Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big Old Mailbag of Questions: Vegetarians, Cook Books, and Other Questions

Dear Seoul Eats Readers,

Thank you so much for sending me messages and questions and comments. They really make my day and I feel honored that you take the time to read my blog. I'm a social person, so I've used this blog as a platform for interacting with people. The theme this week seems to be: "Where can I go Eat?" I've had several people approach me about vegetarian cuisine in Seoul. Now before I start, feel free to contact me with your restaurant recommendations, tips, and questions about Korea. I'll try to answer them as soon as possible. My e-mail is seouleats at gmail dot com

Hello Daniel,

I read your blog and am a big fan. I have recently become very interested in Korean food and would love to learn more about it. I am based in New York City. Do you have any sugguestions of what I can do to learn more about the food and food culture? Are there any cook books you can recommend? I am Chinese and would not be able to read any books in Korean. Thank you.


Richard Chan 

Dear Richard,

If you are in New York, you have to check out Maangchi.  She has a great website that is chock full of recipes and videos on how to make Korean food. If you are looking for insight into Korean culture, I recommend Korea Unmasked by Won-bok Rhie. It's in a comic book format and very insightful. For food culture, I sorta recommend Korean Cuisine: A Cultural Journey by Chung Haekyung. The reason I only sorta recommend it is because, the grammatical errors and awkward wording might be off putting. It does have wonderful information about the culinary culture in Korea. Another cookbook that is great is Quick and Easy Korean Cooking by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee. Very easy to follow and well written. I hope that this is helpful.

Hey Daniel,

I really enjoy your blog and have discovered some great places in Seoul because of it.

I was wondering if you had some advice for me in terms of booking a really classy venue with excellent service/ambiance and more importantly, a delicious array of food, for a Korean mother's 60th day birthday?

Price is no object -- just need a place that will impress the eyes and tastebuds.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Dear Michael,

Poom Seoul on top of Namsan is great. The setting is beautiful and the food isn't too creative for a 60 year old Korean woman. Pilpyungjae is also great- but very old style. Yonsusan is Royal Court Cuisine and I think she would like that as well.

Also, you can't ever go wrong with any of the hotels. The Shilla Hotel will truly impress your mother in law just for the sheer opulence.

Jungshikdang is amazing as well- but I'm not sure if the food would match her palate (it's very creative cuisine).

Hi Daniel,
I saw your blog (love it) and thought you might be a good person to ask for advice. My wife and I are coming to Seoul next month, and she's a vegetarian (I eat anything). I'm looking for places where she could get Korean dishes without any meat or seafood - any recommendations? I saw your post from December '08 about vegetarians in Seoul, but wondering if you have any more tips. We're staying in Myeongdong, and Myeongdong Gyoja looks great (saw your video) - at a place like that would there be any dishes that are vegetarian, or would it be hard to ask them to leave out the meat/seafood?
Any help would be appreciated.
Dear Adam, 
You have to check out the website It has a lot of great information on restaurants in Seoul. Here's a another post on vegetarian friendly restaurants.  The Loving Hut is another wonderful place to eat.
Finally, here is a big list on vegetarian restaurants in Seoul:

Hello Daniel,
I am a chef from vancouver BC and have just arrived in Seoul and was wondering if there is anywhere to find butcher twine. I have looked in most big stores (Homeplus, Emart) to no avail wondering if you have any suggestions to find it. I am willing to go anywhere in Seoul to get it. 
Hwan-il Park
Dear Hwan-il Park,

This is a website selling food product and  butcher twine., its only in Korean.