Tag: Korean food

Fun Outside of Seoul! Chuncheon: Dak Galbi and Hanbok (닭갈비 & 한복)

It is easy to get distracted from visiting other smaller cities in South Korea due to all of Seoul’s magnificence, endless activities, glitter, and glam. Seoul is a city with over several millions of people. Who wouldn’t want a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle? Do not get caught up in the mirage. Seoul is a city where there are bottomless things to discover, yet you must take the time to visit various other smaller Korean cities that hold so much history and tradition. Chuncheon is a city of the old-fashioned; with traditional Korean houses, temples, tea houses, Hanbok, and DakGalbi.

Dak Galbi: The food of Chuncheon

Chuncheon (춘천 ) is located in the north-east section of South Korea. It is the largest city in the Gangwon province and it rests at dip that was created by the Han and Soyang river. This peaceful city is widely recognized in South Korea for it’s Korean dish called DakGalbi. Dakglabi is a delicious dish (my personal favorite Korean dish hands down) that is made on a large type of open-faced skillet and consists of chicken, onions, cabbage, sweet potatoes, carrots, dok (rice cake), gochujang (red pepper paste), and other seasonings.

spicy Korean chicken-galbi

Usually, perilla leaves, lettuce wraps, grilled garlic, and rice are eaten alongside this lip-smackingly good dish. If you love this dish as much as I do, you must go to Dakgalbi street in Chucheon. Yes, a street. It is said that the DakGalbi restaurants on this street make the best Dakgalbi in all of Korea and I must say that my stomach agrees.

To make this dish at home follow Holly’s recipe! It is as tasty as the restaurants in Chucheon! Dak Galbi Recipe

Hanbok Rentals!

In Chucheon, you can also live out your Joseon Dynasty fantasy. By renting beautiful handcrafted traditional Korean Hanbok clothing for a day! Hanbok is the traditional Korean attire that was worn by every citizen, about 100 years ago. These days, Hanbok is still very much a part of Korean Culture and it is still worn today for more traditional events such as a wedding or holidays, such as Budda’s Birthday (check out my post about the Lotus Blossom festival). Not only are these stunning clothes pieces of wearable artwork, but were also symbolic of a person’s social status, marital status, and age.

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Hanbok attire

For example, Hanbok with light and bright colors, for example, were usually worn by children and girls, yet more dull colors were worn by middle-aged men and women. Upperclass citizens wore a wide variety of colors, while the lower-class were required to wear white. As seen in the picture above, I wore a yellow chima (치마: skirt), white and blue jokki (조끼: vest)! In this Hanbok, I felt like I was born in Korea during the reign of King Sejong.

There are various Hanbok rental shops in Chucheon! Almost too many to chose from. Sadly I do not remember which shop that I rented from but for about 4-5 hours the rental price of about 30,000 won($27).  That might seem like a high amount, but the particular shop that I went to had other rentable accessories such as hats, fans, purses, and shoes (I am wearing the hat and purse).

Beautiful Hanok Villages

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Hanok village

If you are looking to spend little money, but still have a good time, have no worries. Chuncheon is full of iconic traditional architecture. Hanok (한억)  are traditional Korean buildings/architecture that is very iconic to the Korean culture. Hanok’s are heavily recognized by and crisp liner lines thier pointed cornered roofs. Often times they have beautiful painted designs that cover the upper edges and ceilings of the buildings. Be sure to take a stroll through these streets and soak up the culture!

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Small garden in hanok home

Other attractions outside of Seoul: The Coastal City of Wando: Beaches, Seafood, Good Vibes

More posts: Sky Park (하늘 공원): Korea’s MOST BEAUTIFUL Park!

The Coolest Museum in HONGDAE (SEOUL): TRICKEYE Museum

Check out my personal story: About Me

 

The Basics of Korean Cuisine: Korean BBQ, Raw Fish and Banchan

 

 

Korean Cuisine? Or should I say, the best food on earth? It’s easy to say for me that is definitely the case. Korean cuisine has a wide range, depth, and somewhat odd delicacies. For most of us foreigners who live in a place where Korean food is often very difficult to come by and is very expensive. Not knowing the wide variety of dishes/food that Korean culture has, I only knew of a handful of Korea’s most popular foods; Korean BBQ and Ramen Noodles. While I used to enjoy the beef and shrimp flavors of the cheap TopRamen, I was in quite a shock when saw (and tasted) authentic Korean food. As seen in the pictures above, left to right: Nakkshi (raw Octopus), Pacheon (Korean Pancake), Sashimi (Raw Fish), and lastly Pork Belly (Korean BBQ).

The most notable attribute of Korean food has to be their Banchan, otherwise known as side dishes. I would say that any tasty Korean meal is not complete without a plethora of Banchan. Banchan can consist of different foods, yet generally speaking the sides dishes are usually different types of seasoned or marinaded vegetables (such as Kimchi). Other sides can include other foods such as small pacheon, potatoes, salad and much more. When eating at various restaurants, I began to notice that the more small business; mom and pop shops have the BEST banchan! Not only are they more delicious and but often time you will have more of a variety than at the chain Korean restaurants in Korea.

These three almost edible pictures are just the surface of what Korea has to offer. From fresh seafood and juicy BBQ meat to gourmet spicy ramen and sweet egg bread. Korean cuisine has a dish that anyone will love.

The Coastal City of Wando: Beaches, Seafood, Good Vibes

A trip to Wando is not a common one for a foreigner to take. Think of a cute and quaint country town with the sweetest people, but near the Sea! Wando is a beautiful province that is sure to calm the senses and satisfy the taste-buds for all of the seafood lovers out there.  More specifically, Wando County (Wando-gun) is a county in South Jeolla Province. Wando is a great place to visit during the spring and summer months because of their warm beaches, several large fresh seafood markets, and scenic farmlands.

My best experiences in Wando was definitely walking along the sandy beaches and stopping by what seems like the world’s best seafood restaurants. Sushi and Sashimi lover’s this is your calling. Try different sea creatures that you have never seen before or try a Korean Classic seafood dish; Raw Octopus (Nakk-ji). Nakk-ji is so fresh that you can still see the nerves in the tentacles wiggle. This delicacy may seem odd, but the taste is not so odd. Try it for yourself (with shots of Soju of course)!

How to get there:

The best method to get to Wando is by car or by ferry.

Click on the links below for more information on Wando and for transportation methods

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1803467

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/south-korea/jeollanam-do/wando