Tag Archives: food


South Korea to Double the Number of Korean Restaurants Abroad

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

It’s about to get easier to eat Korean barbecue and bibimbap in your country.

The South Korean government announced Monday that it plans to double the number of Korean restaurants overseas in an effort to develop the country’s restaurant industry and globalize traditional Korean food, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it plans to boost the current number of Korean restaurants from 3,726 in some 40 countries to more than 7,000 in 50 countries by 2020.

By expanding the number of Korean restaurants, the ministry hopes to also increase overseas shipments of traditional Korean food and ingredients.

Seoul will also be putting in efforts to facilitate the training of foreign cooks and other restaurant personnel. Those without a South Korean passport are currently prohibited from receiving any culinary training in the country, as such training requires medical examination certificates. These certificates are only granted to individuals with permanent residence in South Korea.

According to Yonhap, the ministry will be working to revise the related laws to make it easier for foreign cooks to receive medical examination certificates.

Korean cuisine has been rising in popularity and status in the States. There has been a surge of Korean fusion restaurants in recent years, especially in New York and California. Last month, several Korean American chefs were nominated for the prestigious James Beard Awards, which is often referred to as the “Oscars of the food world.”


Subscribe to our daily newsletter

First Lady

PIC OF THE DAY: Maryland’s First Lady Yumi Hogan Holds Cooking Class

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

When Yumi Hogan became Maryland’s First Lady after her husband, Larry Hogan, was sworn in as governor earlier this year, she told KoreAm introducing Korean food to the Government House in Annapolis was one of her main goals. That included bringing along a kimchi refrigerator to her new home.

Earlier this week, the First Lady held a cooking class for the chefs at the Government House. From what we can see from the pictures on Gov. Larry Hogan’s Facebook page, it looks like the chefs got some pointers on preparing bulgogi.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 4.55.56 PM

Will the White House ever see its first kimchi refrigerator, if it hasn’t already? Gov. Hogan announced his presidential bid to the Board of Public Works in an April Fool’s joke on Wednesday, so maybe it’s not too much of a stretch.


Subscribe to our daily newsletter

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 6.34.25 PM

[VIDEO] YouTubers React to ‘Mukbang’ (Eating Broadcasts)

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

While South Koreans may not be considered the most enthusiastic about cooking, there’s no doubt that many Koreans love to eat and watch people eat.

Mukbang, or eating broadcasts, is a wildly popular fad in South Korea. Mukbang stars make as much as $10,000 a month by live-streaming themselves devouring a wide selection of food, thanks to hundreds of viewers who reward their binge-eating habits with virtual balloons that can be converted into cash.

For their latest reaction video, YouTube channel The Fine Bros. had their fellow YouTube buddies react to mukbang streams. Needless to say, there were some furrowed brows and confused glances at the screen.

Several YouTubers compared mukbang stars to people who live-stream themselves playing video games. When they learned just how much these professional eaters earned from their broadcasts, all of them expressed shock while some joked about making a career change from YouTube to mukbang.

“We are quitting YouTube. We are eating and live-streaming,” said Mari of Smosh Games.

Another YouTuber commented, “That’s the American dream, honestly. And to see that South Korea is doing that before us is a travesty.”

You can watch the video below:

What are your thoughts on mukbang? Would you enjoy watching people eat delicious food in front of a camera? Let us know in the comments below!


Subscribe to our daily newsletter


South Koreans Spend the Least Time in the Kitchen: Survey

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

South Koreans apparently cook the least while Italians are the most passionate about food and cooking, according to a survey conducted by market research firm GfK.

The firm asked more than 27,000 people across 22 countries about how knowledgeable, experienced and passionate they are about food and cooking as well as how many hours they spend in the kitchen every week.

India and Ukraine easily topped the poll for spending the most time pottering in the kitchen per week, with an average of about 13 hours cooking. South Africa trailed in third place with an average of 9.5 hours, followed by Indonesia with an average of eight hours and Italy just topping seven hours.

Meanwhile, South Korea landed at the very bottom of the poll, with its respondents spending less than four hours per week cooking for themselves.

How is this possible? Well, South Korea is renowned for its accessible and affordable street food. Whether you’re craving ddukbokgi (spicy rice cakes), dakkochi (a skewer of grilled chicken and vegetables) or a corn dog lathered in tater tots, there’s a food stall for every snacking crave. South Korean supermarkets also hand out large amounts of samples to shoppers and convenience stores are stocked with shelves of ready-made food, such as ramen, meat buns and rice balls.

The international cooking average is reported to be just under six and a half hours per week.

GfK-Infographic Cooking Countries

When GfK asked survey participants how passionate they are about food and cooking, Italians seemed to be the most zealous foodies, with 43 percent saying that cooking is a personal passion. South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico and India trailed closely behind them on the poll.

South Korea again claimed last place on the poll, at just 13 percent.

Now, if there was a survey that ranked countries by their passion for eating, there’s a possibility that South Korea would rank a few spots above the bottom of the food chain.


Featured image via Migrationology.com

Subscribe to our daily newsletter


[VIDEO] This is What Happens When You Bring Asian Food to School for Lunch


Chow mein. Pork buns. Dumplings. Fried rice. Eggrolls. Adobo. Hungry yet?

This is just a small sample of all the Asian food that I grew up with and deeply love. However, as a child, despite how often I ate Asian food (everyday) and how much I enjoyed Asian food (I wanted it everyday), you’d be hard-pressed to ever find rice and tocino in my lunch pail. Instead, my Hello Kitty lunch pail was home to PB&J sandwiches, go-gurts and of course, lunchables.

Early on, I learned to associate my beloved Asian food with home and (as 11-year-old Eddie Huang says in Fresh off the Boat after making the mistake of bringing noodles for lunch) I associated “white people food” with school.

This is probably why I laughed out loud to the Domics short animation “Asian Food.” The animator of Domics very humorously (and accurately) describes the struggle of bringing Asian food to school for lunch around non-Asian classmates.

With our grade school lunch days long behind us, it’s easy to laugh this situation off as children being children. But who am I kidding? We’ve seen adults overreact to Asian food too. Admittedly, many of our delicious dishes (like blood sausages and century eggs) look absolutely horrifying to people who are unfamiliar. But like the other kids in this animation, they just don’t know what they’re missing.

Now excuse me while I go get my hands on some sweet corn.


Originally published on Audrey Magazine

Get our daily newsletter


Roy Choi Reveals Second Loco’l Restaurant in Watts, Los Angeles

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s commitment to bring affordable, locally-sourced fast food to the inner city took another step forward today. The social media-savvy Choi revealed on Twitter that the future second location of Loco’l will be in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

According to L.A. Eater, the area is just a few blocks away from the recognizable Watts Towers and about 7.5 miles south of Downtown. This isn’t the first time the chef has opened an eatery in South L.A. Last summer, Choi opened Three Worlds Cafe in South Central, a neighborhood where he has close connections with the locals.

The first Loco’l restaurant will open in the Tenderloin district in San Francisco. There hasn’t been a specific opening date for either restaurant, but they are both slated to open this year. You can check out their crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo to learn more about the Loco’l team or even contribute to the campaign.

Image via L.A. Eater

Dog Cafe

L.A.’s First Dog Cafe Seeks to Revolutionize Dog Adoption

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Cat cafes are all the rage in Asia and Europe, and their popularity seems to be increasing even more afer the first American cat cafe opened in Oakland, California last November. But what about dog cafes?

Sarah Wolfgang recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the Dog Cafe, the first of its kind in the U.S. The cafe will give patrons the opportunity to enjoy a cup of joe with a pooch at their side, but its larger goal is to address the overcrowding of L.A.’s animal shelters.

“The Dog Cafe is going to put a spin on the way people adopt by totally reinventing the way we connect with homeless dogs,” Wolfgang writes on her Indiegogo page. “We want to provide you with the opportunity to see these highly adoptable pooches in their true light. And even if you’re not looking to adopt, you can still enjoy all of the sloppy kisses you’ve ever wanted.”

Wolfgang assures future patrons that the cafe is, in fact, legal. Kind of. According to the city health department, the Dog Cafe will need two separate locations–a cafe and a dog zone–that are not connected in any way. A good amount of the $200,000 goal will go towards finding a large location where dogs can run and frolick, as well as hiring a staff to take care of the dogs. Meanwhile, the coffee will be fittingly provided by Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.

Perks include pre-paid entries to visit the cafe and chill with the dogs while enjoying free drinks, as well as a pre-sale voucher to a “Pup-Up” event in Downtown Los Angeles from Jan. 22-25. Bigger perks include a private puppy party, assistance in adopting a dog and getting your own plaque on a table in the cafe.

The Dog Cafe’s Indiegogo campaign will run until Feb. 5.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 12.59.38 PM

Korean ‘Fire Noodle Challenge’ Spreads Online

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Koreans love ramen, and they love spice. But can they handle the taste of fire?

There’s been a recent surge of people trying to eat Samyang’s Bool Dak Bokkeum Myun (translation: Flaming Chicken Fried Noodles), one of South Korea’s spiciest ramens, as quickly as possible on YouTube. Why are so many people doing this sadistic challenge? I have no idea, but watching strangers cry and writhe in food pain is surprisingly entertaining.

Here are some brave souls who accepted the “Fire Noodle Challenge.” Some dominated while others lost their tongues to the fires of ramen hell.

Americans take on the Fire Noodle Challenge

London’s Fire Noodle Challenge

Korean teens devour Fire Noodles in under 15 seconds

The spit-take near the end of the challenge is the highlight of the video.

Two Americans do the Fire Noodle Race

Korean YouTubers attempt to eat 12 Fire Noodles in 10 minutes

Mokbang star eats five packets of Fire Noodles

Fire Noodles get spicier with chili peppers and chili powder

Fire is catching, and it doesn’t look like the trend will die down anytime soon.