Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let's talk Alcohol...

If you know anything about Korea you might be aware they like to drink a lot, so, why don't we talk a little bit about Korea's Alcoholic Beverages!


The most known being Soju.... yup, we have all seen or drank that green small bottle, that innocent looking bottle is the Favorite alcoholic drink among Koreans. It's clear like Vodka and is made from distilling fermented marsh of rice or sweet potatoes, Soju is CHEAP and available at most Korean restaurant and convenience stores. Soju goes well with everything raw fish, Barbecued meats and spicy food.


This is commonly referred to as the "Liquor of the common people", it has the longest history among Korean liquors and was highly popular among farmers. Makgeolli is made with fermented sweet rice, it looks like a very creamy milk and has a sweet/sour taste, the algocol content is very low and it also contains nutrients. Makgeolli goes well in Jeon (Korean Pancakes).

That's exactly the one I tried in Jeonju!

Moju is a sweet and AMAZING beverage from Jeonju, I'm not quite sure you can find it anywhere else, but if you get a chance to try it DO IT!!, Moju is made by boiling Makgeolli with 8 medicinal herbs (Ginger, Jujube, Licorice root, Ginseng, Arrowroot and Cinammon Powder, I found the Cinammon being the strongest flavour when I tried it and I loved it, the level of alcohol is really low in Moju so don't worry about getting drunk ;)


Insamju is a liquor made with Insam (Premium Korean Ginseng), and Koreans believe that liquor made with Medicinal herbs has health benefits if it's consumed daily in small portions over a long period of time (Why not!!), Insamju bottles usually come with a root inside and is one of the most popular souvenirs among foreigner visitors in Korea, Insamju goes well with Fruit, Samgyetang or Rice snacks.


This liquor is made with small, green plums that are matured for at least 5 years and is one of Korea's most popular fruit wine, the alcohol content is also very low and goes well with Bulgogi, grilled fish or sushi, I had it with Samgyetang and it was very good.

What's your favorite Korean Drink?

-Gisela V.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Who doesn't like Bibimbap?....

Just last week I made some homemade Bibimbap and I realized I never posted the recipe here, this is pretty simple to make and you can basically just use left-over veggies, rice, an egg and Gochujang.

Bibimbap is a combination of Red pepper paste (Gochujang), Steamed rice and vegetables, this creates a very pleasant harmony, I was lucky enough to eat Jeonju's Bibimbap at  the Gajokhwoigwan Restaurant, Jeonju is famous for its Bibimbap and it's the only place where I've tried it with a raw egg yolk... anyway, here's the Recipe!

Ingredients (4 Portions):

800 grs. Steamed Rice
200grs.  Bean Srputs
100grs.  Spinach
3            Shiitake mushrooms
1/3         Carrot
3  tbsp   Sesame Oil
2  tbsp   Minced garlic
2  tbsp  Vegetable Oil
3  tbsp  Gochujang (Red pepper paste)
4          Eggs

Wash the rice 3 times to remove the starch and place it in a thick pot with 3 cups of water, boil over high heat for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 more minutes, put a lid on the pot and don't open it until the rice is fully cooked!!

Parboil the bean sprouts and season with same oil, salt and minced garlic.

Bibimbap @ my Korean Air flight!
Boil the spinach, then rinse in cold water to avoid overcooking it, squeeze out the water and season with sesame oil and salt.

Grease the pan with sesame oil and parch the mushrooms.

Cut the carrot into a small, thin strips and pan-fry them.

Fry the eggs making sure the yolk doesn't break!!!

Finally, place the rice in a BIG bowl, add the veggies, add the Gochujang and place the egg on top of the rice and veggies.

As you can see it's pretty easy to make, if you don't have those veggies don't worry, go ahead and use whatever you have on your fridge, this is a perfect food for those days you feel like there's "nothing" to eat at home ;)

Have you ever had Bibimbap? How was it?

-Gisela V.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Jay Park: From K-pop to a New Breed

About a month ago I finally got Jay Park's "New Breed (Deluxe Edition", if you don't know who he is you can go here to read a little bit about his career with 2PM.

Jay Park is a Korean-American singer who came a long way ever since 2009,  I had heard some of his songs before and I loved the "Nothing on you" version he released back in 2010 and I gotta say this, quiting 2PM was definitely a good move, he went from a Kpop band to a style that fits him the most, dont you think?

Jay Park is also part of the B-boy group AOM (Art of Movement).
Photo credit: https://twitter.com/AOM_TJP

On April 2011 he released his 1st mini Album "Take a deeper Look" and released the video "Abandoned"

On February 2012 he released "New Breed" and this is where I got interested in Jay Park... I got the "New Breed - Deluxe Edition" CD with 18 songs, includes Girlfriend (one of my favorites), Clap ft. Tiger JK & Tasha (another one of my faves!) and 4 different versions of Know your Name, soon I got addicted to this album and loved the songs with Dok2 (Dok2 also collaborated with GD on his latest album among Tablo for the song Light it up ).

Just 2 days ago Jay Park announced the release of a new Song/MV on this Twitter account, the song is called Appetizer and was produced by Cha Cha Malone (Who is also part of AOM) and whom has worked with JPark with other Hits as Bestie and Spechless. 

Jay Park also has an online "reality" show on his YouTube Chanel called Jay Park TV where you can see him getting ready for Concerts, B-boys battles, Shows or hanging out with his Crew. 

Ayway, just wanted to share some info on Jay Park and show that I'm not just crazy about Kpop ;) lol

Here are some useful links:
Jay Park's website: http://www.jaypark.com/eng (English/Korean/Japanese/Chinese) 
Jay Park's Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/jaybumaom0425
Jay Park's Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/JAYBUMAOM
Jay Park's Facebook Account: http://www.facebook.com/jaypaom

Well... Clap clap clap!

-Gisela V. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A little bit of Korea in Italy

As you might have read, my sister and I took a very nice vacation around Italy on November '12, and on my 1st day in Rome I discovered a Korean Restaurant! 

Santa Maria Magiore from Behind

Via Cavour
Just 1 block away from the famous Termini you'll find a small Korean restaurant, from that moment on I craved Korean food O_o, soon my good friend Foursquare told me there were other Korean Stores nearby, little did I know I was staying a few blocks away from Korea Town in Rome, is that destiny or what?, of course I wanted to go and find those stores but discovering Rome was top priority, good thing Rome is a small city and I found them by accident :), there's a Korean convenience store close to the Santa Maria Magiore Church, it's actually on the back street of the Church, the name is Via Cavour (close to Via Liberiana, You'll find a Korean Travel agency that offers mostly Flights to Asia and a Korean Market, obviously I was very excited and decided to buy some snacks for later... kkkk
Travel Agency

Korean Super Market

Yummy Products #1

Turns out a few days later those snacks were perfect since we didn't have food for our last night in Rome (not really the LAST one, we were coming back a week later). 

Being Gangnam Style in Italy!
 We then decided to pay a visit to the Pope, why not?, we were already there ;), we visited Vatican City and just 1 block away from the Vatican I saw the add for another Korean Restaurant, I didn't have time to look for it but if it wasn't for Venice I would say I found a Korean-something on every city I visited in Italy!.

After our Visit to the Vatican we met some friends and while waiting for them we found a nice souvenir store selling Psy souvenirs.... Why?... I have NO idea, but I bought a new iPhone case in there... kkk 

Sapori di Korea in Florence
At the next day we took the train to Florence :) and guess what I found on my 2nd day in Florence?... a Korean store :D (I just can't escape them...), we were with friends that day so I didn't go in ad much as I wanted but 2 days later I was exploring Florence on my own and decided to look for this store, this wasn't an easy task since it was raining and if you have ever been in Florence you''ll know it's fairly small and sort of complicated to navigate, but I found it just in time, I got Pepperos and Jjajangmyun and headed back to our B&B, 30 mins later we had a heavy rain and were unable to go out for the rest of the afternoon... Good thing I had bought those snacks!

A few days later we went back to Rome to spend our last night before we had to head back to Mexico and I was supposed to go have dinner at the Korean Restaurant near Termini (And just 2 blocks away from our B&B) but due to some problems with our Trains from Florence to Rome (11 hours on trains!!!) we ran into some problems with our B&B and didn't have enough time to go to the Korean restaurant anymore :(

Anyway, have you visited other K-towns around the world?, I was really amazed to find the one in Rome and to listen Gangnam Style on the Radio!

-Gisela V.