Showing posts from November, 2008

Seoul Eats will be on the 101.3 eFM radio station in Seoul

I'll be writing for this radio station and I'll have a couple guest spots on food. I'll let you know when I'll be on. Dan Seoul to launch first English-language radio station next month SEOUL, Nov 15, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) -- The Seoul metropolitan government will launch its first English-language radio station next month, city officials said Friday. The station, called TBS eFM and broadcast at 101.3 FM starting Dec. 1, will be run by sister network TBS and air daily English-only programming, according to the officials. It will broadcast 20 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Programming will consist of up-to-the-minute news on current affairs and traffic conditions, as well as Korean popular culture and in-depth commentary.

Seoul Tourist Tips: Confusing Subway Transfers.

There is a new menu bar on top of my blog in blue. I am going to add a new living section to my blog so this will have tips on how to survive and get around in Korea. Click on it anytime for helpful tips on getting around on buses, subways, visas, medical care, etc. I'm writing a lot of this stuff for 101.3FM the new English radio station, so I figure I should put it out there for people to read. Dan Seoul Tourist Tips: Confusing Subway Transfers. By Dan Gray Today I want to talk to you about confusing subway transfers. Seoul has eight different subways that are designated by color and by number. Overall, getting from point A to point B is pretty easy and clear. But some of the lines can be a bit bewildering. Let’s talk a bit about transfers. Most of the times it’s pretty cut and dry about where to transfer and what direction you should go. Every time you hear classical music or a bird chirping, you know it is a transfer point. For those unfamiliar to the subway, it can get confusi

CLOSED: Ola! Mario Italian Restaurant in Itaewon

This restaurant has closed I was a little hesitant to go to Ola! Mario because the name suggests fake Italian. Plus the red just makes me think Super Mario Brothers. I am happy to admit that the red facade is a sham for the wonders beneath it. The interior is beautiful. It's dark but stylishly dark. It is the perfect place for a date. The service is very upscale and pleasant. The concierge, Mi-gyeong was very helpful and her English was great. I went through my usual drill through the menu to see how well they know it and all. My brave friend Kelly of Seoulstyle and I decided to break from the norm. We did dessert first and it was a brilliant way to start our meal. The desserts were luscious and precocious. I mean where else can you get Ginseng ice cream topped with candied wings. The ginseng wasn't over powering and it the worked...sorta. I mean the icecream was more a icemilk. I did enjoy the flavor. The cheesecake was a dream. I mean it was so light and fl

Want pie? Can't get pie?

Pie is good. We like pie. Piiiieeeee. As you’ve probably noticed, there is a lack of pie in Korea. Fear not friends, there are some alternatives. Want pumpkin pie but can’t get hold of any before tomorrow (American Thanksgiving)? Want to impress your other Expat friends at a pot-luck Thanksgiving get together? If you have a toaster oven then you can make these pumpkin pie wontons instead. To make 16 of these little treats, you’ll need: * 1 cup canned pumpkin * 2 tablespoons maple syrup (can substitute honey in a pinch) * 3 tablespoons brown sugar * 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see recipe for pumpkin pie spice below) * 16 packaged wonton (mandu) wrappers * granulated sugar, for dusting * ground cinnamon, for dusting * cooking spray (you can use oil or butter on a paper towel, or use a pastry brush) Recipe: 1. Preheat oven to about 204 degrees C. 2. Mix pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. 3. Place one wonton wrapper flat on work surface. 4. Spoon 1 T

Nanowrimo Award!


I win. Nanowrimo has been defeated. My final Word count 50043

I didn't know if I could do it and I honestly wanted to throw in the towel but I kept going. This month I have kept up my writing duties at Eloquence Magazine, my blog, my radio writing job, and wrote an awful novel. It's not my best work, but I typed 50043 words using my trusty iBook G4. I was worried that my 4 year old computer was going to give up on me, but it kept on trucking (sorry, but I have to resort to cliches because my brain is...fried.) I have to give a shout out to my peeps. Carol, thank you so much for being my inspiration. You go girl! We should all congrat Carol on the kickass new job that she got. I would also like give give a giant Whazzup to my writing buddy, Matt. He was the rock I could lean on because his consistent effort kept me squeezing the wine out of my mind grapes. I also wanna send a What, What to my parents and my family without them I wouldn't have had the material to write about. Whoa...sorry. haha. I'm absolutely delirious right now.

Hongdae Restaurant Recommendations

Anyone have a couple restaurant recommendation in Hongdae? I want to something cool and hip, but the only places I can think of are bars. I was thinking Penang, but it's not that great. It's ok. Bab is the best Korean restaurant in the area. I've been to 75015 already and the Indian restaurant on the street is awful. I've already reviewed Aa Design Museum and I was thinking of staying away from Galbi Restaurants. Also, if anyone wants to help me with a food review of Hongdae, please contact me at Thanks, Dan

Er, what's that in my tea?

Recently I came across this tea at school. It's one of the teas available to drink in our teacher room. I did a double take when I read the label. Green tea with cassiae semen? *cough* SEMEN. Ok. I’m really not sure how that got translated as semen originally, but 결명 (Kyong mul) is a “grain”. Often grains such as barley, corn, and brown rice are added to green tea. . Usually they offer an extra health benefit. According to Wikipedia , this one is a laxative, benefits your eyes, and so on. So if you’re constipated and have bad eyes, I guess this is the tea for you. As long as you don’t mind drinking semen. According the first link, next to the picture, “cassiae semen” is interchangable with ripe cassiae seeds (you can also read about more specific heath benefits if you follow that link…). The seeds are boiled and then roasted before being used in teas. So how does it taste? Well, the roasted seeds add a nutty flavor to the otherwise standard green tea taste. No pun intended. One la

The Great Philadelphia Hotdog Launcher

This is hilarious! Here's what had to say. Hot dog maker Hatfield constructed a hot dog launcher with the help of the Philly Phanatic, famous weirdo mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies, for use during Phillies games. And now, in a fit of boredom and comedic inspiration, they've released a "documentary" detailing the making of the launcher. It's absolutely hilarious, and I'm not saying that just because I'm Gizmodo's token Pennsylvanian.

Thanksgiving in Seoul 2008 Roundup

Grand Hilton Hotel Thanksgiving Day Special Longing for a traditional Thanksgiving Day Dinner with stuffed turkey and gravy? You won’t miss out this year with the authentic Thanksgiving spreads on offer at our Buffet Restaurant and Atrium Café. Our chefs have prepared a buffet with all the trimmings from herb stuffing and mashed potatoes to pumpkin pie and holiday bread pudding. * Date : November 27th * Venue : Atrium Café & Buffet Restaurant * Atrium Café Price : 3 courses KW 41,000 / 4 courses KW 51,000 (exclusive of tax and service charge) * Buffet Price : Lunch KW 42,000 / Weekend KW45,000 / Dinner KW52,000 Thanksgiving wine dinner buffet KW 62,000 (inclusive of tax and service charge) * Alpine deli will be offering Thanksgiving Turkeys from November 16th to 27th Price : KW165,000 ~ 195,000 For more information or reservations, please call at Atrium Café 02-2287-8270 or at Buffet Restaurant 02-2287-8271. SUJI'S ITAEWON, SEOUL, KOREA - THANKSGIVING TURKEY BUFFET S

I am looking for an Intern

Ideally, I'm looking for a bright hyperactive college student that is food crazy and technology savvy. If any of you have students that would like to work in media and (I know this sounds so cliched) learn English, please ask them to contact me. Here's a listing that I posted on Facebook. I am looking for an intern for my media company. If you ever wanted to start off your career as a writer then this would be a great opportunity. I am looking for a motivated, smart, and creative person to assist me in my various media projects. I started off as a freelance food writer for Eloquence: a local Seoul Expat magazine. Since then I have been mentioned in the New York Times, The Joong Ahn Ilbo,, and numerous other places in the web and local media. This year I'll be on two American TV shows (Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie). I am also a regular writer for the Korean Tourism and Promotions site ( and I will be


SUJI'S ITAEWON, SEOUL, KOREA - THANKSGIVING TURKEY BUFFET On November 27th Suji’s will be offering a traditional American turkey buffet. There will be two sittings at: 6:00 RESERVATIONS \50,000 (Tax included) DOORS \55,000 8:30 RESERVATIONS \50,000 (Tax included) DOORS \55,000 BUFFET MENU *Herb turkey/Southwest spicy turkey *Herb stuffing/Corn bread sausage stuffing *Herb gravy/Spicy gravy *Sautéed vegetables/Mashed potatoes *Homemade cranberry sauce *Pumpkin pie (A glass of house wine included) We politely ask customers for the 6:00 PM seating to complete their dinners by 8:10 PM to accommodate the 8:30 PM dinner seating. To make reservations, please call 02-797-3698

Clothing and Household Items Donation Drive

From November 17th to the 28th the Itaewon/Hannam and Ichon Global Village Centers will be collecting clothing and various household items to donate to the Yongsan-gu Beautiful Store. As it is now getting quite cold and the Christmas season is fast approaching this is a good time of year to donate to the less-fortunate. The Beautiful Store is a non-profit organization that collects high quality used clothing and household items and then sells them at VERY affordable prices for those families that might otherwise have difficulty purchasing the things they need. So, if you have any extra clothing or household items that you are no longer using please bring them in to the center so that we can make a big donation to them. Once all the items have been collected and sent in, there will be a special event held at the Yongsan Beautiful Store during which all the items will be on sale. This special sale event will take place on Friday, December 12th and we also need volunteers to help out on t

Bruce Lee plays Ping Pong with FREAKING NUNCHUCKS


Believe it or not, using our planets resources is a way to ensure a healthy planet. Point and case: The wild salmon. In short, eat the wild salmon, save the wild salmon. By eating farm-raised fish, consumers are saying that it is all right to ignore the natural habitats of the fish in the Pacific NW, thus leading to habitat degredation. There has been an ongoing push to get legislators to take steps to protect wild salmon habitats. By eating the wild variety, consumers will curb the demand for farm-raised fish providing a boost to the local fishing economies of the Pacific NW. It’s an interesting twist. Killing is saving, but reality is. Another example: Cows. If the cow was not such a beloved staple in the American diet, do you think there would be any cows? Of course, as with anything, restraint is necessary. Ab use is the problem, but respectful use is perhaps the answer. I haven't posted in a while, but if you remem

Every Second Sunday Book Release Party

Hey Everyone, The Seoul Writers Workshop presents the "Every Second Sunday" book launch party at Dear Chocolate in Apgujeong. It'll be on December 6th from 7-10-00pm. The first 150 guests get champagne from Veuve Clicquot (sponsored by John Walker and Wine, cheese, chocolate, finger foods and more will be served. The proceeds will benefit the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center and Cost is 35000w at the door, or 30000w if you prepay. Each guest will receive a signed copy of the book. Email for prepay instructions, or call 010-8877-6742. Here is a direct link to the Facebook Event Listing I hope to see you all there! Dan

Kimjang: A Special Kimchi Making Event

“Kimjang” is a kimchi making event where kimchi is made in preparation for winter. In the past, kimchi was the only vegetable that many families could eat during the coldest 3-4 months. As you probably know, kimchi is the ubiquitous food in Korean cuisine. It is served with every Korean meal and many Koreans won't consider a meal complete unless it has kimchi. Kimchi is a very labor-intensive food to make so many neighbors would divide up the different parts of the kimchi making process and then make a huge batch for the entire village. This event, kimjang, was a way to survive the harsh winters, build ties with neighbors, and an important social event that embraced the idea of “pumasi”: the Korean spirit of helping each other. These days few people make their own kimchi. Many people will order it from kimchi companies and then have it delivered. However, this is impossible for the less fortunate in Korea so every year many organizations will organize Kimjangs and donate the kimchi

Kimjang Comic


More Pictures from the Kimchi Festival


It's Kim Jang! Making 50,000 heads of Kimchi for charity

Today is the start of Kimjang which is the kimchi making festival for charity. As you probably know, kimchi is the ubiquitous food in Korea. It is served with every Korean meal and there are those that won't consider a meal complete if it doesn't have kimchi and rice. Paul Hussey and the Seoul Global center organized a group of people to go to the festival to participate in making kimchi. This year the organizers decided to make 50,000 heads of kimchi. 50,000 heads of KIMCHI! To do this required a tremendous amount of organization and fortitude. First of all, it was cold. As soon as I got into the cab, the taxi driver told me it is was minus 7 degrees celcius today. The day before it was minus 5. The cold, unforgiving Korean winter came on Sunday -only 3 days ago- and it looks like it's going to stay. When we got to the festival we were asked to put on plastic smocks, cloth gloves, pink rubber gloves, and a hair net. Then we sat down before piles of red vegetables. It was f

Kimchi Macaroni and Cheese

If you have some leftover Kraft's Macaroni and Cheese I recommend you make Kimchi Macaroni and Cheese. It's a simple dish that is really delicious. First saute some kimchi in a pan with oil. The kimchi should be cup up into thin slices. Then add your already cooked macaroni and cheese mixture. Leftovers out of the refridgerator work the best because they won't get overcooked. Mix up everything and then top with some crushed sesame seed, some roasted seaweed laver, fresh lettuce, and some shredded cheese. Serve with a side of kimchi. It's delicious! Dan

Food Expo at the COEX

Anybody interested in going to the Food Expo with me on Sunday? Dan

I love Big Bang Theory

I know it doesn't have anything to do with food, but you have to watch this show. It is completely nerdy and I love the characters. This week the episode had a new version of rock-paper-scissors called Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.You know the sign for Spock and lizard is pretty easy to figure out (pinch together your fingers to your thumb). It's a hilarious new game and I LOVE the rules. Try playing this game with your friends^^ Dan Rules for Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock 1. Scissors cuts Paper 2. Paper covers Rock 3. Rock crushes Lizard 4. Lizard poisons Spock 5. Spock smashes Scissors 6. Scissors decapitates Lizard 7. Lizard eats Paper 8. Paper disproves Spock 9. Spock vaporizes Rock 10. Rock crushes Scissors Here are some of my favorite lines from the show. "I believe the appropriate metaphor here involves a river of excrement and a Native American water vessel without any means of propulsion." --Sheldon "You're gonna have to play outside! I'm

A Korean Boy SINGS Mariah Carey's "TOUCH MY BODY"

When my friend showed me this, I almost peed myself. I just love how he is so serious. Oh, and I love that he's recording this in a studio. He would make Mariah proud. Here is the original if you'd like to compare. It has one of my favorite comics, Kenneth from 30 Rock.

Koreatown in Tokyo: Shin-Okubo Snapshots

I still haven't gotten used to the fact that the Korean restaurants here charge you for your kimchi and side dishes... But if any of you happen to be in Tokyo and want a little taste of Korea, Shin-Okubo's (JR East line, one stop from Shinjuku) one of the places to go! Cheri