Recent Blog Posts
A new recurring event is DJ Twink spinning at the Rabbit Hole every Saturday from 9 pm to 1 am. While not necessarily a queer bar, the Rabbit Hole certainly is a welcoming place. For more info about DJ Twink and the Rabbit Hole, check out the event's Facebook page.
This Saturday is also the last weekend to see Volume 3 Some of the Gays are Coming. Although the lack of English subtitles may be difficult for some viewers, the short films were quite interesting and were followed by discussions with the directors and actors. The threesome never happened though...
vegetables and seasonings essential to authentic and flavorful bibimbap. Just buy a few fresh vegetables and/or meat from
your local store and you are ready to go!
You may ask, “why haven’t I seen these mountain vegetables even in Korean restaurants?” That’s because quality Korean
mountain vegetables are expensive and difficult to source. So most restaurants in North America avoid using them.
However, proper traditional bibimbap in Korea always includes at least one, if not all, of these mountain vegetables.
The dried vegetables in this kit are not dried for the purpose of creating this kit. It is a normal practice for Koreans to buy
the mountain vegetables in a dried format and soak them overnight before cooking. All ingredients in this kit are carefully
selected based on quality and flavor to create the most delicious and healthy bibimbap. Absolutely no chemicals or flavor
enhancers are added.
Making bibimbap is an art in itself, and requires patience and care. It can also be a chance to unleash creativity by adding
a new topping with your own flare. We hope you enjoy the journey as much as your final creation! To make this easier, we
have more detailed info, tips and Q & A below. If in doubt, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unless the email is sent to a wrong address, you should receive a reply in 1-2 days.
We look forward to seeing the photos of your beautiful creations. Post your bibimbap photo using #CrazyKoreanCooking
to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for a chance to win a set of stone bowls.
Happy cooking! Oh, don’t forget to soak dried vegetables the night before!
~ Crazy Koreans
The bibimbap kit recipe book suggests carrot, gray squash and beef for additional fresh ingredients. You can add other
fresh vegetables you love instead. Other ingredients commonly used in traditional bibimbap include: soy bean sprouts,
mung bean sprouts, spinach, eggplant, cucumber, pear and Korean radish. When choosing optional toppings,
consider red and green colors and crispy texture to contrast those included in this kit.
For cucumber, pear and Korean radish: Simply cut them into thin strips (julienne) and lightly saute in sesame oil
with a pinch of salt.
For other toppings, see below:
1. Can I make bibimbap with this kit alone, without buying additional fresh ingredients?
Yes. You can still enjoy delicious bibimbap without additional ingredients. If you don’t add gochujang (red chili paste) at
the end, it will be basically Sachal Bibimbap (Temple Bibimbap), which originates from Korean temple cuisine. Korean
temple cuisine is vegan and does not include any stimulating herbs and spices like garlic. It is famous for being one of the
2. Any suggestions for a protein-rich topping for vegetarians and vegans?
Tofu is obviously a great choice. Use the same seasoning and cooking method as beef. Another option is to add veggie
burgers on top. You can season the veggie burgers with the base seasoning. You can also add your favorite beans when
you cook the rice. Since beans take much longer to cook, pre-cook the beans first before adding to the rice. Although it
is not a traditional practice, you can also braise beans in soy sauce and use it as a topping.
3. What do I do with left overs?
Bibimbap is best eaten immediately after cooking. In its final form bibimbap may last for a day in the fridge. If the cooked
and seasoned toppings haven’t been touched and are stored separately in the fridge, they may last longer. You can serve
the cooked toppings as a side dish for the next meal. Blanched but not seasoned vegetables can be kept in the freezer
for long term storage.
4. How do I store unused dried vegetables?
Avoid direct sunlight and store in a cool and dry place. Once opened, seal tightly to store. You may also freeze it after
blanching in boiling water with some salt.
5. Can I cook all ingredients at once?
There are three reasons why ingredients are cooked separately. First, it allows you to create a killer presentation. If you
mix everything up, it won’t look as beautiful. Secondly, ingredients get cooked at different speeds. So, you may end up
with some things undercooked or others overcooked. Thirdly, when you cook things together, the flavors can be infused
to create a different flavor than the intended one. However, we are not going to discourage you from experimenting and
adapting the recipe to your liking. After all, cooking is a creative process!
6. Not all the toppings are hot after following this recipe. Is that normal?
Traditionally, the veggies (namul) on bibimbap are not supposed to be hot. Namul are room temperature side dishes that
you can also use in bibimbap. If you prefer everything to be hot, use stone bowls (or other stove-safe bowls) and add
all the toppings when you pre-heat the bowl and rice. Leave the whole thing on the stove on low heat for a while, with a
cover or a lid. Some suggest putting the whole thing in the oven for a while.
7. Why is bibimbap served in a big bowl and how many people can I serve with one bowl?
Bibimbap bowls (regular or stone bowls) are traditionally for individual servings (meaning one bowl is for one person),
though they are big. But, that doesn’t mean you have to fill up the bowl to the top if you are not a big eater. Big bowls are
used because it’s easy to mix things up without making a mess. If you don’t care too much about following the tradition,
you can use a fully filled bowl as communal bowl to feed 2-3 small eaters.
8. Do I have to use a dolsot (stone bowl) for bibimbap?
No, bibimbap can be served in a regular bowl. But, sizzling dolsot (stone bowl) bibimbap is definitely a step up in terms of
taste and presentation.
9. How can I make sizzling dolsot (Stone Bowl) Bibimbap with this kit?
It’s super easy. Just buy stone bowls and make bibimbap following the instructions. The only difference is that you leave
the stone bowls with rice on the stove on low heat until it forms a golden crust at the bottom.
10. What is a dolsot (stone bowl) and where can I buy one?
“Stone Bowl” is the common North American name for the sizzling bibimbap bowl, directly translated from “Dol Sot”
bibimbap. Natural stone bowls are mostly used in restaurants for the unique look, but many Koreans use ceramic
stoneware at home for its ease of use and sanitary benefit. In terms of function, it performs just like natural stone. One
primary example is its sizzling effect. Buy stone bowls here.
11. Why can’t I get the crunchy crust at the bottom even though I am using a stone bowl?
There are two possible reasons for this. ONE, you may be using the wrong type of rice. For all Korean cooking, use short
grain rice. (It’s also called sticky rice. Koreans and Japanese eat this type of rice). Other types of rice may not be sticky
enough. Also, your rice can be cooked too dry. TWO, you may just need to leave your bowl on the stove for a longer time.
It takes awhile to pre-heat the dolsot, so you probably want to leave the rice in the bowl for 10-20 min. Always use the
lowest heat and check it frequently to prevent burning.
the comment section. We will do our best to answer
as soon as we can.
- A notepad and a pen (that's it!)
- Write down every word that you hear, but that you don’t understand – yes, every word.
- After watching an episode, you will probably have a very long vocabulary list, full of words that you didn’t understand.
- Now use a dictionary and look up each of the words. If you can’t find the word in the dictionary, then skip it. If you find the word, but it has a difficult or strange meaning, then also skip it.
- Then, study the remaining words that you found with definitions. This might only be 10% of your original list or less, but this is fine.
- Finally, repeat this method again with a new list.
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Maxi, our four months old puppy whining. Kimchi boy and I adopted him when a neighbor's dog gave birth to a litter of puppies. We've no idea what breed he is, except that he is a mixed. Pretty smart dog that listens to both Korean and English. This is a video of him going crazy. Kimchi boy should bring him out more often!
This is Latte, my family's pet. She's with us for almost 10 years now. Really sweet cocker spaniel mix.. (how cute is her bed!!) This is a video of me trying to surprise her but she surprised me instead.
Translation: 배우 차수연, “레즈비언 역할 위해 실제 동성애자 만나”: Actress Cha Soo-yeon, "For a lesbian role I met sexual minorities in real life"
by Mr. Motgol
Over the last couple of years there has been a proliferation of what I call “small beer” joints in the city I call home. These places are great. I can now can grab a cheap, cold, very drinkable glass of lager in my neighborhood without being required to purchase any anju, the often pricey “side dishes” that are de rigeur in any Korean bar. These small beer joints are cozy and friendly. They’re the very antithesis of the dark, sequestered, giant-couch vibe that used to dominate the Korean beer-drinking scene, an arrangement that purposely discouraged interaction between patrons. These places are bright and stylish and take a cue from Japan and the West, with both tables and bar/stool space, all crammed together with an eye for aesthetics. They’re usually run by hip younger folks who don’t spazz out at the fact that a foreigner has sidled up at their counter, even if I come alone. I am a regular at several and they never fuss or stare or bat an eye, but rather treat me just like any Korean patron. But the best part, for me, is proximity. There are five or six of these places within a couple minute walk from my house. No longer do I have to jump on the bus or subway or pay taxi fare just to make my way to one of the sanctioned watering holes for my kind—the so-called “foreigner bars.” I live in a bustling neighborhood with plenty of nightlife and almost no expats, and am tired of the tyranny that one or two districts have held over the drinking options for the waegookin. Finally, I have a local. Well… a few locals, to be precise.
Tuesdays are a grueling day for me this semester. I teach 9 to 9, and though I have an extensive break in the morning, I usually fill it up with my non-teaching work, which often means writing. By the time the day is done I am zapped, and usually ready for a cold, wind-down beer. So last week I headed to the newest small beer joint in my ‘hood, a great place called “Hero Salon.” The proprietor is a skinny, long-haired artist who has done the whole place in a superhero theme, with numerous pop art paintings and murals featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, borrowing heavily in style from the late Keith Haring. Like many small beer joints this one has not one, but two tiny outside counters just a step up of the street. As it was late summer and still warm, I sat my ass at an outside stool, ordered a cold one, and proceeded to get lost in Kindle world.
For a moment, I had found basic bliss. I had finished a long, productive day of work; I was on a quiet side street just minutes from my house, sipping a beer, engaged and transported by the book in front of my eyes. It was proper unwind alone time, and at that moment I couldn’t have been happier.
I glanced up from my reading as a man approached from the street. He looked familiar.
“Do you remember me?” he asked
I then recognized him. He was a professor from my school. A colleague.
“We work together at Suyeong College. I saw you at the restaurant a while back with your wife.”
“Of course…” I said. “Hello.”
“Are you waiting for someone?” he asked. His English was good.
He appeared confused by my answer, as if the idea of a man enjoying a drink alone was too much for his brain to process.
“I’m just reading,” I said, motioning to my Kindle. Please. Go. Leave me alone.
“Oh. Do you live near here?”
I stifled the impulse to lie. “Yes, just around the corner.”
“Me too! What … what a… what’s the word?” He searched the files in his head.
“A coincidence?” I offered.
“Yes, yes… coincidence. But I was thinking of another… hmm… oh: fate. I think our meeting is fate.”
Red flag. Red flag.
With that he took a seat next to me. He would not be fucking off anytime soon. Lucky me. I now had a “buddy.”
He was from Seoul, but worked in Busan. His wife and kids stayed up north, while he sent them cash and maintained a tiny apartment just up the street from the bar. He just came back from playing ping-pong with a friend. He asked me if I ever played ping-pong. I told him that I have only ever really played ping-pong once in my life, twenty years ago, and that it had been a disaster.
With that he switched gears.
“What is your religion?” he asked.
I knew at once where he was headed.
“Uh… I am a Catholic.”
This is true: I am a baptized Catholic, though my beliefs now firmly run on the agnostic side. But when I sniff an overzealous Christian trying to suss out where I stand with God, I always affirm my Catholicism. Being a member of the One True Universal Church can sometimes work as fundie repellent. This can sometimes appease their missionary zeal, though with others, winning me over to “their side” becomes an even more attractive challenge.
“Oh, I see.”
I shifted on my stool, grabbed the beer, and took a big gulp.
“I am a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Do you know about this church?”
“You’re a Mormon?”
“That is right. What do you think of Mormons?”
“Well… I have a lot of respect for Mormons. I just find their beliefs a bit too conservative for my tastes.”
“That is right. No smoking or drinking. I quit 25 years ago.”
With that I ordered another beer. He ordered a Coke. Shit. He’s camped. He had no wife in town to go home to. He was bored and lonely and now had a mission: To win my soul for Joseph Smith and the gang. I would not be getting back to my book. I would not be left in peace. I would have to come up with an exit strategy, STAT.
“What is your wife’s religion?” he asked.
For fuck’s sake.
“She’s a Catholic too.” This was true, her family was as Catholic as mine, but like me, she stopped attending mass years ago.
“I see.” He smiled. “So, what do you usually do on Sundays?”
I usually recover from soul shattering hangovers by drinking goat’s blood.
What he wanted was so nakedly apparent. It was obvious that he was feeling me out, fishing for a chance to try to invite me to his church or rope me into some kind of Mormon’d up activity. It’s happened so many times before, that I can feel it coming. You know how some people have great gaydar? Well I have a highly developed sense of Modar. I remember ages back, 1989 or ‘90, sitting in a park in Lacey, Washington, with three friends, stoned off our asses. We had a guitar and were jamming a couple of songs. Suddenly a couple of clean cut kids our age showed up and asked us if we were hungry, that they were having a barbecue and had extra burgers, hot dogs, and pop. We were in the grips of the munchies and took them up on their offer. As soon as we arrived I felt the zombiefied fake happy/enthusiastic Christian vibe (the weed helped attune me), and sure enough, the whole posse of them were Mormons. They shared their food, only to then push us with the hard sell. They pressured and leaned on to join them at their church the following Sunday. We told them, very politely, to go fuck themselves.
But this guy was a co-worker. He was a professor, a colleague. I had to tread lightly. I needed to occupy that middle ground where he would know, in no uncertain terms, I would never, ever, attend his church, even if they were giving out fistfuls of free cash. But I also had to be nice about it. After all, like most Mormons, he was a nice guy. If he hadn’t played the religion card so early in our conversation, I just may have made a bit of time for him. But probably not. Like I said, I was very happy alone, more than content to NOT participate in new Korean buddy interrogation time.
Now that I knew that what he wanted and that he would not leave me alone that evening, I feigned receiving a text message from my wife.
“Oh, man. I gotta go. The better half requires my presence at home.”
“I see. But we must meet again!”
“What is your phone number?”
I was trapped, so I gave it to him. He even called me right then and there to make sure it went through (it’s harder to just give a bogus number these days). Luckily I saved his name in ALL CAPS, my particular code for DON’T EVER TAKE THIS CALL. EVEN IF YOU ARE ON FIRE.
I paid the bill—including his Coke—which he took for an invitation for him “treat me next time.” And as I walked to the store across the street (I had to buy a few things for home) he followed me, lingering outside for a disturbingly long time while I did my shopping. Finally, when I emerged, bag in hand, he was gone.
I have lived in Korea a long time now, and am pretty accommodating when it comes to slight acquaintances or strangers approaching me to try out some English. I am not one of those douchey foreigners who moans about being a “free English lesson” any time a local wants to talk a bit with a real, native speaker. I know how it can be. I remember when I was learning Spanish, all those years back, and would sometimes approach a Spanish speaker to attempt a conversation. My heart would be beating through my neck, and the first few times I tried the words got jumbled like unevenly shaped stones in my mouth and I came across like a gasping fool. I try to smile and be welcoming of most any folks who address me here out of the blue, but this is only when I know that they’re doing it out of pure curiosity and kindness. I don’t deal well with shallowly hidden agendas.
And sometimes, just sometimes, I really want to be left alone. This was one of those times. I wanted, more than anything, to sip a couple of beers and enjoy the rich harvest of my reading in peace. I didn’t want to talk to ANYONE, foreign or Korean, friend or family. And then when my tranquility was shattered, when I was forced into a conversation that I had no interest in being in, it was with a guy who pretended to want to get to know me as a friend, when we both knew all along that he really didn’t give a shit about what I was really about. He didn’t care about the real me at all. He only wanted to get me to go to his church, in hopes of converting me and earning a notch on his tally of souls. I’ll never have time for that.
Mobile Tools and Strategies for ELT
iPad App Touch Cast
Explain Everything Great tool for making e-lectures
Book Creator Free ebook creator
not always great translation, but love the speech recognition challenge screencast
Divii - tidy dictionary with video examples
Mobile devices to access Google Drive (documents)
Vocabulary.com App This is just second to none. Check out their homepage
Socrative - Quick quizzes.
Layar example> http://www.ismartedu.net/augmented-reality-for-parents/
Layar used to focus more on environmental AR. I’m a little disappointed that they shifted to print. It was really fun to look about the room and create Layars on the walls :-)
MoveNote - Quick, easy video lecture creator (mobile). Upload pictures or PPT and include your video (webcam) from your phone. I’ve used this to do some “flipped” lectures. The problem I have with it is that I can’t download a final video. I’ve also has a small problem with conversion of some PPTs. However, it is good for quick and dirty tutorials.
Michael Griffin's Why Don't Korean students use apps for learning English?
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!
In the past we’ve taken part in Chuseok activities in Seoul, gone on a trip to Gangwon-do, and have had a laid back stay-cation, but this year was really special. My Aunt Kathy came to visit us for the holiday! She is our first family member to come visit us in Korea, so it’s an understatement to say we were really excited. We’ve been waiting for years to share our life here with people we love, IN PERSON. It’s one thing to do these blogs and videos, after all family is the reason we started doing them in the first place. But it’s just not the same as seeing everything in real life. My Aunt Kathy and I also have a special bond because we are kindred spirits, so the trip was extra special for me.
We left on Friday right after work and took the train up to Seoul. I could write a whole post about how stressful it was getting the train tickets for Chuseok weekend, but I’ll just say I had the help of my coteacher, her husband, 2 computers, and a phone. Traffic is insane during Chuseok so traveling by train is the only way to go. I’m so thankful for my coteacher’s help in getting the tickets for us!
Anyways, our plan was to hit the ground running. We met her in Myeongdong, and as we got out of the taxi from Seoul Stn. it was so surreal seeing my Aunt sitting there waiting for us! After living here for 4 years and never seeing family, it was such a new feeling seeing a loved one’s face in the landscape of Korea. After lots of hugs, we ventured up Namsan mountain via cable car to see the city from the top of N Seoul Tower.
They were closing the tower so we had very little time up there, but at least we got to go up! It made me remember just how huge Seoul is, it’s almost overwhelming sometimes! After admiring the view we went back to check out our hotel, Fraser Suites in Insadong. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a nice place in a great location! So many things are within walking distance, there is great service, and we even got upgraded to a 3 bedroom apartment! Our place was so nice that we didn’t wake up THAT early on Saturday – me and Evan were enjoying the comfy queen sized bed and my Aunt was still catching up on sleep.
It worked out perfectly because I wanted to be starving for what I had planned that day. As you guys know, near the beginning of the year we went on Zen Kimchi’s Dark Side of Seoul tour and really enjoyed it. We knew we wanted to do one of their food tours and this was the perfect opportunity. A group of us met by Mapo Station at 1pm and we set off for some delicious BBQ. The Mapo neighborhood in Seoul is famous for it’s style of BBQ, with a tray around the side of the grill where egg is mixed with kimchi and green onions and cooks alongside your meat. This style has become popular all over Korea in the past few years and can be found everywhere, but it’s great to eat it where it all began. This was my Aunt’s first Korean BBQ and she loved it! This will be a common theme, hehe!
We also had some of the best Korean food (and drinks) I’ve ever had at two other restaurants, but I’m going to save the delicious details on that for another post.
After we sobered up a little bit we jumped on the Seoul Bus Tour. Our first stop was Deoksogung Palace. We arrived at dusk and it was gorgeous. We sat by the pond and just admired our surroundings, all the while I was eaten alive by mosquitoes! After that we took a long bus ride following the Han River to see all of the best night views of the city. I love how many cool bridges there are! If you haven’t used Seoul City Bus Tours I highly recommend it. Just 12,000 for a day and you can hop on and off where ever you want.
The tour ended at Gwanghwamun Plaza, so we got off and walked to the Cheonggyecheon Stream. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, so after walking around a bit we grabbed some coffee and just sat at a table by the stream! We decided to try to throw a coin in this circle in the stream for good luck, and Aunt Kathy got it in on the first try! This was just the beginning of our great luck on this trip.
Eventually we wandered over to the plaza to admire the great statues of Lee-Sun Shin and King Sejong. We sat in the grass and had a long talk about everything we did and saw that day. It’s so refreshing to see Korea through the eyes of someone new to the country again. It makes everything exciting and new again for us …not that we were getting tired of it here!
On Sunday we didn’t do that much because we had a train to catch to Busan! But before we left we had time to take my Aunt to one of our favorite places in our first neighborhood, Yangpyeong! It sits by a stream that flows into the Nakdong river, and there are also great views of the more famous Mokdong neighborhood behind us. We also managed to meet up with our good friend Michael, take her to Le Cafe, our favorite coffee shop in Seoul, and eat bingsu of course!
We only had a short time in Seoul but I think we made the most of it without making it stressful! When we travel we don’t like to see it all, and I knew my Aunt felt the same way so it was great to show someone around that was laid back and mostly wanted to relax and see the highlights.
Be on the lookout for a post about the Busan part of our trip coming up soon!