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7 Spicy Korean Foods That Will Turn You Red

Koreabridge - Sat, 2016-08-27 06:30
7 Spicy Korean Foods That Will Turn You Red

Do you have a passion for a life full of spice? Do you love to take a walk on the wild side? If that sounds like you, then read on, because we’ve put together a list of our favorite spicy Korean foods that are NOT for the faint of heart!

If “too spicy” isn’t in your vocabulary and you’re not afraid of food that’ll make your eyes well up with tears, try the tasty dishes on this list. If you live to tell the tale, be sure to let us know which of these spicy Korean foods is your favorite in the comments below!


Spicy Korean Food #1: Chicken feet (닭발)

Photo credit: http://rosemelaguda.wordpress.com

Korea isn’t the only Asian country in which chicken feet is a popular dish, but they do take a unique approach to preparation that sets Korean chicken feet apart from other variations. This Korean dish is an intimidating dish for a couple of reasons – first of all, you have to get over the fact that you’re eating chicken feet (talons and all). After that initial shock, though, you also have to be willing to eat one of the spiciest Korean dishes out there – that’s what makes this dish one for the true food adventurists!

If you’re brave enough to try chicken feet, we commend you AND you’ll have bragging rights for the rest of your life. Give this a try the next time you’re out with somebody special you’d like to impress!


Spicy Korean Food #2: Spicy Jokbal (매운족발)

Photo credit: http://pinterest.com

Spicy Jokbal is the spicy version of jokbal, a popular snack in Seoul eateries. This dish features tender, steamed pork that melts in your mouth tossed in a super spicy sauce and topped with scallions and sesame seeds for added texture.

Not quite as intense as chicken feet, this is a dish for anyone who loves spice but doesn’t want to feel like they were punched in the face by the spice content of their meal. Give this a try the next time you’ve been out with friends enjoying some alcoholic beverages – for some reason, the spice pairs very well with sake!


Spicy Korean Food #3: Ramyeon (라면)

Photo credit: http://reddit.com

Oh, ramyeon. Ramyeon is a dish that all Koreans are VERY well acquainted with – it’s easy to make, can be dressed up with anything in your fridge, and is very inexpensive, which makes it the perfect “It’s only Wednesday and I don’t get paid until Friday” meal!

Although there are nine million ways to prepare and enjoy ramyeon, most Koreans like their ramyeon as spicy as possible. Something about the combination of the tender noodles and the intense spice of popular brands like Shin Ramyeon make this snack an easy one to love. Pick up some ramyeon the next time you want a low-maintenance meal that’ll still take your taste buds for a whirl – for extra spice, add some Korean hot sauce to make things really interesting!


Spicy Korean Food #4: Tteokbokki (떡볶이)

Photo credit: http://peegaw.tumblr.com

Tteokbokki is a crowd favorite when it comes to Korean street food: featuring fish cakes and rice cakes covered in an aromatic sweet and spicy sauce, there’s a lot to love about this dish. It’s no surprise that it’s as popular as it is!

While most tteokbokki incorporates a sauce that has a good mix of spicy and sweet elements, some tteokbokki vendors crank up the heat and produce a snack that’s sure to make your eyes water. Tteokbokki can be found at restaurants and street food trucks alike, so it’s easy to find if you’re up to try this beloved Korean dish. Pick up some tteokbokki the next time you want a simple but filling snack and find out what all of the fuss is about! We promise you won’t be disappointed.


Spicy Korean Food #5: Buldak (불닭)

Photo credit: http://maangchi.com

Buldak rose to fame about ten years ago as an extremely spicy dish that Korean eaters can’t seem to stay away from. Often served covered in melted cheese, buldak is a very seasoned chicken marinated in a fiery sauce that will make you feel like your stomach is on fire.

Buldak is usually served over rice cakes or steamed egg casserole to help counteract the spiciness, this dish is not for the faint of heart. Pick up some buldak if you’re a glutton for punishment and feel the burn!


Spicy Korean Food #6: Donkatsu (돈까스)

Photo credit: http://asianaairlines.hanoi.vn

Your tongue has never experienced anything like the spice factor of donkatsu! This dish features an out-of-this-world spicy pork cutlet covered in dark red chili sauce that looks kind of like blood – talk about intimidating!

You can find a dish called ‘Donkatsu of Death’ at Onnuriye Donkatsu in Seoul, which is just as frighteningly spicy as it sounds. Don’t say we didn’t warn you, and make sure you bring a gallon of milk (or two) to help you cope with the spiciness. Let us know in the comments below if you were brave enough to try the Donkatsu of Death (and lived to tell the tale)!


Spicy Korean Food #7: Galbi Jjim (갈비찜)

Photo credit: http://recipehub.com

Another extremely popular Korean dish, galbi jjim is a stew of braised short ribs that are served tender enough that they’ll fall apart in your mouth. Though there are savory and sweet elements incorporated to balance the dish out, galbi jjim is served spicy enough that a couple of bites are all you’ll need before you start feeling the heat. In fact, it’s so spicy that if you order this dish at a restaurant, your server will often recommend also ordering a steamed egg alongside the stew to counteract the heat!

This dish is a popular one to make at home on special occasions, so bust out your Korean recipe knowledge and make some galbi jjim the next time you’re headed to a party or holiday celebration. You’ll be sure to ‘wow’ the other guests!


Do you have a favorite spicy Korean food that isn’t on this list? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

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A Fusion of K-Pop and Food Brings The Best Collaboration Ever

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-08-18 06:01
A Fusion of K-Pop and Food Brings The Best Collaboration Ever

K-Pop fans, prepare to be strapped for cash as you blow all your money on these goodies from this awesome collaboration. SM Entertainment already has multiple stores open to the public selling exclusive goods and merchandise as seen here as well as a surround viewing concert,hologram concert,and hologram musical.

This time E-Mart, the biggest discount mall in Korea has teamed up with SM Entertainment to stock the shelves with an array of food and drink items featuring your favorite stars such as Super Junior, TVXQ, EXO and Girl’s Generation.For those of you looking to take home something featuring your favorite K-pop star while also satisfying your taste buds, read on!

1. SHINee

Featuring aqua blue packaging that’s as refreshing and fresh-faced as SHINee themselves, this collection features sautéed red pepper paste in seafood, nut, and beef flavors, sweet and salt flavored popcorn, lemon flavored sparkling water and finally cheese and snack sausages.

The red pepper pastes are not only perfect for mixing with rice and sesame oil to produce a simple meal but also feature the member’s beautiful faces. Now that’s killing two birds with one stone.

2. Super Junior

One of SM’s earliest formed and still active groups, Super Junior is endorsing ddeokbokki (spicy rice cake) sauce, sea salt and pepper corn flavored potato chips, sweet and peanut flavored popcorn, sea salt flavored popcorn, Habanero ramyeon and jjamppong(spicy Korean-Chinese noodle) .

The jjamppong is very popular,with the flakes you sprinkle over the chewy noodles packed with squid, onions, red peppers, beef and even shrimp. The sea salt flavored popcorn is another favorite. You definitely won’t be”sorry sorry” for purchasing them.

3. EXO

Need we really say more? Packaged in sleek black and white with their futuristic cubic logo as a finishing touch, this range features sparkling water and the already famous jjajangmyeon (black bean sauce noodles) and jjamppong which have been blowing up on social media with fans purchasing boxes of them in bulk to take home.


Much like their masculine and sexy image, the TVXQ range features spicy and barbecue flavored popcorn, almond and caramel flavored popcorn, truffle chocolates, and lobster flavored chips. There’s even health food-6 -year- old red ginseng extract available in stick, capsule and tablet form for your convenience. The striking black and gold packaging is sure to catch your eye in stores.

5. Girl’s Generation

With their exemplary ruling status among female K-Pop groups,this collection has gorgeous and girly packaging featuring Thai sweet chili flavored chips, cheese caramel mix popcorn,and powdered vitamins.The packaging on the vitamins is so pretty that it almost looks like an album!

6. Red Velvet

Just like how their group name combines the strong and fierce image of red with the soft and feminine image of velvet,this sparkling water is a delicious blend of fizzling soda and smooth grapefruit.

7. F(x)

Red light? Nope, you’ll definitely be hitting the green light as you race to sweep up these purchases with F(x). Enjoy cheddar cheese and onion flavored chips, butter and coconut flavored popcorn and rainbow gum. There’s even an anti-drowsiness gum with caffeine in it, perfect for preventing your eyelids from drooping as you drive late at night, cram for finals or work overtime

If you want to purchase K-Pop goods aside from these, check out our post on where to buy K-Pop goods in Seoul here. For more awesome finds like this one and the latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea, visit Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, Trazy.com!




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Stricter South Korean Drunk Driving Laws Being Considered

Koreabridge - Tue, 2016-08-16 14:04
Stricter South Korean Drunk Driving Laws Being Considered

This spring South Korea’s National Police Agency began conducting a nationwide survey to gather opinions for how to punish drunk drivers & if the country’s blood alcohol limit for drunk driving should be lowered from .05 to .03 percent. Such changes in other countries have led to a decrease in road fatalities, & Korea FM host Chance Dorland spoke with Jonathon Passmore, technical lead for the World Health Organization’s violence & injury prevention in the Western Pacific Regional Office, & Yours – Youth for Road Safety Executive Director Floor Lieshout, to learn more about the issue.

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The Best Beaches in Korea

Koreabridge - Tue, 2016-08-09 12:33
The Best Beaches in Korea

It’s summer, the weather outside is hot, sunny and beautiful, and it’s time to plan your vacation. However, you may still be wondering where are the best beaches in Korea.

We’ve put together this list to get you started on ideas on where to go to get your tan and water fun at. Mind you that during the peak time of the year, these beaches tend to get very crowded. Therefore, the earlier in the day you get there the better the available spots will be.

Pack your sunscreen and your coolers, because it’s beach time in Korea!

Korean Beach #1: Haeundae, Busan

Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/

The first one on the list is naturally the most famous one in all of Korea: Haeundae. It’s located in the southeastern side of Busan, and packed with lots of other activities to do besides tanning and swimming. Some of the famous spots include great places to eat, comfortable guesthouses, Busan Aquarium, and even a spa! It’s perhaps also the busiest beach on the peninsula. It gets quieter towards the end of August, and the water still remains warm enough to swim in. Sometimes the tide gets too strong for swimming, so keep that in mind when planning your summer fun!


Korean Beach #2: Jungmun, Jeju

Source: http://cloud.pleasetakemeto.com/

This southernmost beach is located on the grounds of Jungmun Resort in the southern part of Jeju Island. It’s a bit of a walk to get there, especially if you’re not staying right at Jungmun Resort, but it’s worth the effort! It’s a nice beach with beautiful water.

While it’s quite a popular beach, due to its lack of accessibility compared to other beaches on the island, it doesn’t get excessively crowded. Be prepared for some additional cardio once you leave the beach as it’s all uphill to get back and out of the resort.


Korean Beach #3: Daecheon, Boryeong

Source: http://www.dontstayput.com/

Easily accessible from the city of Boryeong, and famous for its yearly mud festival, this beach is especially popular among families and groups of friends. If you get there early enough in the morning, the beach will be practically all yours. However, as the tide gets higher and lunch time passes, it will suddenly get packed with people ready for summer beach fun. Even though it can get crowded, it’s still an excellent spot for an afternoon of swimming, tanning, and people watching!


Korean Beach #4: Jumunjin, Gangneung

Source: http://www.cityseeker.com

When the topic of beaches in Gangneung is being discussed, usually you’ll be recommended to go to Gyeongpo Beach. Jumunjin definitely is smaller and further from the center in comparison. However, it’s an excellent location for those who would rather go to a quieter and less crowded beach, while still enjoying nice sand and clean water. Right in the vicinity of the beach there are also rooms available for rent if one wants to stay overnight.


Korean Beach #5: Myeongsashimni, Shinji

Source: http://wando.tistory.com

The trip to Myeongsashimnie may be long and perhaps even gruesome, but simply the arrival to the beach will be reward enough! This four kilometer long beach not only allows great spots for tanning, but also an awesome space for swimming all the way until early October. This is rare, as it can’t be said for many of the other beaches Korea houses. To get to the island for this beach, first head to Wando, and then take a ferry from there.


Korean Beach #6: Seonyudo, Gunsan

Source: http://prianka42.wordpress.com

From Gunsan, you can take a ferry to this archipelago housing some twenty islands, of which four are connected with foot and bike bridges. This area is especially popular for its biking and walking routes. The beach is top quality, making Seonyudo a fantastic spot for a weekend trip.

 Korean Beach #7: Hyeopjae, Jeju

Source: https://lastingtransitions.wordpress.com

Although it’s a bit of a way from Jeju City, the clear and shallow water is particularly appealing for families. It’s a great place to stay late into the evening, and perhaps even until the next morning, as the sunset here is incredibly stunning. The nearby Hallim Park is also good for an afternoon stroll when staying under the sun gets to be too much.


Korean Beach #8: Deokjeokdo, Incheon

Source: https://longladylong.blogspot.comh

To reach the ultimate levels of remoteness among beaches you visit, Deokjokdo is the place to go to. During low tide, one can walk far from the shoreline before reaching waters that are beyond ankle deep. However, just staying on the beach for some tanning is a fun activity all the same.

To get to the beach, you’ll likely want to rent a bike, although walking is also an option. And for those wanting to get the most out of their visit to the beach, on the same island lies a 300-meter high Bijong Peak that will provide great views of the whole island for those who are willing to hike it up.


Korean Beach #9: Hanagae, Muuido

Source: http://www.modernseoul.org

This is another incredibly hard to reach but fun beach to visit off the coast of Incheon. In the mornings the tide is so low you can walk at least a kilometer into where you’d just seen water the previous day and not even get wet. Because of how tough it is to get there, it’s recommended to stay there overnight. The good thing is that it’s actually half the fun as there are pensions and lodges right by the beach. There are also several restaurants, one of which is right on the sand with a nice view of the sunset.


Korean Beach #10: Woljeongri, Jeju

Source: http://www.treecraftdiary.com

If you’re looking for a quiet beach with clean sand and crystal clear water while on Jeju, Woljeongri Beach is the place to go! The scenery of the beach and its surroundings is stunning, with a street of cafes nearby. As it’s not officially registered as a beach, not many people know of it or go there. That means that you get lots of space for yourself to enjoy and cool down during the sunny summer days.


Those are some of the best beaches in Korea. Which one’s the first on your bucket list to visit?

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Essential Travel Tips & Guide | Korea Autumn Travel in 2016

Koreabridge - Sun, 2016-08-07 08:13
Essential Travel Tips & Guide | Korea Autumn Travel in 2016

If you have been to South Korea several times but never in the fall, you are missing out BIG time.

Every season is a reason to visit Korea, but autumn is indeed the best season to travel and fully take in the beauty of the country. When fall foliage begins, the gardens of royal palaces in the city of Seoul and the mountain ranges in the countryside are dyed with beautifully colored leaves. It’s a season where you can witness some of the unbelievable sights across the country. So go, if you haven’t! If you are planning to, read this guide before you go.

1. Weather

South Korea’s autumn season usually lasts from September until November. The sky is clear and the weather is cool. It’s still a bit hot during the daytime in September, but it’s cool in the morning and evening.

Refer to this year’s weather forecast for Seoul in September:In October, it’s less humid than in September and the weather is cool. For this reason, many go out for outdoor activities and plenty of festivals take place during this month.Around the late Oct and early Nov, the temperature drops below 15 degrees Celcius and autumn gradually turns into an early winter season. Since the weather and temperature change every year, we advise you to check the weather forecast regularly for the updates.

2. What to Pack & Wear

It’s easy to catch a cold easily during the change of seasons, especially in autumn, because the temperature difference between the daytime and morning and evening is quite big.

We advise you to bring thin and light outerwear such as a cardigan, a jacket, and thin coat. Bringing a scarf or wearing a thick knitwear are strongly recommended as well.

3. What to Do & Where to Go

During the 3-month period, travelers will be able to enjoy the rich colors of scarlet, crimson red and yellow leaves and nature.

For this reason, you should go hiking in the mountains and catch autumn leaves at some of the best fall foliage paths in the country.

If you’re figuring out when to catch peak foliage, here’s the autumn foliage forecast from last year. This will help you plan your autumn travel itinerary.In the autumn season, beautiful yellow gingko trees and vast fields of cosmos, sunflowers, Eulalia and reeds are some of the things that South Korea has to offer.

You should try hiking at the country’s best hiking destinations such as Mt.Bukhansan and Seoraksan National Park, or just enjoy taking a walk at parks like Namsan Park.

Since the weather’s pleasant, experiencing a temple stay in Korea can be a great activity to add your itinerary.

Read our previous blog post on Top 3 Fall Foliage Trails in Korea or see Best Autumn/Fall Foliage Paths in Seoul.

You can enjoy Eulalia and reeds within the city at the annual Eulalia Festival, which is one of the most popular autumn festivals in South Korea. It takes place at the World Cup Park Stadium in Seoul every October. For directions, click here.Suncheonman Bay, located in Jeolla Province, the southern part of Korea, is also a famous travel destination where you can enjoy a scenic panorama of wetlands covered by reeds. For details and directions, click here.Jeju Island is also another must-visit travel destination that you shouldn’t miss in autumn. In autumn, many people go for the famous Olle trail, which are the most scenic routes of Jeju Island. If you want to experience the Jeju Olle trails, there’s a guided tour. For more info, click here.

For more places to enjoy the beauty of autumn in Jeju Island, check out our travel guide to how to Enjoy Korea’s real autumn in Jeju Island.Here are other recommended activities you can try with Trazy for your 2016 Autumn in South Korea:

Find this blog helpful? Follow our blog and stay tuned for more updates on autumn travel in South Korea!

Discover more latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea at Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, and make your trip epic! 

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Best Korean Ice Cream Places in Korea

Koreabridge - Fri, 2016-07-29 07:29
Best Korean Ice Cream Places in Korea

These days it’s sweltering hot all over Korea, and especially if you are in Seoul, a quick dip in the ocean isn’t exactly an option to cool down your body for a moment. But do you know what is? Korean ice cream!

You might have already tried out several different kinds of convenience store ice cream bars, but wouldn’t you also like to know which shops offer the most delicious ice cream in Korea, especially in the Seoul area? After all, ice cream is a popular summertime dessert in South Korea as well.

Forget about Baskin & Robbins, here’s the perfect guide for you for finding the best ice cream in Korea, whether you are here as a tourist or a long-time Seoulite!

Korean Ice Cream #1: Softree : Honeycomb Ice Cream

Source: http://erikokatayama.com

Website: Softree

Not too long ago, honeycomb ice cream was everyone’s favorite dessert. It was originally Softree’s creation, but it spread quickly to other ice cream joints, and even new ones specializing in honeycomb ice cream opened up.

Softree’s honeycomb ice cream consists of soft vanilla ice cream, combined with honeycomb on top. You can either eat it just as is, or mix the ice cream and the honey together for an upgraded dessert experience. Although Korea has since then moved onto other food trends, many ice cream places still serve ice cream with honeycomb today.


Korean Ice Cream #2: Fell + Cole

Source: www.diningaddiction.com

Facebook Page: Fell + Cole

Fell + Cole has spread as a chain to many different locations in Seoul, and perhaps other parts of Korea as well, but initially it was just a small ice cream shop in Hongdae. What made it different from others was not only its quirky selection of ice cream flavors (including even makgeolli-flavored ice cream!), but the fact that they change the selection available on a daily basis. Not only is the ice cream from Fell + Cole tasty, but their business model ensures you will never have a dull dessert experience with them!


Korean Ice Cream #3: Myeongdong’s Ice Cream Machine

Source: tripadvisor.com

Even in the dead of winter, there are still people lining up to get the super affordable, giant ice cream cone off the streets of Myeongdong. The texture of the ice cream isn’t as soft as Softree’s and it pales in comparison to other ice cream shops with its small selection to choose from. However, this bargain ice cream is definitely worth experiencing at least once!


Korean Ice Cream #4: Penguin Macaron

Source: 02fix.wordpress.com

Website: Penguin Macaron

This little chain, which you can find at least in Hyehwa and Insadong, specializes in ice cream macarons. They are colorful, affordable, and tasty. You are allowed to choose your own combination from the different macarons and ice cream flavors available. It is quite easy to spill it on yourself, so grab plenty of napkins!


Korean Ice Cream #5: King’s Cream: Red Velvet Ice Cream

Source: cy.cyworld.com

Instagram: King’s Cream

King’s Cream’s red velvet ice cream is likely the least famous addition on this list, though by no means the least tasty one. Unlike many other shops mentioned here, King’s Cream operates only from one small location, in between Cheonho and Gangdong. There are several different additional toppings to choose from to mix your red velvet ice cream with, each one as delicious as the next!


Korean Ice Cream #6: Kiss the Tiramisu: Tiramisu Ice Cream

Source: www.spotthefood.com

Instagram: Kiss the Tiramisu

Want to know what the current rage in Seoul is when it comes to ice cream? It’s this little ice cream shop in the center of Hongdae specializing in tiramisu ice cream! Since its inception earlier this year, they’ve opened up another small shop in Lotte Department Store in Myeongdong. However, all the cool kids want to visit the original one. Prepare to wait in line for a good while before getting yours, and then spending the rest of your afternoon happy that you did!

We gave you some great spots to start with, but the list of best Korean ice cream can’t simply end here! Although these ones didn’t quite make the cut, they’re still worth a visit. After you’ve already tried all the other places on this list, cool down this summer with these ice cream options:

1. Ice cream shops specializing in nitrogen ice cream.

This was the craze back in just 2014. Monster Lab in Hongdae was the front runner in creating all sorts of intriguing and delicious ice cream eating experiences with the quirky element of adding nitrogen in the making of ice cream. As is typical in Korea, once the trend took wind, several other ice cream shops with similar menus and tactics started opening up. While the craze has long since died down, you might still be lucky enough to find one of these shops open.

2. Coffeenie’s macaron ice cream mint choco frappe.

Just reading the name aloud will give you quite the sugar rush, but, trust me, it’s worth it! As it’s technically more of a frappe than an ice cream, it’s been placed in the list of honorable mentions. The base of this dessert is the mint choco frappe. On top of that, there’s a big scoop of whipped cream, further topped off by vanilla ice cream and choco chips, surrounded by several different flavors of macarons – all of which you can choose yourself!

3. O’Shake.

Website: O’Shake

It’s a popular but still fairly small chain from where you can find an interesting variety of not just ice cream, but also different kinds of shakes. Just like Coffeenie’s frappe, they are likely to induce quite the sugar high, but at least you’ll go down smiling and happy from all the deliciousness.

4. Remicone’s eccentric ice cream options.

If you happen to be visiting Garosugil, stop by one of its backstreets, namely the one right by Skinfood, to find this small ice cream shop selling all sorts of wacky ice cream desserts. If you’re feeling adventurous, give the one with a huge cotton candy cloud a try!

If you’re still hungry for ice cream in Korea after all this, don’t worry, there are even more icy treats available all over Korea than what was listed on this list. Now go on and get your tummy full of yummy!

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Making Kimbab rice rolls

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-07-28 03:42
Making Kimbab rice rolls

Kimbab Rice Rolls


Kimbab consists of seaweed laver sheets and rice. For the most basic kimbab, you’ll need ‘kimbab’ kim and steamed rice.

It’s a convenient meal that can stay fresh all day, making it perfect for lunch at the office or a meal at the top of a mountain.

The most difficult part of making kimbab is rolling, but once you get that down, it’ll be easy to make whatever you want.


The following are needed for the most basic kimbab:

  • Kimbab ‘Kim’
  • Short-grain white rice (can substitute brown rice… 4:1 white:brown rice is a good ratio to maintain stickiness needed to keep the roll intact)
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt for seasoning (use Bamboo Salt (Jug-yeom 죽염) as a healthy alternative)

These are filler ingredients for the traditional Korean ‘street’ kimbab:

  • Crab meat
  • Ham
  • eggs
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • Danmuji (단무지) Pickled Korean radish
  • Oo-eong-jo-rim (우엉조림) Seasoned Burdock root




The first step is cooking rice. If you have a rice cooker, just follow the directions. If you are cooking on the stovetop, follow a 4:3 water-to-rice ratio. So, if you have 1½ cups rice, use 2 cups water.

Rinse and strain the rice well to remove any dirt or pesticides. In a cooking pot, add the rice and water and let it soak for 30 minutes. Now turn on the heat and cover the pot. Once it starts boiling, turn down the heat to low and continue to cook for about 15~20 minutes. Once it’s cooked, mix the rice to prevent it from caking together.

If you are using brown rice, add up to a quarter brown rice to white rice (ex. ½ cup brown rice and 1-½ cup white rice). Brown rice, while healthier due to being a lower glycemic option, doesn’t stick together.


Once the rice is cooked, move a few scoops to a mixing bowl. Add a dash of salt and a few drops of sesame oil. Mix well and cover until you are ready to make rolls.

Mixed Rice


Egg Omelet Strips

Beat a two or three eggs and heat a frying pan. Add some oil once the pan is hot and pour the eggs into the pan. With a cooking spatula, work the egg, moving the top runny part to the pan surface. Roll the pan so eggs spread over the whole surface. Once the egg is just a little runny, lift one end and start to roll and fold the egg until you have one wide strip. Press the omelet down and flip so both sides are slightly brown. Move to a plate to cool.

Once the omelet is cool, cut it into thin strips about ¼-to-½ inch wide.


Filler ingredient preparation’

All of the other ingredients should be cut into thin strips.

Rolling the Kimbab

If you have a bamboo or wood kimbab roller, set that on your counter. Take a sheet of kim and lay it on the counter (or wooden roller, if you have it).

Take a rice spatula and dip it in water. Now take a scoop of rice and place it on the sheet of kim on the side closest to you. Spread the rice out evenly, but leave the top quarter empty. This is done so the roll with stay together.

Lay out the other ingredients, placing just a strip or two of each on the bottom (again, side closest to you). Now lift the bottom end and start to roll it up, pressing down and squeezing the roll until you reach the top (this will be the ‘seam’ side of the roll).

Move the roll seam-side down to a plate and repeat the rolling for however many rolls you want to make.

Cutting the Rolls

Once you are finished rolling, take a cooking brush and dip it lightly in sesame oil. Brush the tops of all the rolls. This will give the rolls a nice sheen and also serves to improve the flavor and texture of the rolls.

Keeping the rolls seam-side down, move one roll to a cutting board. Hold the roll just before each cut and make ½-inch cuts.

And now you have Korean kimbab, ready to pack or serve.

Be sure to keep the rolls covered so the rice doesn’t dry out and become hard.

You can try any combination of filler ingredients. It’s even possible to replace the rice with noodles to make ‘kim-guksu’ for an unique, unusual meal.

Let us know if you tried making kimbab and how it turned out. If you have any questions, post them below.




Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Sexual Healing: Teacher gets Tested

Koreabridge - Thu, 2016-07-21 09:47
Sexual Healing: Teacher gets Tested Free and Anonymous rapid HIV/ AIDS and STI Testing in Seoul

I belong to several KakaoTalk group chats and groups on Facebook for Expats and specifically Expat Women in Korea.  Recently the topic of some gentlemen within the foreigner community being less than faithful to their counterparts has left me feeling a whole bunch of emotions.  As someone who has recently dated a big ol’ phoney-bologne, I feel a sad sense of kinship with these women.  I usually feel like ignorance is bliss.  I would rather be ignorant to the truth and happy that someone wants to parade me around and ask me about my passions, my interests, and quite simply my day.  When reading about others who are experiencing things like pregnancy and STI scares, it hit me that if I were in those shoes I wouldn’t just want to know, I would need to know.

Photographer: Adriana Velasquez

When I was growing up in Canada we had regular sexual education classes.  It always struck me as strange when the teacher would rhyme off how often you needed a Pap Smear and how often to be checked for Sexually Transmitted Infections.  They’d always add “more often if you engage in risky sexual behaviour”.  Isn’t all sexual behaviour “risky”?  I mean, even if you are in a committed relationship now, nearly everyone has baggage.  It’s important to look out for your physical (and mental) health as well as that of your partner’s.

Photographer: Imani Clovis

Last Sunday I went to the KHAP – the Korea Federation for HIV/ AIDS Prevention for their Free and Anonymous HIV/AIDS & STI screening.  This is available to all foreigners living and working in Korea regardless of visa status.  They offer a variety of languages as well.  The website is available in English, Chinese, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog, Indonesian, and Korean, and it states that services are available in English, Hindi, Urdu, and Korean.  While they offer screenings without a reservation from time to time in Itaewon, I went ahead and booked my appointment here.  I loved that it was available online (who has time for potentially uncomfortable phone calls, really?) and within a few days I had a confirmation e-mail.  I booked nearly 2 weeks ahead of time, so if you’re worried and on a time crunch I would suggest you call to ensure you get an appointment.

My confirmation e-mail:

Dear –

Greetings from Korea Federation for HIV/AIDS Prevention(KHAP).
This is a KHAP Seoul center.

Thanks for your reservation.  It is available HIV rapid or STD testing or both.
Your appointment is at 11:40am (It is Free and Anonymous; your number is *******-06) /Please don’t be late. 

(STD test available : HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Urethritis)

The test result of HIV rapid is within 20minutes, and STDs takes 3~4days later.When you need to cancel your appointment, please call or email us. 

When you arrive at KHAP, please tell us your number and/or nickname. Other forms and identificationa are not necessary.

The test requires about for 30 minutes. Appointments are rigid, so please be on time.
If you have trouble finding us at the test day, call us at 02-927-4322.

Thank you for your cooperation.

You may have noticed that there’s no mention of infections such as chlamydia,herpes, hepatitis, or the other slew of potential things one might contract.  There is a clinic in Itaewon which offers a variety of different packages (some inclusive of pap smears and blood drawing).  The cost is high in comparison to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), but isn’t your health and your peace of mind worth it?

Photographer: Dan Watson

I found the KHAP incredibly easy to find.  I walked out of Gireum Station (Exit 7) and walked straight.  I crossed a bridge, passed a gas station, and was there.  I had hoped to buy some water along the way as it’s typically tough to find a big enough vein with me.  I donated blood regularly in Canada and always came out black and blue on both sides.  Drink water before you go!  Upon arrival, you’ll be presented with a paper cup and a plastic sample vial.  I immediately started guzzling cup after cup of water (they’ve got a cute little corner with information, free condoms, and some candy surrounding the water cooler) and almost thought I’d be faced with performance anxiety.  My veins, on the other hand, played their regular hide-and-seek game.

Isn’t all sexual behaviour “risky”? I mean, even if you are in a committed relationship now, nearly everyone has baggage. It’s important to look out for your physical (and mental) health as well as that of your partner’s.

After the urine sample I was directed to a small room with a doctor and someone whom I believe to be a nurse or a technician (sorry guys – I have no medical background and totally let a stranger in a lab coat draw my blood).  The rapid-HIV test was administered by pricking my finger and drawing blood.  The results were provided within 15 minutes.  Less than one full vial of blood was taken for the remaining tests.  I was shown and talked through the new gloves and new syringes which were being opened in front of me.  We had a rough start finding a vein, but after a couple of tries it was pretty quick and easy.  After I was told that I tested negative for HIV, I was given a small piece of paper with my sample number, my alias (you use an alias when booking your appointment to remain anonymous), and that I would be able to call and receive my results over the phone after July 20th.  You’ll be pleased to hear that when I called yesterday I was informed that I tested negative for everything that was tested and that “everything’s good”.

If you visit the KHAP and can afford to donate I would really encourage you to do so.  This is an invaluable service for all foreigners in Korea, and I’m sure not everyone can afford this type of medical care.  Let’s look out for one-another and keep services like these alive in a country where sex is both taboo and in your face (more on that as this “Sexual Healing” series continues).

Photographer: Kristopher Roller

If you or someone you know has been tested at another facility while living abroad, please be sure to mention it in the comments section!  I can’t stress how easy it was to have this screening done and how professional my experience was getting tested for HIV & STIs in Korea.


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Pokémon Takes Over Korea As Gamers Travel Hours To Play New Pokémon Go App

Koreabridge - Tue, 2016-07-19 04:22
Pokémon Takes Over Korea As Gamers Travel Hours To Play New Pokémon Go

For Pokémon fans in South Korea, the success of the new Pokémon Go app has been bittersweet as the game has not yet been officially released in the ROK. However, people from across the country are already traveling to Sokcho, the first area where the game works due to a mapping oddity, to play the game & prepare for a time when it will be available across the country. Korea FM host Chance Dorland spoke with ‘Pokémon Go Korea‘ Facebook group creator & Gangnam Gamers player Wilfred Lee & EXBC live streamer Esco to hear how they & others have traveled hours to play Pokémon Go & what the experience has shown them about the game & dedication of South Korean fans.

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 Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.

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The post Pokémon Takes Over Korea As Gamers Travel Hours To Play New Pokémon Go App appeared first on Korea FM.

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***MISSING PERSON*** LyLii Tinem Huynh: Last Seen on Haeundae Beach

Koreabridge - Sat, 2016-07-16 09:24



Our dear friend LyLii Tinem Huynh has not been seen since Thursday July 14th, at approximately 600 am. She was last seen on Haeundae Beach near tower 7 with 2 others. The 2 people she was with went swimming and when they came out Lylii was no longer on the beach. Her clothes and tablet however were still there.
The police and French embassy are investigating and going over cctv footage.
We ask that anyone who has ANY information about her whereabouts or who may have seen her on the morning of Thursday July 14th contact us immediately.
Her family has been contacted and are making their way to Korea.

Matt: 010 3263 9463 english
Mattb2015 kakao english
Yuni: 010 8579 6838 korean
Or message Laura on facebook.

***please tag share and repost this as much as possible, i am sure someone saw something***

***실종자를 찾습니다***
저의 친구 LyLii이 7월 14일 오전 약 6시 경 이후로 실종 되었습니다.

해운대 해변 타워7 근처에서 다른 2명과 함께 마지막으로 목격 되었습니다. 
함께있던 2명은 수영을 갔고, 돌아 왔을 때는 해변에서 Lylii를 찾을 수 없었습니다. 그녀의 옷가지와 타블렛은 그 자리에 있었습니다.

경찰과 프랑스 대사관이 현재 조사중이고, cctv 흔적을 찾고 있습니다. 
그녀가 어디있는지 어떤 정보라도 아시는 분 혹은 7/14일 오전 그녀를 목격한 분이 계시다면 저희에게 바로 연락을 부탁 드립니다. 
현재 소식을 들은 가족들이 한국으로 오는 중 입니다.

Yuni : 010 8579 6838 (한국인 제보 연락처)
혹은 페이스북 메세지 부탁 드립니다.

**부디 많은 태그 및 공유 부탁 드리며, 목격자가 있을거라 믿습니다**





저의 친구 LyLii이 7월 14일 오전 약 6시 경 이후로 실종 되었습니다.

해운대 해변 타워7 근처에서 다른 2명과 함께 마지막으로 목격 되었습니다. 
함께있던 2명은 수영을 갔고, 돌아 왔을 때는 해변에서 Lylii를 찾을 수 없었습니다. 그녀의 옷가지와 타블렛은 그 자리에 있었습니다.

경찰과 프랑스 대사관이 현재 조사중이고, cctv 흔적을 찾고 있습니다. 
그녀가 어디있는지 어떤 정보라도 아시는 분 혹은 7/14일 오전 그녀를 목격한 분이 계시다면 저희에게 바로 연락을 부탁 드립니다. 
현재 소식을 들은 가족들이 한국으로 오는 중 입니다.

Yuni : 010 8579 6838 (한국인 제보 연락처)
혹은 페이스북 메세지 부탁 드립니다.

**부디 많은 태그 및 공유 부탁 드리며, 목격자가 있을거라 믿습니다**





Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korean Summer Poems for Rainy Season

Koreabridge - Sat, 2016-07-16 01:58
Korean Summer Poems for Rainy Season With rainy season upon us these days I've been spending my leisure time back here in Thunder Bay Canada reading and drinking tea. Lapsang Souchong with milk is usually my rainy day tea, most especially when it's a bit on the cool side out.  
I have recently started a new venture doing tea ceremonies here in Thunder Bay a few times each month in various locations around town. Mostly outdoors in summer in local park where you can drop by and see and even sample some tea if you like. Details for which can be found at my Where Wisk Way Blog or better still on my FaceBook group page Travelling TeaTime also to be found in the sidebar on this page.  
Pondering the various parks in town and talking with my friends about their favorite park places and experiences I'm reminded of this poem below about this poem below written about a peach orchard high up in the mountains that a Korean poet had discovered :  
Only white gull and IKnow about the thirty-six peaks of Mount Chung-Ryang.White gull will never tell anyoneBut I am suspicious of you, peach blossom.
You might fall into the streamAnd, floating by, tell the fishermen about our secret place.--Yi Hwang  

Upon my moving back to Canada I had come across a Tea Ceremony water container online. I was window shopping :-) It reminded me of the poem below
When a shadow appeared on the water,I looked up to see a monk crossing the bridge.Stay, I said, so I could askWhere he was going.
But, pointing at white clouds, he moved on,Answering without words. --Anonymous
(Both the above from Sunset in a Spider Web Sijo Poetry of Ancient Korea Virginia Olsen Baron, Minja Park Kim)
Here are two poems for a rainy day : 
Rainstorm at a Mountain Temple
The gale howling in the valleystears out the trees by their roots.The downpour washes over every peak,loosening rocks to tumble down the slopes.The boom of a temple bellopens the air, in waves.-- Cho Eun 1900-196?
It is Raining
It is raining, incessantly fallinglike tears streaming over sorrow,Thinking you will be comingsoaked in the rain,I push my window openand hold a potted plant in my arms.
It is raining, incessantly fallingwhile I am expecting you.I imagine seeing yousmiling in the misty woods before I am sent to sleepby the sound of rain dripping from the eaves. --Yi U-Chul 1923-1984
(Both of the above taken from Modern Korean Verse in Sijo Form by Jaihiun Kim)
Well now I'm off to sip more tea and read away until I drift off recalling the rain dripping from the eaves of the garage I'd seen earlier today.... Best wishes and until next time, stay youthfully minded : for that is where inspiration often comes.

About the Author

Matthew William Thivierge has abandoned his PhD studies in Shakespeare and is now currently almost half-way through becoming a tea-master (Japanese,Korean & Chinese tea ceremony). He is a part time Ninjologist with some Jagaek studies (Korean 'ninja') and on occasion views the carrying on of pirates from his balcony mounted telescope.

About Tea Busan  *   Mr.T's Chanoyu てさん 茶の湯   *  East Sea Scrolls  *  East Orient Steampunk Society

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Viral Busan Trash Photo Sign Of South Korea’s Trash Disposal Problems

Koreabridge - Tue, 2016-07-12 07:38
Viral Busan Trash Photo Sign Of South Korea’s Trash Disposal Problems

Viral images of a trash covered beachfront park in Busan demonstrate South Korea’s ongoing problems surrounding litter & trash disposal in public areas. Korea FM’s Chance Dorland spoke with Busan Haps web editor-in-chief Jeff Liebsch & longtime Busan resident John Bocskay about the recent 4 day holiday that left the city’s Subyun Park covered in trash.

Rate & Review this podcast at bit.ly/KFMReview

Subscribe to Korea FM Talk Radio & News Podcasts via:


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 Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.

If audio player does not load, listen to this episode by clicking here.

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The post Viral Busan Trash Photo Sign Of South Korea’s Trash Disposal Problems appeared first on Korea FM.

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Dear Korea #145: Keep On Keepin' On

Koreabridge - Mon, 2016-07-11 15:01
Dear Korea #145: Keep On Keepin' On


Anyone who has any sort of presence on the internet is probably well aware of all of the drama that’s been going on in the states. Needless to say, it’s been having a bit of an impact on my desire to move back. This goes double when taking people like my significant other (as well as other friends) into consideration.

Please do keep in mind that I’m not trying to say that South Korea is better or worse than the United States in any way. No country is without its flaws, and the country I’m living in now is not exempt from that. I am well aware of some of the very serious issues that occur here, and am only speaking from my personal experiences with each strip I have drawn and will draw. All that being said, despite the problems that still plague citizens and expats alike, there’s a certain comfort that comes with knowing that the likelihood of anyone getting shot by the police is highly unlikely here.

I would probably include a personal story or some sort of anecdote, but I’ve honestly been pretty stumped on what to say as of late. All I can really say is that it’s been a rough few weeks in a very rough year.

Jen Lee's Dear Korea

This is Jen Lee. She likes to draw.
She also likes green tea.

Got any questions, comments, or maybe even some delicious cookies you want to send through the internet? Feel free to contact us at dearkoreacomic at gmail dot com.

You can also leave comments on the comic’s Facebook Page!


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

What a Trumpish GOP would Mean for Asia

Koreabridge - Mon, 2016-07-11 07:10
What a Trumpish GOP would Mean for Asia





This a re-print of an op-ed I just published with the Lowy Institute.

I’ve argued elsewhere that I don’t think a President Trump would pull the US out of Asia. That would requiring battling a deep Washington consensus of government officials, think-tankers, military, and the rest who strongly support a continued American presence out here. Trump is too lazy and too ill-informed to try that. So don’t worry about that. Nor will Trump win. So don’t freak out yet. 

But I do think Trump has changed the GOP a lot, and that he will have successors. Trump just proved that the median GOP voter doesn’t give a damn about Reaganism. Republican voters are now lower middle class and downscale (whites), and they are not anti-statists who want tax cuts for the rich. Nor are they neocons (it’s their kids that fight the wars), nor are they social conservatives, as their rates of divorce, single parenthood, and substance abuse make clear. What they do want though is a dramatic reduction of immigration in order that the United States remain majority white longer.

In short, Trump has just showed the potential for the US to have a European-style nationalist-rightist party, complete with a whiff of fascism in Trump’s authoritarian posturing.

So my prediction is that: 1) Trump will lose, but 2) post-Trumpers will pop-up and try to use his message to win GOP primaries. This will ignite a serious civil war inside the GOP between the establishment – who are mostly Reaganites like Paul Ryan but who have weak roots among actual GOP voters, as Trump just illustrated – and white nationalist post-Trumpers who actually speak to issues the GOP base cares about. It’s not clear to me who will win, but the post-Trumpers have the votes and the passion.

The full essay follows the jump.



The US Republican Party will gather from July 18 to 21 to formally nominate Donald Trump as its presidential candidate. This may be contested – the ‘Never Trump’ movement is searching for a way to open the convention – but regardless, Trump has already altered the Grand Old Party (GOP) dramatically. The convention may be contested, and Trump will likely lose in November. But ‘Trumpism’ – white nationalism, America First, overt hostility to Islam and the growing diversity of the United States, border control, and foreign policy disinterest – will survive. And if it feeds through into policy, it will impact America in Asia.

Fossilized Reaganism

Trump himself is a terrible messenger for his ideas – buffoonish, undisciplined, fraudulent – but the ideas themselves clearly resonate. Almost out of nowhere, Trump managed to defeat nearly twenty other rivals. Those rivals spoke the well-established Reaganite language of the modern GOP. They promised the usual mix of libertarian economics, foreign policy hawkishness, and social conservatism in a Christian idiom.

This was an exciting and relevant package in the late 1970s. The economic doldrums of that decade inspired supply-side economics, and the Reagan-era economic boom suggests that tax rates were probably too high. Détente with communism never sat as well with Americans as it did with the allies. And the social tumult of the 1960s and 70s had inspired a Christian-moralist backlash. Reagan fused these three agendas as none of his successors ever would.

In the years since though, that Reaganite package has lost much of its appeal. Decades of tax cuts have left the US with a huge debt and deficit, and most Republican voters today, downscale whites, do not wish to see the welfare state, funded by those taxes, reduced. Neoconservative belligerence shattered on the rocks of Iraq and the intractable war on terrorism. And resistance to social change simply no longer motivates Americans that much; most have come to accept a great deal more sexual and gender freedom, such as divorce and gay marriage.

With astonishing speed, Trump demonstrated just how ossified this 40-year old message is. He won the GOP primary with no almost staff, money, intellectual or organizational preparation, or campaign strategy. He clearly ‘wings it’ through most of his speeches. He alienated most of the GOP establishment. He fought with its premier media organ, Fox. And he still won handily, with over 14 million votes and roughly 45% of the GOP primary vote.

Trump’s Inevitable Successors


Trump’s ‘revolution’ is to show that Republican candidates can dispense with the Reganite superstructure and win with direct appeals to the Republican id, particularly the ‘angry white men’ who are the core of the GOP voter base. As David Frum put it, “Trump is running not to be president of all Americans, but to be the clan leader of white Americans.” For decades Republicans have danced around the mobilization of white identity politics. Trump, with his characteristic bull-in-a-china-shop, win-at-all-costs approach, he has thrown out that pretense and appealed openly to white Christian racial/cultural loyalties.

That this worked so well, so fast, and for such an obviously unqualified candidate, means it will almost certainly be picked-up by a post-Trump generation – slicker, better organized, and disciplined enough to properly exploit the opening Trump has created. Think of Trump as the National Front’s first leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen – the frightening, undisciplined buffoon who gets the nationalist ball rolling – and his successors as daughter Marine, sharper, smarter, less overtly scary.

Trump shown a new method to win the GOP primary. We should expect successors. In the years before the next presidential primary, a civil war will be fought in the GOP between an establishment desperate not to appear racist, clinging to a fossilized Reaganism that no one in American really wants, and an insurgent, Trumpish white resentment that would remake the GOP as a European-style nationalist-rightist party. It is not clear who will win.

What Will a Trumpist GOP Mean for America in Asia?


The Reaganite GOP has traditionally appealed to Asian elites. Republican belief in free trade allowed export-oriented economies around the region to trade freely, even as Asian mercantilist strategies blunted US imports. Republican hawkishness and obsession with credibility served American allies’ security. Despite reasonable concerns that America’s Asia allies cheap-ride on US guarantees, that debate almost never arises in the GOP. Instead, anxiety runs the other way: GOP elites constantly worry that American allies doubt US commitment, therefore arguing that America must give the allies more attention, resources, and so on. Finally, GOP hawks strongly support American global preponderance. The GOP supports the maintenance or expansion of US bases around the world and a forward US military presence that is frequently interventionist. If the GOP controlled the White House today, the US would be far more heavily involved in Ukraine, the South China Sea, and Syria. All this takes the pressure off US allies to respond to Putin, China, ISIS, and so on.

Trump, for all his foolishness, raises the obvious question of whether all this forward engagement is actually good for the United States. With the exception of free trade, it is not immediately clear that it is. Almost thirty years of US intervention in the Persian Gulf has probably worsened American security in the Middle East. Taking the lead in Ukraine would once again let Europe off the hook regarding its own security. If the Americans were not around to bail-out European security, would the Brexit debate have focused on so narrowly on parochial issues like the National Health Service and housing? In Asia, wealthy American allies can clearly spend a good deal more on defense – and should with China and North Korea in their neighborhood. Nor is it immediately clear that Trump’s support for Japanese and South Korean nuclearization is a bad thing – both are liberal democracies mature enough for nuclear command-and-control, and allied to the US. A lot of Americans, including Trump voters, would like to see a less expensive, less interventionist US foreign policy, with the dividends of that caution brought home.

Specific policies from a Trumpish GOP might include:

– A substantial immigration reduction: If there is one thing that the white working class across the West – which is fueling Brexit, Trump, Marine Le Pen, and others – want, it is reduced non-white immigration. This would effect southeast Asia more than northeast Asia.

– The end of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and new FTAs: Free trade is an easy target for nationalists. Trade with Asia has a racial edge to it as well.

– Expanded Asian defense spending: Post-Trumpers will likely be far more serious about burden-sharing division than any US administration since Nixon.

The Pivot and Its Problems

I have long argued (short version, long version) that the US pivot’s achilles’ heel is public opinion. A commitment to Asia interests American elites but does not really grip the US median voter. Americans do not know or care that much about Asia – it’s far away, the languages are very hard (no Spanglish?), the religious beliefs are even more foreign than Islam (which is at least monotheistic), the food is a challenge, we don’t learn about it in school, there aren’t many Asian-Americans (-5%), and so on. Even at this late date, more Americans study Latin than Chinese.

As post-Trump candidates pick-up his threads, expect his America First-ism, focus on allied free-riding, and hostility to trade deals, to push the GOP away from its previous Reaganite internationalism. This year’s primary revealed the Reaganite GOP establishment as the emperor with no clothes; neither Democratic nor Republican voters actually want what the GOP in Washington is selling. Trump (of all people!) just proved that, and that is a titanic shift in American politics. When the GOP establishment eventually reflects its voters’ actual preferences, the GOP of recent decades, which Asian elites know, will fade.

Filed under: Asia, Domestic Politics, Lowy Institute, Republican Party, Trump, United States

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University


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Why Don’t the Pros Come to Korea?

Koreabridge - Sun, 2016-07-10 12:39
Why Don’t the Pros Come to Korea?

For years I have been following so many pro photographers and I was always bummed when they would do “Asian Tours” and skip completely over Korea. While Seoul may not be as popular as the so-called “world-renowned” locations like Beijing or Tokyo, it is not to say that it should be passed over.

Currently, the food scene is picking up. Over the past year or so, great chefs like Anthony Bourdain and Jamie Oliver have visited and were impressed with the warmth of the people and the food. However, it seems that only local Korean photographers and the expats are the ones taking the memorable and striking images in Korea.

What about that TV Show in Korea?

Off hand, I can think only the show on Arirang called “In Frame” that brings great Magnum photographers like David Alan Harvey to Korea. There have been other photographers which I will mention a bit later. However, I feel that the TV show is totally different than professionals setting out on their own to photograph personal projects.

So this begs the question “Why are so many photographers passing over South Korea?”

This is a question that pops into my head whenever I hear that one of my favourite photographers is heading to Asia. As I heard that Justin Mott, a great photographer based out of Bangkok, Thailand was loving Japan I wondered if I should be that fan that writes “When are you coming to Korea?” As if that would make any difference. However, it did get me thinking.


What Do You Know?

For the most part, I think it has a lot to do with how we look at different countries. For years people have had a love affair with the futuristic almost anime style backdrops that Tokyo provides. Then you get a taste of the famous temples and shrines of Kyoto. We are so familiar with the Great wall and Forbidden City that tourists flock to every year.

However, when you mention places like Gyeongbukgung and Bulguksa, many people draw a blank. They probably know Seoul from the ’88 Olympics or possibly even from the Korean War and the TV sitcom like M*A*S*H but probably not much more.

Check These Guys Out

Images are what creates wonder in the minds of travellers and artists alike. While I feel that Korea is an untapped resource for photographers, I also feel that the ones who are taking photos of this country deserve more recognition. I am taking myself out of this discussion and directing you toward great photographers like Sungjin Kim, John Steele, Robert KohlerDouglas MacDonald, Leigh MacArthur and Roy Cruz. Not to mention my good friend Pete DeMarco who recently left Korea.

With so many awesome photographers already here, you would think that it would entice some of the bigger names in the industry to come around and check the place out. A few have come, but I heard very little about it. I know that Matt Granger came for a workshop in Seoul a few years ago and Elia Locardi did a quick tour. Trey Ratcliff has not been here in over a decade. There maybe others that I am missing and if I am, let me know. It is really hard to find pro photographers excited to come to Korea despite all that it has to offer.

I feel that the answer is the fact that South Korea itself has a bit of an image problem. It affects the way travellers and photographers look at the country. Many people do not really know much about the countries they visit aside from what the see on facebook feeds and in travel magazines. Word of mouth is equally as important. If no one is saying much or what is being said is slightly strange. Not too many pros are going to come just on a whim.

Creating Interest or just Meh…

So while Korea has all of the ingredients to make a great destination in Asia, it lacks the pull that places like Tokyo, Beijing, Bangkok or Singapore have. Perhaps, this could be also to do with the wealth of English teachers passing through the country every year. The feeling that I got when I talked to many of the younger teachers in my Masters of Education classes was a feeling of “been there done that” which I would imagine came from a frustrating experience at a language school and using Korea as a jumping off point for other destinations.

With that sort of “meh” attitude towards the country, it is no wonder that many of the pros skip over Korea. Their jobs depend on getting people excited about their photographs of “exotic” locations. If the photos that you take are getting “meh… I taught English there in 2010” or something like that, then it is not going to be high or your list of places to return.

What Sells Photos?

While there are lots of reasons why photographers skip over Korea, I am lumping it into how the photo industry really works. Pro photographers need the popularity of their photos to keep them relevant and keep their viewers interested. If the audience is either largely uninterested in your destination then it is sort of a flop and not worth investing the time and money into heading there.

Unless they are like the Magnum photographers who are no doubt paid to come here, South Korea is a hard sell. This is why I have so much respect for the photographers here in Korea who are taking images that rival the pros. It is my feeling that Korea is a bit of a diamond in the rough. The photographers that I mentioned before are taking amazing images and that is not always an easy task.

The final point here is if this article strikes a chord with you, share your thoughts below. If you have found other pro photographers who have come here, send me their links. Let me know what you think! Why are so many pro photographers skipping over Korea?


The post Why Don’t the Pros Come to Korea? appeared first on The Sajin.


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The Best Korean Souvenirs & Gifts

Koreabridge - Sat, 2016-07-09 08:37
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What’s the best part of any vacation? Buying fun souvenirs for your friends back home to show them you appreciate them while making them jealous of your awesome trip at the same time, of course! (We’re half kidding.)

The next time you’re in Korea, you have some big decisions to make: Korea is full of super fun, one-of-a-kind souvenirs for you to choose from. Your days of picking up shot glasses in an airport are over! Read on for our favorite Korean souvenirs, and be sure to let us know if we forgot anything in the comments below!


Korean Souvenirs #1: Buchae (부채)

Photo credit: http://www.wikipedia.com

Summer is finally here, and it’s going to be scorchingly hot in most of the Northern hemisphere for at least another couple months. If you’re on the hunt for some cool Korean souvenirs over the next couple of weeks, consider the buchae, a fun, foldable Korean fan. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and your friends will thank you for getting them something practical instead of a trinket that will gather dust in the back of their closet for the next few years. Pick up one for yourself as well to make exploring Korea more enjoyable this summer!


Korean Souvenirs #2: K-Pop Merchandise

Photo credit: http://gcastd.org

If you’re searching for souvenirs for friends that have been swept up in the K-Pop phenomenon, you won’t have to look far! K-Pop posters, t-shirts, and other merchandise are available pretty much everywhere in Korea due to K-Pop’s rise in popularity over the last few years across the globe. You can also pick up some of your favorite K-Pop CD’s to give your friends a taste of Korean popular culture. Who knows – maybe it will make them want to join you on your next trip to Korea!


Korean Souvenirs #3: Fun Socks

Photo credit: http://teachingtravel.com

Alright, hear us out – socks? Yes! Korea has taken fun and adorable sucks to a whole new level, which makes them the perfect souvenir for you to pick up for your friends back home. Not to mention that they’re inexpensive, easy to find, and will take up no space in your suit case – could they be any more perfect?! In Korean culture, it is polite to remove your shoes before entering somebody’s home, so Korean designers have extra motivation to design show-stopping socks because they’ll be seen on a regular basis. Take advantage of this trend and pick up some cute socks for you and your friends the next time you’re out and about in Korea!


Korean Souvenirs #4: Phone Cases

Photo credit: http://dhgate.com

If you’d like to go the practical route the next time you’re picking up souvenirs in Korea, you should consider picking up one of the cute Korean phone cases that are for sale at most souvenir shops. These cases often depict Korean art, Korean cartoons, and K-Pop stars. Your friends will thank you for being thoughtful AND for helping them protect their new iPhone from cracking when they inevitably drop it – everybody wins!


Korean Souvenirs #5: Korean cosmetics

Photo credit: http://gardenofshadowstore.blogspot.com

The Korean cosmetics industry has BOOMED over the past couple of years, and fun new cosmetics shops have been opening up left and right throughout Korea. Picking up a brand new BB cream or eyeshadow palette for your friends back home is the perfect way to say you care! Korean face masks are also super popular and inexpensive souvenirs – they’re made from all-natural ingredients and have been the talk of the industry because they leave skin feeling soft and taut for days on end after only one application.  Be sure to pick up something for yourself, too – you deserve to be looking your best!


Korean Souvenirs #6: Soju

Photo credit: http://www.theguardian.com

Soju is a quintessential Korean alcohol made from rice. There’s a reason it’s as popular as it is – soju has a clean, crisp flavor that means it pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. It’s also relatively inexpensive and available at most Korean supermarkets, so you won’t have a difficult time tracking it down! Soju is loved by pretty much everybody, so it’s a safe choice for a souvenir that your friends and family will be thanking you for. Just make sure the bottle doesn’t break in your suitcase!


Korean Souvenirs #7: Korean tea

Photo credit: http://www.madeinkorea.com

If you’re looking for a souvenir for your underage friends, look no further than the tea aisle in any Korean supermarket. Tea is a big part of day to day life in Korea, so there’s a wide variety of interesting flavors (and beautiful boxes!). Tea is also way easier to transport than other beverages – you can just throw the box in your suitcase and forget about it without worrying about leakage. If you really want to go above and beyond, consider picking up a tea-set for friends – maybe they’ll host a tea part in your honor as a ‘thank you’!


Korean Souvenirs #8: Electronics

Photo credit: http://www.tribute.com.pk

Korea is always on the forefront of awesome new electronics. If you can imagine it, they’ve probably already invented it! If you’re considering picking up electronics as souvenirs on your way out of Korea, you’ll be happy to know that Korea is full of inexpensive, high quality electronics like phones and MP3 players. You can also try your luck at bargaining – in many of the larger electronic stores in Korean cities, proprietors are open to bartering and will give you the best price they can. Electronics that won’t break the bank? Sign me up!


Korean Souvenirs #9: Korean snacks

Photo credit: http://koreabridge.net

There’s nothing in the world quite like Korean snacks – from dried squid to fried kimchi, there really is something for everybody! Bring a little taste of Korea back to your loved ones as an inexpensive, thoughtful gift – just make sure you don’t bring anything TOO addicting (we’re looking at you, pepero) or their gratitude will turn to sadness when they can’t find Korean snacks in your home country!


What is your favorite souvenir to surprise your friends and family with when you return home from vacation? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!


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Marmot’s Hole Podcast: “Creative Korea” Faces Uphill Battle After New National Slogan Announcement

Koreabridge - Fri, 2016-07-08 08:55
Marmot’s Hole Podcast: “Creative Korea” Faces Uphill Battle

Marmot’s Hole blogger & tourism magazine editor Robert Koehler joins Korea FM host Chance Dorland to discuss South Korea’s new national slogan, “Creative Korea.”

While the government spent $3 million dollars to select the new branding campaign, the very quick revelation that “Creative France” is already in use, and doubts by commentators and industry professionals as to whether “creative” is the best term to describe the ROK and its future after the Park administration, the new campaign has experienced condemnation since the moment it was announced.

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 Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.

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The post Marmot’s Hole Podcast: “Creative Korea” Faces Uphill Battle After New National Slogan Announcement appeared first on Korea FM.

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Like the Cat That Got the Cream

Koreabridge - Wed, 2016-06-29 04:35
Like the Cat That Got the Cream

“Where have you been?” everyone keeps asking. Last week, before I could fully wake up enough to call my mother for her birthday, a message came through from her that she was in the hospital again and would have to turn her phone off. Some more translation and other kinds of work has come through, and there is even more silhouetted on the horizon. I’m writing. I’m still trying to get my insane potter in hand — even if I sit perfectly still working for six hours, he still looks disappointed in me when I say I really — I mean it this time — have to go now. But he’s teaching me a lot, about onggi and the history of Korean pottery, traditional glazes, which I started this week, Lee Kang-hyo, who reminds me of Jackson Pollock. He’s always digging up documentaries with English subtitles for me to watch and scribbling down terms in Korean. He asked me last week if what he does is called “pottery” in English.

Last night, we got a phone call at an uncharacteristically late hour, which could change a lot of things. I put the macchinetta on before B’d even hung up, because I could tell we’d be up late talking. B’s going down to Busan to handle some stuff this weekend, and we will know more once he returns, probably with his brother in tow, possibly (but improbably) also with his mother. For now, I’ve got to prepare the house a little, find and buy a good yo (Korean floor mattress). B’s worried but somehow also excited about a little fantasy he’s dreamed up about his brother helping me with some work. He’s calling himself our “angel investor” for a business that doesn’t even exist. He’s weighing in either hand the pros and cons of two different very good new jobs he’s got to choose between. One of them, in combination with whatever happens this weekend, could mean life will be propelled forward a bit more quickly than we expected in the next few months.

Vague, I know, but it’s easier not to explain it all until I know exactly what I’m explaining.

In the meantime, I’m swallowing books whole. It’s some kind of residual summer reading instinct that still kicks in. I’ve made a Bible of Tartine Bread, by Chad Robertson, which has completely rid me, in a matter of months, of poor bread-making practices I’ve been struggling to work out for decades. Highly recommend it. In a more leisurely realm, Mary McCarthy’s The Company She Keeps is keeping me on my toes with turns of phrase and simply stated observations that contain entire worlds in half sentences.

Food-wise, Korea’s run out of domestic cream and butter, causing crises in franchise bakeries across the country. Cows don’t like hot, humid weather for milk production, and, with the combined influence of new cooking shows that promote Western-style dishes, which include more dairy, domestic production can’t keep up. I was lucky enough to get my hands on two whole pints of cream this week, and I’ve been scheming about how to best put them to use. I still have some recipes from weeks ago I haven’t posted yet, as well, so I’ll try to get some of that done this week.

I had expected to be making an announcement this week, but with the current family crisis and an inflow of more freelance work than I expected to have, that’s been delayed. Hopefully soon. Right now, we don’t know what to expect, and it may end up being best for me to pursue more higher paying work for a while. Also, I seem to have overcome a months’ long writer’s block, and I’ve got to take advantage of that while I can. I’ll be back on form soon. In the meantime, I wish you all cool summer nights, an umbrella always on hand for the summer rains and the good luck to find cream when you need it. Summer’s not the same without it.

The post Like the Cat That Got the Cream appeared first on Follow the River North.

Follow the River North

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

Books & Stuff    Cafés & Shops     Korean Food & Ingredients      Personal     Recipes       Restaurants & Bars

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Creatively Creating Cinemagraphs

Koreabridge - Wed, 2016-06-29 02:04
Creatively Creating Cinemagraphs

With the recent launch of my Cinemagraph Pro Tutorial course, I pushed myself think of new ways to make cinemagraphs that stood out. I love taking landscapes and turing them into cinemagraphs. I think that is what sort of put me on the map with regards to this new form of expression. However, that may not appeal to everyone and thus, I had to really get to work and try and find new cinemagraphs to make in order to really get the word out.

The Ramyeon Cinemagraph

This one really took some time. I am not a food photographer but I do love and have to take food shots from time to time. This one I used a similar technique to that of the Death Wish Coffee project that I did a little while ago. However, I really wanted to focus on the steam and that proved to be a bit of a challenge. Not only did it not steam up enough, the noodles cooled too fast. I ended up using a kettle of hot water to heat things up. However, in the end I got the shot and the loop that I wanted.

Use Adobe Spark

I always loved the style and look of those instagram-like ads. The ones that combined a beautiful font and a creative photo. I could do the photo part, but I could never get the font or the design just right. Now that adobe spark has arrived, I can make cinemagraphs that have this look and feel. In a later tutorial, I will show you how to add this to your cinemagraphs.

The Cafe Cinemagraph

Finally, I had a blast creating this one. I had first seen this kind of cinemagraph used for some awesome travel stuff and I wanted to give a subtle hint about my courses. So I went to a local coffee shop here in Ulsan and got to work. Again, it was a challenge working in such an open environment. However, I just plugged away and made a few cool cinemagraphs. Here I am just using the subtle motion of the book to draw attention into the cinemagraph.


If you would like to learn how to make cinemagraphs like this then head on over to my tutorials page and sign up for the cinamagraph pro tutorial now.

The Complete CInemagraph Pro Tutorial

The post Creatively Creating Cinemagraphs appeared first on The Sajin.


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