Wednesday, June 27, 2012

피맛골 (pi-mat-gol)

Right outside of exit 3 of Jongkak station is one of my favorite streets of Seoul: 피맛골. Pi means to avoid, mat is the wooden chair used to carry elite, and gol is an alleyway. During the Joseon dynasty, people would use the smaller alleys to get around and avoid noblemen (who wants to bow when you are on the way to work?). There is still a maze of side streets in the Jongno area that are wonderful to wander around with great restaurants for dinner. If you take a left right out of exit 3 and walk straight, you'll come to a covered building with tons of jeon and makkeoli places. Delicious. 
The entrance from Jongkak station
The entrance to western 피맛골  is near the backstreets of Gwanghwamun's Kyobo bookstore exit. From there, you can look out for some spicy stir-fried octopus or cut noodles. 



My favorite part, however, is near Insadong/Jongo 2 Ga. If you walk toward Insadong from Jongno 2 Ga you will find an entrance on your left. This narrow streets winds through some interesting street art and one of the best mackerel/makkeoli places that I've ever been to.
Graffiti on the way to the restaurant 
I can't tell you exactly where the restaurant is. There are a tons of different places back there and no exact addresses. Most of them will have great food. I can't even find my pictures from the restaurant's interior... Guess that means I'll have to go back. And just to tempt you ...










Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Water Gun Fight!

Having fun in Seoul Dream Forest ^^

Team ugly face

Team larger than life

Chris the sharp shooter

Playing in the fountain afterward
Next time we have a water gun fight, I'm thinking larger teams and some sort of objective. Capture the flag or something. Either way, Chris and Magaly will lose again. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Random Saturday Afternoon in Central Seoul

After Korean class, I was wandering over to Dongdaemun and I ran into an awesome parade for the anniversary of the Korean war. It was great to watch. They had marching bands,

and what I think is the veteran color guard,


and flags from various countries,


and guards in Korean traditional clothing with more flags,


and more marching bands,


and guys throwing guns.

video

I walked along the parade for a while before getting to the Cheonggyecheon stream and seeing some awesome people working out in sync. I think it was for a product.


There was also a ping-pong tournament going on in Central Seoul. They made the participants play with various paddles, including fry pans and fly swatters.


I love this city. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

음식 음식 음식!

 Had some great morsels this week. First up is one of the 반찬 from my school lunch. The gym teacher at my school is an awesome cook. She had these garlic stems pickling in soy sauce and vinegar for a year. Delicious.


I, on the other hand, am not such a great chef. I tried to make steamed spicy peppers (고추찜), but they didn't turn out the best. They look pretty though. 


Since they weren't that great, I used them to make chili fried rice. I was proud of this dish ^^


Lately, I've been buying packaged meals at the grocery store. They still require some work, but I was able to make 초밥 at home. These are sweet tofu skins filled with seasoned rice.


Thursday night, some of Suyu crew went out for lamb (양고기) at a Chinese restaurant. This meat was DELICIOUS. We will have to go back home soon.


On Friday night, I met up with my uncle who was in Seoul for business. We went out for raw tuna and had an amazing meal (as well as a great chat).





My uncle and I
Sometimes when I'm feeling a little hungover, I like to get toast at the best toast restaurant in Seoul. Of course, that would be Campus Toast in Suyu. I'm going to miss this place next year.


We got toast on Sunday morning as well, but this time from the new brunch place in Suyu  (which to this day, has not yet had brunch). Apparently, they will start serving paninis on Tuesday, but we'll see if they actually materialize.


Another great find was Pinch Pennies Pizza in Mia. We randomly stumbled onto this New York style diner so I don't remember how to get there. It was some of the best pizza I've ever had in Seoul, however, so we will be going back. Next time, I'll write down some directions. Seriously, this pizza was amazing. 18 inches for only 15,000 won.

Magaly serving it up
The last meal of the weak was dalk galbi (닭갈비) in Suyu. Fabulous meals with some fabulous people. 

Enjoying that chicken!
Seaweed soup


MV Monday: Busker Busker 정말로 사랑한다면

Busker Busker's newest single and music video was released last week. Titled 정말로 사랑한다면 (If You Really Love Me), lead singer Jang Bum Joon starts out with a very soothing melody. His unique is perfect for this sad love song, which is about Joon's relationship with an ex-girlfriend. While he was trying to express his feelings, she felt like he wasn't being genuine.


The lyrics are touching; listening to this song, I can help but think about my old relationship with BH and how he has had such a huge impact on my life. Of course, I'm dealing with it in a different way than Joon, but that feeling of someone's scent being around . . . not just physically, but imprinted in memories of all kinds of places and activities. Keep up the good work Busker Busker. I found an awesome translation over at Korean Wave Times

Original       : 사랑한단 말로는 사랑할 순 없군요
Pronounce   : Sa Rang Han Dan Mal Lo Noun Sa Rang Hal Sun Oup Gun Yo
Translation  : It’s not enough to love you with the only word ‘I love you’ 

Original       : 그대 상처 주네요 나의 뻔한 그 말이
Pronounce   : Gou Dae Sang Chou Ju Ne Yo Na Oui Poun Han Gou Mal Yi
Translation  : My blatant words seem to hurt you 

Original       : 너무 쉽게 뱉은 말
Pronounce   : Nou Mu Ship Ge Baet Toun Mal
Translation  : That's so easy to say

Original       : 너무 쉬운 사랑은 다 거짓말이죠
Pronounce   : Nou Mu Shi Un Sa Rang Oun Da Gou Jit Mal Yi Jyo
Translation  : If a love is so easy, then it’s all lies

Original       : 그래 다 거짓말이죠
Pronounce   : Gou Rae Da Gou Jit Mal Yi Jyo
Translation  : Yes, it’s all lies

Original       : 무엇을 원하는지 얼마나 힘든 건지 신경 쓰지 않죠
Pronounce   : Mu Ut Soul Won Ha Noun Ji Oul Ma Na Him Doun Goun Ji Shin Gyoung Ssou Ji An Chyo
Translation  : I haven’t cared what you want and how hard it has been to you

Original       : 또 쉽게 넘어 갔나요
Pronounce   : To Ship Ge Noum Ou Gat Na Yo
Translation  : Did I pass something too easily again

Original       : 많이 힘들었나요
Pronounce   : Ma Ni Him Doul Ut Na Yo
Translation  : Have you had really hard time

Original       : 그대가 오늘은 헤어지자 말해요
Pronounce   : Gou Dae Ga O Noul Oun He Ou Ji Ja Mal Hae Yo
Translation  : It’s your turn to say good bye today

Original       : 정말로 사랑한담 기다려 주세요
Pronounce   : Joung Mal Lo Sa Rang Han Dam Gi Da Ryou Ju Se Yo
Translation  : If you really love me, please wait for a favorable time

Original       : 사랑한단 그 말들도 당신의 행동 하나 진심만을 원하죠
Pronounce   : Sa Rang Han Dan Gou Mal Doul Do Dang Shin Oui Haeng Dong Ha Na Jin Shim Man Oul Won Ha Jyo
Translation  : I want your honesty of your word ‘I love you’, and even your attitude to me

Original       : 정말로 사랑한담 기다려 주세요
Pronounce   : Joung Mal Lo Sa Rang Han Dam Gi Da Ryou Ju Se Yo
Translation  : If you really love me, please wait for a favorable time

Original       : 그댈 위해 참아줘요
Pronounce   : Gou Dael Wi Hae Cham A Juo Yo
Translation  : You may lump it for yourself

Original       : 당신의 행동 하나 아픈 추억 되가요
Pronounce   : Dang Shin Oui Haeng Dong Ha Na A Poun Chu Ouk Doe Ga Yo
Translation  : Each of your actions are going to become a painful memory

Original       : 정말로 사랑한다면 정말로 사랑한다면
Pronounce   : Joung Mal Lo Sa Rang Han Da Myoun Joung Mal Lo Sa Rang Han Da Myoun
Translation  : If you really love me, and if you really love me

Original       : 사랑한단 말로는 사랑할 순 없군요
Pronounce   : Sa Rang Han Dan Mal Lo Noun Sa Rang Hal Sun Oup Gun Yo
Translation  : It’s not enough to love you with the only word ‘I love you’

Original       : 그대 기억 하나요
Pronounce   : Gou Dae Gi Ouk Ha Na Yo
Translation  : Do you remember

Original       : 나의 뻔한 그 말이 그댈 웃게 했던 밤
Pronounce   : Na Oui Poun Han Gou Mal Yi Gou Dael Ut Ge Haet Doun Bam
Translation  : The night that my blatant words made you smile

Original       : 너무 깊은 그 밤은 다 지나 가네요
Pronounce   : Nou Mu Gip Poun Gou Bam Oun Da Ji Na Ga Ne Yo
Translation  : The very deep night is almost passing

Original       : 모두 다 지나 갔군요
Pronounce   : Mo Du Da Ji Na Gat Gun Yo
Translation  : It has all passed

Original       : 무엇을 말 했는지 얼마나 원했는지 기억하지 않죠
Pronounce   : Mu Ut Soul Mal Haet Noun Ji Oul Ma Na Won Haet Noun Ji Gi Ouk Ha Ji An Chyo
Translation  : I don’t remember what you said, and how much you wanted

Original       : 그대만 지쳐 가나요
Pronounce   : Gou Dae Man Ji Chyou Ga Na Yo
Translation  : Are you already growing tired

Original       : 많이 힘들었나요
Pronounce   : Ma Ni Him Doul Ut Na Yo
Translation  : Have you had really hard time

Original       : 그대가 오늘은 헤어지자 말해요
Pronounce   : Gou Dae Ga O Noul Oun He Ou Ji Ja Mal Hae Yo
Translation  : It’s your turn to say good bye today

Original       : 정말로 사랑한담 기다려 주세요
Pronounce   : Joung Mal Lo Sa Rang Han Dam Gi Da Ryou Ju Se Yo
Translation  : If you really love me, please wait for a favorable time

Original       : 사랑한단 그 말들도 당신의 행동 하나 진심만을 원하죠
Pronounce   : Sa Rang Han Dan Gou Mal Doul Do Dang Shin Oui Haeng Dong Ha Na Jin Shim Man Oul Won Ha Jyo
Translation  : I want your honesty of your word ‘I love you’, and even your attitude to me

Original       : 정말로 사랑한담 기다려 주세요
Pronounce   : Joung Mal Lo Sa Rang Han Dam Gi Da Ryou Ju Se Yo
Translation  : If you really love me, please wait for a favorable time

Original       : 그댈 위해 참아줘요
Pronounce   : Gou Dael Wi Hae Cham A Juo Yo
Translation  : You may lump it for yourself

Original       : 당신의 행동 하나 아픈 추억 되가요
Pronounce   : Dang Shin Oui Haeng Dong Ha Na A Poun Chu Ouk Doe Ga Yo
Translation  : Each of your actions are going to become a painful memory

Original       : 그때 또 하필 잡으려 건네는 이 뻔한 한마디
Pronounce   : Gou Tae To Ha Pil Jab Ou Ryou Goun Ne Noun Yi Poun Han Han Ma Di
Translation  : At the most inopportune moment, I passed a remark to keep you from leaving

Original       : 쉽게 뱉은 말
Pronounce   : Ship Ge Baet Toun Mal
Translation  : That's so easy to say

Original       : 사랑한단 말로는 사랑할 순 없군요
Pronounce   : Sa Rang Han Dan Mal Lo Noun Sa Rang Hal Sun Oup Gun Yo
Translation  : It’s not enough to love you with the only word ‘I love you’

Original       : 허 허우워 아아아 허어어
Pronounce   : Huh Huh U Wo Ah Ah Ah Huh Uh Hu
Translation  : Huh Huh U Wo Ah Ah Ah Huh Uh Hu

Original       : 아아아 이젠 사랑할 순 없군요
Pronounce   : Ah Ah Ah Yi Jen Sa Rang Hal Sun Oup Gun Yo
Translation  : Ah ah ah, I can’t love anymore

Original       : 사랑한다 기다려 주세요
Pronounce   : Sa Rang Han Da Gi Da Ryou Ju Se Yo
Translation  : If you love me, please wait for a favorable time

Original       : 사랑한단 그 말들도 당신의 행동 하나 진심만을 원하죠
Pronounce   : Sa Rang Han Dan Gou Mal Doul Do Dang Shin Oui Haeng Dong Ha Na Jin Shim Man Oul Won Ha Jyo
Translation  : I want your honesty of your word ‘I love you’, and even your attitude to me

Original       : 정말로 사랑한담 기다려 주세요
Pronounce   : Joung Mal Lo Sa Rang Han Dam Gi Da Ryou Ju Se Yo
Translation  : If you really love me, please wait for a favorable time

Original       : 그댈 위해 참아줘요
Pronounce   : Gou Dael Wi Hae Cham A Juo Yo
Translation  : You may lump it for yourself

Original       : 당신의 행동 하나 아픈 추억 되가요
Pronounce   : Dang Shin Oui Haeng Dong Ha Na A Poun Chu Ouk Doe Ga Yo
Translation  : Each of your actions are going to become a painful memory

Original       : 정말로 사랑한다면
Pronounce   : Joung Mal Lo Sa Rang Han Da Myoun
Translation  : If you really love me


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Recipe: Sesame Leaves in Soy Sauce ( 깻잎 장아찌)

I've been cooking a lot lately, especially since I've been doing lunch box (도시락) at school. Instead of eating the grossness of school lunch, a bunch of us each bring a side dish and we share it with rice. The ajjumas have been giving me recipes and I've been trying to cook Korean side dishes at home. Sometimes Usually, I fail. This one worked out pretty well though:

To start, boil equal parts water, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar (rice vinegar is fine) in a sauce pan. I did a cup of each.

Make sure you use quality soy sauce
 After the sugar dissolves, let your mixture cool down.

Washed sesame leaves
 Stack your sesame leaves in a storage container. The nicer stacked, the easier it will be to eat later.

Using an olive can to keep those leaves submerged
 Once the liquid has cooled down a bit, pour it over the sesame leaves. Ensure that they are completely submerged in liquid. Leave at room temperature for around 3 days. The longer you wait, the more flavor the leaves will absorb.


Your leaves will look something like this, but hopefully better stacked. This is one of my favorite side dishes. I just eat it with some rice and call it a day.

*Note, sesame leaves have a very strong taste and if you don't know if you like them, make a small portion. They are kind of a love it or hate it leaf. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Reason to love Korea

I lost my wallet a couple of weeks ago. Not in the way you would think (as in drunk in Hongdae at four in the morning). No, I was having an innocent pizza in a park with some friends and had taken my wallet out of my pocket because it was bothering my butt. I must have left it in the park, because when I got home it wasn't to be found. Koreans are known for not stealing, so I ran back to the park to find it was gone. Sadness ensued.




I had to cancel all my cards and, since I'm stupid, both of my driver's licenses were in the wallet (Korean and American). I had to re-apply for my alien registration card and get a new bank card in Korea, which made me miss work. But then yesterday I looked in my mailbox to find this.


Sorry that this picture is so scary, but I was just so happy to get my license back. My money was stolen (some 50,000 won), but all of my cards were still there. Thanks so much Korea! I know this isn't an isolated incident as other friends have had similar stories. If you lose your wallet, obviously cancel your cards. Don't give up hope, though, since it might one day be returned when you least expect it. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

맛있어!

At home eating homemade
mulnaengmyeon
 It seems like I eat way too much mulnaengmyeon... I just can't help it during the summer!

This mulnaengmyeon was made with green tea noodles

Stir-fry over at Magaly's
 This next one is something I've never had before: kong kuksu (콩국수). A traditional summer food, kong kuksu is pretty much noodles in cold soy milk with some cucumbers and sesame seeds. It was a little bland, but I was still excited to try something new. The soup was seasoned with sugar or salt (on an individual basis I guess the choice of seasoning is based on your hometown).


With one of my coteachers 
 The next pictures are all from a Tibetan restaurant near Jongkak. We tried a bunch of different things, including a Tibetan rice wine which was somewhat similar to makkeoli.

This stuffed bread was great




And finally, something that I was working on myself. I made these sesame leaves the other day. I'll put up a recipe later this week. It was pretty simple and definitely delicious.


MV Monday: IU's Every End of the Day

Who doesn't like IU? She is ridiculously cute, writes some of her own music, and has very catchy songs. She's also only 19 years old. Why I'm I so old and unsuccessful?

Her newest single is Every End of the Day (하루 끝)


You can see the lyrics in English on the youtube video.

Although the song is a little repetitive, I think it is a nice breezy song for the summer. Throughout this entire music video, IU is just continuously adorable. I also love that she visits Venice. Cute.

Can't wait to see what she does next.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Yum yum


On Memorial Day (last Wednesday) I went to my friend Jinnie's house for a samgyeopsal (basically bacon) barbeque. Jaemin and Cameron were there so it was quite a fun time and the food was amazing. We had tons of meat, so we probably continuously ate for some four hours. Followed by some tuna kimchi jjigae. 
Tuna kimchi jjigae!
Thursday night found us in Itaewon for a friend's birthday and some delicious food at one of my favorite restaurants in Itaewon. After dinner, we went to Dillinger's for a game of trivia where we won best team name.

Tofu kimchi and marinated pork

Free shots for best team name

Trying some new ramyeon... this one is pretty good

Fried calamari with a great batter

Spicy chicken sandwich with an iced coffee. Fantastic brunch