Hansik (Korean Food) Series -Chimaek (Fried Chicken and Beer)

Korean Fried Chicken
Korean Fried Chicken

In the hit Korean drama, “My Love from the Star” (별에서 온 그대), the main female character, Cheon Song-yi, likes chimaek (치맥) very much.  Chimaek is the short form for fried chicken (치킨 – pronounced as “chikin”) and beer (맥주 – pronounced as “maekju”) generally used among the younger generations. Due to the popularity of that Korean drama in China, chimaek has also become a popular Korean food there. It was said that customers needed to wait in line for 3 hours to order fried chicken at some Korean fried chicken restaurants in Shanghai and Beijing. Continue reading

Hansik (Korean Food) Series -Kimchi

If you ask, “What is the Korean food that Koreans can’t live without?”  I am sure a lot of people (both Koreans and foreigners) will say “Kimchi”.  Kimchi (김치 – fermented vegetables) is one of the staple food of Koreans – you can always find kimchi as one of the side dishes on the tables in most Korean families and restaurants in South Korea.  Kimchi can indeed be considered as one of the national symbols of South Korea.  Moreover, in South Korea, when taking photos, Koreans say “Kimchi” to make people smile (the equivalence of saying “Cheese” in English).  In this blog post, let’s talk about some interesting things about kimchi, including kimchi being used as a theme in Korean pop culture like TV drama and pop song. Continue reading

Hansik (Korean Food) Series -Korean Table Manners

Every culture has its own rules relating to table manners and the Korean culture is no exception.  In order not to upset the Koreans who dine with you, you should familiarize yourself with the Korean table manners.  In this blog post, I will talk about some interesting Korean table manners which may be quite different from the other cultures to help you avoid culture shock when dining with your Korean friends. Continue reading

Hansik (Korean Food) Series -Samgyetang

What do you eat or drink when the weather is very hot?  Ice cream, fresh cool vegetable and/or fruit salad, iced cold drinks…you will definitely want something cool or even cold.  However, for the Koreans, on the hottest days of the year, they eat something served in sizzling hot pot  – it’s samgyetang (삼계탕 – ginseng chicken soup), one of the must-eat Korean cuisine not only for Koreans but also for foreigners.  Let’s talk about samgyetang in this blog post. Continue reading

Hansik (Korean Food) Series -Samgyeopsal

In my blog post on Bulgogi, it is mentioned that for bulgogi, meat is marinated before it is grilled and the type of meat which can be used can vary, e.g., beef, pork or chicken. In South Korea, there is another kind of grilled meat dish which is cooked in a different way and uses pork belly meat only – this is “samgyeopsal” (삼겹살 – grilled pork belly meat) which is liked by both Koreans and foreigners.  In the Korean drama, you can often see people eating samgyeopsal during dinner gatherings with friends and colleagues.  Let’s talk about samgyeopsal in this blog post. Continue reading

Hansik (Korean Food) Series -Bulgogi

In the last blog post, I talked about bibimbap which is a hansik eaten by most foreigners.  Another popular hansik among foreigners should be bulgogi (불고기 -grilled meat). Even the U.S. President Barack Obama is known as a big fan of bulgogi and it was said that bulgogi was one of his favourite lunch choices. During President Obama’s state visit to South Korea in 2009, bulgogi was served at the official dinner.  It is also said that bulgogi is the only dish that marinates the meat before it is grilled. Let’s talk about this well-known Korean dish in this blog post. Continue reading

Hansik (Korean Food) Series -Bibimbap

In my last blog post, I mentioned a survey conducted by the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute according to which bibimbap (비빔밥) is the hansik eaten by most visitors. I am sure you will agree to this result – anyone who has tried hansik should have already eaten bibimbap.  Bibimbap is also sometimes served on Korean airlines.  Moreover, bibimbap best represents the metaphysical philosophy of hansik by combining the five colours (i.e., green, red, yellow, white and black) which represent the five elements (i.e., water, fire, wood, metal and earth) that make up the universe.  In this blog post, I will talk about this signature Korean dish. Continue reading