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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


Chuseok Jeon Making Class Success!

Mamas & Papas came together to learn how to make a Chuseok staple: Jeon! We had expert instruction from the head chef at Muldwinda, who patiently coached us into making the perfect Jeon. We then successfully demolished all our jeon with plenty of delicious makgeolli. We are as ever grateful for the awesome hospitality we always receive when at Muldwinda. Keep your eyes open for more events like this in the future :)


Get Ready, Get Set…Chuseok

by Ben Haynes

What a wonderful time of year we’ve happened upon! The harvest season, celebrated in as many ways as there are people and religions on this blessed planet. Yes, it’s all about getting together and enjoying the company of family and and gorging on the fruits of a well worked field or cubicle. Maybe packing on a few kilos for the winter months for good measure.

To observe this time of bounty, Americans roast up the largest, antibiotic-filled, corn fed turkey we can find at the grocery and then stuff it with some….. stuffing.

Apples for Chuseok

Apples for Chuseok


EZ Shop Korea – Costco Delivery Haul!

We’ve mentioned EZ shop before in our “10 websites that will make life easier in Korea” post, and I’ve even made a video about it on my personal channel. But after seeing Qiranger’s Costco haul video, I decided to finally make an EZ shop haul video for our main channel! We’ve been getting Costco groceries delivered to our door for about 2 years now, and it’s such a fantastic service!


Food and Dranks – The Appetizer Round

Hey everyone, went out successfully last Friday, and effectively lost my voice! T__T Stayed in recouping from it for teaching on Monday, and I did a decent job of it by drinking honey citron tea.

Friday night was a long night, and I’m sure if you stay in Daegu you’ll develop a feel for all the hotspots. I will occasionally write about the food and dranks (alcoholic things) here, but for now let’s start with my first trip out: “the appetizers.”


Korean Cooking: How to make Korean Pancakes, Jeon 전


Haemul Pajeon
There have been lots of articles on blogs recently about one of my favourite Korean dishes, the pancake! They have a flair for pancakes here and add lots of fresh vegetables, meat and seafood to them. My favourite is the kimchijeon, which (as you can probably guess from the name) has kimchi added into the mixture. Koreans usually serve it on a big plate and share it around the table, people help themselves whenever they want, dip it in the mix of vinegar and soy and enjoy.

Bing Su! 빙수 Famous Korean Dessert!

Every season in Korea brings delicious treats specific to the weather. One of my favorite ways to cool off in the summer is to eat Bing su! Bing su is basically shaved ice with a topping, usually fruit. The “normal” bing su is Pat Bing Su, which is Red bean shaved ice! Red bean is used a lot in desserts in Korea, and I think it’s safe to say that most foreigners here are NOT the biggest fans of red bean. I can eat a little bit of it, but not usually the huge mound they pile on top of the shaved ice!

I prefer the variety of other toppings they offer, like mango, strawberry and sometimes green tea! With Koreans I’d say the most popular bing su is red bean and green tea, usually with dduk (rice cake) on top! My favorite bingsu I’ve had this summer was Cafe Pascucci’s berry banana bing su. Delicious!


Bite Me: Misozoonistic Advertising

At what point in the slaughtering process do animals go from sentient beings to cuisine? Is it when they appear in front of us on a plate? Or when the muscles, still twitching, are hacked off from the carcass? Perhaps it’s the moment when the bolt shatters through the skull and burst through the panic stricken eyes of the restrained cow? Or maybe, it’s as soon as they splash on the floor in a mess of limbs and afterbirth? It’s a philosophical conundrum I’m totally unqualified to answer.


Alcohol Alternatives. Or, the ‘ICing’ on the Fried Fish

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8 p.m. Classes have been over an hour. We’re back to our normal schedules at my hagwon now that the kids are back in school. I’ve graded some papers, kibitzed with the other foreign teacher, got the approval for two days off in October from my boss that will give me a five-day chunk to visit friends in Japan and now it was time to head home.

But first, I decided to stop into the little mart (for anyone not in Korea, pretty much any place that sells any thing is called a mart here. Not supermarket, though that is used. But even a supermarket would be a mart. Just roll with it) next to my school to pick up a couple things, as at the time I thought I’d make a tuna fish sandwich for dinner (I ended up eating some fried fish, but that’s not the point).


The Sticks: Bringing Korean Food to the Country

The Sticks!
Wow! I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've posted here! Life happens fast. Ha! It's been an incredible year for many reasons, but I am just going to pick up where we left off. I had asked my family over a year ago if Ryan could come to Virginia with us, which meant MANY things. The high-level summary of that statement meant that Ryan would be meeting and spending a week with my extended family, going to Grandma's house and sharing in all my childhood memories, and leaving NYC to spend a WEEK in the country! So much can be said about the conversations that ensued and the unspoken thoughts and memories that were created, but I'm just going to share the highlights here...as I'm still processing much of the other stuff anyway. It truly was a TON of FUN! To give a bit more context, Ryan (Mr. Urbanite in the flesh) has never spent so much vacation time in an area such as this. After what became a 10-hour drive into the night (supposed to be 8) from NYC complete with a gorgeous lightning show, we knew we had made it when Ryan slammed on the breaks to stop for the cutest FAMILY of deer (yes, mom and 2 children) taking their sweet time to cross the ridiculous, nausea-inducing, winding roads.

Very similar in taste to dwaeji gukbap (돼지국밥), pork and pig...





Very similar in taste to dwaeji gukbap (돼지국밥), pork and pig stomach soup (섞어탕반) shares the same broth but has some more chewy bits. I feel like I’m in the foreigner minority, but hot soup on a hot day is my jam.


Many people eat the Korean pork barbecue, samgyeopsal (삼겹살). The...



Many people eat the Korean pork barbecue, samgyeopsal (삼겹살). The literal meaning is “three (sam; 삼) layered (gyeop; 겹) flesh (sal; 살)”, referring to what appears to be three layers that are visible in the meat.

This night, I ate ogyeopsal (오겹살), which means it has five layers. I actually don’t think it looks too different from samgyeopsal, but yes, I think it might be more delicious. Somehow it tasted like butter, even though the meat is not seasoned.


Dear Korea #094 - How Do You Like Them Apples?

 

Happy Monday! I’m sure the majority of you living in Korea might be busy on vacation right now, but for those of you that aren’t, I hope you dig the new comic!

Maybe it’s because it’s hot out, but I’m learning very quickly just how quickly fruit can go bad when it’s out of the fridge. Even when I keep my produce chilled, nothing seems to last very long. Some people have told me that this is because of how organic things are around here. I guess that would make sense, seeing how most of the stuff I buy happens to be from local farmers. Still, it makes things very sad and stinky when I’m gifted with a box of apples that won’t last much longer than a couple of days.


Fukuoka, Japan Day 2

Day 2 in Fukuoka was our only full day, and we definitely made the most of it! I want to note that it was EXTREMELY hot and humid during our time there, much more so than in Korea. You hear us complaining about it a lot in the video, but we had a fantastic day. This is one of my favorite vlog/follow us around videos! These photos are just a snippet of our time there.

Check out our entire Flickr set from Japan HERE.


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Started off the morning as anyone should. A brewery tour! Our hostel booked it for us and gave us great directions!


Fukuoka, Japan Day 1

This summer vacation we wanted to get out of Korea for a few days and didn’t want to spend a ton of money. I still had NEVER been to Japan, so we decided now was the time! :D We had a great 3 days in Fukuoka, and wanted to share our trip through photos and videos. We ate the famously delicious Hakata ramen, saw old castle ruins, and took the Asahi Brewery tour! We can’t wait to go back again, we were surprised at how easy it was to go to Fukuoka by boat! We will have another blog post soon about how to travel there by boat, so be on the look out for that. :)


Once Schneeball pastries came upon my radar, I started seeing...





Once Schneeball pastries came upon my radar, I started seeing them everywhere. Street food carts, department stores, subway stores, my students’ grubby hands, etc. Everywhere.

It’s a German dessert made by taking rolled out shortcrust dough and cutting out strips. The strips are arranged over a stick into the shape of a ball, deep fried and then commonly dusted with confectioner’s sugar. One breaks the pastries into little bits with a wooden hammer or mallet.

I have no idea what the original tastes like, but I especially enjoy the Korean version. I like all the fancy flavors, such as cinnamon, white chocolate, or green tea. They’re sweet and crunchy, and make for a very fantastic drinking snack.


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


Summer Holiday!

After 5 long months of working hard, it's finally our Summer Holidays!!

The whole English department celebrated on Monday night with some tasty sushi and soju at a restaurant in Haeundae, followed by some drinks in Jangsan. As I explained before about work nights out here in Korea, everybody had a great time eating lots of food and playing drinking games. I felt very bad for the teachers who had to be in school the next day.
End of term work night out

Daegu Chicken and Beer Festival 대구 치맥 페스티벌

There are countless festivals for every season in Korea, but some of them stand out more than others. When I first heard that there was a chicken and beer festival I knew I had to go! We only live an hour by train from Daegu so we decided to make the trek and meet up with a few friends that we don’t get to see very often! Actually this video is what sold me on going. They even had a theme song and dance! How can you resist a summer day with cold beer, fried chicken, and silly dances?!


Nothing better than eating jokbal (족발) and drinking cold beer on...







Nothing better than eating jokbal (족발) and drinking cold beer on a hot day.

Wikipedia has a very accurate description of it: “The hair is removed from pigs’ feet and they are thoroughly washed. Leeks, garlic, ginger, rice wine, and water are brought to a boil. The pigs’ feet are added, brought back to a boil and then simmered until tender. Then additional water, sugar and soy sauce are poured into the pot and the contents are slowly stirred. Once the jokbal is fully cooked, bones are removed, and the meat is cut into thick slices. It is then served with fermented shrimp sauce called saeujeot (새우젓)."


Say What?! Episode 3: Hot Soup in Summer?

This week’s Say What?! Wednesday is about how weather and food are related in Korea. Koreans are very proud that they have 4 distinct seasons, but there are a few other “mini-seasons” in Korea that are worth noting! I mention several korean words in the video, and I’ll try to explain them clearly here.

In this video I talk about 복날 (Boknal), a month long weather pattern indicating the hottest part of the summer. There are 3 special days during 복날 (Boknal), the first is 초복 (Cho-bok), then 중복(Joong-bok), and 말복 (Mal-bok). As I mentioned in the video, this past Saturday (7/13) was 초복 Cho-bok!


Korea has four distinct seasons. In summer, it is hot and humid....



Korea has four distinct seasons. In summer, it is hot and humid. It is a Korean custom to choose the three hottest days of the summer and to eat especially healthy food on those days.

Boknal (복날) is known as the Three Dog Days of Summer. The first day is known as Chobok (초복), the second day is Jungbok (중복), and the third day is known as Malbok (말복). These days are predetermined by the lunar calendar. This year, the first day was on July 13, 2013.


Our Weekend: Cat Sitting and Comic Conventions

It's the first day of our job themed Event Week at school. It's so hot and sticky outside that dancing the 'Hot Potato' song is so tiring! I'm happy that we had a quiet weekend to save up all of my energy!

Dear Korea #092 - Some Things are Better Left Alone

Oh jeez, I hope you guys don’t hate me yet. I do apologize for being a couple of days late with this strip. You know how us old people get. I’m already starting to lose track of time.


Makin’ PatBingsu at Stumpy Ruffers


Do Koreans Go on Diets?

I received a great question from someone on YouTube about Koreans and whether or not they diet.  What is Korean food like?  What's happening here in this rapidly changing nation?

South Korea has experienced incredible economic growth in its recent history.  It wasn't too long ago that South Korea was considered one of the Four Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea).  That is, nations that showed incredible economic growth throughout the mid to late 1990s.  These countries, once well behind the world economically, rose from their dreary situation to become powerhouses on the global economic front.

Whew, that was a heavy intro...!

Well, most Americans can attest to what happens when a nation obtains economic strength and status.  We get fat and lazy!!  Ok, maybe not quite that bad, but it's safe to say there is evidence that some smidgen of truth is in that last statement.  So it will go for the Asian Tigers.

Out for a delicious 삼겹살 (samgyeopsal) dinner. It’s pork,...



Out for a delicious 삼겹살 (samgyeopsal) dinner. It’s pork, cut thinly (but thicker than bacon). I never used to like it very much, but I’ve developed a whole new appreciation for it recently.


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