Showing posts from July, 2010

Raspberry Shaved Ice and BBQ Bossam

Man oh man, it has been a busy week. Our company is finishing up our move to our new fifty person studio in Insadong after a month of reconstruction. I will post pictures of the place soon. I am in love with the area, because I am right down the street from Changdeokgung. After working all day my staff and I had dinner at BBQ Bossam right down the street. This place specializes in slowly roasted pork belly. It was so good. After dinner, I took a walk into the hanok village (Korean traditional Houses) and I found a wonderful raspberry shaved ice cafe. It is was very simple: shaved ice, raspberries, and raspberry juice- red beans on the side. It also came with a piece of corn! The cafe, Margot, was attached to a Buddhist monastery and they were kind enough to give me a tour if their facilities. I wondered a bit longer into alleys near Insadong and I was surprises to find a new tent restaurant mall. This place had like 20 small snack vendors in a newly constr

Food For Thought: The Linguistics of Korean Food

In Korea, it’s not just what you say that gets attention. It’s also what you eat (and then say in between chews).  Most languages become linguistically altered by important culture features. And Korea is no exception. Such Korean alterations, however, have appeared with a focus towards food. A common greeting among Koreans translates to, “Have you eaten rice?” Such phrases show the importance of providing food for others during times when it was not readily available. Until the last half century, Korea did not enjoy the luxury of food stability. According to author Su  Yon Pak, ongoing conflicts against neighboring countries, Japanese colonialism, and the Korean War created a substantial burden for Koreans that affected food supply.  Even now, North Korea still suffers from hunger problems.  Life and food thus become fused  together. According to linguist John Newman, the verb for eating (mok), is also many times interchanged with the verb for living (sal). For example, it is com

Oh Korea, How funny you can be^^

Here are some random, funny pics of Korea. Booby Band Notice that they spelled it right on the logo, but not on the cover. Pak Ji-sun Kimbap! Hmmm...If he and Kim Yuna got married, they could buy Korea with all the endorsement money they recieve. It's a paradox! It's a cool Melon bread that I found in the fridge that is also hot!

Now Hiring: Korean Food Teacher

At the end of August, our current Chef Shawn Park will be leaving us to go to Australia to do some filming for a TV show, so our company is in search of another chef to join our company. The information is below. If you know anyone that's an experienced chef (preferably Korean or an F-2 or F-4 visa holder) please refer them to us. In the next week, we'll be moving to our new studio in Insadong. We'll be able to run regular classes throughout the week in Japanese and in English. Thanks, Dan O'ngo Food Communications (, a culinary education and consulting company in Seoul is looking to hire a Chef that specializes in Korean cuisine. Ideally the candidate should be able to speak English and Korean and have experience in cooking Korean Cuisine. The candidate should be well spoken and look professional. Those who can speak Japanese would be highly regarded for this position. The chef/teacher will oversee our new 50 person cooking studio in Insado

Dan Can Cook: Salmon with Mango Sauce

Salmon with Mango Sauce These days language exchange class with my Korean friend turns into...hmmm...let's learn how to cook delicious food. In our last meeting, I made curried Singapore Noodles with vegetables and I made Roasted Salmon with a Mango Sauce over Broccoli. It was a great lunch and very simple to make. For the mango sauce, I took one bottle of mango juice and cooked it down a bit and added a corn starch slurry to thicken it, and finished it with a bit of butter. That reminds me, I should eat more Salmon... Singapore Noodles

How Confucius ate

As I look at my burgeoning belly, I think it might be time to start a diet. Through my search, I came across this interesting article on Confucius's Rules for eating. I think it's something we can all learn from. Dan Rules of Confucius about his food. 1. He did not dislike to have his rice finely cleaned, nor to have his mince meat cut quite small. 2. He did not eat rice which had been injured by heat or damp and turned sour, nor fish or flesh which was gone. He did not eat what was discolored, or what was of a bad flavor, nor anything which was ill-cooked, or was not in season. 3. He did not eat meat which was not cut properly, nor what was served without its proper sauce. 4. Though there might be a large quantity of meat, he would not allow what he took to exceed the due proportion for the rice. It was only in wine that he laid down no limit for himself, but he did not allow himself to be confused by it. 5. He did not partake of wine and dried meat bought in the mark

Muy Bien: Quite Possibly the Best Cheesecake in Seoul

It's down from Hapjeong Station Exit 5 towards Hondae Seoul, Mapo-gu Seogyo-dong 402-3bonji 1st floor 02-332-1046

Take a Vietnamese Cooking Class at the Park Hyatt

The nice people over at the Park Hyatt in Gangnam recently sent me this invite to Vietnamese cooking class they are holding on August 25th. You'll get to learn true Vietnamese food from a world class chef, Chef Le Huu Tu. It will be from 3-5pm and it costs 90,000 won per person. You can taste Chef Le Huu Tu cuisine at the Park Hyatt Seoul from August 19th to 28th. The brochure is below. Note: The Park Hyatt Seoul is located near Samseong Station.

Food Matters Film Screening on August 11th

Mary-Jane Liddicoat of Healthy Homes Asia has organized a viewing of movie Food Matters on August 11th at Suji's Restaurant. During the event there will be snacks and refreshments made from a variety of different Super Foods. After the viewing, there will be a open forum discussion on how to eat healthy in Asia. More details on the event and video is below and I hope you can make it! I'll be there. Dan

Food for Thought: Why eating organic in Korea may prevent cancer

Going organic isn't easy, but it's steadily growing in Korea. So far, the Korean government has certified over 32,000 Korean farmers as organic and environmentally friendly. Not only is the green movement growing, but its gaining more publicity and approval. This month, the Korea Organic Farming Association (KOFA) hosted its 9th Annual Seoul International Organic and Natural Products Show. Additionally, the government has been known to make public service announcements, which tell consumers to eat organic. Such actions have propelled Korea into a well-being movement the last decade. More and more Koreans exercise, especially in the form of hiking and yoga. Additionally, Koreans are trying to eat healthier, which for many mean eating organic. Outside of this trend, the most prominent reason Koreans- and other residents of Korea- should eat organic has to do with large amount of pesticides used in produce. According to the Korean Organic Farmers Association, Sout

Tuna Kimbap

This picture looked so scrumptious that I just had to share it with you. Tuna with egg, blanched carrots, celery, pickles, enclosed in rice. Yummy.

Seoul Eats: Have a Layover in Incheon Airport? What can you do.

Seoul Eats: Have a Layover in Incheon Airport? What can you do. Take a Korean Restaurant Tour or Cooking Class

Volunteering at a Korean Halfway House

Once a month, I try to volunteer at a halfway house for Korean kids. We go there and cook lunch for the kids, help clean the building, and play with the kids. It's a very rewarding day and something I look forward to doing. This venture is organized by my friend Hoya and she is a fabulous cook that always comes up with very inThere are many volunteer organizations in Seoul and I recommend that you get involved.

Black Chicken on Samgyetang Day at Korea Samgyetang Restaurant

Whole Fried Chicken Yesterday (July 19th), was Cho-bok 초복: the hottest day of summer. On this day it is customary to eat Samgyetang (Chicken and Ginseng Soup.) During this time, you'll find most Samgyetang restaurants packed. Koreans eat this dish because it is supposed to relieve fatigue from the blaring hot sun. It might do that, I don't know. What I do know is that I love eating this dish because it's like a mini Thanksgiving Dinner with chicken soup. It's a mutant fusion dish like my favorite submarine sandwich from Delaware: the Bobbie. This is a sandwich with pulled turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mayonnaise and tons of black pepper. This dish is like that because it has a whole young chicken stuffed with Asian stuffing (rice, chestnuts, ginseng, and ginko) and Asian cranberry (jujube). There are three days of Cho-bok (the 3 hottest days of summer). The next one will be on July 29th (according to Chinese Calendar) and the last cho-bok will be on August 8t

Three Rounds of Drinking on a Saturday Night

After living in Korea for 5 years, I think my liver has gotten stronger. On Saturday Night, I met some new friends and we decided to get to know each other better over drinks. We first went to Ong Haeya in Hyehwa. Cute place, but almost impossible to find in the dark corners of Hyehwa (Go out Hyehwa station exit 1 and cross the street and then head down the alley before Coffee Gurunaru actually just say 옹헤야 오디예요?). Spacious and new, this place has decent food. It's spicy and the jeon (savory pancakes) were big. I liked their bossam (but they didn't serve it with brined kimchi) and I also liked the binddaetteok (mung bean pancakes). It's not like the most amazing place, but it is passable and the service made up for the above average food. At 옹헤야, we had Scorched Rice Wine (누룽지 막얼리). Good stuff, or I thought it was. A person having it for the first time described it as "funky". For round two we went for dried snacks and cola-soju bombs

Heaps of Green Tea Ice Cream

This weekend, I was out with a few friends that really wanted to have patbingsu: the shaved ice dessert. I decided to take them to Neal's Yard 19th. Here they have a heaping pile of green tea ice cream with shaved ice and red beans. Just don't have a coffee with it or you'll get the jitters from caffeine overdose. Dan

Dolls flying in Jeonju

It's in a cute little doll shop down from Veteran Calguksu near the Hanok Village in Jeonju. Dan

The Greatest Egg Sandwich Ever

Toasted wheat bread with a dash of warmed butter on each slice, egg yolk dripping, topped with sprouts. Simplicity at it's best. yum.

Lunch at Edward Kwon's

Chicken Frittatta Mushroom Veloute Food Close-up People ask me where I often like to go eat and I have to say that I go to Edward Kwon's Eddy's Cafe quite frequently. Service is always friendly, the food is not too expensive, and the quality is top notch. Here is a Chicken Frittatta and a Mushroom Velote soup I had at my last visit. Eddy's Cafe Shinsaegae Department Store in the basement Express Bus Terminal (Subway Line 3).

Night Dining Tour Brochure


Feeling Tired? Eat Black Chicken!

Seriously, this is no joke. Last week I went to Kuryeo Samgyetang (chicken and ginseng soup) for black chicken samgyetang. You might be asking yourself, what are black chicken? Well, they are a special breed of chicken whose skin and bones are black. How they get that way, I don't know. Anyway, after eating the chicken last week, i went on 3 consecutive late night drinking sprees and I didn't miss a beat. I didn't get tired or hungover during that time. Was it the chicken? That was what I have been trying to figure out. I mean, I have believed the whole medicinal food thing that many Koreans believe. Also, many of the foods that Koreans say "restore fatigue and stamina" are generally just foods rich in spice and protein. Of course these foods will restore the body if you work out in the fields all day and protein is something that you rarely have. But black chicken, seems to be different. It works. I talked to a oriental doctor about this and she said that

Food For Thought: Don’t drink for your health by Lindsey Huster

 A female subway user sits across from me, wearing a cheerful t-shirt that pictures a sun. The happy, yellow orb states in a playful font “I am so hungover I wish I was dead.” This does not phase me. In a previous column, I have discussed the drinking culture of Korea. A large portion of Korean activities, especially work-related, focus around the consumption of alcohol well beyond the point of intoxication. Another not-so-surprising detail is a new study recently released that claims Koreans are drinking more. According to an article in the Korea Herald, the National Tax Services released a study that show Koreans have consumed an increasing amount of alcohol over the past ten years. In particular, beer, wine, whisky have increased the most. The biggest increases have been seen in the consumption of wine and whisky. The amount of wine consumption last year reached nearly 46 million liters, more than six times 1999’s figure of 6.4 million liters. Makgeolli, too, has gained mo

Cooking Class at the Korea House on July 24th

 After the Korea House saw how we ran our cooking class, they decided that they would also like to invite guests to their cooking studio to learn Korean food. This cooking class is not organized by O'ngo Food Communications nor will our chef and crew be in attendance. The Korea House asked me to help them to market their class. I think the menu looks great and I think you'll have a great time learning from an experienced Korean chef. Again, it is on the 24th of July and it starts at 3:30pm. Cheers, Dan Full Disclosure: In return for use of the Korea House space at our cooking class there, I was asked to help market this class.

Octopus are Now why do Koreans eat them live?

Check this out.

Korea's Ultimate Hangover Cure: Dawn 808

Dear Readers, I have a little secret to tell you: "Dawn" (the Korean hangover cure drink) can save your life. Last night, I was out with some friends and I had a wee bit too much to drink (4 bottles of chunghwa with raw seafood). Just before I was about to head home, I bought a can of Dawn 808. This morning I was up at 6 in the morning working away without a single problem. Now I don't know what's in the can, but I do know it was worth the 5,000 won I paid for it. There has been some debate about when you are supposed to drink it. Some people prefer to drink it before they start drinking- I prefer to drink it after. I think it settles the stomach and, well, I've never been hungover drinking it afterwards. I have tried Morning- this one didn't work as well. So next time you think you've drank too much, have a Dawn.

Andong Jjimddak Cooking Class and Culinary Tours this week

Last week's Mandu and bibimguksu was a big success and we had 9 people come to our cooking studio to learn from Chef Shawn. This week's menu on Saturday, July 17th is: Spicy Black Soy Sauce Chicken (Andong Jjimdak) Rolled Egg Omelet Side Dish (Gyeran Mari) Seasonal Salad We originally planned Samgyetang, but we do not have enough pots to make the dish. This dish will be scheduled when we move to our new cooking studio in Insadong. The class will be held at  O'ngo Cooking Studio in Gangnam-gu. Chef Shawn will first give a demo on how to make the different dishes and then you'll get to make your own lunch. Class will start at 11am. The cost is 55,000 won per person and this includes lesson, food, and drinks. The market tour is 5,000 won extra and the tour starts at 10am at Daechi Station (Subway Line 3) exit 3. You can RSVP by e-mailing Daniel Gray at seouleats at gmail dot com or by calling at 010 6661 7769. O'ngo Cooking Studio is located near Gangnam-g

O'ngo Cooking Class at Korea House

O'ngo Food Communications has been doing cooking classes for tourists and expats in Korea since February and they have been going pretty well. To date, we have taught over 300 people how to cook Korean food. When we started our cooking classes, we rented out cooking studios. Later, we converted our office into a cooking school. At the beginning of July, Korea House was kind enough to loan us their cooking studio to hold our cooking class. Now next month we'll be moving into our new 50 person cooking studio in Insadong- it is being built right now. It's been quite a rollercoaster ride so far, but I feel we have a great team assembled and a great cooking program. These are some shots from the last cooking class. The menu for that class was Dakgalbi, Cucumber Kimchi, and Seafood pancake. We had a full class of 24 people. Chef Shawn did a great job of teaching the class. His calm and humorous attitude helped everyone get along in the class. All the ingredients and the class

Real Vietnamese Food in Korea at Dieu Hien Quan

Dieu Hien Quan: Authentic Vietnamese in Ansan If you are craving real Vietnamese food I suggest you head to Korea's multicultural city: Ansan (Subway Line 4). Because many of the large Korean firms have factories here, there is a large immigrant population. You'll be able to eat authentic Vietnamese, Thai, and Malayasian Food. You'll also see unusual food stuff for sale in the city such as Durian, cilantro, and basil. It's worth the trip. One of my favorite places to visit is Dieu Hien Quan because they have the best pho in all of Korea. Seriously, they do because the broth is the best and they add lots of fresh herbs like basil and cilantro. Dieu Hien Quan: Interior Shot Saigon Beer They have a selection of Vietnamese beers as well. I really like the Saigon Special Lager (the green bottle here). It had a very refreshing flavor. Click to read more for directions and for...frog legs.

Be a King and Queen at Suraon

Recently, I was invited by a group to give a lecture on Korean food. Most of the people were from out of the country and they wanted to experience real Korean food and culture. I had recommend a Royal Court Restaurant not too far from their hotel. That evening we enjoyed 14 courses of great royal court influenced cuisine, a dance and music performance, and a lecture about Korean food culture from yours truly. Dinner was a big success and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. There were a few dishes that were misses, but those were quickly forgotten by the 13 other dishes and side dishes that followed. Dinner went from formal to fun when tables started to order bottles of Soju and beer. I explained to everyone on how Koreans pour each other drinks (pour with the right hand while touching the right elbow with the left hand) and they really enjoyed the respectful attitude that Koreans have toward each other. The most surprising part of my lecture was when I told them that everything prel

Smoked Chicken with Garlic at Madak

YK Nothing Special Here, just beer, snacks and turnip About a week ago I went to Madak over by Nambu Terminal for some fried chicken and smoked chicken topped with YK. The place is pretty new (they just opened in 2009) and they are known for their finely minced garlic that they serve with their chicken. Besides the garlic, it's your typical chicken place that has beer, radish cubes, and puffed snack balls. It's not overly expensive either. The Minced Garlic You might think that the garlic is a gimmick, but I must say that it is not. The garlic has been minced super fine and they put something on it (I haven't figured out what it is, but I figure it must be a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice that they mix into the garlic and then rinse off). Whatever the process for making the garlic is, I must say that it works. It's not pungent and pepperminty (the garlic in Korea tends to pack quite a punch). I could have eaten the garlic just by itself, but it went very

Food for Thought: Eat Regionally!

Here's another great post from our own Lindsey Huster. If you would like to contribute to Seoul Eats, please send me an e-mail here.  Dan I visited Daegu this weekend, and found myself in uncharted food territory. Every Korean dish was there, but somehow different- still side dishes and meals, yet slightly altered. Bibimbop was no longer rice and vegetables; now there was boribap , a hybrid of barley and rice, mixed with vegetables (a few unfamiliar ones), sans the fried egg.   Also my familiar mandu pickings were replaced with Napjak mandu. This flattened dumpling looks more like a pot sticker and is filled with Korean leek, carrot, cabbage and green onion; rather than the kimchi and pork.   Although it's easy to believe that living in Seoul results in the ultimate exposure to Korean cuisine, untested foods exist just over those mountains, rivers and seas.   The answers Korea diverse cuisine lies in its geography. Since Korea stretches most notably no