Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chinese Noodles by Hakdong Station

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Excellent Fresh Roasted Coffee at Coffee D.N.A at Hanguk University of Foreign Studies

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Finally a big wheel for big kids

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Calories in Soju and other things I Know about Korea's Famous Swill

Just in case you were wondering, one bottle of Soju contains 540 calories. That's like 4 beers. So to put it in perspective, you would need to walk about two hours to exercise it off. (Walking two hours with a soju hangover is not an easy task.)

Soju originally was made from rice but whenever there were rice shortages, people were forbidden to make Soju. Alcohol producers the started to use sweet potatoes and tapioca to make an ethanol based alcohol. Overtime they doctored up the taste so it has a smooth, crisp taste that goes great with raw seafood and grilled meats.

The world drinks a lot of Soju. 61.38 Million cases of soju were produced in 2012 with Korea consuming about 2.75 billion bottles of Soju a year. You would think that everyone would be falling over drunk in Korea, but this is not the case. The alcohol is only about 17-19% so a bottle won't wreck you (but two or more might.)

Koreans judge how good of a drinker you are by the number of bottles of Soju you can consume.

Monday, July 27, 2015

How Beans and a Magic Pot Can Create so Much

This post is sponsored by Host.fieramilano.it. Host is a food and hospitality conference in Milano, Italy which will be held from October 23-27, 2015. I will be in attendance, hope to see you there.
Picture from Korea Tourism Organization

Koreans call beans, ‘Meat from the fields.’ A long time ago, meat was a luxury that commoners rarely had a chance to eat. So instead of meat, Koreans cultivated a wide variety of beans to supplement their diet. Beans such as black beans and peanuts were often used to make banchan or side-dishes, but others like wild kidney beans, white beans, and peas were added to rice. Red bean in a sweetened paste was used as a filling for rice cake desserts.

There is even a bit of notoriety about eating rice steamed with beans. If you suspect someone has spent some time in prison, you could subtly ask them, “how long did you eat beans and rice.” If they know what you are suggesting, they’ll tell you how long they were in prison. Also after being released from prison, the first meal would often be a block of white tofu in order to signify they will live a pure and innocent life from that moment after.

Now the most important bean in Korea is the soybean but in its regular form, it is nothing special and they are quite inedible. However, when the soybean is transformed using artisanal techniques and a special slab pottery pot called an Onngi. These clay, slab pottery pots can be made in various sizes that can hold from 500ml to 100 liters. The pots are the perfect vessels for fermenting food for it is waterproof yet porous for air due to the high proportion of sand in the clay. These pots are one of the most important elements in making soy sauce and bean paste that are two very important jangs, or fermented sauces, in Korea.

My baby has a bright idea

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I took this picture with a sunrise filter. She looks great doesn't she? She weighs 5.3kg! She was born a month early but now has caught up to the average baby weight.
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