The Korean dessert of sweet red beans and fruit over shaved ice is known as patbingsu. Said to have originated in the late 1950s and sold by street vendors, the popular dessert has changed over time, undergoing several makeovers.
These days, the former street food dish has made its way into upscale cafes as well as fast food chain restaurants such as McDonald’s and Burger King, which uses soft serve ice cream as a topping.
Here, we take a look at 13 different takes on patbingsu. Continue Reading »
Attention, ramen lovers, your dreams are now a reality.
Japanese Korean fast food chain Lotteria is teaming up with a famous Japanese noodle restaurant, Menya Musashi, and will finally do what we should’ve thought of years ago: throwing ramen noodles on a grill and putting it between bread. Wait, what?
Yes, the burger joint is offering a ramen burger on their menu for a limited time, the company announced.
The noodles are seasoned, grilled and somehow shaped into patty form. They are then topped with the same kind of pork used in authentic bowls of ramen and carefully inserted between two mayonaise-covered burger buns. Broth is served on the side (possibly with a smack of ham) and additional noodles, in patty form, can be had for 100 yen (~$1). Continue Reading »
A well-known ramen blogger in the United States released an annual list of the top 10 instant noodles around the world and three Korean products were named.
Food blogger Hans Lienesch of The Ramen Rater said Paldo’s Kokomen and two Nongshim offerings, Shin Ramyun Black and Jinjja Jinjja, were the cream of the crop this year. Last year’s Top 10 chart listed only Shin Ramyun Black.
The chart contained three Korean brands of noodles and two Japanese, two each from Indonesia and Singapore, and one from Thailand. Lienesch is famous for having tasted over 1,000 types of ramen and writing about it on his blog, which he started in 2002. The blog has been visited by 1.4 million people since its inception and has been featured on CNN.
He discussed each ramen’s appearance, taste and nationality and posted photos of the noodles. He rated the Korean ramen, Jinjja Jinjja, at No. 4. Continue Reading »
U.S. calls on North Korea to release detained U.S. citizen
The United States called on North Korea on Monday to immediately release on humanitarian grounds a U.S. citizen accused of trying to topple the reclusive state’s government.
Korean-American Kenneth Bae, 44, was in a group of five tourists who visited the northeastern city of Rajin on a five-day trip last November and has been held by North Korean police since then.
“We call on the DPRK to release Kenneth Bae immediately on humanitarian grounds,” U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters at his daily briefing.
State Department hits right tone in denouncing North Korea charges against Kenneth Bae
“These charges, we believe, are completely unwarranted,” said Joseph Y. Yun, the acting assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.“We really do urge North Korea to release him. There is no reason to hold him.”
As he spoke to a State Department briefing of the Association of Opinion Journalists, Yun hit the right notes about the man who has been in custody almost six months. My colleague Thanh Tan has written editorials urging attention to Bae’s plight. The Times last editorial said: “According to previous news reports, North Korean officials have charged Bae with committing ‘hostile acts against the republic.’ Political experts remain skeptical of the totalitarian state’s true motives. U.S. officials must exhaust diplomatic channels to get to the bottom of this.”
South Korea: Joint military drills with U.S. over, but vigilance on North remains
Joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States officially ended Tuesday, the South Korean Defense Ministry said.
But the ministry noted that South Korea is still closely monitoring for possible provocation and possible missile launches by North Korea.
A torrent of unnerving threats from Pyongyang in recent weeks has strained already fragile relations in the region.
Remaining South Korean Managers Leave Plant in North
New York Times
All the remaining South Korean factory managers in an industrial park in North Korea returned home early Tuesday, as political tensions drove the two Koreas to sever their last economic ties.
The withdrawal of the 43 factory managers meant that the Kaesong Industrial Complex, in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, was emptied out except for seven South Koreans who will remain for a few days to sort out a dispute over unpaid wages.
When that is settled, South Korea is expected to turn off the electricity it supplies to the complex, which until now has been one of the most brightly lighted parts of North Korea, a country shrouded in darkness at night because of a severe lack of fuel.
Trapped in South Korea, veteran spies still believe in the North
Reuters via Yahoo News
Park Hee-sung, a 78-year-old North Korean former agent who has been held in the enemy South for close to half a century, remains staunchly loyal to his homeland, the ruling Kim family and its Juche ideology of economic self-reliance.
A trim, neat man, Park is one of around two dozen North Korean operatives trapped in exile in affluent South Korea. He lives in a charity house in central Seoul with another former agent, 79-year-old Kim Young-sik, and dreams of the day he can return freely to the northern part of a unified Korea.
For Park and Kim, North Korea, which for several weeks has threatened the United States and South Korea with nuclear war, is no menace to world peace, rather a plucky nation that single-handedly stands up to American bullying.
Man accused of killing mother with golf club had previous outbursts
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Calif.)
Six weeks before he allegedly beat his mother to death with a golf club, Luke Kang was seen outside swinging the weapon and threatening family members.
Neighbors and law enforcement officers testified Monday about the ordeal, which ended with Kang being taken into custody for a mental evaluation, during the guilt phase in the defendant’s trial.
Kang, 28, is suspected in his mother’s death on Feb. 22, 2012 at their Rancho Cucamonga townhome after a road trip to Los Angeles. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murder and assault.
Walton foundation gives $8 million to StudentsFirst
Los Angeles Times
A foundation associated with the Wal-Mart family fortune has expanded its support for the education advocacy group run by former District of Columbia schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.
The Walton Family Foundation announced Tuesday an $8-million grant over two years to StudentsFirst, which is headquartered in Sacramento but has operations in 18 states.
Rhee established StudentsFirst as a political counterweight to teachers unions and has pushed, mostly at the state level, for policies that include limiting teacher tenure, easing rules for dismissing teachers and making student test scores the major factor in an instructor’s evaluation.
‘Sa-I-Gu’ Documentary Explores How Korean Women Remember the L.A. Riots
Three Korean women, Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, Christine Choy and Elaine Kim started making the film “Sa-I-Gu” just three months after the uprising in Los Angeles. They interview interview several Korean women shopkeepers and use newsreel footage and family photographs to help tell their side of the experience.
Sa-I-Gu provides an important perspective for better understanding the Los Angeles riots, community studies, and ethnic relations and racism in the United States.
Korean-American Group to Push for Textbook Change in U.S.
A group of Korean-Americans living in the U.S. is pushing for the joint publication of two names for the body of water lying between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
The group, called the Voice of Korean Americans (VoKA), said it had received positive feedback from education committees in the states of Virginia and Maryland after it persuaded them to publish both “East Sea” and “Sea of Japan” in school textbooks. The group said it would expand its efforts nationwide.
‘Spectacular Now’ Director Up For Hillary Rodham Clinton Biopic
Before last December, Young Il Kim was an economist and aspiring screenwriter. But with the release of the 2012 Black List, which compiles the most buzzed about unproduced screenplays circulating Hollywood, Kim became a writer to watch thanks to his Hillary Rodham Clinton biopic spec script Rodham. For many emerging talents, getting on to the Black List is a step toward getting your movie made. And it Kim’s goal is getting closer to fruition as Rodham’s producers have secured a noteworthy director for the project.
The Wrap reveals James Ponsoldt has been attached to helm. The indie director first earned buzz in 2012 with the Mary Elizabeth Winstead-fronted drama Smashed. Then, at 2013′s Sundance and SXSW he awed critics with his follow-up The Spectacular Now. (Notably, the latter’s screenplay was on the Black List in 2009.) Between the buzz around Kim’s script and the acclaim Ponsoldt has already earned, this seems like a dovetailing of incredible talent. Now the search begins for a leading lady who will not only capture the spirit of the polarizing politician, but also can stir up interest among potential backers. But who would be right for this role?
Check out our profile of Kim from the April 2013 issue of KoreAm.
Psy to watch Ryu Hyun-jin’s game
South Korean rapper Psy will attend a Los Angeles Dodgers game on Tuesday where his compatriot, Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, will take the mound against the Colorado Rockies, the rapper’s agency said.
DMTN’s Daniel + 4 others attend first hearing for marijuana related charges
DMTN’s Daniel and the four others indicted by the prosecution regarding their various marijuana charges attended their first hearing in court today.
The hearing took place on the 30th at 10:50 AM, and Daniel is said to have admitted to all his charges with a solemn expression. It is also said that in addition to aiding in the distribution, the idol also admitted to smoking marijuana.
As he emerged after the hearing, he bowed his head as he said “I’m sorry” to the press gathered outside. When someone asked, “Do you admit to all your charges?” He responded, “Yes”, and left the scene with his agency staff and lawyers.
4 others who attended the hearing with Daniel include the English academy teacher (age 24), son of a famous actor (age 23), makeup artist (age 33), and former academy teacher (age 21).
From Dissections To Depositions, Poets’ Second Jobs
Monica Youn, an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, was an NPR NewsPoet last year. She points out that “poetic techniques show up in law more often than one would think — repetition, cadence, metaphor. Just no one thinks of them as poetry.” And, of course, the poet with a day job always runs the risk of having her poetry introduced into her “normal” life whether she likes it or not. “One opponent arrived at a hostile deposition,” according to Youn, “and sneered, ‘I’ve read your poems online,’ apparently in an attempt to psych me out. It didn’t work.”
Grandmaster Pak says goodbye after 40 years
Iowa State Daily (Iowa State Univ.)
Since Pak has been on Iowa State’s campus, he has taught over 35,000 students from Iowa State alone.
He has received numerous awards such as the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association Coach of the Year award, the Amoco Outstanding Teachers award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Community award.
“Right now, there is no difference from between 2013 and 1973,” Pak said. “I have gotten many awards and have heard a lot of thank yous, but to me, it’s just my job. I am doing what I love to do, hoping that I can teach others to love it as much as I do.”
Kim Cheese’s “Kim Cheese Burger”: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now
Riverfront Times (St. Louis, Mo.)
Kim Cheese combines one of the nation’s hottest culinary trends with one of my personal restaurant obsessions. The trend is Mexican-Korean fusion: tacos and burritos stuffed with Korean barbecue and garnished, if you like, with pungent kim chi. Los Angeles birthed this trend, but it has proven wildly successful even where it doesn’t make a lick of demographic sense.
My obsession is local, independent restaurants that open in shuttered fast-food joints. The Moon family opened Kim Cheese in August of last year in a former Dairy Queen. Driving past, you might still mistake it for a Dairy Queen.
It is so much better.
The most intriguing dish at Kim Cheese might be the “burgers.” Strictly speaking, these aren’t burgers but steak sandwiches served on hamburger buns. The “Kim Cheese Burger” pairs thin slices of grilled rib eye with a generous serving of kim chi and tops them, classic burger-style, with tomato, onion and a slice of American cheese. The savory-sweet beef, the funky kim chi and the tangy cheese manage to surprise at the same time the combo presses your fast-food-pleasure buttons.
“America & Me” 비디오 콘테스트 – 대상 수상작
U.S. Embassy Seoul via YouTube
This is the 1st place entry for the annual “America and Me” contest sponsored by the United States embassy in South Korea.
North Korea Asks Mongolia for Food Aid
Wall Street Journal
As North Korea heads into the time of year when its food supplies run low, it appears to be looking for new donors.
At a courtesy call on the Mongolian president last week, Pyongyang’s new ambassador made a request for food aid, according to the official website for the head of state.
“North Korea may face (a) severe food shortage,” Ambassador Hong Gyu told President Elbegdorj, according to the account. Mr. Hong then asked for Mongolia to consider the possibility of delivering food aid to North Korea, the account said.
South Korean Official Cancels Expected Japan Trip
New York Times
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se of South Korea has canceled a possible trip to Japan out of anger after Japanese Cabinet ministers visited a controversial war shrine, South Korean officials said on Monday.
Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and other Japanese cabinet ministers prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine over the weekend. Tokyo said on Monday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe didn’t visit but donated a religious ornament marking the shrine’s spring festival with the title “prime minister” on it.
Jasper Kim: North Korea Needs the Internet, So Let’s Help
Wall Street Journal
Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen’s recent WSJ interview related to their North Korea trip was a real eye-opener. In it, the Google executives noted that the closed regime possessed the basic hardware to allow its citizens to plug into the Internet.
So the only thing needed is for Kim Jong Eun to literally “flick a switch” to provide Internet access for his nearly 25 million information-deprived citizenry.
As it stands now, North Korea is about the only country in the world almost totally unplugged to the Internet. South Korea, in contrast, has one of the highest broadband Internet penetration rates in the world, and is home to Samsung Electronics, one of the world leaders in mobile technology.
Park meets with Microsoft founder Gates
President Park Geun-hye met with Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Monday where she was expected to seek advice from the technology czar about her vision to use information technology as the main tool to boost economic growth.
Park has often mentioned Gates and late Apple founder Steve Jobs as examples while pitching her “creative economy” initiative that calls for creating new markets and jobs by developing innovative technologies in the information and communications sector and then combining them with other areas.
“I have made such remarks like ‘As examples of talents we need in our times, there are people like Chairman Gates’ and I am pleased to meet with you today,” Park said at the start of the meeting, adding that she feels like she has known Gates for a long time.
Park Chosen Among TIME’s 100 Most Influential People
President Park Geun-hye and Samsung Electronics vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun have been picked for TIME’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2013.
The magazine chose Park because she is the first female president of South Korea who is coping with the threat of provocation from North Korea despite critical views about her “political parentage.”
Pyongyang Palace Intrigue [OPINION]
New York Times
North Korea’s recent nuclear brinkmanship is a sign not of strength but of weakness. No matter how hard this Communist dynasty tries to conceal this fact from the outside world, problems at home — especially strains within the regime itself — are an important factor behind its aggressive external behavior.
The regime’s current woes are largely the handiwork of Kim Jong-il, who died almost a year and a half ago. He was not just a bad ruler, but a disastrous one. He was the mastermind behind the epic failure of North Korea’s economy, which, on his watch, recorded the worst performance of any industrialized state. And he was the architect of the only peacetime famine ever to befall an urban, literate society. Most of that disaster’s victims were officially designated members of “hostile classes,” or enemies of the state, so the regime hardly mourned their deaths. But Kim Jong-il’s tenure was ruinous for the entire regime, including his presumptive legatees.
For Once, Someone Got An L.A. Food Show Right: Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Koreatown Episode
For the second installment of his new CNN show Parts Unknown, which aired last night, Anthony Bourdain explored L.A.’s Koreatown. The show was insightful, revealing and pretty much spot-on, giving an accurate depiction of both the fraught history of K-Town and its current status as one of our city’s culinary and cultural gems. Which is a relief, seeing as no food TV show ever seems to get Los Angeles right, including past L.A.-themed episodes of Bourdain’s Travel Channel show, No Reservations.
Using chef Roy Choi and artist David Choe as guides, Bourdain explored Koreatown through the lens of its history, and in particular the L.A. riots in 1992. Choi took Bourdain to the roof where Choi had watched the neighborhood burn for days on end, and Choe explained the effect of having society fall apart around him as a teenager, even as he himself took part in the mayhem. Thanks (I’m assuming) to CNN’s access to news footage, the show had a ton of footage of Koreatown during the riots, and 21 years later the images of an entire swath of the city devolving into a war zone are still gut-wrenchingly shocking.
Sang Yoon on the History of the Father’s Office Burger
The Father’s Office Burger, possibly one of the most divisive and beloved burgers in LA, was conceptualized by Sang Yoon, chef and owner of Father’s Office. After leaving the world of fine dining, Yoon wanted to open a very simple, casual restaurant with great beer and bar snacks in the vein of Spain’s tapas bars. One of the original menu items was a burger, though it was unlike any burger anyone had ever created. Some argue that Daniel Boulud’s db Burger was the burger that launched the current gourmet burger trend, but it was actually Yoon’s creation at the original Father’s Office on Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue that did it.
Dodgers, Ryu fade in 7-5 loss to Orioles in 1st game of doubleheader
AP via FOX News
Staked to an early four-run lead, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu was in ideal position to earn his third major league win and help the Los Angeles Dodgers end their longest losing streak of the season.
Unfortunately for Ryu and the Dodgers, the South Korean rookie couldn’t maintain the advantage. He allowed two home runs — more than in his previous three starts combined — and Los Angeles ended up losing to the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Saturday in the opener of a split-doubleheader.
Ryu gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out six. Although the 26-year-old didn’t take the loss, he felt compelled to apologize for his performance after the game.
“I can’t really make any excuses. I wish the outcome was better,” he said through a translator. “But I’ll come back and do better next time. I’ll just consider it a big learning experience.”
‘Orphan’: A Novel Imagines Life In North Korea
Last week, The Orphan Master’s Son was awarded the Pulitzer prize for fiction. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin spoke with author Adam Johnson last year about his book. In that interview, Johnson explained that as part of his research he actually managed to finagle a visit to North Korea. He said his government minders maintained tight control over his itinerary, but they couldn’t hide everything.
Setting up shop in Korea, with some help
When Benjamin Hughes, an American arbitrator and mediator, and a 10-year resident of Korea, decided to open up an office space in Seoul recently, he was already on familiar ground.
“I was previously working as a senior foreign legal consultant at a major Korean law firm so I had some idea as to how business was done in Korea,” Hughes says. That is when he turned to The Executive Center (TEC) inside the Seoul Finance Center to rent a serviced office so he could use the space full time to focus on his practice. Thus far, the move has proven lucrative, and his work flow is running smoothly.
“The facilities are excellent and the staff at TEC is very helpful, as well as bilingual in English and Korean.”