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Thank you Korean food tour guests

I wanted to give a shoutout to all the wonderful guests I have had a chance to meet in Korea that have joined me and my team at O’ngo Food Communications (www.ongofood.com). Since 2011 we have done food tours (and my waistline has paid for it). In the past month we had had a chance to meet many families, individuals and groups to Korea. Thank you all! Our new Korean Pub Crawl is getting popular these days.
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Moogunji Kimchi: Aged, Sour Kimchi

There are over 130 different types of kimchi. Kimchi is a technique of fermenting and preserving vegetables instead of a particular dish. It can be made from almost every vegetable and it can also be made from fruit such as apples and pears. Actually, what we commonly refer to as kimchi- the red cabbage and red chili powder kimchi is actually the newest type of kimchi. The red chili powder was introduced around the year 1580 via the Portuguese Missionaries who were traveling through Asia. The original kimchi was made from boiling cabbage with beef stock. The problem with the original type of kimchi was shelf life. The introduction of red chili powder, garlic, ginger and shrimp sauce or fish sauce increased the preservation of kimchi and now it allowed kimchi to last for years instead of mere weeks. Because of this a new type of kimchi emerged: Moogunji Kimchi : aged, sour kimchi.

Moogunji Kimchi takes skill and patience to make. Just leaving kimchi in your fridge for a couple of months will not turn it into the pungent, strong kimchi that is excellent in stews and braises. Actually, it might turn it into alcohol. The cabbage for moogunji kimchi are heavily salted and stored in constant temperature without exposure to air. This process could take up to two years and some places will age them for over 3 years. The result is a flavor bomb kimchi that makes excellent kimchi stews and braises.

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The Avengers 2 Filming in Seoul!

Wow! I can’t believe this is actually happening in the city now! I had heard rumors about this in the past and I heard it was between Singapore, Hong Kong and Seoul. I heard each country made huge offers to cover much of the production costs of the film (remember the budget of these films are in the 200 million dollar range). Now while it is debatable that spending so much money to bump up tourism in Korea is questionable, I still think this will be an amazing event for Korea. I wonder if North Korea will be jealous and make a competing movie to promote the glory of the empire.

These photoshop mockup a have been making their rounds on the naver blogs. (Thanks wifey for sending them to me. )
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Gourmet 494: A Gourmet Microcosm

Last night I was with a friend that worked in the restaurant industry and he asked me to take him to a trendy place to eat. A microcosm of trendy eats in the city is Galleria’s Gourmet 494. Here you have many of Korea’s trendiest restaurants all in the same place. Here you can find Brooklyn Burger, Vatos, La Buzza, and more all at the same place. These days also have pop-up restaurants. Every time I go it is packed. Last night it took us 20 minutes to just find a seat.

My friend was very impressed about all the different restaurants there were and how Koreans had many different foods from different venues to share together.

We ordered food at Urban Knife which is a German-style restaurant with handmade sausages and roasts. It is one of the pop-up restaurants at Gourmet 494. We got a roast pork Schwein Haxen (25,000 won) which is a ham-like pork knuckle. The fat on this was crispy like pork rinds and the fat was molten. There was some meat on it which tasted like ham but you really had to dig around to find it. The homemade saurkraut was a decent effort but not sour enough for me. It was a solid German attempt. Next time though I think I would get the sausages.

We also got a pizza from La Buzza (18,900). Great pizza with tart sauce and good toppings.
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