. Not all but quite a lot of Korean Bunsik(분식) restaurant also have rice balls.

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6. Fried food in Ttokbokki

Normally there are various kinds of fired food in Korean Bunsik restaurants;veggies fried, squid fried, perilla leaves fried, pepper fried, shrimp fried, sweet potato fried…etc.

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Type of the fired food doesn’t matter. Many Korean prefer eating fried food after dipping in Ttokbokki sauce.

7. Odeng(fish cake) with Ttokbokki

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In next time I will introduce another Korean Bunsik eating habit.

Thanks for reading.:)

Cheong-gye-san mountain hiking story

Cheong-gye-san(청계산) mountain is extended from Seoul to Gyeonggi-do(경기도), and it is one of the popular mountains which many Korean visit. After the Cheonggyesan station opened on 2011, going to the Cheong-gye-san got more convenient. I hiked the Cheong-gye-san(청계산) mountains in weekend as it is easy to go the mountain if I take new Shinbundang Line.

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Take the gate 3 exit and walk through the road, you could see the Wonteogol(원터골) passageway. I’ve walked the below course which is about 1.86miles(3km) and it took about 1hr 30min. The Maebong peak is 1911ft(582.5m).

“Wonteogol Entrance->Wonteogol Yaksuteo(mineral spring)->Kkalttakgogae Ridge->Heliport->Maebong Peak.” If you like to know more about the Cheong-gye-san’s course click here.

If you keep walking you could find the Cheong-gye-san mountain’s entrance. The weather was good and it was weekend that I could see lots of people were hiking the mountain. If you hike the 청계산 you could see many huge rocks.

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One of the rock which you can see in below is called Door rock(돌문바위) as the rock has a open space like a opened door.

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In above picture’s sign it says ‘Receive the vital force of Mt. Cheong-gye'(청계산의 정기를 듬뿍 받아가세요). I could see many people are walking around the rock.

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This is just before the top of the mountain. The view was awesome and I could see the Jamsil-dong with lotte building.

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The road just before the top of the mountain is quite steep.

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This is the top of the mountain.

Thanks for reading.:)

Why Korean put cash into the pig mouth?

Last winter, I went to a Han River, riding a bicycle and saw the new opened water skiing shop. The first thing I saw in the shop was a pork head with cash in its mouth.

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In Korea, many people do the ritual blessing ceremony called Gosa when they are launching its own business, starting a business-related project and moving a new house. It contains many of the typical shamanist features, such as various food and alcohol offerings, burning incense, bowing, and especially the central place of a pig’s head offering. You can see the Korea opening ritual ceremony in below video.

Visitors stick cash what they prepared into the pig mouth or nose or ear. Then they kneel down and bow to the table. The big reason people put cash into the pig is pigs are a symbol of good luck and fortune in Korea.

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1. Pig has similar pronunciation with Money in Korean

Roughly more than 60% of the Korean vocabulary came from Chinese and Pig(돼지) word is in this case too. Pig(돼지) is written as 豚 Chinese character and it pronounces ‘Don’(돈) which is same pronunciation with Money(돈) in Korean.

2. Pigs symbol the fertility

Pig usually gives birth to about 10 piglets at once and one pig could give over 100 piglets for 5 years. Because of this reason pigs have been signed the fecundity and luck in Korea for a long time.

So people believe the pigs will help in thriving a business and that’s why they put cash into the pig. However, normally people prefer to stick the cash in pig’s mouth and even some people never stick it in pig nose or ear. They believe if you stick the cash in pig’s nose, the pig could not breath and will die. And if you stick the cash in pig’s ear, the pig could not hear when you make a wish. Meanwhile, the pig will bring money when you stick the cash in pig’s mouth.

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Good luck dreams

Also dreaming of a pig is interpreted as being extremely fortunate as the animal is symbol of good luck, wealth, and fortune in Korean culture. So many Korean buy lottery after the day they had a pig dream and believe it or not few people said they won the lottery which they bought after they had a pig dream.

Thanks for reading.:)

What does the North Korea leader drinks for a Hangover

You might have heard Kim il-song is the North Korea’s first supreme leader. Current North Korea’s leader is Kim jung-un, and his grandfather is Kim il-song. Today I will introduce about North Korea’s ‘Kim il-song hangover drink’ which leaders drank.

After many North Korean defectors came to South Korea, we could have more info. about North Korea and some TV programs started broadcasting the North Korea’s life and culture. “Kim il-song hangover drink”(김일성 해장차) was also broadcasted in South Korea cable channel.

There is Live Long Lab in North Korea just for the North Korea leader health care, and this lab regularly made hangover drink to Kim il-song and Kim il-song.

1. Potato peel tea

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The North Korea leaders usually had the potato peel tea in the morning after drinking. Gardenia seeds are included only in above Potato peel tea and you could check the above and below picture’s Potato peel tea has different color.

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The way of making it is first dry the potato peel which is washed. If you use a microwave, you can dry the peel more easily. And then fry the potato peel in a pan. After that there are two ways of making a tea. First way is just boil the dried peel with water. Second way is grind the peel into powder and put it in warm water.

2. Burdock, Milk Vetch Root tea

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Burdock and Milk vetch root are common oriental medicine ingredient. North Korea leaders also had this tea in the morning after drinking. The way of making ‘Burdock, milk vetch root tea’ is similar with Potato peel tea. First dry the ingredients and then boil the water with dried burdock and milk vetch root.

In South Korea we have different kinds of hangover food and drink. In fact, even I lived my whole life in South Korea, I’ve never heard these kinds of North Korea’s hangover drinks before.

Next time I will introduce South Korea’s hangover food.

Thanks for reading.:)

5 Homemade Korean Dishes with Cheese

Cheese is not traditional Korean food ingredient and came in after the Korean war(1950-1953). Currently many people are eating cheese in Korean dishes.

Today I will introduce 5 Korean foods which people usually adding cheese.

1. Cheese Ramen

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You can check Cheese Ramen recipe in here.

2. Korean Rolled Cheese Egg Omelette(Gyeran Mari in Korean)

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You can check original Korean rolled omelette recipe in here.

3. Cheese Kimchi Fried Rice

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You can check the recipe in here.

4. Cheese Rice

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Just after cooked.

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After the rice is mixed.

You can check the cheese rice video recipe in here.

5. Cheese Kimbap(Korean Cheese Sushi Roll)

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You can check the Cheese Kimbap recipe in here.

There will be more Korean foods which Korean add cheese, except these 5 Korean dishes. If there are other foods you know, please leave a comment.:)

7 Types of Korean Jjamppong

Jjamppong is popular Korean spicy noodle soup with all kinds of ingredients mixed in. There are many Korean Chinese restaurant in Korea sell both Jjamppong and Jajangmyeon. Did you know that there are 6 different types of Jjamppong as there are 7 types of Korean Jajangmyeon? Today I will introduce 6 types of Jjamppong.

1. Original Jjamppong(짬뽕)

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General Jjamppong uses seasonal vegetables and seafood such as squid, clam and mussel with red pepper powder to taste spicy. Current Korean Jjamppong is red and hot, but until 1970’s normal Korean Jjamppong colored watery and gray. There were many Korean who liked spicy taste and they requested Korean Chinese restaurant to make a spicy Jjamppong. After that both not spicy and spicy Jjamppong were existed for a while, but later people called the Jjamppong only the spicy ones. Usually both Jjamppong and Jajangmyeon noodle is same and uses diverse seafood and veggies for ingredient.

2. Gul-Jjamppong(굴짬뽕)

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Gul means oyster in Korean. Gul Jjamppong has light and cool taste as it uses the white soup instead of red pepper powder. It seems not spicy but has chilli for Gul Jjamppong’s ingredient that it tastes little spicy.

3. Samsun Jjampong(삼선짬뽕)

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Samsun means three kinds of miraculous powers; first came from heaven(usually Pheasant Meat), Second came from land(usually Songi-mushroom which is one type of Korean mushroom), and third came from sea(usually sea cucumber). Samsun Jjampong has these three ingredients in additional comparing the normal Jjampong. However, Songi-mushroom is expensive that many Korean Chinese restaurant additionally use seafood such as squid, oyster, sea cucumber, clam…etc. instead of Songi-muchroom(송이버섯). Samsun Jjampong is expensive than normal Jjampong as it uses more ingredients and Samsun Jjampong soup is spicy as normal Jjampong.

4. Nagasaki Jjamppong(나가사키 짬뽕)

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This is Japanese Nagasaki Jjamppong. Soup is not spicy and uses chicken and the bone of the pork for the meat broth. It is popular for Japan’s Nagasaki local dish and more similar with Korean Udon noodle which is served in Korea Chinese restaurant.

5. Bibim Jjamppong(비빔짬뽕)

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The below picture is the one after I mixed the sauce and the noodles well with chopsticks.

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Bibim means ‘mixed’ in Korean. Bibim word is also used in Bibim-bop(비빔밥) which is served as a bowl of rice topped with divers vegetables and egg. If Bibim is in Korean food vocabulary, you can assume those food does not have soup.

The ingredient of Bibim Jjamppong is same with Jjamppong and the only difference is in whether has soup or not. Normally Bibim Jjamppong is more spicy than normal Jjamppong. However Bibim Jjamppong is only served in few Korean Chinese restaurant that I also didn’t see the restaurant where it sells Bibim Jjamppong.

6. Jjamppong Bop(짬뽕밥)

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Bop(밥) means rice in Korean. Jjamppong Bop does not has normal noodle. It has little glass noodles(made of sweet potato starch gel) instead of normal noodle(made of flour) in a soup. Also rice is served separately or within the Jjamppong soup.

7.Pepper Jjamppong(고추짬뽕)

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Pepper Jjamppong is the most lately created food. The founder said he got an idea from people eating Jajangmyeon with adding dried red pepper in it. Statistically Korean people usually eat more spicy food in economic depression and Korea economy was in IMF crisis(financial crises) in late 1990s. The founder wanted to cheer the people so made new pepper Jjamppong. It uses Cheongyang red pepper which is the most spicy type of pepper in Korean pepper.

Thanks for reading.:)

Why March 3 is Samgyeopsal Day in Korea?

Samgyeopsal is thick and fatty slices of pork belly meat which is a popular Korean dish. March 3rd is Samgyeopsal Day in Korea in every year and it started in 2003. This is because the word “Sam” in Samgyeopsal has similar pronunciation with 3(Sam in Korean) and March 3rd has two 3.

You can check how to pronounce Numbers in Korean in here.

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There are few origins about the Samgyeopsal day starts and the two reasons are most persuasive.

1. To promote the consumption

Early 2000s foot-and-mouth disease occurred in Korea and spread in the country rapidly. 12 percent of the entire domestic pig were slaughtered to ensure the disease would not spread further. After that, the Korea livestock association started March 3rd as the Samgyeopsal day to promote the pork consumption.

2. One call from the elementary student

One of the elementary student called the Korea Federation of Livestock Cooperatives and said “March 3rd(3월 3일 pronounce Sam woul Sam il in Korean) is similar with Samgyeopsal and eating samgyeopsal in 3/3 will be more delicious! Let’s make March 3rd as the Samgyeopsal day”. Then the livestock employee posted this idea in internet and the responses were good that it started.

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I’m not sure which origin is true, but it is obvious that Samgyeopsal day promoted the Samgyeopsal consumption. Statistically in Korea Samgyeopsal is sold 3~5 times more than other days in Samgyeopsal Day and also many big supermarkets(e-mart, Lotte mart, Homeplus) are doing discount event in March 3rd.

Thanks for reading.:)

Busan trip-Does Korean eat live octopus?

Second day in Busan I went to the Korean sea food restaurant. Before the Sashimi which is the main dish, many sea food side dishes were served.

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Until now I received the question “Does Korean eat live octopus?” quite often from foreigners. In my case sometimes I eat live octopus only when I have chance to eat. I could eat because there is very little food that I could not eat including foreign food.:) I don’t enjoy eating live octopus that much. Also in this time, I ordered Sashimi for the main dish and live octopus was served as one of the side dishes.

Today I will honestly say my thought why some Korean enjoy eating octopus and what is an attractive taste for some Korean even the moving could seem gross.

1.Live octopus is chewy.

I think Korean like chewy food then other people. Korean frequently eat Korean rice cake(떡) and there are diverse Korean cuisine which has the rice cake(떡) for the ingredient such as Tteok-guk(떡국),Tteok-bok-ki(떡볶이), Chap-ssal-tteok(찹살떡)…etc. Live octopus is also chewy that this is the taste what many Korean enjoy.

2.Octopus is Good for health

In live octopus there are many good ingredients such as protein, iron, vitamin…etc. and it also has stamina that it could help to find refreshment for body. Accordingly some people eat live octopus to boost up energy.
But, live octopus and the cooked octopus Korean food such as octopus soup(낙지연포탕) has same effect for health that if you don’t like live octopus you can try different Korean octopus food.


This is Octopus soup(낙지연포탕) cooking video.

3.Korean enjoy the combination of live octopus and the sauce taste

When I see in internet how foreigners try eating live octopus, many of them eat it itself without any sauce and say it is not tasty… I will introduce how Korean eat live octopus and which taste Korean enjoy.

In Korean food SAUCE is really important. Many famous Korean restaurant has their special sauce method and this is a big reason why they got popular. It also applies in live octopus. 99% of Korean eat live octopus after dipping it in a sauce. We don’t eat itself. General Korean live octopus sauce is Sesame oil with crushed garlic or Red chilli-pepper or Ssam-jang.

BUT! If you have chance to eat live octopus, please be careful when eating it. They move even it be cut and if you swallow not sliced octopus which is not totally chewed, they could move to your airway. Until now few people died in each year while eating the live octopus and block. If you would like to try the live octopus, I recommend to eat the one which were cut in small pieces to avoid the danger.

Thanks for reading.:)