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7 Mid-Range Korean Beauty Brands You Should Know About – Best Sellers & New Arrivals

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Say goodbye to high-end luxury beauty brands. Now is the era of mid-range beauty brands! Thanks to affordable price regarding their quality and effectiveness, Korean beauty brands are rapidly gaining popularity worldwide.

Here we bring you 7 mid-range Korean beauty brands you should know about and their best sellers and new arrivals.



One of the most beloved Korean beauty brands is Innisfree, which pursues offer eco-friendly products that are created with healthy ingredients from Jeju Island.

Best Sellers

1. Super volcanic pore clay mask (13,000 KRW)250_img_super02.jpg

If you have concerns about your pore, try using this clay mask! Its super volcanic cluster capsules absorb sebum and tightens pores, exfoliates dead skin cells and offers deep cleansing.

2. Soybean Energy Essence (35,000 KRW)innisfree

Innisfree’s best essence that is formulated with 91% fermented Jeju soybean, which will revitalize your skin back to healthy one.

3. The Green Tea Seed Serum (22,000 KRW)9741_l

A serum made from Jeju Island’s organic green tea seeds that will moisturize and nourish your skin deeply.

New Arrivals

Here are the new arrivals at Innisfree such as facial mask sheets like Anti-aging Mask Nuritive and cushion cases that come in more than 100 colors and designs!


unnamedEtude House is the first makeup brand in Korea that brings every girls’ fantasy to reality. With adorable design and lovely theme, the products feature cute and girlish style.

Best Sellers

1. Double Lasting Foundation SPF34 PA++ (18,000 KRW)320_20160310191008852

Long-lasting foundation provides perfect cover and thin, fitting feel.

2. Real Powder Cushion SPF50+ PA+++ (18,000 KRW)320_20160510091956472

This innovative multitasking powder cushion provides all-day flawless face makeup with light and powdery finish.

3. Play Color Eyes #Ice Van (22,000 KRW)320_20160504155734883

The 10-color eye shadow palette expresses sweet ice cream colors on the eyelids!

New Arrivals20160512_lipstalk_600

Want to make your lips look attractive? Try this newly arrived lipsticks at Etude House. With vivid color and sensuous texture, Dear My Blooming Lips-talk Chiffon (9,5000 KRW) features Chiffon texture, which is a new texture with new formula that combines the best of both cream and matt types.

These lipsticks will last for long time and make your lips look thin and light!


เครื่องสำอาง_Skinfood_สกินฟู้ดSkinfood is the first Korean cosmetic brand with a philosophy that nutritive food results in nutritive beauty for healthy, beautiful skin. ‘healthy skin starts with food.’ Skinfood offers products made from the highest quality food

Best Sellers

1. Royal Honey Propolis Essence (20,300 KRW)7b27906d-9ea8-4b46-8c15-181c1ec26ea2

With 50% Black Bee Propolis extract, 20% Royal Jelly extract and 10% Royal Black Honey extract, this product has great effects for sensitive skin!

2. Black Sugar Perfect First Serum 2X –essential (24,000 KRW)340621e2-d837-45e2-a6c4-d566cef40f76

Made from black sugar and Cheongju, a traditional Korean wine, this product has skin-brightening and anti-wrinkle effects.


3. Yuja Water C Skin Care Set (36,000 KRW)529a1ff2-85e7-45ad-8081-307f444bfa3d

A set of products that contain yuja extract and moisturizing yuja oil that will keep your face moisturized all day.

New Arrivals

1. Vita Color Delicious Rouge (12,000 KRW)050feaad-3e45-46da-80ff-2fef7c323d92

A lipstick product with rich color and smooth texture!

2. Mineral Sugar Blend Eyes (21,000 KRW)752f8823-8cc2-488f-aaaa-6d9337139a48

This is a 6-color eye shadow palette for a natural color blend. From trendy to natural colors, try different styles and looks with this wonderful product!



4. NATURE REPUBLICfran_20150316175921_55

Nature Republic, similar to Innisfree, pursues healthy and natural beauty and uses ingredients like Californian Aloe, Moroccan Argan, African Shea Butter, Hawaiian Hibiscus and many more for their products.

Best Sellers

1. Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream (12,500 KRW)01_10010017NL8314_TSX1

A cream made from hyaluronic acid, which keeps skin moisturized and maintains moisture in skin for 72 hours!

2. Ginseng Royal Silk Watery Cream (66,000 KRW)01_10010017NL8088_XX500_1

With whitening and anti-wrinkle effects, this premium cream contains red ginseng extract, royal jelly with silk amino acids that are effective in nourishing and moisturizing your skin.

3. Forest Garden Olive Cleansing Oil (14,000 KRW)01_10010008NL8571_XX500

Made from natural olive oil, this cleansing oil gently removes makeup while moisturizing the skin. Strongly recommended for those with dry skin!

New Arrivals

Jeju Sparkling Cleansing Water (15,000 KRW)01_10010003NK0078_TSX1

A great set of cleansing water products that are made from Jeju Island’s clean spring waters. They remove your makeup and clean your facial skin simultaneously.



Tonymoly is a Korean beauty brand with a concept, “Witty Beauty.” It tries to deliver enjoyable urban beauty lifestyle!

Best Sellers

1. Back Gel Eyeliner (8,500 KRW)ddddd

Boasting strong waterproof, smooth apply, high maintenance, Tonymoly’s gel eyeliner is highly reputed among experts.

2. Master Lab Mask Sheet (4 Types) (2,000 KRW ea)SS05034900.jpg

Cheap but are great in supplementing moisture and nourishment in your skin!

3. The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Skin (13,500 KRW)그린티스킨(1)

Made from fresh green tea leaves, this skin care product from Tonymoly will help you keep your skin moist all day long.

New Arrivals

1. Panda’s Dream Pact SPF25 PA++ (9,800 KRW)BM05012600-4
Tonymoly’s new pact with absolutely cute panda design!

2. Spoiler Blush Stick (11,800 KRW)BM07015500-1
If you prefer creamy type of blusher that stay on your cheeks for a long time, try Tonymoly’s Spoiler Blush Sticks that come in adorable colors.



logo Moonshot is the first beauty brand launched by YG Entertainment, and you can find over 200 products including skin care line, color lines and many more.  Currently, G-Dragon from Big Bang and Sandara Park, or Dara, from 2NE1, are the models of Moonshot brand, so you can find GD cushion & Dara cushion at Moonshot.

cuenBest Sellers

1. Cream Paint (25,000 KRW)MS-cream_paint_804_F_500

With vibrant colors and a creamy texture, Cream Paint features two types: glossy and silky.

2. Perfection Dark Spot Concealer (20,000 KRW)MS-spot_concealer_201_F_500

This product not only covers your dark spots but also provides whitening and skincare effects. It boasts excellent coverage and can be used as a foundation.

3. Microfit Cushion (28,000 KRW)101_

Ultra light Microfit Cushion which express bright skin tone with anti-darkening formula.

New Arrivals

set3Perfect for men! This new 4 STEP FULL SET includes every beauty products that men need: Perfect Cleansing Foam, All In One Moisturizer, Grooming BB Cream SPF30, PA+++ and High Cut Sun Cream SPF 50+, PA+++. Try a visit to MOONSHOT Flagship Store. For details and directions, click here.


the faceshop.jpgThe Face Shop tries to deliver benefits of nature through their products that are best for your skin. Widely known for quality ingredients, The Face Shop products are beloved world wide.

Best Sellers

1. Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam (10,000 KRW)AF002350_01_1

Providing gentle cleansing that last during cleansing, this cleansing foam made from rice water is the most popular product from The Face Shop!
2. Chia Seed Skincare Set (30,000 KRW)AF004591_01_2
This set includes toner and lotion made from chia seed that has great effect in moisturizing skin deeply.

3. The Solution Mask Sheets (1,500 KRW ea)AF004424_01_1

Light and well-adhering, these mask sheets with basic function will solve your skin problem.

New Arrivals

Here are The Face Shop X Kakao Friends collaboration products that are completely irresistibly cute and unique!

See more 101 Guide to 11 Must Have Korean Cosmetics.

To find more latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea,, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!Travel Shop!button_main 2
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. 

Korean Workers’ Party Congress: Getting the KPA under Control?

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The following essay is the English language original of an essay I wrote for Newsweek Japan this month on the ruling (North) Korean Workers’ Party congress.

The argument I make is that the congress was an effort to revive the party in order to roll back the military. Songun may have kept Kim Jong Il from getting overthrown after the end of the Cold War, death of Kim Il Sung, and end of Soviet subsidies all cast into doubt the ability of North Korea to survive, but the cost was horrific. The military bankrupted the country as it pilfered, and when the famine hit in the late 1990s, there were resources for the regular population, and China had not yet fully stepped into the Soviet role of subsidizer-in-chief. The result was 10% of the population died.

Kim Jong Un couldn’t give a damn about his people, but he must know that military rent-seeking along the lines of songun means North Korea is either permanently dependent on China, with all the constraints on sovereignty that entails, or is permanently on the verge of famine, with all the risk of civil unrest that entails. The only way out is some internal growth, which means limiting the military’s rapacious appetite for the state budget and agricultural production. Hence, bringing back the party. It’s the only possible institutional counterweight to prevent NK from becoming a de facto military oligarchy.

That’s may big-picture interpretation of the congress. Tell me why I am wrong in the comments. The full essay follows the jump.


In early May, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (i.e., North Korea) held a party congress of its ruling Korean Workers’ Party for the first time since 1980. North Korea, in order to explain itself as a distinct Korean state from its far more prosperous southern cousin, must continue to use such arcane, cold war language. It must continue to the be the DPRK with an ideological party that propounds a philosophy radically distinct from the South. If it does not, it simply becomes a poorer, underdeveloped copy of the South with no obvious reason to continue as a separate state. Hence the party and this congress.

As irrelevant as it may be in 2016, as insignificant as it may seem in what is actually a totalitarian monarchy, the KWP’s continued existence plays an important legitimizing role. If the DPRK is just northern Korea, in the same way that the German Democratic Republic became just eastern Germany after the Berlin Wall fell, then why does a northern Korea even exist at all? East Germany, shorn of its communist, GDR identity, survived the Wall’s opening for less than a year. Post-ideological northern Korea – as opposed to the DPRK – would likely suffer the same fate. There is no reason for North Korea to exist, barring some ideology dramatically different from South Korea’s standard, modern offering of democracy, liberalism, and capitalism. So the party and its ideologues retain their value, even if the real ideology of North Korea is simply the whim of Kim Jong Un and his cronies.

The Decline of the Korean Workers’ Party

There was a time when the KWP was a genuine communist party. Kim Jong Un (ruler since 2011), and his father Kim Jong Il (ruled 1994-2011), may not have believed in communism or socialism, but the most important of the Kims, founder Kim Il Sung (ruled 1945-1994), probably did. Kim Il Sung made North Korea into a genuinely distinct state. Like North Vietnam or East Germany, North Korea was originally a competitive alternative to a nominally capitalist-democratic alternative during the Cold War. While East Germany lost that race, North Vietnam did not. West Germany emerged as a modern prosperous state that badly delegitimized its eastern competitor, which, in time, became dependent on it. But in Asia, the race between communism and capitalist democracy was much closer.

South Vietnam was a corrupt, cronyistic dictatorship, regardless of its alliance with the Americans. In the end, it lost decisively. Taiwan and South Korea were not obvious superior to their communist alternatives early in the Cold War. Kim Il Sung had reason to believe he and his DRPK might win the Korean competition. Indeed, after the Americans left Vietnam, Kim asked the Soviets and Chinese for permission to invade South Korea once again. For a few decades, North Korea was a genuine competitor to South Korea for the national imagination of Koreans, and the Korean Workers’ Party provided an intellectual framework.

All this began to fade however by the 1980s. By then, it was painfully obvious that North Korea had slipped very far behind. Communist ideology everywhere had become a sham, with rampant rentierism and corruption. In China, Deng Xiao Ping effectively ended Maoism and embraced the market by the 1980s. In the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascension indicated that even the stalinist old guard there knew that communism had failed. In North Korea, Marxism-Leninism had given way to ‘Kimilsungism;’ the ‘ideology’ of North Korea increasing became whatever Kim Il Sung said. The KWP slid into disrepair.

The party’s nadir was the 1990s. Kim Il Sung died in 1994, and his son, Kim Jong Il, took power. Monarchic succession was an obvious problem for an ideology that condemned kingship as feudal backwardness. And Kim Jong Il did not have the regime connections, prestige, or charismas his father did. The collapse of east bloc communism at the time suggested the DRPK was next. To forestall this, and to forestall a coup from the elite of the North Korea military – the Korean People’s Army – Kim Jong Il dumped communism and promulgated his ‘military first’ (선군) policy. Instead of a communist economic state, North Korea would become a national security barracks fortress. The military would be brought into governance. It would share in both the spoils and the blame, tying it more closely to regime in order to prevent it from overthrowing the Kims. To lock-in the military’s status, Kim Jong Il wrote ‘military first’ into the constitution and never bothered to convene a party congress during his rule. The last congress before this one was in 1980.

The Wreckage of ‘Military-First’

The promotion of the military and reduction of the party achieved Kim Jong Il’s primary goal – there was no coup. Military-first essentially bought off the KPA brass. It was a bargain – the KPA would support (or at least tolerate) Kimist rule (with all the global alienation, privation, and erracticness that entails), in exchange for access to the Kimist lifestyle. As North Korea drifted from Marxism toward a vacuous ‘Kimilsungism,’ it had increasingly become corrupt. The neronian lifestyles of the Kim clan – liquor, women, foreign luxuries, and so on – had become notorious. Military-first cut the brass into these pleasures in exchange for their support for the regime.

But this military intrusion into North Korean governance had huge, unanticipated costs. The military’s increased role in government dramatically worsened the already severe problems of mismanagement and cronyism. Military elites began to compete with the state for access to resources, and build fiefdoms (such as control of mineral exports or lucrative fisheries in the Yellow Sea). The military ate up a larger and larger role of the national budget and gross domestic product. North Korea provides no formal numbers of course, but rumors abounded that under Kim Jong Il, the KPA absorbed somewhere between 30 and 40% of GDP. This is a staggering figure; by contrast, Japan spends around 1% of GDP on defense, South Korea 2.5%, and the United States 4%. Even the Soviet Union never spent such relative sums on its war machine. Such over-spending throttled the civilian economy under Kim Jong Il.

North Korea was never technocratic to begin with, but rent-seeking soldiers in charge so wrecked the economy that a massive famine occurred in the late 1990s, killing approximately 10% of the population. Growing mismanagement also worsened North Korea’s long-standing dependence on external assistance. So bad was it now that UN and occasional bilateral assistance were not enough. North Korea required regular, extensive subsidization (from China), without which a crisis akin to the famine might recur. This created obvious problems of growing Chinese influence over North Korean economy and politics.

Belligerent military hardliners in charge also pushed North Korea into extreme diplomatic isolation and sanction, exacerbating the need for China, and therefore Beijing’s leverage. And extensive militarization of the economy, budget, and governance ultimately threatened civilian (i.e., the Kim’s) control of the military itself. A decade ago, as Kim Jong Il’s health was obviously in decline, there was much speculation that North Korea had become a military oligarchy, with the Kim clan retained as figureheads.

The Revival of the KWP?

This is the disastrous situation which Kim Jong Un inherited five year ago. North Korea was poor, isolated, corrupt, economically stagnant, badly mismanaged, regularly on the verge of malnourishment, and dependent on foreigners, especially rising China. Military-first may have kept the Kimist monarchy/DPRK system from imploding after the Cold War, but the price was so high that it could not be a permanent solution.

The Kims may not care for their people, but a repeat of the famine would threaten both national and regime security. A permanently malnourished or starving population cannot serve in the military, and acute food insecurity could lead to food riots and national revolt. The alternative – permanent, heavy subsidization by China – comes with its own threats. It gives China leverage over the economy and, eventually, politics, and would allow China to threaten regime security whenever it chose by cutting off assistance.

If North Korea were not to become a third world failed state chronically on the edge of famine and civil unrest, nor a satrapy of China, it would have to change – specifically, it would have to push the military out of the economy, especially the budget, and, simultaneously, politics. Kim would need to claw back state resources from the military predator and put them into the economy to generate enough growth to forestall either a de facto Chinese take-over or a repeat of the 1990s.

We cannot know for sure of course, but I believe this is the reason for the revival of the Korean Workers’ Party this month – the first KWP congress since 1980. Kim Jong Un does not need the party to rule. His father ignored it for two decades. Nor does the party actually provide much ideological ‘work.’ Communism is long gone. North Korea’s ‘ideology’ today is more like a cultic deification of the Kim family, which has little to do with the ‘workers’ or ‘Korea.’

Instead the party is being revived to act as an institutional counterweight to the military. The KWP has the organization to mobilize the population for labor, and the ideological resources to indoctrinate them into ‘Kimism.’ These are powerful tools to roll back military influence. While the party did not govern North Korea well either, dictators are most secure when multiple agencies in their government compete for the great leader’s favor. Setting the party and the military against one another, while the Kims float above it all, is a wise institutional strategy.

A military rollback not only firms up Kimist control, it also liberates resources to re-ignite growth for the long-term strategic goal of loosening China’s hold. North Korea will never be free of China so long as it is both stagnant and sanctioned. Sanctions-relief would require giving up nuclear weapons, which Pyongyang will never do, because they provide an ultimate defense against external regime change. So internal growth is Pyongyang’s only other option. The North will always be dependent, but it can lessen that dependence if it can get its own economy moving again.

Nuclear weapons suit this rollback purpose as well. As definitive protection for the state, they obviate the need for a massive conventional force. The KPA can be stripped of resources without jeopardizing national security. Bringing the military under control is also likely the reason for the running purges of KPA brass since Kim took over.

The congress’ outcome supports this military-rollback-for-growth interpretation. There were no belligerent claims to nuke South Korea or the United States; nuclear weapons were explained as defensive only; and a five-year plan for growth was announced, the first since the 1980s. Getting North Korea back to growth is existential for the regime, which Kim Jong Un, unlike his father, seems to realize. The alternatives are becoming a satellite of China, or risking regular systemic break-downs akin to the 1990s. There is little choice.

Filed under: Communism, Korea (North), Newsweek

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University


The Philippines are quite different from what I’ve experienced...

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The Philippines are quite different from what I’ve experienced in other parts of Southeast Asia. Monks instead of priests, motorized tricycles instead of tuk-tuks, and adobo instead of… Well, food all over Asia is very different. Filipino food includes a lot of stewed or braised meat and definitely has a lot of Spanish origins.

My boyfriend I started in the capital city, Manila. When I stepped out of the airport, I immediately noticed that the traffic was as stifling as the heat and the taxi drivers were relentlessly evil. Taxi drivers like to tell you that the meters are broken and suggest a 750 PHP-fee for a kilometer-long ride. Thankfully we stayed at an Airbnb across the street from the airport.

There are plenty of hotels in the airport area too. I recommend just walking to your accommodation in Manila. If you’re really, really cheap (750 PHP or $16 USD a night) stay at Tarragon Corner. They’ll respond to your inquiry right away, and pick you up and drop you off the airport. Nicest people, too. Shooing the giant cockroach out of the room -because it wouldn’t die from being hit with a shoe- is now a memory I look back on fondly.

But, if I could do it again, I’d probably just stay at the Manila Marriott Hotel and Casino that’s nearby. Or not, because it’s around $200 USD a night. Definitely some tasty restaurants at the nearby Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, though.

The Philippines was a longtime Spanish colony and shows this heritage in many ways. Manila also has a lot of Malay, Spanish, American, Chinese and Arabic influences, which I found super interesting. Unfortunately, I didn’t go out and see much. It was difficult to get around, the difference between the very rich and very poor is very apparent and hindering for tourism, and it’s heavily colonized by American culture.

While we were there, we met my friends (that I met in Beijing) at SM Mall of Asia. Very impressive mall. You can shop for anything, eat everything, go ice-skating, view the fireworks show on weekends, or check out the view on the Seaside Bay. Definitely worth checking out while in Manila.

Again, I didn’t see much in Manila, but I would definitely go there again -on my way to somewhere else. Maybe Boracay or Palawan? On this trip, we flew to Tagbilaran Airport (TAG) for $57.42 a person roundtrip from Manila to spend time in Bohol, a nearby province.

About the girl

Hi, I'm Stacy. I am from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living and teaching ESL in Busan, South Korea. Busy getting into lots of adventures, challenging myself, and loving people. Something more than an ethereal will-o-wisp.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading.

Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, LastfmFlickr, and FacebookAsk me anything


Learn Hangul (Part 6)

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Here's the sixth episode of the new "Learn Hangul" series - a series designed to help you learn the Korean alphabet from the very beginning to the end.

So far we've been introduced to what Hangul is and talked about the basics. We've also covered a total of 10 consonants and 14 vowels. We've also learned 4 syllable blocks.

Part 6 will cover 4 new vowels. These will be the very last vowels that we'll need to learn.

Stay tuned for more!

The post Learn Hangul (Part 6) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





AAJA N3Con: Business Stories You Should Be Doing Now

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Business Stories You Should Be Doing Now 1400x800

AAJA N3Con: Business Stories You Should Be Doing Now’s Chance Dorland spoke with Heather Timmons of Quartz, the Wall Street Journal’sAlastair Gale, Reuters’ Tony Munroe & Bloomberg’s Oanh Ha & Peter Pae after their Asian American Journalists Association “Business Stories You Should Be Doing Now” panel discussion at this weekend’s New.Now.Next media conference in Seoul.

Find more AAJA New.Now.Next media conference audio reports here.

Subscribe to Korea FM Talk Radio & News Podcasts Via:

iTunes 96x33      Stitcher 96x33   Tune In Smaller   YouTube 79x33   RSS 83x33

Like us on Facebook  Patreon 728x90

 Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.








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The post AAJA N3Con: Business Stories You Should Be Doing Now appeared first on Korea FM.


AAJA N3Con: Live-streaming the News

Printer-friendly version’s Chance Dorland spoke with the University of Hawaii’s Jay Hartwell & Voice of America’s Steve Herman after their Asian American Journalists Association “Live-streaming the News” panel discussion at this weekend’s New.Now.Next media conference in Seoul.


Find more AAJA New.Now.Next media conference audio reports here.'s Chance Dorland spoke with the University of Hawaii's Jay Hartwell & Voice of America's Steve Herman after their Asian American Journalists Association "Live-streaming the News" panel discussion at this weekend's New.Now.Next media conference in Seoul.

Find more AAJA New.Now.Next media conference audio reports here.

Subscribe to Korea FM Talk Radio & News Podcasts Via:

iTunes 96x33      Stitcher 96x33   Tune In Smaller   YouTube 79x33   RSS 83x33

Like us on Facebook  Patreon 728x90

 Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.








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AAJA N3Con: Journalism in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Printer-friendly version’s Chance Dorland spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Angie Lau, Bloomberg News’ David Merritt, Heather Timmons of Quartz, the AP’s Paul Cheung & drone photographer Seongjoo Cho after their Asian American Journalists Association “Journalism in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” panel discussion at this weekend’s New.Now.Next media conference in Seoul.


Find more AAJA New.NowNext media conference audio reports here.

Subscribe to Korea FM Talk Radio & News Podcasts Via:

iTunes 96x33      Stitcher 96x33   Tune In Smaller   YouTube 79x33   RSS 83x33

Like us on Facebook  Patreon 728x90

 Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.








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The post AAJA N3Con: Journalism in the Age of Artificial Intelligence appeared first on Korea FM.




Staff Picks: Quick Weeknight Dinners

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Korean Food and Cooking

by Lauren Bull, CKC Writer

Let's be honest — speed is the best secret weapon in a kitchen. While some recipes are designed to be long and leisurely, we all need a few options for those nights when time is limited and the urge to eat everything in sight strikes.

As a general rule, it's best make use of pantry ingredients and quick-cooking proteins. Flexibility is also key. If you don't have every single item for a particular dish, get creative. Swap parsley for chives. Use orange instead of lemon. It will probably work out just fine.

Here's what the CKC staff whips up when there's no time but lots of hunger.

Grace, CEO

"This is a really easy but delicious fish recipe. It works with any fish, but salmon is particularly good. Get your pan hot with oil. (It needs to be hot enough to sear it fast.) Sear both sides of the fish until golden brown. With the fish still in the pan, add equal amounts of soy sauce and sugar (although I really prefer maple syrup). Use 2-3 tablespoons per one serving of fish. Add any dried or fresh herbs (fresh dill is best), a hint of alcohol (white wine is the best), and some black pepper. Cook on high heat (lower heat if fish is frozen) until liquid disappears and sticks to the fish. Here is your 15-minute Korean inspired gourmet dinner. Serve with lemon if you have any."

Buy it here: Wholly Ganjang, Premium Gluten-free Unpasteurized Artisanal 3 Year Aged Soy Sauce (5.41 fl oz)

Gloria, Director of International Sales

"Gyeran Bap (egg rice). A bowl of warm rice, a pan-fried egg, soy sauce, and sesame oil. You can add gochujang to make it spicy. Mix it all together and break the fried egg. If you have seasoned laver (seaweed), break a sheet of it into small pieces and sprinkle on top."

Buy it here: Nishiki Premium Sushi Rice 5 LB

Victoria, COO

"Grill thinly-sliced Chah-dol-Bahk-ee (deckle in brisket section), or thinly-sliced Sahm-Gyup-Sahl (pork belly). Wash red leaf lettuce. Eat lettuce, grilled brisket, and rice with kimchi, Wholly Ssamjang — a dipping sauce made with gochujang and doenjang — and sesame oil dipping sauce, made with sesame oil, salt, black pepper. If you have some sweet mini peppers, green peppers, or garlic, slice them up, too. In Korea, when people don't have anything to cook with, or a group of people gets together, they say, 'Let's just grill sahm-gyup-sahl.'"

Buy it here: Wholly Gochujang, Premium Gluten-free Vegan Unpasteurized Artisanal Korean Hot Pepper Paste (Spicy, 9.8 oz)

Buy it here: Wholly Doenjang, Premium Gluten-free Unpasteurized Artisanal 3 Year Aged Korean Soybean Paste (9 oz)

Recipe: Ssamjang dipping sauce

Lauren, Writer

"Anchovy pasta is fast comfort food in my apartment. Cook the pasta according to the box directions and then drain it, but not too well — you want some of that starchy water. In a saute pan, heat a tin of anchovies with some olive oil, sliced garlic, and red pepper flakes until the anchovies have melted down. Add the pasta and stir like mad until it all comes together. If I have herbs, lemon, or even some nuts around, I'll add them. But it doesn't need it. Anchovies, garlic, and oil are the perfect trio. They don't need backup singers."

Buy it here: Agostino Recca Anchovies Fillet 3oz

Olya, Photographer

"For a lazy day recipe, I get sushi grade salmon from H Mart, fresh rice from the rice cooker and crispy seaweed. Fast and so yummy. It does help that H Mart is two minutes from my apartment."

Buy it here: Jayone Seaweed, Roasted and Lightly Salted, 24 Count

Follow Crazy Korean Cooking


Cherry Chocolate Granola, Cherry Simple Syrup and Cherry Liqueur

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Cherry chocolate granola.

Lately this place has been like Grand Central Station for cherries, berries and cream, and I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse. Standing over the stove in summer is not one of my favorite things to do, and with all of those fleeting summer fruits coming into season anyway, it’s much more pleasant to turn on the oven, pop something in and head for another part of the house until the timer goes.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from getting some canning in, but I also (finally) received two of the most talked-about cookbooks of 2015 in the mail yesterday– The Violet Bakery Cookbook, by Claire Ptak and The New Sugar and Spice, by Samantha Seneviratne. I’m especially excited about the latter, because the desserts in this cookbook all ratchet up the spice while cutting back on the sugar, which is right up my alley.

A friend recently asked me if I’d be willing to do him some desserts for his tea shop, which is exciting, but I immediately started to look at my home cooking in a different way as a result. I make decent desserts for family and friends, but I still feel like both my palate and my technique are missing a lot of polish when it comes to imagining that people might pay real money for the things I make. I’ve never set foot in even a hobbyist cooking class, and the only cookbook I’ve ever laid hands on is my grandmother’s ancient Pastors Wives Cookbook (yes, that is a real thing; yes, my grandmother was a pastor’s wife). I don’t really want to take a class right now, because I’ve already been delaying lessons at a local pottery studio, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try to push myself a little harder the way I always have: at home. But I thought getting a few cookbooks might be a good place to start. This is going to sound funny coming from a food blogger, but I haven’t had the best luck with internet recipes. Cookbook recipes are guaranteed tried and tested. So I’m going back to the basics.

  Cherry chocolate granola.

Speaking of basics, one of the staples in our home is granola. Unfortunately, granola is one of those things that hasn’t quite caught on in Korea yet. It’s around, but it’s always the same few varieties with astronomical price tags slapped on them. The ingredients to make granola at home aren’t much cheaper here, but at least I can add some variety to the flavors.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

This week, I reserved one of the quarts of cherries I’ve been rolling through to make cherry chocolate granola with coconut, coconut oil, honey, almonds and sea salt.

Cherry chocolate granola.

Cherry chocolate granola.

When you dehydrate cherries (or when you do anything with cherries, really), you can end up with a cabinet full of rich byproducts. If the recipe calls for the cherries to be sweetened, a sifting of sugar over the top and a night in the fridge after they’ve been pitted results in a concentrated cherry simple syrup. Pits in a mason jar with brandy for a couple of weeks gives you cherry liqueur. The little white kernel inside the pits can be extracted and soaked in vodka to make almond extract.

Cherry chocolate granola.

The pits can also be combined with other stone fruits, hard liquor and various spices to make amaretto, which I’ll get around to later this summer, when more fruits begin to come into season.

Cherry chocolate granola.

There’s something comforting about using all of something, wringing it out for every last drop of goodness. It feels like gratefulness, like not taking things for granted. Fruit is the most finicky kind of crop. It’s so sweet and delicious, we are far from being the only creature to love it, which makes organic fruit a true wonder of a farmer’s dedication and tenacity. The same sweet juices that make it seem decadent and forbidden also cut its lifespan short. Its oftentimes tender skin renders much of it impossible to pick except with human hands. There’s a lot to be grateful for, when a fruit survives all odds to make it to your table. Using as much of it as I can feels like the least I can do.

Cherry Chocolate Granola, Cherry Simple Syrup and Cherry Liqueur

Yield: About 5 cups granola, 1/3 cup simple syrup and 1 cup cherry liqueur

Cherry Chocolate Granola, Cherry Simple Syrup and Cherry Liqueur


  • 500 grams fresh cherries
  • Simple Syrup
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • Cherry Liqueur
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • Granola
  • 3 cups oats
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 tablespoons dried coconut, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt


  1. Wash the cherries and slice them in half, removing the pits. Place the pits in a mason jar, add the brandy and sugar and stir well. Cap the jar and keep in a cool, dark place for about 2 weeks.
  2. Cover the pitted cherries with 4 tablespoons of white sugar and toss them until they are well coated. Cover the container and leave them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, pour off the simple syrup and store it in a jar in the fridge.
  3. Place the cherries in a single layer in your dehydrator or on a cookie sheet. If using a dehydrator, set it to 135 degrees F and allow the cherries to dry for about 20 hours, until they are hard and chewy. If using an oven, set the oven as low as it will go (usually about 200 degrees F) and dry the cherries for about 8 hours or until you are satisfied with the texture.
  4. Preaheat the oven to 275 degrees F (135 C). Roughly chop the dehydrated cherries and add them to a large bowl with the oats, sugar, cocoa powder, coconut and almonds and stir. Pour over the coconut oil and honey and stir until well combined. Spread the mixture flat on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven for 30 minutes. When time is up, sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the top and return the cookie sheet to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven, sprinkle the sea salt over the top and allow to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container for storage.

The post Cherry Chocolate Granola, Cherry Simple Syrup and Cherry Liqueur appeared first on Follow the River North.

Follow the River North

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

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