North Korean Dumplings Soup at Libuk Sonmandu

Ever since moving to Seoul, I gained the joy of visiting old restaurants in my neighbourhood. To be more specific, old hanok restaurants. Jongno, the heart of Seoul, is a forest of modern skyscrapers but among those, in the back alleys, are the old hanok (traditional Korean architecture) structures waiting to be discovered.

I was happy to find a North Korean restaurant right across from my work, and then I was even more thrilled to learn later on that the restaurant was built by renovating the owner’s personal hanok home. Park Hye-sook, the lady who owns the place, is from Pyeongyang, the capital city of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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Uiryeong’s Famous Rice Cake Wrapped in Herbal Leaf

The district of Uiryeong(의령) in South Gyeongsang province sounded unfamiliar at first. Must be just one of those small towns without much worth seeing, I thought. I quickly realized how wrong I was when I stepped into the marketplace of Uiryeong-gun.
Line-ups.
Where are all these people come from and what are they so anxiously waiting for?

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Bite-size rice cakes under the covers of leafy blankets

Thanks to my above-average height I was able to peek above the heads that are all facing the same direction. We are all looking towards the inside of a small room of a building at a corner of the market. Inside, it’s a group of women in work cloth and aprons sitting around a large table. They are busy working with a big mound of white batter. This is where they make the mangae-dduk(망개떡), or rice cake wrapped in mangae leaves. Continue reading

Steamed Snow Crabs in Yeongdeok – Day 6 of East Coast Bike Trip

The seven-day bike trip along the east coast of South Korea was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. During the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) holiday in 2016, a friend and I decided to go on a 280km ride going southbound from Gangneung to Pohang. We planned seven days because not only we wanted to ride our bicycles but we also wanted to go swimming, snorkeling, sightseeing and most of all trying all the delicious foods that the East Sea has to offer.

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It’s the giant, flesh-eating monster crab!

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Winter Delicacy: Grilled Oysters at Cheonbuk Oyster Village

The vast tideland of South Korea’s west coast offers so much life. From both the land and the sea.

The west coast of Korean peninsula is known for its high tides. The tidal range defers on season and places but in general the west coast ranges from 3~8m. Compare to 1~3m on south coast and 0.2~0.3m on east coast the difference is quite huge, which result in massive tidal mudflat full of sea creatures.  One of those being infamous fresh winter oysters.

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So much oysters!

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Ultimate Korean Barbecue: Marinated Pork Rind

I am having a sudden late-night craving of grilled pork rind and it is a pain.  Grilled pig’s skin is one of my favorite KBBQ and I am not alone.  Nowadays, what was once considered scrap meat is very popular among Korean women as pork rind has been marketed in Korea as a rich source of collagen and therefore an effective treatment for your skin.

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Pig’s skin marinated in spicy sauce – ready to be grilled

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Fried Soboro vs. Pantarong Chives Bread

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For me, the best part about living in Daejeon is that I get to taste freshly baked bread from Sung Sim Dang (성심당) whenever I want.  The historic bakery is now more than just a bread shop.  It is an iconic landmark of the city and one of the hottest tourist attractions.

Nowadays, the bakery offers countless creations but there are two original signature breads that have given Sung Sim Dang its fame: Twigim Soboro (튀김소보로: fried soboro) and Pantarong Buchu-bbang (판타롱 부추빵: pantarong chives bread).

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