Category Archives: Korean Food

Korean Food

Highway Rest Area Tour in South Korea![고속도로 휴게소]

One of the perks of traveling in South Korea are the highway rest areas.  Unlike highway rest areas in California where I reside, highway rest areas in South Korea come fully-equipped with fresh food, restaurants, restrooms, and even a mini grocery store. Instead of hampering your poor body with the usual McDonald’s or Jack In The Box, you can pamper yourself to fresh Korean food, udon, and even steaks.  You can literally find about 20 different types of fresh food to eat here. Besides good food, there’s also shops where you can buy souvenirs, golf clubs (sometimes), and even local meat shops where they sell Han-woo (Korean beef). Want a tour of highway rest areas in South Korea? Well, good thing I took some footage on my last trip, here’s a video tour: Here’s some more photos of the highway rest areas in South Korea: Udon is my favorite, it’s really good. Korean Meat Market!?! [고속도로 휴게소]

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Dduk Tak – Korean Rice Wine Bar Review in HongDae!

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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My Favorite Korean Cold Noodles – Paldo BiBimMyeon!

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!

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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Korean Triangle Sandwich – My Favorite Korean Breakfast!

When I used to work in Korea couple years back, I used to eat the above combo for breakfast.  Actually I used to eat two of these sandwiches. Koreans love triangle sandwiches and don’t like the ends. This particular sandwich I bought at Korean 7-Eleven for 1,600 won, about $1 USD. It’s about 10 times more fresh and delicious than sandwiches sold here at 7-Eleven in the U.S.. You can also find these sandwiches and other derivatives of the triangle sandwich at local bakeries, which should be open in the mornings. Unlike the U.S., most restaurants don’t open in Korea until 10AM or so.  There’s not really a morning restaurant culture in Korea so most people eat at home.  Although the night food culture is entirely the opposite. [삼각샌드위치]

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Korean Air Prestige Class Review!

On my last trip to Korea, I decided to find out what it is like to fly on Korean Air’s Prestige Class, which is basically Business Class. By the way, in my opinion, the absolute best flight from the U.S. to Korea is Korean Air. Why? The food is really good, Korean Air gives you Korean food, it beats any other food hands down.  Last time I flew Singapore Air (which is cheap as hell) but had a bad stomach ache for couple days. Also, service is much better on Korean Air, lives up to the Korean standard. Anyways, the Korean Air Prestige Class is highly recommended as the reclining chair will let you take a good sleep while on the 10-hour flight to Incheon, Korea. Once on the flight, they give you slippers you can wear so put aside your shoes! Lunch menu is my favorite, they serve BiBimbap, which is Korean mixed rice with vegetables and beef.  It really satisfies your hunger and keeps other gases at bay while flying for long hours. The automatic chair has a lot of customizations which takes a bit getting used to.  You can lay almost all the way flat or recline … Continue reading

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Rainbow Cafe over HanGang River!

If you enjoy nice views and a nice cup of coffee, you might want to definitely head over to the Rainbow Cafe, which has a fantastic view of the HanGang River. The Rainbow Cafe isn’t too big and there’s no parking so you might want to think ahead and go on a less busy day using a taxi or bus. However, there is a bus stop right by the Rainbow Cafe. For me, I was walking the HanGang river and noticed an elevator to the Rainbow Cafe. Yes, you can get there by visiting the HanGang river too. The Rainbow Cafe is open from 11AM to 11PM so plan accordingly! The Rainbow Cafe offers about 30-40 seats, certainly a nice place to quietly write blog posts like this one. Next time I go to Korea, I will spend a bit of time at Rainbow Cafe while doing some blogging. Why not? I love working on stuff while enjoying nice views, who doesn’t? There’s 360 degree views of the HanGang river and city of Seoul. Of course, coffee is good too, I ordered some freshly made ice latte, it was really delicious. Not too over-priced either. I thought this was the … Continue reading

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Seolleongtang – Korean Beef Soup!

Another favorite food of mine is the SeolLeongTang (설렁탕), it’s a Korean beef soup that’s made from beef bones. They actually boil the beef bones (a certain part of it) for over 12-24 hours and the beef soup gets its taste.   It’s supposed to be really good for you after a hard workout since it has a lot of protein. You mix the soup with some rice and enjoy it.  There’s also some noodles in it too. Most restaurants will serve SeolLeongTang with side dishes and while still boiling hot in a earthy bowl that keeps it hot.  It’s especially great during winter months when it’s freezing cold and you need a good, hot meal to keep you going. Now I talk about it, I think I am going to go get some. For those of you in the U.S., most Korean restaurants actually sell this so you can enjoy it too.  But certainly it tastes better in Korea. I tried this particular SeolLeongTang in Insadong, Seoul, Korea.   I highly recommend it.

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PatBingSu – Korean Ice Cream/Yogurt!

PatBingSu is probably the most delicious Korean ice cream/yogurt, it’s the most delicious (and healthy) delicacy you will try in Korea. What is PatBingSu (팥빙수)? It’s a mix of milk, shredded ice, sweet beans, and lots of fruit (and sometimes candy). You usually eat PatBingSu during summer because it gets so hot and PatBingSu will cool you down quickly.  Also it’s very good for you because most of the ingredients are fruit and vegetables. Even KFC, McDonalds, and Burger King in Korea will sell PatBingSu during the summer so the next time you are in Korea, don’t forget to try PatBingSu. To eat PatBingSu, you can eat a little bit at a time or mix it all up like how I like to do it and enjoy some delicious Korean yogurt. In Korea, they actually sell PatBingSu ice shredding machines so you can make it at home too.  My mom used to make them for me when I was younger, this is something you cannot miss. Usually you can’t find PatBingSu during winter months but if you are there during non-summer months, you can go to Rossi Mango at COEX mall in Seoul, Korea to enjoy it like I dido.

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Korean Sushi – Kimbab [김밥]

Another one of my favorite Korean foods (I know, there’s so many!) is Kimbab, which is basically Korean sushi.  “Kim” means seaweed and “Bab” means rice so if you put it together it makes “Kimbab” [김밥]. In Korea, there’s literally a Kimbab store on every other block that sell like 30 different types of Kimbab.  This one I ordered was the beef Kimbab but there’s other delicious Kimbabs like Tuna Kimbab, Kimchi Kimbab, Macaroni Kimbab, and whatever you can imagine in your head. The Kimbab usually comes in rolls, sliced and wrapped in aluminum foil and they probably go for about $2 per roll.  Get two of these rolls and you’ve got yourself a really healthy lunch and still money left in your wallet. Next time I go (I am actually going to be on the plane by the time this post goes live), I will make sure to take a video of a local Kimbab shop. It’s soooo good.  For those of you who don’t like live fish, Kimbab will be good for you as it has no live fish unlike Japanese sushi.

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