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Korean Food 101

A Day in King Crab Vegas

There are no casinos in Yeongdeok, but few other places rival the gaudy, hyperreal simulacra of the infamous city in the Nevada desert. Clinging to the buildings on Yeongdeok’s waterfront are giant crustaceans in bright orange armour. The town seems to exist only as a...

Noryangjin Food Stalls Threatened

Curtis File has written a story for Yonhap about the popular Noryangjin food stalls and the movement by restaurants and convenience stores to kick them out. This may sound familiar to you, as it's where we posted about the unique Poktanbap "Bomb Rice" (and recipe)....

Taco Bell's Grilled Bulgogi Taco and Burrito

Woke up with a bit of a hangover this morning--and late--so I got out the door craving some junk. Taco Bell is next to my subway station. Walking up, I noticed this. Lunch. Decided. And here's what it looks like in real life. There are ample veggies in the taco. The...

Andrew Salmon’s take on beer in Korea

Not to be outdone, legendary Korea pundit and one-time ZenKimchi contributor Andrew Salmon has a thing or two to say about Korea's flaccid beer duopoly (flaccid in the taste, not the power). If the government lowered the ceiling on beer production, it could release a...

Banchan pizza: A second life for side dishes

Typical of many Korean households, my refrigerator is stuffed with little containers of leftover 반찬 banchan. Many recipes for those side dishes are scaled to serve six to eight people, so the two of us always have leftovers. I can only eat so much 비빔밥 bibimbap. While...

Buddhist Temple Lunch: Day 4–OOPS!

I showed up a bit late to the temple cuisine bistro. Too late. The plates were covered, and they were packing up the food. So, that didn't pan out. I needed some lunch, but I didn't want to break the Korean vegetarian streak I've been on. I suddenly got a craving for...

Bamboo Salt Almonds

As I mentioned, I need a mid-afternoon snack. I find that a bag o' nuts does me fine. My usual mixed nuts I couldn't find at E-Mart. But I saw these. Aw, I had to try it out. Bamboo salt is a Korean way of making salt by putting brine into bamboo and roasting it over...

Restaurant: Danji, New York

The gritty Irish-American roots of the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City are giving way to a more eclectic food scene and home to Chef Hooni Kim's Danji restaurant, which is America's only Michelin-rated Korean restaurant. This was the second Korean restaurant I...

Restaurant: Kristalbelli, New York

The opening of "the next Korean barbecue restaurant" in midtown Manhattan by K-pop star and producer Jin Young Park has generated some controversy. Some think the restaurant's aesthetic is too antiseptic to provide an authentic Korean experience. Some reviews have...

My South Korean Mouth

To gain an appreciation of Korean food, I needed to learn a new language for eating – a new way of decoding the dinner table. When I first arrived in Korea, I didn’t understand any of the food I encountered. Most of it was unrecognisable, and tasting became detective work.

Kimchi Beer?

​The Korea Times​ has posted a story on two brewers, one from Ontario and the other from Philadelpia, who have incorporated kimchi into making one of their beers.

Coffee Question: Dutch coffee

I recently received a great coffee question in my inbox from ZenKimchi reader Ron Handel: ...this past week at work a parent brought me a bottle of Dutch coffee. It is in what looks close to a wine bottle. The directions on how to enjoy it are written in Korean so I...

Korean Pantry: The Pastes

When starting out your Korean pantry, the pastes are some of the most uniquely Korean components. At the Asian supermarket, I'm sure you've stared at that wall of green, brown, and red plastic tubs, wondering what they held inside. Let's demystify all that. Doenjang...

Amazing Grilled Octopus

I'm always excited when, after living here for eight years, I find a great food that I had never had before. Friends, meet Nakji Gguri. It's barely grilled octopus. Still rare in the middle while just kissed by charcoal flames. This particular kind was just rubbed in...

Convenience Store Bibimbap

This is a product that came out about a year or so ago. Convenience store food has been leaning towards fresher, healthier, and more filling options. And they've been getting more Korean. You may be wondering how a Korean convenience store can get more Korean. Yet I...

Spring Herb Dishes of Korea

[media-credit id=52 align="alignnone" width="700"][/media-credit] Clockwise from the top left are seawater tofu, dallae (달래 - small wild onion or Allium monanthum), naeng-yi (냉이 - Capsella bursapastoris), and godeul bbaegi (고들뺴기 - Crepidiastrum sonchifolium).  With...

Delicious Seoul Scenes

Here are a few things I've been doing in Seoul for the last 2 weeks... Pollock stew (생태찌개 - saeng tae jji gae) in a brass pot cooked at the table.  Once ignored as a reminder of the hard times, this type of thin brass pots and bowls called yang-pun (양푼) made a...

Bulgogi – The Costco Way

You loooooooooove bulgogi, but you don't want to go out to a Korean restaurant. You're still jonesing for some of that awesome Korean grilled meat, yet you don't know how to make it at home. Maybe you think prepping bulgogi at home is more difficult than it really is....

Shin's Korea Trip – First Update

It's already been 10 days since I arrived in Seoul.  I try to keep a relaxed vacation pace, but that doesn't seem to be working (not that I'm complaining).  Here are a few photos of my first days in Korea. This was my first time to Tong Young (통영), a lovely port city...

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