Friday, September 9, 2011


The presentation of Korean history, custom, people, food and present economic status as one of the developed countries. It was for the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S CLUB MEMBERS (over 50 nationalities) IN HAMBURG.

I was delighted to see the interest.
많은 사람들이 관심을 보여주었습니다.

Showing the elegance of Korean costume.
한복의 아름다움을 과시 하면서.... 역시 옷걸이가 좋아야......

Thank you from the International Women's Club president (Austrian) and the organizer (Finnish)
We had more than maximum capacity. 완전히 인원초과 였습니다.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Charity Cooking Party in April, New York

photo credit:Susan Kwak
We started the event with Veuve Cliquot (champagne)
and served SIMI 2004 cabernet sauvignon with meal
버브클리코 샴페인으로 시작하여 식사때는 시미 2004 포도주를 서브하였습니다.

photo credit:Susan Kwak

We were a good team. 훌륭한 조수 수잔과 일하니 무척 수월하였습니다.

포도주와 버섯을 넣은 프랑스식 갈비찜, 파스닢퓨레와 지진 아스파라가스

photo credit: Erin Gleeson


Ingredients (serves 4)
5 riped PEARS
3 cups RED WINE
2 heaping tablespoons HONEY
1/3 teaspoons powdered CLOVES

Peel the pears, keeping the stems in place. Add honey and powdered cloves to wine in a pot and bring to a boil. Add pears, slightly spaced apart, and occasionally turn them around to color them crimson red. Reduce the liquid until it reaches sauce consistency. Remove the pears from the pot and slice the bottom part flat to stand them up on the plate. Place each pear on a plate and pour a spoonful of reduced sauce on top. Make an incision on top of the pears and insert mint leaves. Serve at room temperature. You can serve with ice-cream too.
배를 깍아놓는다. 남비에 술을 담고 꿀과 클로브를 넣은후 끓기 시작하면 배를 넣고 가끔 돌려가며 익힌다. 붉은색이 골고를 들게 한후 국물이 졸으면 배를 꺼내 아래를 반듯하게 잘라 접시에 하나씩 담고, 쏘스를 위에 한수저 떠 붓는다. 위에 칼자국을 내어 박하잎을 꼿는다. 아이스크림과 서브해도 좋다.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Restaurants in LONDON

London is a wonderful city to visit. It has many historical sights, museums, charming districts to roam around except shopping. Not that London does not have beautiful things but be prepared that it is very very expensive. The price they have is the same like dollar price but actual value of pound is so much higher.

Here are some names of restaurants where you can have lunch or dinner while enjoying the sight seeing.

COVENT GARDEN DISTRICT: Charming district with shops and theaters.
Casual easy going place (isn't it Jamie's style?)with
good food.

MARYLEBONE DISTRICT: Very near to the posh Bond Street (and New Bond)
Charming area with full of small good restaurants
Cool modern Chinese dim sum restaurant. yum....

FOXTROT OSCAR: 79 Royal Hospital Road tel: 020 7352 4448
One of Gordon Ramsay's bistro near his Michelin star
restaurant. It was good but definitely I expected too
much because of his name. Or am I too spoiled?

MARSALA ZONE: They have many branches in London. It is hit or miss.
I had some delicious meals and other times so so
food. When they are good, it is a good replacement for
Korea Food.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

KOREA: From Rags to Riches

In an effort to record the development of Korea, 60 specialists wrote articles on various subjects including: the economy, commerce, construction, education and food. This book was distributed to dignitaries at the G20 meeting in Seoul in November 2010.

The below article was featured in the book as well as in The Korea Times.

Korean cuisine: the undiscovered flavor

First lady Kim Yoon-ok, fourth from left, Minister of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Chang Tae-pyong, third from right, and actor Bae Yong-joon, second from right, and other members of the task force for the globalization of Korean food listen to a chef serving traditional Korean refreshments at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in central Seoul, May 4. The globalization of Korean food has progressed quickly amid growing international interest in healthy and exotic / cuisines. Korea Times

By Kim Yong-ja

The Korean cooking method is rather simple despite its appearance of being complicated to prepare. The delicious flavors and health benefits of Korean food come from the spices, fermented sauce and paste we use, which are full of vitamin C, antioxidants and protein. Since vegetables are a significant portion of our diet as well, we stay healthy and slim!

Change of taste

As Korea moves further into the global spotlight as a strong economic power, Korean food is gaining momentum as a world cuisine. The globalization of Korean food has been in fast progress amid growing global interest in health. Korean food has taken root, showcasing its taste in eateries and in-flight cuisine services. Makkeolli, Korea’s traditional rice wine, has often been seen of late during banquets for heads of state.

Prosperity and attention to food often coexist. Until about a decade ago, Americans and Europeans alike jumped at the notion of anything spicy. But the global population has become much more open-minded as world travel became more affordable, the Internet spread more widely, and consumers who traditionally shied away from spicy flavors became adventurous and adopted bolder tastes like Korean food. People began to hunger for healthier food and more choices. Finally, the time has come for the world to discover this little-known food.

Korean interest in health and food since ancient times

Since ancient times, food was a very important part of Korean lives. While paintings and fortresses were cherished as important treasures in Europe in the Middle Ages, Koreans immersed themselves in delicious and healthy food that has continued on to the present day. Koreans as a population have one of the longest life spans in the world, along with the Japanese. Bustling restaurants in the cities and extravagant restaurant settings in the Korean countryside confirm how important gastronomy is to Koreans.

Three distinctive styles of preparation

There were three distinctive ways of cooking according to social status in ancient times. The food of the royal court was very opulent and elaborate and at the same time very delicate and refined. Much attention has been paid by the lady cooks in the royal court (called Sanggung) who prepared the customary twelve side dishes as well as rice, soup, grilled meat or braised fish. It is a wonder how they stayed slim! Pavillions like Anapji in Gyeongju or Gyeonghwoeru in Seoul were created over man-made lakes just to set up opulent banquets for the king. A stream (Poseokjeong in Gyeongju) was carved with stone to float the wine cups while the noble scholars recited poems. Provinces delivered their cherished ingredients to the king. Cooks could then create their best dishes with seasonal and non-seasonal ingredients together. The noblemen lived in a different region with their land outside of Seoul, the capital. They developed their own signature dishes with local ingredients which were handed down for generations.

Commoners prepared simple home-cooked food with the crops they produced, which were seasonal and fresh. The flavors were quite often bold and at times crude. Nowadays, this style of food is widely prepared and has also transformed into street food in major cities. The influence of royal cuisine presents itself on special occasions or feast days.

Another kind of cuisine which was very distinctive with its ingredients and method of preparation was the Buddhist temple cuisine. Buddhism reached Korea in 372 from the Qin Dynasty (China). This wholesome religion, the ultimate goal of which is to reach the heavenly state of mind by self-discipline blended well with shamanism (nature worship), was practiced by the population at the time. Even though Buddha himself did not forbid eating meat, Seon Buddhism which was established in Korea discouraged killing animals for eating purposes, and vegetarian food was prepared for the altar.

Royal cuisine had a big influence on temple food. Ladies who devoted their lives to preparing the most delicious meals for the king and his entourage had to leave the palace when they got old. Most of the times, they joined the monkhood and created a fusion of the two, which brought temple cuisine to another level. Vegetables, herbs and other plants growing in the mountain area including a wide array of mushrooms, potatoes, and tofu were used. Pine nuts were added to non-spicy Kimchi, and pine needles to Songpyeon (rice cake with sweet filling) for aroma. Ssam (fresh lettuce or steamed pumpkin leaves wraps) and frying kelp (thick seaweed) originated from the temple cuisine too. Teas were brewed with edible flowers (chrysanthemum) or roasted grains like barley, brown rice and corn. Temple cuisine of various regions developed their own specialties.

Culinary influence of neighboring countries

There were influences of neighboring countries due to Korea’s geographic location, which included invasions. Tofu came to Korea from the Han Dynasty in China approximately 2000 years ago, along with Mandu (dumplings) and noodles. Through the Mongol invasion, grilled meat was introduced to Korea. With its unique seasonings,

Bulgogi and Galbi remain as some of favorite dishes in Korea.

Since Korea is surrounded by the sea on its three sides, we have an abundance of seafood. Dried seafood like whiting, croaker, cuttlefish and whitebait sheets were made to stretch them throughout the winter. Seafood does not mean only fish to Koreans. Seaweed (not the one you see on the shores), kelp (thick seaweed), and other sea plants were consumed. Dried ingredients did not stop with seafood. Cabbages, mountain vegetables like bellflower roots, bracken sprouts, and wild asters were also conserved by drying them. Korean ancestors made a living on agriculture, and were heavily dependant on rice. Though other grains like barley, sorghum, millet and soybeans were cultivated, rice was the symbol of wealth. Nowadays, rice made with multi-grain is widespread to promote better health.

Food shortage

The geographical influence also had a negative impact on the country. During the Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945, rice and other valuable food items were shipped to Japan and Koreans thereby suffered a widespread shortage of food. It was a harsh survival with only two meals a day during wintertime. For a long time after its independence, Korea could not get out of extreme poverty. In the 1960s, during President Park Chung-hee’s era, Korea started economic growth with a five-year economic plan plus sending construction workers, miners, nurses, and even soldiers to foreign countries. Development of modern farming equipment, fertilizers and increased funds came from Korean workers abroad, and thus food shortage finally eased in the 70s. Bread and noodles became much more popular and meat consumption increased.

Custom and food

There is no other country in the world where food is so closely related to customs. It starts on Jan. 1 by performing a ceremonial bow to parents and grandparents to show respect, and Koreans eat traditional hearty soup (Teokkuk) made with beef broth and sliced rice cakes.

On Full Moon Day on Jan. 15 according to the lunar calendar, Koreans make rice with 5 different grains (Ogokbap) to wish for good health throughout the year.

When a baby is born, seaweed soups are given to the mother to help the flow of milk and the bone structure of the baby. Thus seaweed soups became the traditional birthday soup.

In autumn, we have Chuseok, a feast day equivalent to American Thanksgiving. Elaborate food is prepared with new crops and we have a ceremony for our ancestors to thank them for the abundance of food and then visit their resting places.

During winter solstice _ the shortest day of the year, Koreans start preparing for the New Year. For this day, red bean porridge was made to chase away all bad luck. How convenient it could be if a certain food can chase away bad luck! In modern Korea, few believe such superstition. But it still remains a Korean custom to enjoy the dish during this period.

Simplicity in cooking method

Just by looking at the intricate manner in which Korean food is displayed, one can be very hesitant in the ability to recreate it. But compare to the wide range of ingredients we use from the land and the sea, the Korean cooking method is surprisingly simple. Don’t be intimidated by looking at the thinly sliced ingredients! Most of our vegetables are blanched and then marinated. Or stir-fried before adding the spices. We simply grill or pan-fry the meat with seasoning.

Flavoring ingredients

The flavors of Korean food comes from a few spices and already fermented soy sauce and pastes. There is no need to make a concoction of different ingredients to create sauces. Korea's extreme weather, which is arctic cold in winter and steaming hot in summer, contributed to the development of fermented sauce and paste (soybean and chili) which is the base of Korean flavoring. On the top of that, so many different types of pickles and condiments were created by preserving them in those pastes. By combining soy sauce or paste with sesame oil, sesame seeds, sugar and scallion, one can make a wonder with a common ingredients. Since we use this combination for all our food, we can display them together on the table for fish, meat or vegetables alike.

The power of fermented food

Korean food is very healthy not only because of the quantity of the vegetables consumed. While this is a major aspect of it, Korea's fermented soy sauce, soybean (Denjang) and chili paste (Gochujang), which are also staples of Korean cuisine, are large contributors and excellent for health. Fermented food keeps food fresher for a longer period and at the same time, gives very distinctive flavors. Soybeans are a great source of protein, and not only high in nutrients but also provides the digestive tract with living cultures which aids in digestion.

Health benefits of Kimchi

Korea's beloved Kimchi is only a side dish but it can make or break the meal. Though Koreans cannot last more than a few days without it, foreigners cannot expect to like it from the beginning. It is an acquired taste. You need time to get accustomed to Korean flavors. Though it is made with vegetables like radish and cucumber too, it is most often made with cabbage. This vegetable is marinated with salt, chili flakes, scallion, ginger, garlic and small salted shrimp or anchovies. Marinated Kimchi starts to develop a slightly sour taste after more or less two days, which means it is “ripe” and ready to eat. The combination of garlic and this acidity acts as natural preservatives. That is why ripened Kimchi can be stored rather fresh in the refrigerator longer than any other food. Since we eat it as is or can be added to pancakes or stews, the variety of dishes we can create with Kimchi is endless.

How Koreans stay healthy and less obese than Westerners

Besides the benefit of our staple food, Kimchi, it is also the spices and fermented sauce and paste, mentioned above that contribute a great deal to our health. Plus important spice like chili flakes have the highest concentration of vitamin C. Garlic is an antioxidant and is believed to lower cholesterol level. At the same time, it also helps to develop good bacterias like lactobacteria and bifidobacteria which helps digestion. Since we can stay young and slim without much effort we can even indulge ourselves once in a while with a pork belly dish.

Even though we love meat and seafood, we do not consume huge amounts of them alone. It is often part of the dish along with other ingredients. Therefore Koreans eat a balanced diet of these meats and seafood along with vegetables. A wide range of fresh and dried vegetables and roots, some more unusual than others, soy product like tofu and variety of sea product makes Korean food very unique. This variety of ingredients provides not only the balanced nutrition but also necessary fiber. Plants or herbs used for medicinal purposes are also used in daily cooking too. Ginger which is used often to treat colds is widely added for seafood, pork and chicken dishes. Dried bellflower roots are consumed raw or cooked. Ginseng is added to alcohol or chicken soup stuffed with glutinous rice to invigorate our energy. Talking about variety, who could have thought of making an unusual dish out of scary jelly fish!

Future prospects

Any food can be delicious when it is well prepared. Yet there is no other food in the world that has so much depth in flavor and variety of ingredients like Korean food. But it is rather unknown to the rest of the world.

Since the Korean government started promoting Korean food globally, much attention has recently been given to Korean food around the world. It is only a matter of time until Korea's delicious cuisine entices even more people, and the Korean flavors are here to stay!

Who is the writer?

Kim Yong-ja is a gastronomy journalist and has been a cooking instructor since 1993 in New York City and the surrounding region. She has also hosted food shows for cable television networks. In 1995, she wrote a comprehensive guide and cookbook on Western food (Food of the West) in the Korean language. Her columns include “Yongja's cooking class” and “Journey for Taste” for Korea Times, New York and Restaurant Review for Korea Daily (JungAng Ilbo, New York).

In 2009, she wrote “Korean Cuisine” (in English) to share with the world the enticing flavors and health benefits of the food of Korea. This year in April, her third book, “Journey for Taste” on world travel and food, was published in Korean. At present, she is focusing on introducing Korean food to Westerners.

Seminar for Korean Food Professionals, November 2010

The 1st Anual SEMINAR FOR KOREAN FOOD PROFESSIONALS  in KUMGANSAN Banquet Hall, Queesns, NY lasted for 10 days. The event was sponsored by Korean Agro Trade Center to promote the globalization of Korean cuisine. Lectures were held on Korean cooking techniques, management, hygiene and success stories of Korean restaurateurs.

Photo credit: Susan Kwak

The traditional taste and food culture of Korean cuisine should be maintained in globalizing Korean food. 

When we serve food, it should be tasty without any doubt. At the same time, we should present it with pride and be dressed in neat attire.

Photo credit: Susan Kwak

We smell and eat with our eyes before we taste. Presentation is the key.

Daeha Jijim (Pan-grilled Shrimp Whole Shrimp with Chili Flakes)
serves 4
5 large shrimp (10oz/280g)
4 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs water
2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tbs sesame oil
2 ts sesame seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 scallions, chopped
2 ts Gochugaru (chili flakes)
Vegetable oil

Wash the shrimp under cold running water, Remove the body shells except the head and tail. Cut the back of the body with knife and remove the dark line. Combine all the ingredients except shrimp and oil. Heat the frying pan over medium heat and grill the shrimp with oil. When they turn pink, turn them over to cook the other side. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the marinade and turn the heat down. Let sizzle until the marinade is reduced by half. Be careful not to burn the marinade. Sprinkle rest of the marinade over salade.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Korean Cuisine Event in Boston, November 2010

Photo credit: Jacqueline Church

Opening remarks from Mrs. YoonKyung Kwon,
wife of the consul general

보스톤 총영사관저의 한식 행사
사모님의 환영사

Photo credit: Jacqueline Church
Introduction of Korean food history from
the close relations of Korean customs and food

시범을 보이기전에 한국의 위치, 기후등의 일반적인 소개로 시작하여, 우리의 음식역사 소개. 궁중음식, 일반음식, 사찰음식의 특성과 변화, 한국의 전통과 음식의 밀접한 관계등의 설명

Photo credit: Jaqueline Church
There were many shining stars including
Power house of Asian cuisine, Grace Niwa of Niwa Public Relations

Tim and Nancy Cushman, chef and owners of Japanese restaurant O YA,

German lam, Glam Foods

Patricia Yeo of Ginger Park

보스톤의 유명 쉐프들이 참석하여 더욱 흥미있는 행사가 이루어짐. 그레이스 니와 (Niwa Public Relations), 유명 일본 식당 주인이자 쉐프인 팀과

Photo credit: Jacqueline Church
낸시 쿠쉬만 (O Ya), 져먼 램 (Glam Food), 패스리시아 야오(Ginger Park), 라스 리비쉬 (Fissler US representative) 등이 참석. 그외 요리책의 저자이자 강사인 데보라 사뮤엘스와 그레이스 쳐치가 참석 하였음.

Lars Liebisch, chef and US representative of Fissler, manufacturer of German state of the art Kitchen equipments

Debra Samuels, cookbook writer, cooking instructor

Jacqueline Church, writer, photographer and cooking instructor

It was an honor to have all those food professionals there

Demonstration of Pajon (Scallion Pancakes with Oysters) 계절에 맞는 굴 파전 소개

Samgyopsal (Pork Belly with Hot and Sweet Marinade): 인기 많았던 삼겹살 요리법
Served as an appetizer with fresh scallion and
candid ginger

Since everybody loved Samgyopsal, I am posting the recipe here.

1 1/4lbs/568g PORK BELLY, sliced - thin 3/18"/ 5mm

4 TB GOCHUJANG (chili paste)
2 ts GOCHUGARU(coarse chili powder)
2 GARLIC CLOVES, crushed
1/2 ts SALT

Unless you use outdoor grill, it can be cooked easily in the oven. You should cook the meat 4"/10cm away from the grill.

1 Combine the marinade. Spread the meet in one layer on a grill pan. Spread half of the marinade on both side of the meat. When the meat is cooked opaque (5 minutes), turn it over and add more marinade generously, using the back of a spoon. Grill 2-3 minutes more or until lightly browned.

2 Cut into bite-size pieces with scissors. Put the meat pieces in bamboo skewers with scallion and candid ginger pieces.

Photo credit: Jacqueline Church
Food enthusiasts from International Womens Club in Boston

국제여성 클럽 회원들의 참석

Saturday, September 4, 2010

NRA (National Restaurant Association) Show in Chicago

End of May 2010

Event at Korean Pavillion: 4 chefs were invited from all over the United States to show the good taste and beauty of Korean food.

Presentation of GUJOLPAN and PAJON with anchor woman
Kyung Yoon
미국 식당협회의 박람회에서 선보인 한식 행사

It was not easy to catch the attention of the audience while so many things were going on at the show. Fusion Korean food was introduced by other chefs.

선보인 메뉴는 구절판과 굴파전

1 bunch large SCALLIONS: 3"/7.5cm long, 1 cup small OYSTERS, 2 ts GRATED GINGER

Prepare the pancake mix and set aside for 30 minutes. The gluten in the flour has to relax to make soft pancakes. Wash and prepare scallions. If oysters are big, put them in a cup and cut them with scissors. Add oysters and ginger to the pancake mix. Heat the non stick pan over medium-low heat. Add some oil and arrange the scallions evenly in the frying pan than add the pancake mix with oysters, covering the scallions. Drizzle some oil between the pancakes. When the top surfaces of the pancakes are dry, turn them over and cook until the other side is also lightly brown. Drizzle the sauce over and serve.

BELOW: Listening to a question from the audience 앵커우먼 윤경씨의 사회로 이루어진 행사