Monthly Archives: March 2011

Clubbing in KangNam, Seoul!

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If you are into nightlife, there’s really two good places to go in Seoul, HongDae or KangNam. KangNam is where I used to live in Korea couple years back when I was working in Korea, I literally went clubbing every weekend so I know where the hotspots are. Last time I was in KangNam, I went to KangNam NB, to take some photos and show you what it’s like. Drinks are a lot cheaper in Korea than here in the States. Sadly, a lot of these young Koreans don’t know how to really get it on.  That is probably the only downside to clubbing in Korea.  Of course, there “are” some nights you can get some action on but most nights, people are a bit too conservative at the clubs. I did spot this guy who had a really funny hairdo, I had to take a photo with him. If you goto HongDae, there’s also bunch more clubs and probably a bit more foreigners. Another thing, in Korea, they won’t let you in if you wear too formal.  Just dress casual so you can get it. If you are white or black, you will get in no matter what, these … Continue reading

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Dduk Tak – Korean Rice Wine Bar Review in HongDae!

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Dduk Tak (뚝탁) is a Korean rice wine bar in HongDae [홍대](and other parts of north Seoul) that serves Chamsary Makkoli (참살이탁주). This Chamsary makkoli is the best makkoli I’ve tasted in my WHOLE LIFE!  No kidding, I don’t want to capitalize like that, but Chamsary makkoli is really good. Why Chamsary makkoli? Chamsary makkoli is made 100% purely from Korean rice wine, no other ingredients/additives added. The taste?  The taste is very mellow, a hint of sweetness and carbonation.  It’s the cleanest Korean rice wine I’ve tasted in my whole life. I asked the owner of the Dduk Tak Bar why this is so good.  And he tells me it’s all in the art of transporting the Chamsary makkoli from factory to the restaurant at the designated temperature, somewhere near freezing so the taste does not change. This is why you can actually buy the same makkoli from groceries in Korea but it wouldn’t taste the same because the temperature is everything. Chamsary makkoli and the food at Dduk Tak was sooo good, I came back here one more time the day before I flew back to San Francisco. FYI, you can only taste this Chamsary makkoli in South … Continue reading

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Korean Magic Insoles Make You Taller!

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For some reason, magic insoles (that make you taller) are wildly popular in Korea as I’ve noticed numerous street shops selling these Korean magic insoles. I believe it’s a cultural thing, there’s still a lot of prejudice going on in Korea based on people’s height, which I think is wrong. Oh well, you can always look taller by buying magic insoles.

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My Favorite Korean Cold Noodles – Paldo BiBimMyeon!

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Paldo BiBimMyeon is spicy, cold noodles you can make at home.  It’s not exactly nutritious or anything but it is definitely a wildly popular among Koreans. I usually cook two of these as one serving isn’t much. How to cook Paldo BiBimMyeon? First you boil water, then when it boils put the noodles in it. Let it cook the noodles for about 5 minutes then wash it over cold water and drain all the water. Finally, mix the cold noodles with the hot sauce it came with and enjoy. It’s very hot and spicy so if you don’t like spicy food, might want to try something else. Meaning of BiBimMyeon: “BiBim” means to mix in Korean and “Myeon” means noodles. This is one of my favorite cold noodles that I can also cook at home. [팔도 비빔면]

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My Favorite Korean Ramen – Shin Ramen!

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In the 80s, when South Korea was just trying to get back on its feet and no one knew of Samsung and LG, many people were literally living on ramen or instant noodles. I remember when I used to live in Korea, each apartment building had a security guard.  The security guard would cook ramen for lunch and sometimes he’d let some of kids join in. Especially in the winter when it snows in Korea, ramen is so good. Of course, consuming ramen on a daily basis isn’t too great for anyone but it’s definitely good once a week. My favorite Korean ramen?  It’s called Shin Ramen, the one with red all over as shown in above pics. Shin Ramen also leads South Korea in popularity, ranked #1 ramen for decades and has about 25% of all ramen market in South Korea. I’ve also seen Shin Ramen being available here in San Francisco bay area at Safeway, Lucky’s, and even 7-Eleven. Why am I writing about Shin Ramen?  I just had some. Also, you can mix some rice after you finish the noodles, that’s really good too. There’s 3 different types of Shin Ramen, one in a package, one in … Continue reading

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How to Make Makkoli, Korean Rice Wine!

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For the last 6 months or so, I have been guilty of making my own makkoli (막걸리), Korean rice wine, at home. Above is a video tutorial I made while I made my last batch of makkoli. It’s actually not hard to do, let me just outline the steps here real quick: 1. Get some rice, you can use sweet rice for best results. 2. Clean the rice by washing it with water, do this like 30 times at least and until you see no visible clouding when water is added to the rice. (As you can see in the photo, the rice is now really clean, very white and no cloudiness with the water.) 3. Once the rice is clean, fill it with water in a big bowl and let it sit like 3-5 hours. This is so the rice absorbs water and also all impurities are gone. 4. Drain the water, then let it sit for another 3-5 hours, this will make sure there’s no remaining water. 5. Steam the rice now until you have nice sticky rice. This is the same method you use on Thai sticky rice. (This is what I use, a big Korean pan, … Continue reading

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How to Sleep in Korean Subway!

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(Koreans sleeping on the subway.) Back in 2004-2005 when I was living in Korea commuting to work on the subway for about an hour everyday, I used to get some really good sleep. Well, how do you get some good sleep in the Korean subway without forgetting to get off at your destination station? What I used to do was set timer on my cellphone so I would wake up 1-2 stations before my destination station. Of course, this would only work if you know how long it takes to get to your destination but most likely you would if you commute everyday. Also, don’t fall sleep all the way that you are totally unconscious as there are people who will rob you while you sleep. 🙂

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Apportion Women’s Hair Accessory Shop!

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When I was walking by this store, my first thought was “abortion”? I took a closer look and it said, “Apportion”.  Koreans like to name their brands a bit from the rest of the world, let’s just say brand FAIL. There’s even this factory in Korea called FAG I remember.

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3 Men Daytime Drinking in Insadong! [Image Cache]

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(Click photo to enlarge) Right on the south side of Insadong, Seoul, Korea, I took this photo of this wall with painting of mountains. At the time, I didn’t realize it but now I realize there were 3 men in the photo daytime drinking, they were drinking Korean rice wine Makkoli. As you can see in the close-up, these guys look like hikers that went hiking perhaps and taking a break with daytime drinking. Daytime drinking is very common for old folks in South Korea (as is here in the U.S.).  And no, the police isn’t going to do anything, it’s part of the culture!

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