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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


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


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.

Found a Jamaican grill and lounge bar in Busan called Yaman...

Found a Jamaican grill and lounge bar in Busan called Yaman Joint. I had never previously had Jamaican food before, so I can’t really comment on authenticity, but they’ve got a cool laid-back ambiance. 

The food ranges in price from 8,000 to 15,000₩. There are sets which include the house salad, pasta with Alfredo sauce, fish tacos, and jerk chicken. In my opinion, the best thing is the jerk chicken. 

Food Swaps- Small Changes To Make A Big Difference

I am a total foodie- I love cooking, going out for meals and trying new things. I also care about being healthy and putting good, clean, fresh food into my body. But despite trying to be healthy the majority of the time, I also hate to deprive myself of things which I love. For this reason, I try to make small changes to make so called ‘naughty’ foods that much healthier.

Here are some of my favourite food alterations which make a big difference, so that  you can enjoy delicious foods completely guilt-free!

Living Life The Korean Way

I’ve been living in Korea for 18 months now, enough time to get over the initial culture shock and to adapt to living the Korean lifestyle. There have been both good things- going out for dinner and getting a delicious, filling meal for under £5, and bad- fearing for your life every time you are on/ near the road because of the crazy drivers.

Here are some of the things I have become accustomed to during the last year and a half in  Korea- the good, the bad and everything in between…

Eating Korean “Hangover” Soup While Sober (Haejang Guk 해장국)

Soup 300x215 Eating Korean Hangover Soup While Sober (Haejang Guk 해장국) Haejang Guk (해장국) is a popular soup in Korea. Generally, it’s made with pork or beef, and ox blood. The last part probably sounds a little, like, “whuh??”, but trust me the soup is good.

It has a very hearty flavor to it. Much like the way good tomato soup is on a cold winter day. With grilled cheese sandwiches, of course.

20 Weird and Wonderful Korean Snacks

When we left home to move to Korea, there was one huge worry on my mind- we were leaving behind England, and with it all the comfort of delicious British food. No more roast dinners, no afternoon teas, no proper English puddings. And to our horror when we arrived, no proper chocolate (apart from the dreaded Hershey’s which, in my opinion, is a poor excuse for chocolate and tastes like it’s a year past its sell-by-date).

So, we were leaving yummy old England to live somewhere which the only foods we knew people ate were rice, one of the most boring foods known to man, and ‘Kimchi’- something which we had never heard of and had only seen described as ‘fermented cabbage’… um, yum?

Korean Convenience Store Food! GS25 Spaghetti & Meatballs

Some Korean interpretations on international foods are perfectly fine, especially in recent years. The number of burger joints is increasing, and with it, the quality. In this part of the peninsula (in Gimhae, a short lightrail journey back in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea), I can be sitting in front of a hot, delicious plate of fish & chips in about an hour.

Our 4th Chuseok in Korea, Part 1 – Seoul

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. There is no pressure about gifts, the family is way less stressed, and it is all about gratitude, family, and good food. My kind of holiday. The day really embodies Fall, with it’s smells and sweaters, colors, and football (or nap time for me).

In Korea, Chuseok is compared to Thanksgiving because it is also a harvest festival (minus the genocide and kum ba yah stories of sharing some turkey), but it is as big as Christmas is in the States. Being that it’s one of the two biggest holidays in Korea, we usually get 4 or 5 days off! Hooray!

We also got some pretty great Chuseok gifts this year, and if you’re interested in seeing what kind of quirky things we got check out the video!

Eating 해장국, ‘Hangover Soup,’ While Sober

Tom Gates of The Red Dragon Diaries and I are joined in our second food video collaboration (check out the first one, LIVE OCTOPUS, here) by our good friend, the lovely and talented Jookyeong, for a lovely meal of Haejang Guk, also known as “Hangover Soup.” It’s definitely not just for eating after a night of hard drinking!

5 Amazing Bingsu Desserts in Korea

My favorite thing to eat in the blistering hot Korean summer is bingsu. I’m not a huge fan of hot weather, so this popular dessert of shaved ice milk and assorted toppings is a perfect way to cool off. Starting around May you’ll see new businesses that open just for the summer, and you can assume that most of them are bingsu places. This summer I’ve noticed that a specific chain called Sulbing 설빙, which originated in Busan, has spread throughout the country. I’ve seen Sulbing or a ripoff version of Sulbing even in small towns in the country! We realized when we filmed this video that the two videos we’ve done about this tasty treat have both featured mango bingsu, so we decided to ask some friends to send us some pictures of their favorite bingsu around the country so that we could share it!

Korean “Fire Hot” Chicken Feet (불닭발)

Of all the endless eating opportunities, I ended up wanting to try the chicken feet! They are served up in Korea a few different ways, but the kind I wanted were the hot ones.

The ones I tried are called 불닭발 (bul dak bal) or “Fire Chicken Feet”. Anytime I see the word 불 in front of a dish here I wonder if I can hack it or not. I mean, I handled the 불낙 볶음면 which is literally translated “super-crazy spicy hot ramyeon noodles to fry off your face”.  Yeah, it’s funny how these names pan out. Truth be told, they weren’t the hottest noodles I’ve ever had.

So I figured these chicken feet can’t be all that bad.

They were. I’m convinced they are marinated with jet fuel or something because after just one tiny piece I was sweating profusely.

4 Years in Korea – How Korea Has Changed 2010-2014

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but July 13th marked 4 years in Korea for us! We’re a little bit late on celebrating this, but with our Youtube milestones and summer vacation, we didn’t want to overwhelm you guys with too much of the same thing (that thing being awesomeness hehe)!

4 Foods in Korea You Probably Won’t Like

Not everything you can eat in Korea is going to be delicious. Many foreigners come here and right off the boat the moment they eat anything, they say it’s “delicious”. It doesn’t even matter what it is. It may not even be Korean food!

Don’t get me wrong, there are many, many foods here that are completely and utterly addictive. There’s no questioning that.

HOWEVER, there will be some things here available to eat that you’d probably wish were not available.

Here’s my list of 4 of them. Happy dining!

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