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Cook show craze is sweeping Korea

Guess who is the hottest entertainer in TV these days in Korea. K-pop idol? Sexy actress? No! It’s CHEF! From 2006 when Olive TV, the only food life style channel in Korea, was launched, various cooking programs starring professional and amateur chefs have drawn viewers’ attention more and more. The term ‘Chef-tainer’ has been coined recently, reflecting their growing popularity in show business.


Bubbling goodness

Yay! Summer vacation is here! I love it when my kids are around, waking up late, heavy breakfast at noon, playing and chatting until lunch time and continuing to play and chat until dinner. It is pretty fun and I am enjoying every second spent with them. 

Today, we ventured out of our home even with the MERS situation hanging above our heads. Few people were wearing masks, there were sanitizers even inside the bus for public use, and antibacterial wipes everywhere. Maybe a little less crowd in the malls, and deserted restaurants. Everything is a bit gloomy and depressing here in Seoul :(

Look how expensive fresh asparagus and green beans are in Korea!...





Look how expensive fresh asparagus and green beans are in Korea! It’s disappointing. I regret taking these for granted in the past; they were plentiful for the picking where I grew up.


Fyi: These are delicious! @meganstuckey22 spotted these while we...



Fyi: These are delicious! @meganstuckey22 spotted these while we were out. Yummm. #food #snacks #doritos


22 Things To Do in Tokyo, Japan

I came up with 3 Ps to describe Japan – more specifically, Tokyo. And they are “precise, pristine, and polite”. As a young, fanatical judo guy back in the day I quickly became enamored with Japanese culture but I never took the chance to visit. Well, I finally went and it is better when you’re older.

Tokyo is still a top travel destination in East Asia.  Let’s find out why.  Here are 22 things to do and see in Tokyo, Japan.


Rindoe Kampoeng (sometimes spelled Rindu Kampoeng ) is an...

















Rindoe Kampoeng (sometimes spelled Rindu Kampoen


Drunken Master Bar & Bistro has tasty American-style Chinese...





Drunken Master Bar & Bistro has tasty American-style Chinese food in a fun atmosphere. The service is stellar and they’re usually running some sort of special on food and/or drinks. It’s a good place to go to kick-off a night near Kyungsung University in Busan, Korea. 

Hours: Mon - Thurs: 18:00–02:00, Fri - Sat: 18:00–04:00, Sun: 18:00–02:00

Directions: Take the subway to the Kyungsung/Pukyeong University station, go out exit 3. Walk straight and then take the first right. Keep walking until you see CU convenient store on your right. They are located above it on the third floor.


Keeping in mind that I like American-style sushi, Sushi Berry...


Sushi Berry rolls


Sushi Berry hours


Sushi Berry menu





Keeping in mind that I like American-style sushi, Sushi Berry (스시베리) is my favorite sushi restaurant in Korea. I enjoy all the rolls as they’re big and tasty. Rolls range in price from 3,500₩ to 8,000₩. Check menu picture above.

The customer service is attentive and the chef speaks perfect English.


Two Taco Bell franchises came and failed in South Korea in the...





Two Taco Bell franchises came and failed in South Korea in the early 1990s –but since 2010, Taco Bell has been thriving in Seoul. There are currently eight open locations.

I know a lot of people can say that fast food is “gross” and “overly processed,” but sometimes I really crave it. Taco Bell in Korea has a fun bulgogi taco that I love having whenever I’m in Seoul. Just hoping and praying for a long overdue location in Busan.


9 Examples of South Korean School Lunches

Lunchtime is an interesting one for me. It probably is for most foreigners if they choose the route of breaking bread in the cafeterias with their Korean co-workers. If I don’t sit with my co-teacher, it’s pretty much just me in my own world chomping away.

There are occasions when some teachers will try to formulate a sentence or two, but not often. Even then, at both schools I’ve worked at teachers all sit in the same spot each day so if noone around me speaks English it’s going to be a quiet year.

Nonetheless, I go to the cafeteria to eat. And school lunches in Korea have been a delightful surprise for me. Why surprise? Because compared to the concoctions they call school lunch back home in America, these lunches are DELIGHTFUL.

The difference can be summed up in this way: natural vs. synthetic.


La Bella Citta Busan

Top 7 Jeonju Hanok Village’s Street Food (that you shouldn’t miss)

Jeonju, located in Jeollabukdo province, is one of best cities to visit because of the well preserved Hanok Village.

Jeonju Hanok Village is the biggest Hanok village in Korea. There are over 800 traditional Korean Hanok houses. While the rest of city has been industrialized, Jeonju Hanok Village  retains its historical charms and traditions.


Insider’s Guide to Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul

Noryangjin fish market is the most popular fish market in Seoul. It is located in Noryangjin, subway line 1 & 6, near Yeouido. Because of the convenient location and the huge size of the market, many people visit this market to buy fish. Also comparing to other markets, you can definitely get fresh and cheap sea food here. You can just look around the market to watch many kinds of fresh sea food. Let’s go inside the market together.


My banana bread recipe is delightful, but it doesn’t do well...



My banana bread recipe is delightful, but it doesn’t do well when adding walnuts. Below is a recipe ideal for a nutty addition. Don’t be lazy; toast those nuts.

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces (10 minutes at 350F)


Nampo-dong and Jagalchi Market


Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)

My latest over at Sweet Pickles and Corn: Sometimes the things that foreigners like about Korea are the simplest (OK, except maybe for ddeok).

Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans).

via Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans).



Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)


Foreign food can be expensive in Korea, but I made this...



Foreign food can be expensive in Korea, but I made this artichoke for a decent price at home. 

Ingredients
1 cup of artichoke hearts
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup of parmesan cheese
8-ounces of softened cream cheese 
1/2 cup of chopped spicy green peppers

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). 

2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into a pie pan or medium baking pan. 

3. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Add up to an additional 1/2-cup of parmesan cheese on top if desired.


Makgeolli, Monster Craft, and many good times!

2014 Wrap-up – WE’RE ALIVE!

Wow, it has been a really long time since we’ve updated the blog. Sorry about that!! With our SURPRISE trip home, English camps, producing a play in Busan, and adjusting to a new school year with a new coteacher, my plate has been more than full. With the new school year officially in swing this week, I’m ready to get back on a more regular schedule! Evan and I have a lot of exciting things planned this year, but first I want to update you all on what we’ve been up to since we last posted!


Japchae- Tasty treat

Japchae is a popular Korean noodle dish that I love making. The chewy texture of the translucent sweet potato noodles along with the plethora of veggies makes it so colorful and tasty.

It just keeps getting better!


Takoyaki in Busan, Korea

I had takoyaki for the first time last summer in Japan. Takoyaki is one of Japan’s quintessential street foods. It even originated in Osaka. It’s a sphere-shaped hot snack of flour-based batter with various scraps, often including diced octopus (take), ginger, and green onions. I really like this snack with dark takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and shavings of dried bonito on top.

I did enjoy this food in Japan, but found that the balls were too big (meaning too hot!) for my mouth. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Japan for takoyaki. My boyfriend is a big fan of this street food in Korea, and I’m happy to say I like takoyaki more in Korea. The snack is smaller here, and much more pleasurable to eat.

There is a really good street vendor that serves them outside of Kyungsung University subway station exit 5. 


A Cheltenham Wishlist

So I learned recently that my home town Cheltenham is getting a Carluccio’s Italian restaurant, and I couldn’t have been more excited because it’s one of my favourite places to eat. And I realised that over the past couple of years there have been so many great additions to Cheltenham. After literally years of wishing for an H&M, one finally opened in 2013; Yo Sushi appeared to bring good sushi into the town (it was sad to say goodbye to Pizza Hut, but you can’t have everything); and Patisserie Valerie provided everyone with temptation to spend too much money on delicious pastries. There’s even a new Caribbean restaurant opening soon, which is very exotic and exciting.

Despite the great, and increasing, variety in Cheltenham, there are still a few eateries and shops which I’d love to see come to Cheltenham. Here’s my wishlist:

1) Pret


Moving To Korea: Top Tips I Wish I’d Known…

Coming to Korea was a huge, daunting move, and needless to say I did a lot of research beforehand; finding out about the culture and customs (bowing your head and removing your shoes inside), weather (yes, there definitely are 4 distinct seasons), and shopping (being told that buying clothes/shoes/underwear was pretty much impossible). 

The information I found was helpful, but ultimately it’s living here which gives you the best knowledge. So here, in hindsight, is what advice I’d give myself, and anyone else about to move to Korea.


Conscious Streams of Consciousness on a 13-Hour Flight

I am in Seat 41A on United Airlines flight 88 to Newark Liberty International Airport. I am about four hours into a 13-hour marathon from Beijing, which began in Incheon. Before that, a 42-minute express train from Seoul. Before that, a two-hour, 50-minute KTX from Busan Station. Before that, an 11-stop subway ride from Hadan. Before that, my friends’ apartment, graciously donated to me for the night.

The coffee I drink to keep me awake–as my body and mind attempt to adjust to the endless night across the East Siberian Sea–is measurably worse than the coffee I could be drinking at home, ground from beans from Costco in Centum City. It’s even far worse than the Americanos I have the luxury to complain about from time to time. But it tastes considerably better than the mysteries I chose to leave to imagination when I quit on Korea years ago.


20 Foods That I Wish Would Make a Comeback

I’m feeling very nostalgic (and hungry) today, so I thought I’d share this list: a collection of foods which are no longer available and which I miss dearly. (The original article which I wrote on Buzzfeed can be found here, but I thought I’d recreate it on my blog for all you foodies.)

1. Citrus Polos


Innovation or Aberration? – Unpeeling the Costco Onion Salad


Life from Above

Life from Above

Life from above, as captured in Daegu's sprawling Seomun Market complex. You can read the accompanying story here . 

One can find the restaurant, Seoga & Cook (서가앤쿡), all over...





One can find the restaurant, Seoga & Cook (서가앤쿡), all over Korea. I had seen it before but had never been to until my co-worker, another Korean-American, recommended it to me. She described it as “a good place in Korea to get American-ish food.”

After going there, I’d say that that’s a pretty accurate description. They had American-style foods like pasta, risotto, and fried rice, but with a Korean twist, such as corn mixed in or sweet pickles as a side dish. 

Locations vary, but the menu is often the same, and the atmosphere are trendy but comfortable. 

All plates are priced the same at 19,800₩, but should be shared among 2-3 people. 


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