Which is the best 치맥 Chimaek Chicken and Beer Chain in Seoul?

daily beer

When the cherry blossom is out and the weather is warming up after the long winter, the Han River park is bustling with young couples strolling around or having picnics. We also went out for a stroll hoping to savour the fragrance of the blooms. But all I could smell was chicken. Fried chicken.  Continue reading “Which is the best 치맥 Chimaek Chicken and Beer Chain in Seoul?” »

The Growing Popularity of the Doshirak Korean Lunch Box

paek Jong Won

During lunch hour in the business areas of Seoul, the local shikdangs are packed with office workers. Eating out is pretty reasonable, but prices have been going up and people are looking for cheaper lunch options. So we have seen the rise of the doshirak lunch box.

Some diligent office workers manage to make their own doshirak at home every morning. A homemade lunch is probably healthier and definitely more convenient since you don’t have to go out and find somewhere to eat every day. So Mr. Kim recently announced that he too would like to take a doshirak for lunch. But since he isn’t diligent, I have to make it for him …

HOMEMADE DOSHIRAK

I bought a very snazzy (and expensive) Japanese thermos bento box with three containers one for soup, one for rice, and one for all those ‘delicious side dishes’ (leftovers in the fridge). And now I have entered the interesting world of doshirak culture. Continue reading “The Growing Popularity of the Doshirak Korean Lunch Box” »

Lunar New Year Food

lunar new year

Happy Lunar New Year – it’s the Year of the Monkey! We just got back from spending the holiday with my parents-in-law and here’s what we had on our lunar new year alter this year… From the front left: jujube, raw chestnuts, apples, Asian pears, semi-dried persimmon, rice cakes. Next row: spinach, bellfower, and bracken namul; soy sauce, fried tofu, seaweed, and sikhye – a sweet drink with rice and pine nuts. 3rd row: dried pollock fish; various jeon: fish, courgette, and sweet potato; marinated beef, fried croaker fish. Back row: 3 place settings with ddeokguk rice cake soup, rice, and rice wine.
Continue reading “Lunar New Year Food” »

What do you eat in Korea when you are sick? Juk! Rice Porridge

bonjuk

For a couple of days this week I was feeling ill. I was shivery and couldn’t get out of bed. And I had no appetite.You’ve probably noticed that anytime someone is sick in a Korean drama, the invalid will be presented with juk – rice porridge. This is the traditional food to have when you’re feeling unwell because it’s nourishing and gentle on the tummy. And since it’s such a popular dish, there’s a large chain of restaurants that specialise in juk where customers can eat in, take out, or get their order delivered.

So if we were in a scene from a romantic Korean drama, at this point we should see the hero, Mr Kim, rushing through the door with his brow moist with sweat (from having run all the way from somewhere) with a bagful of ingredients ready to look after his loved one – me – by of course making juk (from scratch)…. Continue reading “What do you eat in Korea when you are sick? Juk! Rice Porridge” »

Yeongjongdo, Incheon

yeongjongdo

Yesterday was the coldest day of the winter so far. It was a very chilly minus 14 degrees. So where’s the best place to go on such a cold day? The beach of course with a nice sea breeze…  So we decided to venture out of hibernation and go for a drive to the island of Yeongjongdo (the island where Incheon International Airport is also located btw).

Away from the airport, the rest of the island is still pretty rural. There are rows of sashimi restaurants along the beaches, with some hotels and motels nearby. Apart from sashimi, another food that is famous in this area is  haemul kalgugsu – seafood and noodle soup. In fact, some of the noodle restaurants here are so renowned that customers are willing to wait up to an hour to get a seat!

So would the restaurants be really busy even on a freezing day? And if so, would the noodle dish really be worth waiting for? We set off to find out… Continue reading “Yeongjongdo, Incheon” »

Autumn in the Korean Countryside

chuseok

There’s a trend these days for office workers living in Seoul to get out of the city and into the countryside for a weekend getaway where they can get in tune with nature and perhaps do some work on a farm. (good experience for people who are contemplating a change of career) I think farming would be pretty hard work as a full time job but it is relaxing to get out of the city for a few days. Since we spent the Chuseok weekend with my parents-in-law in the countryside, we did a TINY bit of work on the vegetable farm. And I mean TINY.  My only task was to pick beautiful beans out of their pods. And that was a fun job. :)  Continue reading “Autumn in the Korean Countryside” »

Chuseok 2015

chuseok

This year 추석 Chuseok – Thanksgiving – was last Sunday, 27th September. It’s the time that many daughters-in-law around the country take a deep sigh (not me of course 😉 ) as they get ready to spend their time in the kitchen of the in-laws’ home cooking and washing up for all the visitors that turn up throughout the day :(

But every year it seems that more and more people are giving up the whole business of cooking and just going away on holiday instead. Or at least cutting down on the work. This year we celebrated Chuseok with my parents-in-law in the countryside in Kangwon Province where they grow their own veg on a small farm.  Continue reading “Chuseok 2015” »