Tag Archives: food


[VIDEO] Anthony Bourdain Hits South Korea in ‘Parts Unknown’

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

The fifth season of CNN’s travel show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown premiered Sunday night, opening the episode with a scene of Bourdain nursing a bottle of soju alone at a pochangmacha, or a street food vendor.

“So, we begin at the end. After a wild week in Seoul, there was, I believe, something called ‘soju’ involved,” Bourdain says, retracing the previous evening’s activities as the entire episode plays in reverse, Memento-style. “Like returning a dog returning to its own vomit, I keep flashing back to—what was it, last night? The night before?”


During his epic weeklong trip to South Korea, Bourdain eats a couple of adventurous dishes, including beondegi (silkworm larva) and sannakji (live octopus), as well as some all-time favorites like Korean-style fried chicken, barbecue and budaejjigae (army base stew). Needless to say, endless glasses of soju and beer were consumed.

cnn livestream budaejjigae

In the episode, the host also partakes in mukbang (eating live-streams), sings karaoke with a group of salarymen and plays an online game in a PC bang.

“PC bang sounds like a male porn star, I know,” Bourdain says, as his Red Riding Hood avatar gets slaughtered during an online gameplay. “But this one has a smoking lounge and a well-stocked snack bar.”

As for what he believes defines Korean culture, the host tells the viewers that it is “the drive to succeed–a churning engine fueled by decades of han, a remarkable ability and a remarkable willingness to anticipate the future.”

You can watch the full episode below:

To learn how to make budaejjigae, watch Bourdain cook the dish for Anderson Cooper below:


All images courtesy of CNN

KFEST banner

Awkwafina and Parker to Headline UC Irvine’s 4th Annual KFEST

The 4th Annual KFEST at UC Irvine kicks off just one week from today. If you’re looking for good food, games and music, you might want to stop by next Tuesday evening. Awkwafina and Parker, a.k.a. Dumbfoundead, will headline as featured performers accompanied by DJ ZO.

This year, KFEST promises “The Korean Experience,” with plenty of Korean cuisine, games and performances by fellow Anteaters. Admission is free, but be prepared to pay for parking if you do attend.

You can find more information at the KFEST Facebook event page.


When: Tuesday, April 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: UC Irvine Student Center, Pacific Ballroom CD  (Parking in the Student Center Parking Structure)


KCON 2015

KCON 2015 To Take Over Staples Center & L.A. Live

If you need any indication of the power of hallyu and Korean popular culture, look no further than how CJ E&M‘s KCON has grown since its launch in 2012.

KCON hosted over 42,000 attendees from around the world last summer at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, and this year, the convention is bringing its A game. From Friday, July 31 to Sunday, Aug. 2, fans can expect plenty of panels, workshops, food fashion and more at the L.A. LIVE plaza in Downtown L.A., punctuated by two concerts at the Staples Center on Saturday and Sunday.

Last year’s lineup included B1A4, BTS, CNBLUE, G-Dragon, Girl’s Generation, IU, Jung Joon Young, SPICA, TEEN TOP and VIXX. We’ll keep you updated on when this year’s artists are announced—KCON promises that the concerts will “Ignite Your Feelz.”

Check out KCON 2015 USA’s website for more information. You can watch a recap of last year’s KCON below.


Featured image courtesy of KCON

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Benu Chef Corey Lee Announces Tour Dates for New Cookbook

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Acclaimed chef Corey Lee will be hitting the road later this month to promote his new cookbook Benu, which was named after his three Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco.

The cookbook isn’t just your run-of-the-mill collection of recipes: The picture-heavy, 256-page hardcover work is presented as a 33-course tasting menu that includes Lee’s anecdotes and essays that showcase the inspirations for Benu’s cuisine.

Publisher Phaidon announced the dates for Lee’s book tour on Monday, just a few weeks after Lee was nominated for another James Beard Award for 2015. The events will feature book signings, conversations with other famous chefs and dishes highlighted in the Benu cookbook.

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Angelenos can look forward to seeing Lee next Wednesday with one of the most prolific Korean American chefs out there—Roy Choi will sit down with Lee for a chat after the reception, followed by a book signing in Santa Monica. On April 29, Lee will hit New York City and reunite with his mentor from The French Laundry, Thomas Keller.

Lee will then head to Asia in May, stopping by Hong Kong and Seoul before hitting the final leg of his tour in Toronto. The last event on May 27 will feature a conversation with another well-known Korean American chef—Momofuku’s chef and founder, David Chang.

For more information on Lee’s tour, you can take a look at the full schedule on Phaidon’s website. Tickets are available for his events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong. Tickets for Seoul and Toronto are TBA. You can also find more information on purchasing Lee’s cookbook, Benu, at the above link, as well as Amazon.

Benu was awarded three Michelin Stars by the 2015 Michelin Guide back in October 2014, and the recent James Beard Award nomination isn’t his first: He won the Rising Star Chef of the Year award while he was at The French Laundry in 2006.


Images via Phaidon Press


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.”


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.

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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.


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[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!



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