Showing posts from June, 2008

More information on Mung Bean Sprouts

First, a bit of clarification. By bean sprouts I am referring to mung bean sprouts, the distinctive plump silver sprouts with two yellowish "horns" at one end and a scraggly tail that come from the sprouted seeds of the mung bean plant. The Chinese have been growing mung bean sprouts (nga choy or nga choi) for approximately 3,000 years. However, the popularity of bean sprouts in the west is a more recent phenomenon. Many of us first got turned on to sprouts during the health conscious seventies, when we began piling them onto green salads or in tofu burgers. And why not? Not only are bean sprouts high in protein, vitamin C and Folacin, but they are a dieter's dream. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup of bean sprouts contains a mere twenty-six calories. They are low in salicylate, a naturally occurring chemical in plants that some individuals have difficulty tolerating. (Aspirin is acetyl salicylic acid). In Chinese medicine bean sprouts are

Omakasi: You can get good sushi in Seoul

Finding a decent sushi restaurant in Seoul is like trying to find a dog that's a vegetarian. The reality for me has been the tuna is usually frozen or thawing; selection is limited to cooked shrimp or octopus; and, if I am able to get raw sushi, the flesh of the various fish has been marred by improper knives and technique. You would think I would be able to at least get a decent sushi roll in the land of kimbap, but often these rolls are splattered in a mayonnaise as if a migration of pigeons flew over my plate. So, I had given up on my search for passable sushi and learned to appreciate Korean Hwae (raw fish that is usually a mix of different white fish such as flounder) and sang nakchi (live octopus^^). Then I got a call. My friend Hana, who has a refined palate, called me up to excitedly tell me that she had just found THE sushi restaurant. Of course I was a bit skeptical, but she spoke as if she was a heralding in the new age and so my curiosity was definitel

July: What's happening in the Seoul Food Scene

July 1st- July 5th You are invited to Mobile Food. Artists Dirk Studio (van Lieshout) and Ron Saunders have been working together to create a show that is site specific and flexible; about looking at Korea and reacting to Korea; and about movement and unexpected events. Dirk Studio, originally from Holland ( is an Artist in Resident at the SSamzie Space and has shown in Los Angeles, Turkey and Israel. Ron Saunders, from the United States, ( is a former Kunstdoc Artist in Residence and has shown in both New York and Los Angeles. This will be his seventh show in Seoul. The opening night will hold a number of mobile events that you will not want to miss. Opening July 1st 6-8pm. Until Aug. 31: The Ritz Bar at Ritz-Carlton Seoul presents a happy hour for business professionals. It features liquor and side dishes nightly. During happy hour, red wine, white wine and beer is available. Side dishes include smoked salmon, gri

Nam Po Myun Oak: Classic Korean Naengmyeon and Bin Dae Dduk: Mung Bean Pancakes

Ok. So I have to do an article on Nam Po Myun Oak and I decided that I should do a little research on bin-dae-dduck and I came across this very good story on how it's like to make these crispy mung bean pancakes. First of all, I think the name needs to change, because when I think Mung, I think...I don't know, something negative and mushy and not something I'd want to taste. Maybe crispy bean pancakes? I personally like the Indian form of the word, Moong. It has a serene sound to it.The beans are very healthy and full of vitamins and protein. The most common use of these are in bean sprouts and they are full of vitamin C. Anyway, the taste of the beans are very subtle. They are a tad bitter but with a complex green flavor that pair well with the clean naengmyeon broth. I first went to Nam Po Myun Oak back in January and when I had the Naengmyeong, it was legendary. When I first had the cold noodle soup; it was winter, but the soup was strangely warming. Now that it is fin

I'm in the mood for Naengmyeon

Today I'm going to Nampomyeonok with my friend Ji-Hyun to get some Naengmyeon and Mung Bean Pancakes. Aza! hmmm...if anyone is around Eujiro 1-ga exit 1 at 11:30ish feel free to join us. This place has excellent naengmyeong. It's strange, but I've found that all the good naengmyeon places are up above the Han River. The broth here is slightly acidic and yet wholesome beef broth that is refreshing. I remember drinking the broth and it felt nurturing. Every cell in my body seemed revitalized. And the noodles. The noodles, noodles, noodles. The noodles are al dente and with a lot of zip. They swim like spawning salmon that travel upstream into your mouth. They are exceptional. I am reviewing this place today, so I need to go and eat and think and eat and think and eat and then maybe eat some more. Oh...and eventually I should write it up. Yay, food!

Breakfast and Lunch

A day in my life revolves around good food. This was a day of food I had a while back. My day started out with a "Egg, White, and Blue" pancakes. These are super fluffy because they have just a teeny bit of flour, blueberries, and yogurt and then fold egg whites into the batter. The air pockets in the egg whites make these super fluffy. I served these with sausages from Chef Meili's Deli. Lunch we have a Reuben Sandwich on sourdough bread. I got the bread, cheese, meat, and sauerkraut from Chef Meili's deli. Not a bad day huh? Hubble liked it^^

"Keep Hoping" Sandwich

"Hope was Here" by Joan Bauer is one of my favorite young adult books. In the book is a great recipe for a sandwich I have to make. Author Joan Bauer can't wait to get to Saginaw and actually sink her teeth into one of the "Keep Hoping" sandwiches she concocted in her mind in her award-winning book "Hope Was Here." It consists of layers of smoked turkey, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and chopped salad greens with red wine vinaigrette on a sour-dough roll." I'm going to get the ingredients to make this sandwich today and make it for people at my work. I'll post pictures soon. Dan

I'm looking for a bi-lingual photographer that loves food

So with my new writing gig and an couple other food writing projects in mind, I am in need of a novice photographer that can speak Korean and English. In the next couple of months I'll be checking out at least 1 Korean restaurant a week. Also, I write for Eloquence Magazine so there will western restaurants as well. The goal of this project is to promote Korean food and the Korean food scene around the world. I need a photographer that has their own equipment (a DSR camera), that has some experience photographing food, can speak Korean and English (It doesn't have to be perfect English), and has a big appetite. Oh, web experience would be a plus. I know it's a tall order, but I'm sure there is someone up to the task. In compensation I can offer you lots of good food, me (for English practice), and my contacts (I know some people^^). You will get credit for your photographs. You will get them published on Seoul tourism websites and on Plus, (tentatively) a

New Writing Gig

I will be writing food articles for the city of Seoul starting this week. You can check out the website here . AZA! So what that means is that I get to go to many restaurants around Seoul to seek out and promote delicious, sumptuous, amazing, mind boggling, Korean food. AZA! Sounds like the perfect gig for me. So...that also means that I need to share the wealth. I'm going to need people interested in checking out some of these restaurants with me. Anybody interested? Dan

A week in food

First we have Chansu guksu which is a vermicelli noodle soup served in a melchi broth (I think it's melchi, melchi is anchovy). I got it in Jeongja, Bundang. Next we have pork cutlets stuffed with cherries and Camembert cheese. It was one of my failed culinary creations. It's something I'm going to have to work on. I need to puree the cherries next time and add some sugar and lemon to make them tangy. I also need to use brie instead. Lunch at Ho Lee Chow. It's American style Chinese food. Greasy and overpriced. We ate a ton of food and were hungry 2 hours later. I don't know what it is about American Chinese food that does that. Mangosteen Xylitol. They make gum out of Mangosteen and the taste is not half bad. I wouldn't go so far to say it tastes exactly like Mangosteen but it's different and refreshing. And finally, grilled meat at 6,7,8 in Jeongja. The food was damn good. The meat was pretty high grade pork. Yummy. You may commence drooling. Dan

The Frugal Traveler is in Rome

I'm so jealous^^ Go Matt Go! Check out his adventures here. Dan

Blog call

Here are some cool blogs that I'm checking out these days.

Hard Rock Cafe Seoul First Impressions

The Hard Rock Cafe in Seoul is what it is. It's big, it's loud and it's glittery. I went there for my friend Colette's going away party. The atmosphere is ritzy, the food is comparable, and the band. Well, the band sounded like a group of people that decided to do karaoke on a stage to the dismay of all the onlookers. I'm not going to rag on the band too much, because they were forced to play the Hard Rock Cafe mainstay of oldies but goodies like Sweet Home Alabama, Hey Joe, and other forgettable hits. I would have preferred that they played originals, or at least songs in their repertoire. I got the Hard Rock Burger and the meat was flavorful and juicy. I had no problem with the patty, the cheese was a tad waxy. It should have been of higher quality since the burger like 18,000 won. The fries were good and so was the slaw. The roll was crap. A burger bun should have some density. This was like puffed wheat painted to look like bread. It quickly became a sponge for

Call me crazy, but I think this is hilarious

Blast from the past. People getting punched before eating. This could be a great way to diet. By the way, you have to see Hot Rod! It's the funniest movie that I have seen in a long time. It's just goofy-don't think about it- funny. Dan

Papaya Salad


Where the Hell is Matt...Thanks Cheryl

I needed something to get me going this morning and I found it in the form of a dancing world traveling lunatic. I had seen his previous videos, but his new one is the best and I love the music. Thanks Seoulberry for the link. And here are some outtakes. (It's not smart to dance on top of a rock wedged between 2 other rocks that hovers over a 1000 feet drop.)

Have you seen Chef Meili's Deli

Outstanding. Good Meats=Good Eats. Now you can make the best sandwiches. Dan

Best Mexican Food in Korea according to

After spending the past month profiling the best Mexican food in Korea, it’s time to make some distinctions. It’s too hard to come out and say ‘XYZ’ is best, simply because there are so many things to consider, of which importance varies depending on the patron. So it’s easier to break into some subgroups. We should add that not all Mexican restaurants were profiled in the blog, this past month, however, we have all known Mexican restaurants listed (with directions) on our wiki. Lastly, it should be noted that all of these restaurants might not feature a full Mexican menu, but as long as they have multiple Mexican items, then they’d be included (ie., this is why we’ve included The Holy Grill in our reviews, whereas family restaurants that have quesadillas and nachos on a broad menu might not make the cut.). Best Taco Choi’s Tacos Best Burrito Dos Tacos Best Nachos The Holy Grill Best Margarita (tie) The Holy Grill On The Border Click here for the rest of the winners.

Wanna make Mandu? Here's a Mandu Class for ya!

I love Mandu. If you want to learn how to make it, go here. It's too bad that I have to work. Dan Experience Seoul 2008 - 2nd edition "Cooking Class : Mandu (Dumplings)" □ Date & Time : June 30, 2008 10:00am - 1:00pm □ Place : Rinnai Korea Cooking Class (Linai Bd. 3 floor, 515-1, Changceon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul) □ Participants : Foreign residents □ Admission Fee : Free of charge □ The event will take place even if it rains. □ Participants should be over 8 years old. Seoul Global Center will hold "a cooking class featuring mandu" as the 2nd edition of Experience Seoul. The menu will be Jjin Mandu (Steamed Dumpling) & Ddeok Mandu Guk (Rice cake & Mandu Soup). ○ Mandu (Dumplings) Mandu typically consists of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling rapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the dges together or by crimping. It is called vegetable mandu, meat mandu or kimchi mandu based on the ingredients inside an

RE: Restaurant Recommendations in Seoul

I'm going to have to do this sorta quick because I am supposed to be at work soon. Seoulberry recently asked me for some restaurant recommendations so here we go. Traditional Korean: Sanchon. It's in Insadong and it's Buddhist Temple food. I love the Goso-namul. Here's the info. Address: 14 Gwanghun Dong, Jongno Gu Insadong Website: 735 0312 Keungiwajip is also quite good. I love the atmosphere. This palace style food with many panchon. The pickled crab is amazing. Address : 122-3, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 722-3799 Daejanggum near Posco. Here's my review of the place. Sariwon in Gangnam for Bulgogi Hongdae has a place called Hongik Supul Galbi. It has fine meat in a working class atmosphere. Go outside exit 4 and make a left at the second intersection. Walk about 2 blocks and you'll see it across the street. Gaon- upscale Korean fusion. I love the Jokbal Kimchi Chiggae. They have some special entrees that you have to order a day or two i

Poker Fundraiser for Adoptees!

I wish I could go, but I have to work :( Go for me and win me a prize. Welcome to the first Poker Fundraiser for a local adoptee organization! I plan on hosting four fundraisers a year, each benefiting a local adoptee organization here in Seoul. I'm starting with GOA'L because frankly they need the money and through GOA'L I have come to know so many other fellow adoptees here in Korea and abroad. This is my way of giving back to the organizations that have helped me during my stay here in Korea and I hope that you will all join me in saying "Thank You" by joining this fundraiser and showing your support. For those of you who may not know what GOA'L is or does, please read below. Introduction of GOA'L Established in 1998 by adoptees, Global Overseas Adoptees' Link (G.O.A.'L – ) has been providing services and support to the overseas adoptee community for over 10 years. Through G.O.A.'L's birth family search assistance,

Lemon Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

I'm thinking of making Buckwheat Pancakes on Sunday. I'm just doing preliminary research right now and here's what I found. This is a blog called Tea & Cookies and has a great recipe for Buckwheat pancakes. It's also an awesome blog. Here's a basic recipe. BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES Printed from COOKS.COM 1 lg. egg 1 1/4 c. buttermilk 3 tbsp. butter, melt 1/2 c. flour 1/3 c. buckwheat flour 3/4 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt Whisk egg, buttermilk and butter until blended. Combine flours, soda and salt; add to egg mix. Make pancakes. Makes 12 pancakes. Here's a delicious recipe by Patty. Almond Buckwheat Pancakes. Here's a recipe for one with red bean paste. These just look amazing. I guess I'm going to have to make some buttermilk. So now that I've done some research I think I'll be able to put something together. I'm into cherries these days so I am going to make some "Buckcherry Pancakes." Also, Mandarin oranges would look good, so I&

Seoul Eats Comic 2

Heres where to get BBQ in Seoul! Dan

Your cure for the Mondays

This is hilarious! Take a look see. Dan

Eat Cherries

They are so good. Sure, they are a bit expensive (7-9,000 won) but they are in season. I even got a weird mutant cherry in my mix. I think it's trying to be a seedless cherry. I would make a pastry or a tart with the cherry, but I don't have a pitter so it's hard to get the seed out. I think it would be awesome to make a cherry stuffed chicken with brie cheese. What do you think? Too experimental?


Decent steaks outside of Suji in Bundang. There is a lake that has many restaurants surrounding it. We went there for my friend's birthday. There are two Olas there: Ola and Ola 2. The steaks were not top grade, but there was a lot of it. The mash potatoes and the bread that came with it were awesome. The wine was a 1998 Chateau Lassegue, and it was a soft bodied velvety wine with hints of tart strawberry and currants. It was quite outstanding and not an awful deal at 70,000 a bottle. Dan

Octopus Sundae

Fooled you! Sun-dae or spelled Soondae is a pork blood sausage that is stuffed with sweet potato noodles and typically served with steamed liver and other innards. It's not as bad as it sounds. It's actually pretty good. Anyway, I went to a restaurant in Gangnam yesterday with my Korean class (I'll get you the name of the place and location soon). The food was alright. They try various healthy fusion techniques on Korean food. This octopus sun-dae was one of the more exciting offerings. Now I've had stuffed Jokbal (pig's feet); this was the first time to have octopus. It was stuffed with a flour, vegetable mix with a bit of sweet potato noodle. I found that the flavor really didn't work and the texture (the overly chewy exterior with the mushy soft interior) wasn't very pleasant. It was a good idea overall. I'll give the chef marks for that.

The ugliest lamp ever.

Take a look see. Dan

Costco: Or how to become a popular establishment in Korea

I'm getting back to my regular blogging self. After coming off the fast, I had not really been into food. Shocking huh? Anyway, I've gotta a backlog of stuff I want to post on. Also I just got a new computer (an's totally awesome!) so I'm transitioning from my old computer to new. Anyway, on with the blog Koreans love service. Costco has a cafeteria and it is always packed wall to wall with people eating huge slices of pizza and porn star hotdogs. And every table has a huge plate of vinegared onions. I am not talking a little dollop of onions to put on the hotdog, no, no, no. I mean a huge plate, a mountain of onions-possibly two or three onions worth. I've seen many a paper plate buckle under the weight of alliums. Anyway, my belief is that this is the main draw for people to eat at Costco. Without the onions people would just go to Outback and get loaves and loaves of brown bread. I feel that many Koreans equate service with generosity and generosity wit

I lasted five days on the Master Cleanse

I am a failure. But to be honest, it did a world of good. First of all, I lost about 2 kilos (approximately 6 pounds) on my fast. Also, it made me reduce my cravings at night. I haven't had a late night snack in ages. I think overall, it simply got me over my food addiction and just gave me more control. Oh, I also learned to listen to my body. After the first day, I was a bit sick because I didn't ease my stomach back into eating. I don't think a lemon poppyseed muffin with lemon sugar glaze (thanks Carol) is the best transition. Also, beef (bulgogi) is not kind to an empty stomach. In the days after my fast, I would purposely and unconsciously stay away from foods that I knew would have a negative impact on my body. Since the end of my fast I have rarely consumed caffeine and my cigarette cravings have been lessened. My goal this week is to give up smoking altogether. I mean I'm not addicted, but I do have 2 cigarettes a day. And I will do the master cleanse again. I

Cakehouse Wein is now Open

The restaurant where the bakeoff was held is officially open, but I wouldn't recommend going there for a couple of weeks. It's still trying to find it's footing in Itaewon. I think it's going to be a great place to have lunch and brunch. The pizzas are also pretty good there. I a friend of the manager there, so I'll probably be over there quite a bit. Who knows, I might even do some cooking there. Dan

Dishwashing Championship for Wii

This is just too funny!

The Coffee Prince

Coffee prince 6-2 Uploaded by wsofia The Coffee Prince is Korean Drama that I'm currently obsessed with. It's about a rich playboy that is forced by his grandmother to work for a living. His grandmother buys him a coffee shop that he must make successful. He's got a ragtag team of employees: the ajossi, Hong, who has an amazing gift for coffee but no people skills, a Japanese/Korean Waffle Maker with a hidden past: No Sun ki; a Gorilla dimwit: Hwang Min Yeop; and Go Eun Chan: a girl that pretends to be a boy in order to keep her job at the coffee shop but is secretly in love with the playboy (and the playboy is in love her her/him) but can't admit to the love because either he is gay (which Go Eun Chan can't accept) or he actually knows that he is a she. Complicated eh? Just watch it. You'll love it. Dan

The Master Cleanse

I am officially on Day 4 of the Master Cleanse and I'm doing all right. I'm not tired and I'm not hungry. Well...I'm craving food, but not hungry for food. Strangely, I'm craving bread. I don't know why, because most of the times I stay away from it. I had a major craving for creamy pumpkin soup today. Meat: not so much. I think it's the whole mad cow scare. I'd really like a nice piece of watermelon and cheese. YES! Give me lots of cheese. I want Gouda, cheddar, and feta. I want bleu cheese crumbled over crisp iceberg lettuce drizzled with a reduced balsamic dressing. Hmmm...I'm starting to make myself hungry. I better make myself a Master Cleanse Lemonade. Alright, back to work. Oh, that's the other thing. I thought I would have no energy and wouldn't be able to work at all, but that hasn't been a problem at all. I seem to be able to focus better than normal and I can concentrate more on tasks. It's really funny now that I think abo

Vegetarian Restaurants in Seoul

Here is a great post I found about Vegetarian Restaurants in Seoul I have been to New Start and I really like it. It's a vegetarian buffet style, so you get to eat as much as you like and the food is very healthy. I have also been to Sanchon and it is, by far, one of the best vegetarian restaurants I have been to. They have the best panchon and the atmosphere is very zen. Maybe in 7 days, I head over there.^^ Happy Eating! Dan

Believe it! The Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Stanley Cup

It's all about Fleury right now. When a goalie is hot, he cannot be beaten. Ryan Malone is my new hero and so is Petr Sykora.

My Dinner Party on Sunday

I had people over on Sunday for a dinner party. I made a Rosemary Tomato Bruschetta and served it with baguette as an appetizer. I then made a watermelon salad with lime juice and salt. The main course was a roasted salmon with a mango salsa and served with a rosemary onion couscous. I know I should have done a better job plating the salmon, but I was rushed for time. Oh, and I had my sous chef, Noah help me out. Thanks Noah! Happy Eating! Dan

Watermelon Salad

I made a watermelon salad on Sunday. Actually, I made 3. The first one I made had a yogurt dressing. I felt the yogurt didn't add much so I nixed that. The second one (the one pictured) had a red wine vinegarette, Parmesan cheese, and ground cashews. I made one in the even for a dinner party I was hosting and that one had only lime juice, salt, red onions, and yellow peppers. The general consensus seems to be that the lime juice and salt was the most refreshing of the 3 dressings and it really brought out the flavor of the watermelon instead of simply masking it.

Tahini Recipe

I'm going to be adventurous and make some Tahini and other food today. Here's a simple recipe I found for Tahini. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying it at the foreign mart in Itaewon. Tahini is a Middle Eastern pantry essential. It is the foundation for amny Middle Eastern recipes like hummus and baba ghanoush. Tahini can be prepared homemade or purchased at a Middle Eastern grocer in a can. It is called tahini or tahina, depending on the region. INGREDIENTS: * 5 cups sesame seeds * 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 350. Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes, shaking the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes. Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency. Yield: 4 cups Storing Tahini Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed contain

Should I do the Master Cleanse?

Or is it even possible for me to do the Master Cleanse. I think it's possible and I really like the challenge. The only concern I have is about my energy level. I don't want to be tired in front of my students. My social engagements are also another issue for me. Oh, for those who don't know, the Master Cleanse is a 10 fast where you only drink a mixture of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and water. This fast is supposed to remove toxins from the body. You can find out more about it here. I really feel that I need to do something to change my lifestyle. I haven't been kind to myself in awhile. Too much food, too much wine and not enough exercise. I feel like I need to take a big step now. Alright. It's decided. I'm going to do the Master Cleanse. This is day one. I have only had watermelon juice for breakfast and now I am going to make the cayenne pepper lemonade drink and I'm not going to eat anything today. I'm not going to be able to go the w

Hey Jude sung by a Korean Baby

Need I say more?

Vegetarian Restaurants in Seoul

Many of you might not know this, but I was a vegetarian for 2 years. This was mainly during college and I had to quit because I was cooking in restaurants where I had to taste the food. Anyway, these days, I'm seriously considering going back to it especially with all the food born illnesses these days. A word of warning during the summer months in Seoul. Never, ever eat the street food. Many people have warned me about it in the past and I chose to ignore them and, consequently, I got violently sick last summer. Hmmm...I think it might have to do with the lack of refrigeration. Anyway, I am on day two of my fast. I have official been without solid food for 24 hours. I know that my next post is going to announce that I'm going on the diet, but the truth is I started it the day previous. I didn't know if I could last the day, so my plan was to delete my announcement post to save face. So I am starting Day 2. My goal was only 3 days but it is recommended that I should fast fo