Discovering Authentic Japanese Snacks with Candy Japan

candy japan travel

A few weeks ago , I received an exciting surprise in the mail: a package from Candy Japan! If you’re not familiar with Candy Japan, it’s a fast-growing subscription service that brings the tastiest of authentic Japanese snacks right to … Continue reading

7 Steps to an Epic Vegas Vacation

I spent the week of Memorial Day in sunny, beautiful Las Vegas. I’ve been planning this trip , on and off , for five years so when I finally touched down at McCarran International , I felt like I knew … Continue reading

Top-Ten Tuesdays: Favorite Korean Foods

10. Waffles

blog.korea.net

blog.korea.net

My students buy these in prepackaged bags and try to munch on them in class.

9. Teok Rice Cakes

Korean rice cake dessert

Korean rice cake dessert

I didn’t like these at first, but with my school handing them out nearly every week, they’re growing on me.

8.  Rice Stew

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Leftover rice is allowed to boil until nearly burned. If seasoned with juices from leftover meat, this is delicious.

7.Soju

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The most popular alcohol choice in Korea by far.

6. Mandu Soup

koreataste.org

koreataste.org

Meat-filled dumplings in soup. Very simply and very delicious .

5. Instant Kapi

IMG_0273

Kapi is how “coffee” is pronounced in Korea.While Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts blot every corner, instant coffee seems to be popular, especially in office settings.  Everything-coffee,sugar,and cream-comes in one cute little package.

4.Japchae

yelp.com

yelp.com

Noodles and vegetables in a brown sauce. It  tastes amazing.

3. Tteokbokki

dukbokki and soup

dukbokki and soup

One my favorite Korean meals so far. Spicy, circular rice noodles in a spicy red pepper sauce.

2. Bulgogi

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

Flavorful beef cooked on a table-top grill. When it’s done, you wrap it in a lettuce leaf and make a scrumptious type of Korean taco.

1.Bibimbap

bibimbap

bibimbap

A mixture of ground beef,vegetables, and rice topped with a spicy red sauce. If you want to try the best of the best, head to Jeonju, the home of Bibimbap.

Have a favorite Korean dish or top-ten list of your own? Comment below!

Bucket List: International Foods Edition

Today’s post is short and delicious: A bucket list of foods from around the world .

Authentic Chai from India

Photo Credit: wikipedia

Photo Credit: wikipedia

Milk tea with lots of herbs and sweeteners.

Jachnun from Israel

Photo Credit: Pbase.com

Photo Credit: Pbase.com

This slow-cooked, rolled dough stick originated with the Yemenite Jews. Traditionally, it’s prepared in advance and cooked overnight to avoid work on the Sabbath. The dough is prepared with honey and roasted tomatoes and a spicy sauce isused for dipping. It’s only available on the Sabbath , so hopefully I find myself in Israel on some future Saturday.

Authentic Creole Food from Louisiana

Po' Boy Sandwich Photo Credit: Foodnetwork.com

Po’ Boy Sandwich
Photo Credit: Foodnetwork.com

Jambalaya,Gumbo,Po’boys ( I’m sure  Popye’s has nothing on the real deal), and seafood galore. I’m down for anything with seafood so I’m sure the Louisiana cuisine will suite me fine.

Som Tum from Thailand

Photo Credit: thaicookinghouse.com

Photo Credit: thaicookinghouse.com

Hopefully, I’ll make it to Thailand while I’m living in Asia. While I’m there this famous Green Papaya Salad-made with salted crab, nuts, and a host of vegetables-  will probably end up being a favorite.

Bubble Tea from Taiwan

images-1

Bubble tea is popular in Philly and New York and even has a devoted following in South Korea. It’s never been a favorite of mine but trying it in it’s birth place might change all that.The cold tea is sweet, milky, and is characterized by the flavorful little balls that line the bottom of the cup.

Patbingsu from South Korea

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Photo Credit: Paris Baguette

It’s summer in South Korea which means I’ll soon get to try this snack first-hand. Patsingsu is a popular street food during the hot months. It’s shaved ice and sweetened beans topped with ice cream and lots of fruit. I honestly can’t wait for this one.

 

Eating My Way Through Seoul

As much as I hate to admit it , I haven’t been that adventurous when it comes to Korean food. I found a few favorites  and  have been faithfully living off of those for the last few months. One of the goals I set for Seoul was to try any and everything that looked good. And I think I succeeded .

The best thing about Seoul was the street food. In every area of the city, you could walk down any street and instantly be surrounded by the scent of overflowing carts full of sticky desserts, steaming meats, and pots bubbling full of Korean national dishes.

After an afternoon at Gyeongbokgung Palace, I ventured outside and discovered a flea market taking place in the neighboring plaza. Succumbing to curiosity , I walked over to discover that -instead of the antiques I anticipated – the many booths were full of food. 

Endless Food!

Endless Food!

Korean Foods

Korean Foods

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Some kind of vegetable pancake

There were hot foods as well as bagged candies and delicacies. I ventured to one of the booths with a crowd and was greeted by a woman making one of Korea’s most popular foods-hoddeok.

I watched the woman go on about her work; dipping a ladle  into a container full of yellow dough with brown flakes. Once the dough started to sizzle on the hot plate and the smell filled the air, I realized it was cinnamon. The woman used a silver instrument to press on the dough until it was perfectly rounded and the cinnamon was gooey . Finally , she folded one into a dixie cup and handed it to me. I got a bite of the runny cinnamon with the first bite and it paired perfectly with the crunchy outside.  It was delicious – so delicious that I burned the roof of my mouth -several times- because I just couldn’t wait for it to cool. 

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Hoddeok making. From start –

to finish

to finish

Even though the Hoddeok was beyond tasty , I needed actual food to power my exploring. I found a larger meal outside of Seoul’s Dong Station. There are about a dozen tents lining one of the entrances and they were all converted into makeshift restaurants. The one I chose had a giant stove in the middle, metal tables surrounding it on three sides and little stools stationed around them. I got a plate of dukbokki (spicy rice cakes in a red pepper sauce) and a small bowl of minty soup for 3 US dollars. Thankfully, the dukbokki wasn’t as spicy as others I have tasted in the past. Even so , it was flavorful and filled me up .       

dukbokki and soup

dukbokki and soup

The next dinner was bit more conventional. It was nearing midnight in Hongdae and store fronts were quickly going dark. I turned into the first restaurant I saw and found myself in tiny restaurant called Oodles of Noodles. The smiling man behind the counter directed me towards a machine in the corner. I ordered and payed for my entire meal using the machine and soon after was served Pad Thai and a side of shrimp and cream egg rolls . There was nothing special about the Pad Thai but it did taste great on an empty stomach. The eggs rolls, however, were amazing. Cream cheese and shrimp rolled into an egg roll doesn’t sound that appetizing but trust me -it is.     

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Map inside of Oodles and Noodles

How To Order

How To Order

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Pad Thai

Amazing Shrimp Egg Rools

Amazing Shrimp Egg Rolls

Last but not least- I finally had the courage to try the infamous Korean corn dog. I’m not big on hotdogs at home but luckily these were different- the breading is soft and flaky. Actually, it looks remarkably like Frosted Flakes. After handing over 1 won ( 1 USD ) the vender topped it with ketchup and some slightly spicy yellow sauce. It was so good I had to grab another for the bus ride home. 

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Korean Corn Dog

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So tasty I ate half of it before forcing myself to stop for a picture

Any other Korean foods I should try ?

5 reasons to visit Jukdo Market in Pohang, SK

Jukdo market is often referred to as one of the must-do’s of Pohang, South Korea. In less than 3 hours,  I discovered parts of Korean culture I didn’t know existed before.  Jukdo market is huge and , unlike most flee markets, isn’t filled with second hand goods worthy of a side-eye.If you need more convincing, here are 5 reasons to visit Jukdo. **

One section of Jukdo Market

One section of Jukdo Market

5.  The Food

Both local and foreign foods abound here.  Dozens of streets are filled with fresh-water tanks and stands where seafood is sold and cooked right in front of you. Even if you’re not grocery shopping, it’s a place for sightseeing.  I saw a live crab almost as big as my head!

The baby crabs

The baby crabs

Fresh Fish for sale

Fresh Fish for sale

There’s also tons of cheap veggies and fruits as wells as some Korean specialties.

Veggies

Veggies

Rice cake desserts

Seaweed

Korean rice cake dessert

Korean rice cake dessert

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Red bean paste sugar donut

4. The Clothes

You can find traditional Korean clothes -like Hanboks- and Western style clothing also. Beware-like most clothes in Korea-they run small.  

Hanbok

Hanbok

3. Handmade Art 

In need of some inexpensive decorations for your new apartment? Browse through streets and streets of handmade pottery,furniture, and paintings.

Handmade pottery

Handmade pottery

2. Unique Souvenirs

There are children’s toys, stationary,plants, and shirts with “Engrish” settings. If you’re after a unique gift for someone back home, you won’t have to look too long to find one in Jukdo market.

Pretty Plants

Pretty Plants

Intresting "Booby" signs

Intresting “Booby” signs

1. The Experience

Nothing quite says “Welcome to Korea!”, than a morning here . Besides being surrounded by Korean language , cuisine, and culture on all sides, the many stares and people running up to greet you in English are sure to remind you how far away from home you are. It seemed like I was always the center of attention here, whether I was taking  a picture, attempting to explain I didn’t  speak Korean, or dodging out of the many motorcycles speeding by. Everyone was friendly, however, and seemed satisfied when I answered every question with “Miguk” (American).

**Pohang’s Jukdo Market is opened from 8 am-10 pm and closed every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. Buses 101, 103, 105,107, and 108 all make stops here.

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5 Reasons to Spend Harry Potter Weekend in Chestnut Hill,PA

The one and only Dumbledore

For one weekend a year, the neighborhood of Chestnut Hill transforms from a quirky, quaint shopping and hangout spot to a life – sized version of the Harry Potter world. Overnight, the shops lining cobble-stoned Germantown Avenue adopt magical names … Continue reading

Riding Camels and Sniffing Strange Things in Morocco, Africa

Arabian Donkey

Weeks before my semester abroad ended, I went to Morocco, Africa. Feeling like a pro-traveler at this point, I decided to wait until the last minute before taking care of some essential pre-trip tasks. Mainly, ensuring I had enough Euros … Continue reading

My New York

There’s something lovely about living in a new place. The process of the unfamiliar becoming the known is so interesting to me. All of a sudden your feet known the way home all by themselves and you’re on a first name basis with the cashiers at the drugstore. The best part is seeing how much you’ve grown post move. Since moving back home in July, I’ve been thinking about how different I am now than I was when I moved to New York four years ago. For one, I hate not being able to walk. Car dependency is so inconvenient. I also learned that despite what my family thinks , quiet little me can, and actually prefers to , make it on her own.

It’s always the places that make a neighborhood feel like home so below are some of the places that make New York City feel like home to me.

1.Café Bacio on 3rd between 71st & 70th

  2.Central Park ( 60th St. Entrance)

©http://www.centralparknyc.org/

 3.Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market 116th St between Malcolm X Blvd & Madison Ave

Picture from NYC Mag

 

4.New York Public Research Library 5th Ave & 42nd

5.Stumble Inn Bar on 2nd Ave & 76th

6.The Union Square Area