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Home / Asia / South Korea / Foodie| 11 Korean dishes That Will Make You Forget About Chinese Food

Foodie| 11 Korean dishes That Will Make You Forget About Chinese Food

Updated: August 1, 2017
By: Colby Charles

South Korean FoodWhen you think of South Korea perhaps the 2018 winter olympics or a crazy dictator to the north comes to mind.  You’re not wrong in thinking this, but what you’re missing is the world of delicious eats originating on that little peninsula.  Move over China, there’s a new Asian culinary sensation in town.

South Korea has a distinguished array of foods that differ from other countries throughout Asia.  While not as commercialized as Chinese food or sushi from Japan, South Korea has some absolutely mouth watering dishes that you must try whether you’re planning a visit to explore this beautiful land or have a Korean restaurant in the neighbourhood.

Korean dishes are not only delicious but are also very nutritious, and as a result the South Korean diet is a very healthy one.  If you visit, you’ll notice the generally thin and healthy looking population.  The typical diet is based around the Asian staples of rice and noodles – as you might imagine.  Fish, meats, and endless amounts of side dishes derived from vegetables, spices and oils compliment these mains and will open up your culinary world.  Well, let’s get to it.

1. Korean Ramen  [Iamyeon]  라면

South Korean Food Ramen

As a canadian, my memories of ramen are ‘Mr Noodles’ which you’d break up in the bag, mix with the seasoning salt and eat raw as a child, or the stereotypical college student diet.  In Korea, ramen is much, much more than that.  Ramen is a way of life out here and a huge staple of their diet.  The options at the grocery store are endless and there are restaurants dedicated solely to various ramen dishes.

2. Kimchi  김치

South Korean Food Kimchi

If you know anything of Korea, you’ve probably heard of Kimchi.  The unofficial national side dish of Korea.  It’s a strong, bitter and sometimes spicy concoction of cabbage, sauces, spices and various fish or shrimp juices that have been fermented.  Definitely an acquired taste, but incredibly healthy.

Kimchi making is a long praised tradition that generally takes place near the beginning of winter where families will get together for the weekend and make enough Kimchi to last them the year.  It’s passed on from mother to daughter in law, and each batch is often fermented below the topsoil in the back yard.

3. Korean Barbeque  [Samgyeupsal]  삼겹살

South Korean Food Korean Bbq

One of the better known dishes and an absolute must try.  Korean Barbeque consists of various types of raw meat that you cook yourself over a barbeque that is in the middle of your table.  It comes with a table covering amount of side dishes which can include – but is not limited to; pickled radish, onions, hot sauces, oils, bean sprouts, lettuce wraps, soups, rice and more.

This meal is a serious experience.  You can choose all kinds of different side foods to add to your lettuce wrap.  There’s nothing better than cooking the food yourself over the grill while you munch on side dishes.  For a truly Korean experience you can chase each mouthfull with Soju (Korean Rice Alcohol) that packs a punch so enjoy and make your meal an event.

4. Gimbap  김밥

South Korean Food Gimbap

Gimbap is Korea’s take on sushi.  I’m told by local Koreans it was adapted from sushi when the Japanese came over in the past.  It’s wrapped in seaweed and rice similarly to Sushi but consists of different insides.  More common ingredients include egg, ham, meats and mayo.

They typically come rolled like sushi but you can also get little triangles or squares of pre made gimbap pieces sold at convenience stores with more common meats.  These are a delicious snack and great for on the go.  They usually cost about a dollar and are a great on the go snack.

5. Bibimbap  비빔밥

South Korean Food Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a bowl of vegetables, rice and sometimes an egg or beef.  I like to think of it as a Korean buddha bowl.  Insanely delicious and totally filling.  For the best Bibimbap in the country visit the city of Jeonju which is famous for its bibimbap.  I can attest to this claim.  No bibimbap I’ve tried comes close to the bowl I had in Jeonju.

6. Korean Fried Chicken  닭 튀김

South Korean Food Korean Chicken

I know you’re probably thinking that you could have just stayed in North America and hit up KFC or Popeyes if wanted some fried chicken.  But I’ve got to say, Korea puts a delicious spin on this comfort food and I can’t get enough.  They double fry the chicken here making it extra crispy and flavorful.  My go-to sauce is called ‘Yum-Yum Sauce’ which is red in color and consists of a mix of sweet, spicy and savory.

7. Hangover Soup  [Haejang-Guk]  헤 장군

South Korean Food Hangover Soup

Hangover Soup in Korean literally means ‘soup to chase a hangover’.  In South Korea it’s no wonder they created this dish.  Koreans drink more per week per person than any other country in Asia.  Yeah, you thought Thailand was wild?

It consists of cabbage, vegetables and meat in a heavy beef broth.  Delicious, and it actually works.  One summer day I found myself drinking all day and through the night.  To end if off, I skipped pizza or a burger for some Haejang-Guk and the next day went hiking when  I was expecting to be bed ridden.

8. Seafood  [haemul]  해물

South Korean Food Octopus Seafood
Korea being a peninsula, there’s a lot of ocean all around.  So seafood is a large part of their diet.  Get red lobster out of your mind right now, and think whole fish cooked in a pan with skin, bone, head and all.  Octopus, eel, and molluscs are also all very popular options here.  My personal favorite is the live octopus.  They take it straight from the fish tank, chop it quickly, garnish and send out to you.  Some places even chop it in front of you.  It takes a lot like chicken in my opinion – save for the consistency.  But don’t forget to eat quickly, the active suckers can get caught in your throat!

9. Raw Beef Dish  [Yuk Hoe]  괭이

South Korean Food Raw Beef
Korean summers are deadly hot and humid.  After walking for more than a few minutes outside in between June and September, a hot bowl of ramen sounds like torture.  So A famous summer dish is cold noodles.  Usually made from buckwheat, the noodles are served in a bowl with pickled water, vegetables and various meats or sometimes a hardboiled egg.  Currently my favorite meal is to order cold noodles alongside Korean BBQ.

11. Spicy Chicken Stir Fry  [Dak Galbi]  다크 갈비

South Korean Food Dak Galbi

Another one of my personal favorites, but not overly abundant within Korea is Dak Galbi.  This is a stir fry of chicken pieces, cabbage, spicy red sauce, rice cakes and sweet potato chunks alongside the standard mix of vegetables.  It comes in large pan that is placed in the middle of the table.  In most cases you can order ‘Cheesy Dak Galbi’.  Where one half of the large pan is littered with cheese, which eventually melts into owey gooey goodness.  This dish is served with many sides and lettuce wraps similar to barbeque.

Well, there you have it!  Although these 11 Korean dishes only scratch the surface on the array of options you can find in South Korea.  From conventional by western terms to truly outlandish, there so many diverse foods to try.  The great thing is that they are all full of flavor and generally quite healthy.  Eating in Korea is more than just utility, it’s an enjoyable event to be shared by many.  Just don’t forget the Soju!

Love Korean food?  Have a dish that we missed that you think everyone should try? Loved one of Colby’s recommendations!  Comment and share ;D

Home / North America / USA / Best restaurants in Cincinnati

Best restaurants in Cincinnati

Updated: April 7, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Skyline

Crushing a classic 3-way with a coney on the side!! Cincinnati, Ohio

Spring break sitting at home just wasn’t going to work for me this year so I called my fellow travel blogger, Cincinnati resident, and good friend, The Shameless Traveler to see what was going in Cincinnati, Ohio. Turns out one of the best things about Cincinnati is the food!

With the best tour guide in Cincinnati I hit up a few mouth watering restaurants, and metropolitan passions, that visitors to this city shouldn’t miss out on, and locals who’ve never been should hit up on their next Tinder date!

3 Best Restaurants in Cincinnati!

Skyline Chili

Skyline Chili is not just a restaurant; it’s a local passion! 2-way, 3-way, 4-way, 5-way is how you get your chili on spaghetti at Cincinnati’s most popular chili franchise, so get your mind out of the gutter. Whenever I met new people in Cincinnati the first thing they asked was whether or not I’d been to Skyline.

Well now I have, and yes it is unreal! Although it’s most sought after when the bars have closed and you’re craving the cheesy delicious mayhem that is everything on the Skyline menu, I found myself crushing a couple coney’s several times during my visit.

Local tip:  If you go there make sure you buy York Peppermint Patties for the group (it’s tradition) and the best way to cleanse that pallet after a three way with a coney on the side.

Skyline website: http://www.skylinechili.com/

Skyline

Munchin’ with new digs at Skyline Chilli in Cincinnati, Ohio Photo Credit: The Shameless Traveler

The Eagle OTR (over the Rhine)

Simply put, The Eagle boasts the best fried chicken in Cincinnati because it is. Coupled with an huge craft beer selection and a creative menu with the perfect number of choices The Eagle offers great food at a great price.

I ordered the ¼ chicken, which was massive and ridiculously tasty. I don’t know what’s in the spicy honey sauce but it’s pure magic. Truth, I devoured my meal like Robert Baratheon at a wedding feast.

The healthy choices are great too. I loved the Kale Salad which balanced out the fried chicken perfectly, and for two quarter-chickens and two salads it only ended up costing about $20.

The Eagle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEagleOTR

The Eagle

“Chicken for the soul” thanks to The Eagle Facebook page timeline photos…mmmmmmm

Graeter’s Ice Cream

Being in America I figured why worry about healthy eating and so, after my fried chicken feast, I headed over the Cincinnati’s most famous ice cream chain for some tasters (conveniently located across the street from The Eagle).

There’s a reason why Oprah apparently orders pints of this mouthwatering ice cream to her door, its ridiculously good!

With all the classic flavours and artisan blends that change every month you’ll probably end up tasting most of them. To be honest, its worth the money for a scoop of this. I loved the new monthly flavour mint brownie but their classic chocolate was what I went with.

Greater’s website: http://www.graeters.com/

Greater's

I didn’t even see this was a flavour! Cherry chocolate ice cream…whaaat

I’m sure there’s a ton more amazing places to eat but if you want to experience Cincinnati’s food culture you won’t want to miss Skyline, if you want to go to fried chicken heaven The Eagle will not disappoint, and when you’re full and need something for desert Grater’s is a must!

What do you think of these picks for Cincinnati’s best eats?

Happy Travels,

Yak

 

Home / Europe / Poland / 3 best restaurants in Warsaw

3 best restaurants in Warsaw

Updated: January 15, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Inside Bobby Burger Warsaw Poland

Awesome painting inside Bobby Burger Warsaw, Poland

For real yo! Grastronomic delights in stylish restaurants, with minimalistic menus that blend fresh organic ingredients at great prices, is what eating in Warsaw is all about. I mean, its just good food, and what’s better than that.

Finding good restaurants with reasonable prices is easy if you’re a local and know where to go, but if you’re not from the city you’re stuck. So naturally, while visiting my friend from Warsaw, we went to what we decided were the 3 best restaurants in Warsaw, and probably Europe!

Meat Love

Good enough to convert even the most devout vegetarians (but they’re not haters) meat love is all you’ll have when you’re done eating here. Meat Love is easily the best sandwich shop in Warsaw, the minimalist menu blending pesto mayo with fresh cooked meats and home baked bread.

Famous for their sweet pickled cucumber slices on the side, the fusion of fresh turkey, pork, or beef blended with mache (lamb/corn lettuce), pesto mayo, and sun dried tomatoes on freshly baked baguette or flatbread will result in you coming back again and again (I know I did).

Enjoy a fresh coffee and raspberry lemon muffin, or grab a freshly squeezed lemonade to enjoy on the patio.

Meat Love website: http://www.meatlove.pl

Meat Love Warsaw,Poland

Doesn’t get much better than this. Meat Love Warsaw,Poland

Sam

Maybe its the name of the baker, maybe its not, but starting the morning off with a vegetable, herb, and quinoa salad with freshly baked sourdough croutons is what I did at Sam, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg at this bakery and restaurant. Famous for its breads and bagels, baked fresh daily, Sam is the perfect place for every meal. With gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner creations that are sure to blow your mind you’ll definitely end up coming back.

Make sure you order one of their fresh squeezed fruit smoothies made with organic fruits (I loved the mango melon and grapefruit, raspberry, passion fruit smoothies)

Sam Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SAM-Kameralny-Kompleks Gastronomiczny/279002175504602

Smoothies Sam Warsaw Poland

Yep! Sam smoothies Warsaw, Poland

Bobby Burger

If you’re looking for the best burger in Warsaw you don’t have to look much further than Bobby Burger. The uniquely designed interior was painted by a famous artist from the city and the food matches the trendy feeling of this place. Dive into a classic bacon cheese burger or experiment with a spicy one the choice is yours.

All the food is organic and prepared fresh with fries on the side. To be honest, when you’re on the road nothing beats a little comfort food, and after a few months back packing around Europe I was not disappointed when I mucked my bacon cheese burger.

While you’re there try out some of the Polish beverages like Johnny Lemonade’s raspberry rhubarb soda, get the house lemonade, or treat yourself to one of Poland’s many fine beers.

Bobby Burger Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/burgerbobby

Bobby Burger Warsaw Poland

Hungry yet? Bobby burger Warsaw, Poland

These places are amazing because they’re cheap and the food is unreal. A full meal with a drink will cost you about 20-30 slt ($6-10) and everything is freshly made and organic. But don’t take my word for it, go and check these places out for yourself, then let me know what you think!

Bon a petit,

Yak

 

Home / Asia / Japan / The “BEST” food in Japan is a Tokyo hamburger

The “BEST” food in Japan is a Tokyo hamburger

Updated: January 24, 2013
By: Ian Yacobucci
Eating Tokyo Burger

Steven enjoying the best burger in Tokyo…you can’t deny his enjoyment as he devours this beaut!

There are a million and one places to get Japanese food in Tokyo but finding a delicious, savoury  meaty, hamburger with all the fixings, a sesame seed bun, and some freshly sliced, lightly salted potato chips on the side isn’t so easy.

Located in central Tokyo just steps away from Tokyo Dome City is a hidden gem that only dumb luck or a foreigner starving for a hearty hamburger could find. And yes, they serve their burgers with classic Heinz ketchup and yellow mustard.

Finished Burger Tokyo

I couldn’t wait but thankfully I managed to snap this pic before finishing off my meal!!

I-Kousya Gourment Burgeres and Sandwhiches (yes, it even comes with a wonderfully misspelled sign) servers up the best hamburger I’ve had in Tokyo, and that’s all you need to know. That’s right, you no longer have to ask or wonder where to find the best burger in Tokyo because I found it!

I-Kosuya is easy to get to from Suidobashi station and offers up a delectable menu of burgers, sandwiches and sides. If you go with a hamburger there are three sizes of patties that you can choose from – regular (100g), large (150g) and double (200g).

I-Kosuya

I-Kosuya from the outside the location of what is arguably the best hamburger in Tokyo, Japan

The small diner offers a choice of thirteen burgers that range from your standard hamburger to the gourmet blue cheese burger with friend onion; all of which come with fresh potato chips and pickles with lettuce, onion, tomato, and a sesame seed bun on top.

The moderately priced menu ranges from 900- 1900 ¥ ($9-19 USD) for a burger and you can get a set drink for an additional 157¥ ($1.50 USD). If you’re not in the mood for a burger there is also a variety of sandwiches, side orders, and salads to choose from.

I-Kosuya menu

I-Kosuya menu

I went for the avocado burger and was impressed to find my burger topped with a thinly sliced half of avocado, but what really sold me on I-Kosuya was the meat patty. The savory meat was perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection making it what I believe is the best burger in Tokyo. At I-Kosuya burgers here are so delicious, you might need more than one!

Whether you’re an expat living here, visiting on vacation, or lived in Tokyo all your life there is only one place you need to go if you want to get the best burger in Tokyo, and hands down that’s I-Kosuya.

Bon Apetit,

Yak

Getting to the best burger in Tokyo is easy enough just follow this map and simple directions

Burger map tokyo

Map to the best hamburger in Tokyo, Japan…trust me. I wouldn’t have written this article if it wasn’t

Directions to I-Kosuya

1. Go to Suidobashi Station (on the sobu line between Idabashi and Ochanomizu)
2. Take the east exit
3. Turn right and walk away from the Tokyo Dome two blocks. You’ll pass a Family Mart your right
4. When you get to the second light (first main intersection) cross the street continue on just a bit
5. The restaurant should be on your left
6. It’s located across the street from Aoyama Suits