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Another Queer Weekend: Rumor Screening and Free Party at Qubic

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Two pretty great looking events this weekend.

On Friday, Qubic won't be taking cover fees. Apparently, last week there were problems with sound equipment, and to make up for it this Friday is free entrance.

For more information and directions to Qubic, check out their Facebook page.

On Saturday, Indie Space is screening a short film as part of the Gays are Coming short films that I've mentioned on this blog a couple of times.

The film screens at 7 pm this Saturday, July 18th. You can check out the trailer for the film below and reserve tickets at Yes 24.

Have a queer weekend! 

Koreanized Fast Food Menus in McDonald’s, Lotteria, Burger King & KFC

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Korean fast food store

Sometimes, when travelling in budget, you’ll probably have a moment when you miss the time of having a proper meal. Moreover, some restaurants have a break time, not receiving any orders. Then what would you do? I’d say “Fast food.” Even though fast food is infamous for being unhealthy, many fast food restaurants are alluring you with delicious and simple menus.

Do you know that there are some fast food menus suited for the taste of Koreans and sometimes only available in Korea as well? There are some localized or so-called “Koreanized” Fast Food menus in Korea that are rare in other countries. We will introduce the menus of 4 major burger fast food restaurants – McDonald’s, Lotteria, Burger King, KFC.


McDonald’s brought the era of the fast food in Korea. At first, they usually sold original American style menus, but as McDonald’s got popular among young people in Korea, they started serving localized menus that suit Korean people’s taste.


Bulgogi Burger

Bulgogi Burger is a steady-seller menu, eventually becoming one of the Happy Price All Day menus. It means that you can get Bulgogi burger just at 2,000 won at any time. Bulgogi burger’s patty is marinated in a sweet soy sauce which is usually used in a Korean traditional dish of stir-fried pork – Bulgogi.


1955 Burger

Celebrating its 25 years of running business in Korea, McDonald’s in Korea released 1955 burger. The burger was originally introduced in the European market and became a huge hit. The number 1955 is the year that McDonald’s was founded.


Lotteria is a Korean brand fast food restaurant. Lotteria is known in Korea for launching very distinctive (?) menu that tend to cater to Korean people’s taste. With McDonald’s, Lotteria is the most familiar fast food brand remembered by Koreans.


Vegetable Rice Bulgogi Burger

You will be shocked when you see Vegetable rice bulgogi burger from Lotteria. Instead of bread buns at the top and the bottom, there are sticky and chewy rice buns. Some people said that Vegetable rice bulgogi burger could be somewhat a good meal that could make you feel full.


Gangjeong Burger

Gangjeong burger has a fried chicken patty with Korean sweet spicy red pepper sauce. Other fast food restaurants already have burgers with chicken patties, but Lotteria was the first to use chicken gangjeong sauce in a burger. Gangjeong is chopped and fried chicken that is stirred with soy and red pepper sauce.

mcdonald_shakeshakefries lotteria_shakeshakefries

Shake French Fries

Both McDonald’s and Lotteria sell french fried potatoes with extra seasoning. When you order these french fries, you will get a seasoning powder with french fries contained in a paper box. You have to put the powder in the paper box and grab the top of the box to avoid spilling any powder outside the box. Then shake it hard so that the powder mixes with the french fries. There are various tastes of the seasoning powder and you can change normal french fries into the shake fries with a bit of extra charge.

Burger King

Due to its name ‘Burger King,’ Burger King has been recognized as a fast food restaurant where burgers are exceptionally tasteful.


Quattro Cheese Whopper

Quattro cheese whopper is one of the most beloved menus in Burger King around the world. Unlike our thoughts that all the menus from Burger King were originated from the United States where they started the burger business, Quattro cheese whopper was born in Korea to suit Korean people’s taste. Analyzing that Koreans like the rich flavor of cheese, Burger King developed the menu Quattro cheese whopper using 4 different types of Cheeses. The result was successful and Quattro cheese whopper was imported to many countries.


Jalapenos Whopper

With the spicy flavor of jalapenos, Mexican chilies that have a strong spicy flavor gradually coming up in the mouth, Burger King Korea developed Jalapenos Whopper to attract Korean’s taste. The subtle spiciness of jalapenos makes the burger more delicious by catching the greasiness of the fried meat patty and the cheese slice.

We have introduced McDonald’s, Lotteria, and Burger King so far. Popeyes has been decreasing its number of stores in Korea and KFC has no specific burger localized to Korean taste. However, KFC in Korea has unique dessert menus that are hard to find outside Korea.



Mozza Ball

Mozza ball is a fried bread ball with mozzarella cheese inside. There are two types of Mozza ball: plain and squid ink one. As you can guess, squid ink one is black but it tastes the same with the plain one.


Fried ice cream

Fried ice cream is another rare menu that can be found almost exclusively in Korea. When you bite the Fried ice cream, the outer part is hot and crispy and the inner ice cream part is cold and soft. However, since it is fried in oil, some people say that it is too greasy for them.

Adding to the menus introduced above, many seasonal menus have been released as test experiments. Keep an eye on those menus and try them. You may find those menu nowhere in the world but only in Korea! :)

a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 


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Congratulations Top 3 of Bi-Weekly Top Trazy Contributors~!!

Whereis M, Fat Girl & newbie Elisa T! :)



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photo c/o reborn

Are you on Facebook?  Have you liked The Toronto Seoulcialite yet?  If you're into photo albums then this one's for you - I share lots of pictures that won't necessarily go up on the blog.  Get the latest posts as well as older writing that you may have missed!

Community Supported Agriculture Part 2: More Fun with Fresh Veggies

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By Taryn Assaf

Summer can be a difficult time for farmers. Weather can be unpredictable, with high temperatures, too much or too little rainfall; crop eating pests are at their peak. That hasn’t stopped the gorgeous leafy greens and fragrant herbs from growing on Gachi farms. Most people would be weary of buying greens with little holes in them, bruised fruits, or yellowing herbs. We prefer perfection: our greens rich in colour, glistening in the supermarket spotlights; our fruits shining and vibrant; and our veggies without a spot of dirt. You’d be hard pressed to find any evidence that most produce ever existed in an ecosystem. How much food goes to waste simply because its appearance is deemed less than perfect?

The items in my Gachi box are not perfect- and that’s what I love about them. I can feel the carrots being pulled out of the earth as I wash the dirt off them; I can see the rows of leafy greens swaying in the wind as I examine their little holes; I can feel the pride in the harvest of herbs when I receive such plush portions. My relationship to food is changing. I used to be a huge food waster. I was guilty of being afraid of the less than perfect produce. But, I grew wiser, and learned that even a yellowing piece of lettuce can be eaten in a salad and not take away from the freshness or taste. I learned that a bruised apple or orange doesn’t foreshadow the taste of the flesh and that I, like so many others, had little idea what food actually looks like.

I’ve just received my fourth box, but this post will detail some of the items I made with the vegetables from my third box. To reiterate some key points about this package:

  • The produce is not enough on its own, but is a great foundation for the weeks’ meals
  • You will need to supplement with other items to create well-balanced meals
  • The element of surprise really incites creativity in the kitchen
  • The food is seasonal, meaning you’ll likely encounter produce you’ve never dealt with before, which also means you may have to do a little research before meal time (hence this post!)

OK! On to the food (again, pics are NOT FOODIE STATUS. I’m about making good tasting food that looks like a normal person cooked it, but moreso I can’t bear to waste time making my food look good for a photo when I could be eating it). In my third box, I received:

Eggplant, onions (not pictured), green peppers, a variety of greens (perilla leaf, arugula, salad greens), buchu (garlic chive), blueberries, six eggs, two cucumbers and a bunch of arugula.

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I have a bunch of portioned hanu (Korean beef) in my freezer that has been waiting to become a good topper. I used to love the combination of steak and arugula when I was living in Canada, so the first thing I made was a steak and arugula salad.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI plumped up the salad with some of the other leafy greens I was given and made a light, lemony vinaigrette. I added some cherry tomatoes from a previous box for good measure, and topped it with a juicy, seared steak.

Arugula is an amazing green. It’s peppery and fragrant and has a strong flavour. It’s amazing on top of pizzas (proscuitto, parm, mozzarella and arugula is my favorite), in or around anything with steak (steak sandwiches/salads), as the star of the show in an Italian style niciose salad (with lemon, salt, and olive oil dressing and topped with tuna), or even just tossed in lemon juice and placed on top of a piece of fried pork cutlet.

I was so excited about the eggplant. I love to use eggplant in almost anything because it is so versatile; I usually use it in place of animal proteins because of its thick, meaty texture- that means stews, sauces, sandwiches and other meals I would usually prepare with meat get eggplant instead. So I went ahead and prepared a Thai green curry with eggplant (and literally every other vegetable I could use up)  and an eggplant parm inspired gnocchi (the gnocchi I got off Both lasted me a few meals each. I contemplated making baba ganoush, but opted instead for a couple meals with more vitality.

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Cucumber is so common that I doubted whether or not I should include it in this post. However, I got really excited about making one of my favorite summer salads: salatat laban wa kh’yar (in Arabic), or, cucumber yogurt salad. It was really difficult for me to find the right yogurt for this recipe (if anyone knows where to order quality, preferably home made greek yogurt, hit me up!) so the yogurt I used was not as thick as this salad usually calls for. There are five ingredients here: cucumber, plain yogurt, dried mint (you can use fresh) garlic and salt. All to taste. Since the yogurt was runny, I only just coated the cucumber, but normally the bowl would be full.

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My absolute favorite Korean side dish are pickled vegetables. When I saw onion and green pepper in the box, that’s immediately what came to mind. Together with some garlic that I received the week before, I made my very own. I combined everything in one container, boiled the pickling brine and poured it over top. I let it sit for a few days in the fridge before tasting, so all the brine could really soak in. Since I like my pickled veggies a little sweeter and more sour than what I’ve tasted in the restaurants, I added a little more vinegar and sugar than the recipe called for: 2 cups water, one cup soy sauce, and somewhere between a quarter and a half cup each of vinegar and sugar.

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Finally, I used all the perilla leaves I received to make perilla leaf pesto. I’ve been eating pesto or some version of it for 2 months now thanks to Gachi, and I’m not complaining (is there such a thing as too much pesto? No. There isn’t). It’s the exact same recipe as basil pesto, except sub perilla leaves for basil. It tastes very similar, and the perilla leaf flavour, usually overpowering, comes out subtly and smoothly. I tried it a variety of different ways: hot with whole wheat linguine, for a more western feel, and cold with buckwheat noodles, topped with cucumber and eaten with a side of pickled radish, for a more summery Korean noodle feel. Both were great. I didn’t take any pictures, because it looks exactly like basil pesto, (which isn’t very interesting) and everyone knows what that looks like.

What came of the blueberries and buchu? I mixed them into random meals at random times.

So I guess I’m still very much enamored with my community supported agriculture. The box I received this week is even more exciting, challenging and inspiring than what was featured in this post, and I look forward to continuing my culinary endeavors and sharing them. Have you subscribed yet?

Filed under: Agriculture, Opinion Tagged: Agriculture, CSA, fresh, Gachi CSA, local, South Korea

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Free G-Dragon's KLIve Hologram Concert Tickets

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Are you into K-pop? As a summer surprise, Trazy offers FREE concert tickets of G-DRAGON’s KLIVE HOLOGRAM CONCERT for those who book any events on Trazy. At the hologram concert, you can enjoy the international K-pop star G-Dragon’s performances as if it’s real. Klive ticket promotion coupon We will randomly choose 10 lucky winners for the tickets! So hurry up! Book activities during the event period (7/15 ~ 26) and be the one to enjoy G-DRAGON’s performances for free!

Do you want to know more about G-dragon’s Klive Hologram Concert?  Check here for more details!!!

Lunch time! #먹스타그램 #학교 #점심시간 #점심 #음식스타그램 #음식 #koreanfood

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Lunch time! #먹스타그램 #학교 #점심시간 #점심 #음식스타그램 #음식 #koreanfood

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The Serious Business of Corn

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In case I haven’t really explained it yet, each month at the magazine, we chose an ingredient and visit a farm that produces that ingredient, in a region that’s famous for that ingredient, and a restaurant (or two) that specialize in Korean dishes that feature the ingredient. This is the basis for the article I write – farm to table, an introduction to Korean food from a foreign perspective. 

This month’s trip hasn’t even happened yet, but I’m already somewhat captivated by the subject, simply because Asian waxy corn vs. Western sweet corn seems to have the internet pretty divided. On the one hand, forums and message boards for Western foreigners in Korea are full of venomous ranting about waxy corn not being fit for human consumption, where as 찰옥수수 (glutinous corn) is considered the best in Korea. While foreigners are exchanging tips on where to find sweet corn on the cob in Korea, forums based in the States are full of Asian Americans swapping information on where to find the waxy corn they grew up with. 

We all know that weird and wonderful things can happen when immigrants bring their native culinary habits to a new country, where the locals adapt the dishes to fit their tastes, and fusion food is born. Italian pizza and American pizza can’t be said to be the same food, and even regional preferences within the same country can eventually come into play – see Chicago vs. New York. 

What’s interesting about waxy corn is that it’s an example of the same thing, but in a form that’s been occurring for a long time before trendy fusion restaurants were a thing. Essentially, corn was carried to China in the 16th century by the Portuguese who found it in the Americas. The Chinese took the crop and bred it over time to match their own taste – it’s not surprising that a rice-based culture would breed for glutinous qualities. From there, the waxy variety spread across Asia. This is considered to be the real variety of corn here, while the sweet, bright yellow stuff that comes in cans isn’t good for much other than an added flavor in side dishes, sandwiches or – another sore spot for Westerners – on pizza, the Korean version, which isn’t as different from the American version as the American version is from the Italian, frankly. 

What I found most amusing about this casual pre-article research is just how angry people on both sides get about the opposing camp’s idea of what makes for good corn. A lot of comments on both side referred back to childhood and, especially, summer. Of course, I have my own memories of the juices from grilled corn dribbling down my chin in the backyard. But my real emotional association with the food is even more regional than that – it’s cornbread, which I also ended up reading a lot about once I found myself starting to crave it while reading about corn. Specifically, I was annoyed that, while I can go out and buy cornbread in Korea, both Korean and foreign, it will either be the soft, fluffy, slightly richer version of white bread produced in Korean bakeries, or the overly sweet stuff the foreign barbecue restaurants I know of produce. Which is not right. American cornbread is not sweet.

I found that this preference, too, has its own background story. Apparently, the shift from stone milling to roller milling in the south caused the corn to lose a lot of the kernel and, with it, a lot of the resulting cornmeal’s flavor. To cope with the new meal’s flavor and texture, cooks began to doctor original recipes with things like sugar and wheat flour.

Et voila. Skillet-sized corn muffins for everyone. 

On the other side of the coin, there was the time B brought back a loaf of bread with little kernels of corn stuck all through it from the corner bakery for me to make French toast with. I generally take Korea’s variations for what they are. I try not to compare them too much to what I’m used to, and I quite enjoy 옛날 빵 in all its forms – they’re no less valid than any other kind of food, as long as you look at them as their own thing. But I draw the line at corny French toast. 

What’s funny to me is how generous I can usually be with Korean variations on foods that I have some personal stake in, while I’ll be ready to go ten rounds with anyone from the next state over who screws around with foods I grew up eating at home. Maybe that’s how the people calling 찰 옥수수 ‘cattle feed’ on the internet forums feel (to be fair, it is actually used as cattle feed in the US). But as for me, I think I laid that cross down the first time I bit into a stuffed crust pizza to find my mouth full of mashed sweet potato. Some battles are just not worth fighting. Sometimes it’s better to just let it go.

In other news, I went to the National Museum of Korea for the second time in a week today. We're preparing to do an article about it, celebrating the ten-year anniversary since its relocation to Yongsan. Today, a coworker and I met the director and were given a tour around the museum, which definitely made me appreciate it a little more. Prior to today, I had never noticed the little icons on certain displays that read "AR Tour," but it turns out, if you download an app and situate those displays in the center of your smartphone screen, some pretty cool features pop up. You can listen to the sound of a Goryeo bell or examine celadon pieces in much more detail than the dimly lit gallery allows.

I snapped just a few photos, two from the Hangeul Museum and one of Lady Hyegyeong's memoir, which may be my favorite Korean book.

I made off with a bag full of dorky swag from the various directors, who were all very kind. I've actually met the director of the foreigner activities before, although I'm not surprised she didn't remember me -- we first met last year, right after I'd entered language school, when we took a class field trip. She thought that was funny, but it caused me to pause for a moment and realize how far I've come in the past year. If you'd told me then, when I was struggling through the first exams I'd had in years and still trying to get over my eternal shyness about speaking Korean out loud, that I'd be sitting in on a meeting with her to discuss an article my magazine was working on, you'd have been blown away by the force of the laughter.

It's easy to get dragged down into the daily routine -- the pitches I have to somehow finish by the end of this week, while reviewing the final color prints for the August issue, the trip out of town on Monday for the article, followed by a possible late night at the printer on Tuesday. The article I then have to crank out by Friday while also doing the first round of editing on the articles I'm in charge of, before the deadline period starts again the following week.  All of the other things I wish I could be doing, all of the time. But sometimes, a fragment of the past glimmers in front of my eyes for just a moment, and I feel grateful, and just a bit proud.

I'm No Picasso
This is a tale of the seaports where chance brings the traveler: he clambers a hillside and such things come to pass.
In Imminent Danger
Bits and pieces about Korean literature and translation philosophy


Translation: What is Family?

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The following is a translation of a Huffington Post Korea article by Director Kim Jho Gwang su written last week about his efforts to obtain legal recognition of his marriage to Kim Seung-hwan. The original can be found here

The Supreme Court of the United States made a historic ruling on the 26th of June, 2015, to legalize same-sex marriage. Immediately after the decision, President Barack Obama tweeted his thoughts saying "Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else."
The news spread quickly not only throughout the United States and was met with support and cheer throughout the world. The world's citizens began to use the hashtag "#lovewins" through SNS services like Twitter and Facebook to show how love is stronger than discrimination toward sexual minorities and through people using the LGBT movement's symbolic six-color flag as a filter on their Facebook profile picture, they joined together in a historical moment for equality. Our country was no exception. 
Source: Kim Jho Gwang Su and Kim Seung-hwan
Looking at this historical decision, memories of a painful event
On the day that same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the country, I remembered an incident in fall of 2013. The incident was reported in the following way: "On the 30th of October, 2013, at 6:40 in the morning, 62-year-old Ms. X's body was found in a flower bed of an apartment a citizen, who reported it to the police. Ms. X had that morning jumped from the apartment she was living in. In her pant's' pocket, a note was discovered saying to "Donate my body" (시신 기증). According to police reports, Ms. X had graduated from a nearby girl's vocational school and had been living with another alumni of the school, Ms. Y, for more than 40 years. Ms. Y  had been diagnosed with late stage cancer in September and had died in the hospital in early October while receiving treatment. Ms. X said that there was friction with Ms. Y's family caused by economic problems during the process of caring for Ms. Y." (Seoul Newspaper, 2013/10/31) 
Graduates from a girl's high school living together for more than 40 years. Seeing the news story, seeing how one died from cancer and the other committed suicide from jumping from the apartment the two had lived in, was shocking. I exhaustively searched for other articles. Pieces of their lives could be found in articles here and there. It was reported the two had met while at a girl's high school. They had lived together for more than 40 years. One person had a job and earned money while the other stayed at home to do domestic work. The two lived together for around 40 years but they weren't able to receive legal recognition as a family. The two's assets were under the name of Ms. Y (the one who worked). The same with the house and savings. When Ms. Y was diagnosed with cancer, it had already spread beyond control. In the letter of admittance form, a family member had to sign, but Ms. X wasn't family so she had to go and find Ms. Y's family. At that point, Ms. Y's nephew made sure that Ms. X could not use savings or the house that were under Ms. Y's name. In the end,  Ms. X was not allowed to be by Ms. Y's side when she succumbed to the disease in the ICU, and in this way had to say goodbye to the person she had lived with for more than 40 years. Not long after Ms. Y left this world, Ms. X ended up throwing herself from the balcony where they two had lived. Seeing the note left to donate her body, I burst into tears. 
I can't even imagine how that person felt. If it was me... If I was treated in that way by the family of the person I had lived with for more than 40 years, not able to take care of the one who hurt, if I wasn't able to say goodbye when they passed. If it was me, what would I do? 
We can't know what kind of relationship Ms. X and Ms. Y had. But I don't think that is important. Living for 40 years under the same roof, isn't that a family? Is there any thing more important in the idea of a family? Even so, the two were not able to receive any sort of legal protection as a family. Not only legal protection, but they weren't afforded any social or cultural protection as well. Rather, as it wasn't a 'normal family', they needed to be separated, they weren't even allowed to be together as one person fought with a disease, and the one left behind had to be accused of laying her fingers on property that wasn't hers.
Now, it is time to embrace a variety of relationships
In our country, there are not many legal ways to be considered a family. First of all, blood. If your blood is the same you just become family. The word family is extended to parents and offspring, as well as siblings. There are two other ways to become family other than through blood. The first is marriage, and the second is adoption. Marriage is the case where you meet an other and become a family. Through the simple system of marriage registration, you can easily marry someone and become a family provided they are older than 20 (TKQ: Korean age), are not currently married, they are not a close relative, etc. (In the case of those younger than 18, marriage is not allowed and those older than 18 but a minor, marriage is allowed with permission of the parents). It is said that there are thousands of legal and institutional benefits provided to those who become family through a marriage. Through marriage, they become a couple (부부) and are recognized as a new family. However, marriage is only available to heterosexuals in our country. On the other hand, adoption requires a lot of rigid steps compared to marriage. When the adoption is beautifully recognized, the name given by blood can be received as well. In this way, established families are an important unit recognized by society and receive both legal and institutional protection. 
As of now, relationships other than blood, marriage, or adoption cannot become families. Specifically, if a relationship is established through blood and the two only meet once or twice a year at holidays, or even don't see each other for decades, they are family. On the other hand, two people who have no blood relationship but spend 40 living together cannot become a family. We need to think about whether our family system is rational. We need to think whether we need to accept those who have a relationship out side of blood, marriage, or adoption, and if so we need to think about how we should regulate and protect those relationships. 
Already, 'civil marriages' are being recognized in several countries as a way to recognize new families. There are also many countries like the US that recognize same-sex marriage, and systems that recognize couples who have not married (including same-sex couples) as having the same relationship as married couples, and countries that recognize community families rather than couples. 
Even if it is late to the game, we also need to expand what we consider a family. Article 11 Section 1 of Korea's constitutional law, stating that all citizens should be treated equally in front of the law, must not be a law in theory only. 

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