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A Message To Korea From A Student

In light of my recent post on exam stress, I thought it was quite fitting to share a video I saw on YouTube today. The video was made by a Korean middle-school student called Jason, and it shows his message to Korea: a depressing discussion of the Korean education system. 


Animal Themes, Hello Kitty Themes… And Study Themes- Cafes in Korea

Shake-on-it

Last week I was reading about a new cafe which is opening in London- a ‘cereal cafe’, with hundreds of flavours of cereal, many of which have been discontinued or are foreign imports. Lucky Charms, Barbie Cereal, Star Wars Cereal- you name it, they’ve got it. They’ve even got cereal cakes, cereal memorabilia (yes, I would like a Kellogg’s Frosties lip-balm), and cereal artwork on the walls. As a cereal lover, it sounds like my dream cafe. Needless to say I was pretty jealous I wouldn’t be able to visit.


Happy Christmas From Pizza Hut Korea

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It’s December, it’s snowy and it’s time to start feeling Christmassy (and to give yourself an excuse to watch Home Alone and Elf in class). And while Christmas might not be the biggest holiday in Korea, Pizza Hut has still decided to celebrate in style…

With a limited edition, special, three- layered Christmas Tree Box. What better way to get into the festive spirit than to order a takeaway in a tiered box made to look like a Christmas Tree?! 


10 Ways That Korea Is Winning

All countries have good and bad points, things which we can either complain about or praise. And while Korea has it’s faults, today I’m going to focus on the good things: 10 things which give Korea definite cool points.

Oreo Cereal

alibaba.com

To the misery of Oreo-lovers everywhere, this cereal has been discontinued in every country…apart from South Korea. I regularly see it featured on lists along the lines of ‘foods we miss which no longer exist’. Well, come to Korea and stock up…

 

 

 


The Coolest Ice Creams In Korea

Koreans can be pretty creative and original when it comes to snacking, as I wrote about


Sin-Free Stewed Apples

When it’s cold in the evening, there’s nothing better than a warming dessert. Well, actually, perhaps the best thing is a guilt-free warming dessert. I’m a huge fan of apple pie, apple crumble, apple strudel, basically anything apple-flavoured. But, it wouldn’t be too healthy to eat these every night. And let’s face it- the best part of these puddings is the sweet apple filling. So I decided to recreate my favourite apple desserts, minus the unhealthy pastry part.

What was I left with? A completely innocent apple treat, which you can enjoy any night of the week. After all, according to that famous saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away…

Here is the recipe for my sin-free stewed apples. Simple, quick and delicious (I apologize for the lack of photos, I got too excited whilst cooking/ eating to remember to take any).


Rachel’s Tiny Kitchen #1 – RICE COOKER CHICKEN WINGS!

I have always enjoyed cooking, but boy did I take for granted my kitchen and oven in the States! Since moving to Korea I’ve had to adapt the way I cook completely. From having no counter space, to replacing ingredients with things available here, to trying to make delicious cakes in a small toaster oven, I’ve done it all! There have been a lot of failed experiments and total disasters in my tiny kitchen(stories I may have to share soon!), but along the way I’ve learned a lot about how to make your tiny kitchen as efficient as possible and still make delicious food!


Healthy in Korea

cbs.nl

cbs.nl

Korea is known for having low obesity levels, with only an estimated 4% of people being obese, much lower than the 35% of Americans, or 25% of Brits. It’s true that the percentage of overweight Koreans is increasing, but nowhere near as drastically as other Western countries. And I don’t find the trend at all surprising; In fact, I’ve found it a lot easier to maintain a healthy-eating lifestyle since living in Korea.


Comfort Food Around The World

Everyone loves a good comforting meal, especially at this time of year when every day it’s getting colder and darker outside; what better thing is there to do than settle down in a cosy room with some delicious comfort food. In Korea, my favourite comfort food is my beloved Dolsot Bibimbap, a steaming-hot bowl of veggies, rice, egg and spicy pepper paste, perfect for warming you up on a cold autumn night.


Spending and Saving in South Korea


Happy Pepero Day & A Look at Korea’s Special Days

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Happy Pepero Day from Korea! If you’re not familiar with this special day, it’s one in which people exchange Peperos (chocolate sticks) with their loved ones, kind of like Easter without the religion. According to reports, the celebration started because people believed if you partook in the Pepero celebration, you would become taller and thinner, especially if you ate your Peperos at exactly 11:11 on November 11th- 11:11, on the 11th day of the 11th month. And if you’re really superstitious, you should make sure you eat the Peperos 11 seconds after 11:11, for the ultimate thinning/ heightening effect. Eating loads of chocolate to make you taller and thinner? I like that kind of logic!


Saying Goodbye To Sugar

en.wikipedia
en.wikipedia

There’s been a big change in nutritional advice over the past few years; while before, fatty foods were seen as the worst thing for your diet, evil options which instantly add inches to your waist and clog your arteries, nowadays it’s sugar which is viewed as the enemy. Things with a higher fat content like eggs are suddenly ‘superfoods’, and nutritionists are advising increased consumption of such foods, advising people to restrict their sugar intake instead.


Perfectly Warming Pumpkin-Corn Soup

McKay Savage Wikimedia Commons
McKay Savage Wikimedia Commons

In the past month, there’s been a distinct change in season; evenings are darker, the temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees, and I’ve gone from wearing sandals and skirts to covering up with a coat, gloves and scarf. I’m only one pair of wellies and a thermal vest away from my full-on winter gear.


Expat Living- The Highs, The Lows, And Is It Worth It?

If someone had told me 5 years ago, even 2 years ago, that I’d move to Korea, I’d have thought they were joking: I’m  a homebody with a close family and friends, and have never really had the ‘travelling bug’ tempting me to go out and explore the world. The thought of leaving everything behind would have seemed absurd, something only someone way more adventurous than me would do. Even when I did a TESOL course with the intention of going abroad, I always imagined going to Europe and making frequent trips home.


Our 4th Chuseok in Korea, Part 2 – Busan & Yangsan

This is the 2nd part of our Aunt Kathy’s trip to Korea! You can read about the first part of the trip in Seoul here. Now on to Busan! I was really excited about the train ride from Seoul to Yangsan, because after years I’m still not tired of Korea’s beautiful mountains and countryside. It ended up not being as clear as it could have been but it was still a nice ride! As Seoul faded from our minds, we started focusing on the next couple days in Busan.


Same Chains, Different Countries = Unexpected Menu

Siqbal,Wikimedia Commons
Siqbal,Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, even if you love Korean food, you just crave something from home- a burger and chips, a glazed doughnut, or a big cheesy pizza. Luckily, there is an ever-increasing number of Western chains across Korea, offering food for just these occasions. However, that’s not to say the menus are exactly the same..


Expat Longings

No matter how much you love a country, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz was right when she said “There’s no place like home”. When you move away, you find new things you love, you make replacements and adjustments. But sometimes, you just want the real thing: a Mars Bar, some Nando’s chicken, your favourite magazine. And, most importantly, real English tea.

Then, there are the things you don’t even realise you like about home, until you’re not there and can’t have them anymore: the smell of going to a petrol station, turning on the radio and actually understanding what the people are talking about.


The Best Night At The Beastro

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Delicious food, good service, weird cocktails and free wine? Yes please. Where do you go to get these things? The Beastro Restaurant in Seoul, my new favourite place.


British-Irish Style Pubs in HAPS Issue 33

The new issue of HAPS Magazine, the English-language publication covering Busan, is out. Included is my latest contribution for the bi-monthly, on the growing number of “British-Irish Style” pubs popping up all over the city.

Head to page 36 now or view the entire issue online below. You can grab a free copy at many fine and dandy establishments around Busan.



Zen Kimchi’s Ultimate Korean BBQ Experience


Bulgogi, Bibimbap And One Brilliant Cooking Class

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If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know all about my love of food, especially my new-found love of Korean food. So imagine my excitement when I found, quite by accident, cooking classes for foreigners in Seoul. I immediately booked a class, excited not only for the experience, but also so that I could start to recreate my favourite meals at home. After all, I will at some point go back to England, and if I don’t know how to make Bibimbap by then it will be a disaster.


Tom Tom & Big John Stud’s Continuing Food Adventures: 돼지국밥

It’s once again time for myself and Tom Gates of The Red Dragon Diaries to wow you, inform you and make you hungry as we explore another of Busan’s great culinary cuisines. This weekend, we headed to Seomyeon for 돼지국밥, also known as Dweji Gukbap, also also known as Pork, Soup, Rice. I also enjoyed the dweji variant known as 순대국밥, Soondae Gukbap, or pork blood sausage. Sound enticing?! Check out the video of our gastronomic adventure.


Economical Eating In Korea- Be Healthy Without Being Bankrupt

Culture Shock, What Culture Shock? Embracing The Cultural Change.


Stepping Out Of Seoul


한국어 Ronald McDonald Spreads the Gospel in Gimhae

A new McDonald’s opened recently in Gimhae–not that far from the old one, but this isn’t a post to complain about that. While our group was meeting to head over to a local orphanage (aren’t we the best?), we were accosted by none other than Ronald McDonald himself. Or, at least his Korean counterpart. And despite this man’s valiant effort to stay upbeat, a number of noticeable facial expressions and mannerisms led several of us to assume he probably wasn’t “lovin’ it” on this lovely Saturday afternoon in South Korea. Ba-da-bum-bum-bum!


Too Much Of A Good Thing

Recently there has been a huge rise in ‘clean eating'; people discarding processed foods for fresh, healthy produce, in the hope of living a much healthier lifestyle. The benefits advertised certainly sound promising; weight loss, more energy, shiny hair, clear skin, even improvement in your mood. Indeed, it is definitely a beneficial lifestyle change to cut the rubbish out of your diet and embark upon a new, healthy eating regime.


The Good, The Bad, and The Hagfish

by John Bocskay


Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly lives in mud 150 meters under the sea.


I ’ve always loved the Korean word for fish: “mulgogi”, a compound formed from the words “water” (mul) and “meat” (gogi). More than simply labeling a common class of aquatic creatures, “mulgogi” suggests a way of looking at the world, a very East Asian orientation that assumes all things that swim to be edible unless proven otherwise.


Seoul Wandering


20 Scrumptious and (sometimes) Strange Korean Meals

Ok, so I’ve spoken before about my ‘Top 20 Weird and Wonderful Korean Snacks’ which I’ve had the joy of trying while living in Korea. Now I think it’s the time to look at Korean meals, which I’m pleased to say have been on the whole, a positive experience. That is, after we learnt the names of some Korean foods. Let’s just say that our first meal here was a bit of a disaster- not knowing what anything was, we picked a random item off the menu, and ended up with a ‘jjigae’ (stew) that was so spicy we were sweating by the end (despite it being about 5 degrees in the restaurant). We went home with runny noses and burning mouths to down about a litre of milk each. Good times.


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