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This is Why Koreans Are THINNER Than Americans

You’re probably wondering whether or not you want to travel to a country like Korea to teach English. If you do decide, you’re probably going to wonder about things like bills, transportation, how to open a bank account, how much Korean will you need to speak, what kind of guys and girls to Korean girls and guys like, and everything else.

Oh, and food.

What is the food like?  Is it really spicy?  Are there choices for vegetarians?  I’ve heard them all. But there is one thing I don’t hear of a whole lot that is related to food in a round about way. “Will I gain weight or get skinny?”

The truth of the matter is that traveling to Korea has an element of stress for everyone. It’s more for some than others, but it’s there. In fact, I had someone in my orientation class who never made it to the teaching part. They just turned around and went home.

And what happens to most people when they get stressed? They EAT!

The degrees to which each of us eat under pressure varies widely. However, as Americans or westerners, we have a tenancy to eat like, well, an American or westerner. There within lies the problem.

There are differences between the indigenous foods here in Korea compared to back home. In America we love processed foods, MSG, artificial sweeteners, fat, salt…everything that tastes good. But you want to know something? So do Koreans. There are snack shops, bakeries, fast food joints, fried chicken joints, pizza joints and burger joints EVERYWHERE. It’s all here. Even though Korean’s “big size” at McDonald’s is basically the standard size back home, you can still get Double Quarter Pounders with cheese.

However, the average Korean has a far smaller circumference than the average American. Why?

Many people have had many opinions on this, but here I share what I’ve noticed and what I believe is the core reason for unnecessary weight gain or obesity in America. It also explains why it isn’t rampant in Korea, though it is beginning to rear it’s ugly head.

The post This is Why Koreans Are THINNER Than Americans appeared first on The Red Dragon Diaries.


Dear Korea #116

..comes great hilarity. That last night might be a little confusing to those who don’t read the comic from the site. Oh well!

So this has totally happened to my poor guy on multiple occasions. Every older man he runs into tries to feed him something that will help him and his “man power”, which I assume means male vitality. This is something we experienced fairly often in Japan as well. What I find particularly hilarious is how shameless they are with advertising such a thing. I guess I’ve never found it socially acceptable to shout “EAT THIS! IT WILL RAISE YOUR SPERM COUNT!” in a public setting. It’s been almost four years, and I’m still trying to figure out what is and isn’t okay to say around people here.


Cherry Blossom Lattes

There are a few things you can rely on being able to find almost anywhere on Earth these days. Wherever you are, it’s a good bet that there is a McDonald’s, and at least one form of Coca Cola. It’s also a good bet that you aren’t too awfully far from a Starbucks. With more than 17,000 stores around the world, it’s pretty easy to find one!

Starbucks has special drinks for different holidays, seasons, and occasions. Some people, let’s call them Starbucks aficionados, really enjoy these things and go as far as to track when each seasonal drink comes out! There are a few that show up every year, but there are also some special drinks that appear for a limited time and then are gone forever.


Play Coffee/플레이 커피 in Gwangju

This little café was introduced to us by our good friend H. It is situated in a side street in Gwangju’s dong-gu, where you wouldn’t expect to find a cute building housing a café that serves fresh coffee, tea, mojitos, and homemade cakes.  The interior is playful and features toys, cute lamps and seats.  It also has a small classroom that teaches people how to make cake and rooftop seating. When you enter the café, you will be greeted by their friendly staff, adorable furry friend and a giant Lego doll.


March Madness

by Pablo Harris

010 or 051. All calls he ever received here always began with these prefixes. So when 006-180-9951-0299 flashed on the vibrating LG in his palm, he didn’t quite know what to think. 006 followed by eleven other digits he didn’t recognize? It  must be from abroad. Thinking the worst, he was expecting to hear some tragic news from back home. Why else would anyone call direct from the US to the ROK?

“Excuse me, I got to take this, Babe,” pardoning himself before stepping through the heady smoke of grilled flesh and cigarettes and the maze of low-lying tables to the door.

*  *  *

“Hello?”


For Those Hard to Find Expat Food Items

Some stuff is just hard to get over here.  Like biscuit mix or enchilada sauce.  And other stuff is insanely expensive in Korea–like multivitamins.  Add to this the logistical (and potentially financial) nightmare of having stuff shipped from your home country, and your food situation can start looking pretty bleak, especially if you live in a small town that doesn’t have a lot of retail options.

If you’re not already using it, let me recommend iHerb.  This website has hands-down the best prices on vitamins if you’re an expat living in Korea.  They also have a wide array of health and beauty products and food items that can be tough to find in Korea.  We order stuff like quinoa, wheat bran, enchilada sauce (by Frontera–it’s amazing), and vitamins from them.  Shipping costs about $4.00 to anywhere in Korea, and delivery is fast.  If you’re stateside, the prices are still great on a  lot of items and shipping on stuff over $20 is free.  


I thought it was fish cake!

Nothing new seems to be coming out of Korea in terms of queer news, so I decided to translate this old article. It is hilarious. In case you don't know what 어묵 is, it is that fish cake you often see in Korea.

ANOTHER EXPAT BLOG?


Hiking in Hanboks to Samseonggung Shrine 삼성궁

Roadtrippin!

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We took advantage of the beautiful weather one Saturday to head down to Jeolla-do, the south-west area of Korea. The fog seeped back into the mountains, the air smelled like dirt and trees, we moved through highways and roads that would leave us southbound. We were pleasantly surprised to find a persimmon farm.


How the Treatment of Dogs in Korea Should Shake our Conscience on Eating Meat: My Story


First an update on Noah the dog (original post here), after my concerns about how my in-laws were taking care of him I was then slightly disappointed to learn that they also couldn't keep him.  Why oh why they couldn't have realised this before they got him, lord only knows, it could have saved them, me, and more importantly the dog a lot of heartache.  For a variety of reasons my in-laws had to give him up.

One of my favorite Korean foods is spicy rice cake, or...


Asia shows the way in its Street Food, the West shows the way to a Heart Attack

I am having a bit of a war on Western food (from English speaking countries) at the moment and combined with a recent post of mine over at Asiapundits on enjoying food and food waste, I thought I'd use my own site to highlight some attitudes towards health and our food and what we can learn from Korea specifically, and Asia in general.

I don't know much about the United States, but from what I can gather from the news, my American friends and the internet the people there tend to be a little more overweight than average, my country is not far behind and to be honest it isn't hard to see why.

October

So, long October! My last full month in Korea...you certainly kept me busy.

Rock Piles on Jirisan


I climbed the biggest mountain peak in Korea, Jirisan. We did a little miscalculation with the amount of daylight that we had left and nearly had to finish it in the dark. This was made even scarier by the fact that there were 'Beware of the Bear' signs up all over the forest. Check out the link if you want to see some good mountainside fashion...or not!


Mexican Food in Seoul

Hey everyone! 
 
It's time to talk about one of my favorite things ever.... Mexican Food!, funny how I used to write about Korean Food in Mexico and now I'm doing the opposite. 
 
3 months ago I left Mexico, I've never been away from my home-country for so long, surprisingly, what I miss the most is the Food, you can say I'm food-homesick?, almost 2 years ago I posted "My 12 reasons to visit Korea" and 1 of them was eating Mexican food in Korea, so, of course when we decided to spend some..."more" time in Korea I knew we would be definitely doing it. 

Seorae Village – Little France in Seoul, South Korea

For our 1 year wedding anniversary, we went up to Seoul for a nice, relaxing weekend together. We decided to go to Seorae village in the Banpo neighborhood of Seoul. About 600 French expats live in this corner of the city, that is nicknamed Montmarte for its location on top of a hill. It includes a French school, some french brand name stores like L’Occitane, real bakeries, with REAL bread and REAL cheese!! By “real” I mean not Korean. There are lot of things that Korea gets right, but bread and cheese is NOT one of them!


Supermarkets -v- the People?

 

It has been bothering me since about the time it has been instigated. It’s a simple thing that shouldn’t really get me agitated as it has very little effect on me, and in many respects it is a good principal to take. It’s just that I think it’s the wrong step and I don’t think it really solves any problems, only encourages more populist resolutions to complicated social and economic problems.

What am talking about? Sunday closing for the so-called discount stores in Korea.

Now lets establish some terminology first.

“Discount stores” are what major supermarket chains are called in Korea. These include E-Mart (part of Shinsaegae international), Homeplus (owned by Tesco, the second largest supermarket company in the world), and Lotte Mart, which are the biggest ones.


Lunch date in Hyewa’s Philippine Market

 

1382452431405Last Sunday, my husband and I went to the 


My Stomach Connects Me to This Place

There once was a time in Korea when I was pretty scared to just jump into a new, small restaurant and order something. Sometimes, I still am. But, I’ve gotten better.

Korea likes its chains. Whether it’s coffee or food or clothing or something else, chances are if you see a place, it’s not the only place of that place in this place. You follow?

And those can be pretty great, too, as well as a unique flavor, whether of your neighborhood or just Korea in general. While there’s a Paris Baguette in Edison, NJ, I am pretty sure the Woncho in Jangnim, Busan, isn’t making the trip over to the U.S. any time soon.

The best way to get a taste of this place, a connection stronger than just being there, is eating there. And, that connection gets especially strong when it’s a one-of-a-kind establishment, the type the locals frequent. The type where, yes, occasionally the waygookin might get a couple of looks when he walks in.


Korean Cooking: How to make Kimchi

Kimchi

Kimchi is seasoned fermented cabbage dish. It's Korea's national dish and now is the season to prepare your kimchi for the next year (I think it's supposed to improve with age). So here is the recipe that we were given at the temple on Sunday incase you're not in Korea and want to try it for yourself at home, and I've tempted you with my sumptuous looking leaves...or not!

Our Weekend: Roller Derby and Kimchi Competitions


I spent over 8 hours on a train on Saturday headed up to Pyeongtek to the American Military Base there. The ROKD roller derby team had a mixed scrimmage with the OH! derby team so it was all very exciting. It's my first time to play in Korea with a full size team, it felt so good to be back on skates and playing competitively, and what was even better was that my team won! Not that it was any surprise as half of my team were Ninja Turtles. Hurray...not that I'm competitive or anything! It was really nice to see all the girls as I think that will be my last time to skate with them before I go home, only 5 weekends left! Eeeek!

Food and Dranks – The Good, The Bad, and The 무료

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Yet another eventful weekend has passed, and part of me is glad that it’s getting a bit colder so that I (might) have an excuse to stay in. When you emerge from a basement karaoke and the daylight that is 7am hits your eyes, all you can do is send a squinty look to your bros and subtly nod; yeah, I think we just survived that.


Food and Dranks: The Good, The Bad, and The 무료

Image

Yet another eventful weekend has passed, and part of me is glad that it’s getting a bit colder so that I (might) have an excuse to stay in. When you emerge from a basement karaoke and the daylight that is 7am hits your eyes, all you can do is send a squinty look to your bros and subtly nod; yeah, I think we just survived that.


The Daejeon International Wine and Food Festival

My friend Eric and I headed to Daejeon for the International Wine and Food Festival after waking up at the crack of dawn to grab a train at 7. I wasn’t exactly sure what it entailed, but wine-tasting and international … Continue reading

Yangsan Sabryang Culture Festival – 양산삽량문화축제

You never go long without going to a festival in Korea, but it seems like during the Spring and Fall there are festivals going on every single weekend! This weekend was no exception, but this time it was in our own backyard! This weekend was the Yangsan festival, and although we had not originally planned on going, I’m so glad we did!


The Best Busan Sites and Bites

I feel like my Mum didn't just get a tour of the best things to see in Busan, but she got to taste some of the best flavours that Korea has to offer. She often commented that she never felt hungry because I always had something that she NEEDED to try, but I think Korean food has so much to offer that I couldn't let her leave without trying it all!

Everything seemed to fall into place with the plans I made for her trip, and I think that it was because I tried to keep it local and eat wherever we had plans.

If you're coming to Busan, or looking for a day out, here are some ideas, followed by the restaurants I love in the area.

Deokcheon and Dwaeji Guk Bap

Subway in Yangsan, South Korea

For some reason – I’ll never be sure why – a business owner saw fit to open a Subway restaurant in our little city of Yangsan, South Korea. There are no Subway sandwich places in Busan yet. In fact, I think they were only in Seoul – until now! We are extremely excited about this! One of the things we miss most from home is a good sandwich. Having a Subway in Korea is good, in Busan would be fantastic, but having it inexplicably open up here in Yangsan? That’s amazing! Naturally, we’ve spent a large portion of our time there over the last few weeks. On nearly every visit we’ve made to the Yangsan Subway, we’ve run into another foreigner doing the same! The Yangsan Subway has become a foreigner Mecca. With that in mind, we’ve decided to post some directions.


Korean Cooking: How to make Homemade Banana Makeolli

Not actually Korean food, but goes perfect with the Korean Pancake recipe I shared a couple of weeks ago. Koreans are particularly fond of staying in on rainy days and enjoying these two dishes together. I am a massive fan of makeolli and intend to drink as much as possible before I leave Korea!
Banana Makeolli
Banana Makeolli
Serves 2-4 people, depending on how much you're willing to share.

Food and Dranks – Endless Sides

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So yeah guys, it’s a Sunday mornin’, rain is fallin’, and I am in an absolute daze. The past two days have been a marathon. From 6am on Friday morning to 4am today I had three hours of sleep. Whaaaaaat. And let me tell you, it was the most absurd 48 hours of my life yet.

Let’s rewind a bit to see what went down: I got a text from one of my good friends from EPIK on an unassuming Friday night. I had finished teaching classes for the day, and she invited me to a late dinner with a Korean “Wine Club.” I looked from the text on my phone to my pajamas…looked back at the text and told myself “what the hell, let’s do the damn thing tonight.”


MMPK Makgeolli Week!!!

 

What is MMPK Makgeolli Week?

You’ve heard of Restaurant Week, you’ve heard of Food Week, well now Makgeolli Mamas & Papas Korea proudly presents the very first MMPK Makgeolli Week!


Chuseok Gifts in Korea – Spam, Coffee, and More!

Chuseok, Korea’s Fall Harvest holiday, is a great time to be in Korea. We have a longer holiday (3-5 days) in between summer and winter vacation, the weather is finally cooling off and the leaves are starting to change. On top of that, some of my favorite fruits come into season (asian pears) and are often eaten in the teacher’s room, and lots of gifts are given!

Hagwon teachers are usually given more gifts during any holiday than public school teachers, just because at hagwons foreigners are the only teachers! Anyways, there are some pretty unique gifts given during Chuseok, and you’ll know it when you see the huge displays of canned meat, tuna, dried vegetables, bathroom toiletries, and assorted rice cake treats in all of the big stores.

This year Evan really hit the jackpot! Check out Evan’s Chuseok haul, and behold all of the SPAM! :D


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