Gastronomic Fun and Culinary Creativity Rule at the 2017 Global Taste of Korea

The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) has yet again wrapped up another delicious affair: The Global Taste of Korea 2017.

Held at the Lyceum Philippines University (LPU) Culinary Institute last Saturday, 29 July, the most-anticipated Korean gastronomic event in the country attracted hundreds upon hundreds of avid foodies of all ages.

Now on its fourth year, the goal of Global Taste of Korea remains the same: To offer Filipinos a bite of Korean culinary culture for an entire day through fun, interactive, and educational platforms. And with the growing number of Filipinos taking interest in Korean cuisine, as seen on popular films and dramas, the annual celebration of Korean flavors has never been busier.

A variety of booths lined the 4th level hallway of LPU’s Culinary Institute, ensuring that every guest experiences Korea in a local and cost-free setting.

The Korea Tourism Organization in Manila (KTO) handed out free posters and guide books to anyone who wishes to visit the Land of the Morning Calm, while food booths gave away unlimited helpings of staple Korean snacks and side dishes such as kimchi, ramyeon, and dumplings.

Eager visitors also had the opportunity to don the hanbok, the traditional Korean costume. Gamely posing for pictures, they looked like character pulled straight from a sageuk.

Setting an avenue for a deeper understanding of Korean cuisine, KCC organized cooking workshops for attendees who want to learn more about the history and basic how-tos of Korean cooking. At the end of the workshops, the attendees were able to prepare kimchi and bulgogi, marinated slices of meat that are either grilled or stir-fried.

But perhaps, the most exciting part of this year’s Global Taste of Korea is the cooking competition. Divided into two categories, Kimchi Battle and Freestyle Korean Cooking, a total of 22 cooks took the challenge to be hailed as this year’s best Korean cook.

Betina Erika Lim’s winning dish for the Kimchi Battle Category: Kimchi Chicken Quesadilla

From Left: Lyceum of the Philippines Culinary Director Chef Christopher Bautista, Kimchi Battle grand prize winner Betina Erika Lim, and  KCC Director LEE Jincheol

For the Kimchi Battle, Betina Erika Lim bagged first prize with her Kimchi Chicken Quesadilla, which she fashioned to look like the Taegeukgi or the Korean Flag. Airose Caloobanan (Beef Sinigang with Kimchi) and Angeli Mae Sapno (Steamed Kimchi Pork Buns) also proved to be the judges’ picks, as they received the second and third prize, respectively.

Regine Monsanto’s version of Dwaejigalbi-jjim or Korean-style braised pork ribs

The Freestyle Korean Cooking was a bit more intense, as 11 cooks heated up the kitchen with their own renditions of Korean favorites. Taking the third prize is Amiel Santos, who put a modern twist to the classic bibimbap. Hazel Quiamas got creative with her take on japchae, which she stuffed in a while pan-fried chicken, and took the second prize.

From Left: KTO Director Park In-Shik, Freestyle Korean cooking grand prize winner and Best Korean Cook Regine Monsanto, and KCC Director LEE Jincheol

Besting all 11 contestants is Marianne Regine Monsanto, a 28-year-old cook, who has been joining the Global Taste of Korea’s cooking competition since its first year. She won the judges’ palates with her version of the braised pork rib dish dwaejigalbi-jjim. She is also named as this year’s Best Korean Cook. Aside from the cash prize she will be taking home, Monsanto is also awarded with a roundtrip ticket to Korea, courtesy of KTO Manila.

The day ended on a high note as the auditorium erupted in happy tears and exchanges of congratulatory messages. With this, the guests and contestants alike look forward to another exciting Global Taste of Korea event next year.

Written by Krew member Andy Flores

Sweet and cold; Korean Ice Creams and Bingsu

June is just a few days away but Summer is far from over!

In fact, the weather in the Philippines is pretty much unpredictable. It maybe rainy in the morning but extremely sunny in the afternoon. With the kind of environment we have, beating the heat is a must! What else would pop-out in your mind when asked what to eat during such situation? ….. Ice cream!

Are you craving for some ice cream now? Then I suggest that you run into the nearest Korean shop and grab some of these featured ice cream from the freezer!

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♦ Ice pops

Eating ice cream can be messy at times but that’s something you don’t have to worry about when eating ice pops. This is the modest form of iced refreshment and also the cheapest one! It is perfect for a quick break or an after meal munch. Ice pop is the Korean version of our ice candy!

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 ♦ Fish-shaped Ice cream – (Boggupang Ice cream)

This creatively designed ice cream can be frequently seen in Korean marts and other supermarkets in the Philippines. The filling is made up of vanilla ice cream and sweet red beans, while the outer layer is composed of a thick wafer.

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♦ Ice cream sandwich and on-stick ice creams

These chiffon-like sandwich vanilla ice cream and Korean ice drops are still the easiest kinds Korean ice cream to find. You can easily spot them in ice cream freezers at convenient stores and supermarkets.

Bingsu

Bingsu is the Korean counterpart of our ‘Halo-halo.’ Nowadays, the popularity of Bingsu, a Korean dessert composed of shaved ice with fresh ingredients, also conquered the rows of choices for desserts. Yes! There are lots of bingsu shops that introduce variety of flavors for K-foodie lovers! See? Koreans love desserts as much as Filipinos do.

Just to give a quick background, bingsu is one of the most popular desserts in Korea and it is highly consumed during summer. Also, this brings a nostalgic feel to Koreans since it’s a big part of their childhood.

Must try flavors:

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Injeolmi – Traditionally, injeolmi is one of the most popular types of Korean rice cake. It has a chewy texture covered with bean powder. Could you imagine the taste when paired with almond flakes and top on a shaved ice?

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** I’ve tried a fruit-patbingsu before and the combination is pretty pleasing for me.

Red Beans – Keep it traditional. Patbingsu, with pat literally meaning red beans is the most classical type of bingsu in Korea. The dessert itself is just made up of ice, red beans and milk.

Fruit – a traditional kid’s favorite! (Sometimes even topped with ice cream).

Here in the Philippines, different shops got their own takes on their bingsu menus so try to keep an eye to it!

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Chocolate – nothing can beat a good chocolate-flavored bingsu topped with chewy small cubes of chocolate brownies or chocolate corn flakes. Sometimes it comes with a scoop of ice cream!

Suddenly craving for bingsu and ice cream after reading this? There are so many bingsu shops opening around the Philippines and convenience stores offering Korean ice cream now so there’s no more excuse not to try one.

Don’t forget to try any of them before the season ends!

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier

Black Day: Jjajangmyeon for Singles

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Are you single?

If your answer is yes, then maybe this article is for you! (ㅠㅠ)

In Korea, they have a day especially made for single people (hooray!) Now, you don’t have any reason to frown or be jealous at couples during Valentine’s Day and White Day.

Mark your calendars, single women and men out there, Black Day is observed every 14th day of April in Korea. It comes one month after White Day — where men give special gifts to the special women in their life.

During this day, most articles and Korean shows portray individuals eating miserably while eating jjajangmyeon – noodles drizzled with a thick sauce of black bean paste and garnished with cubed pork and assorted vegetables. Some people eat this while donning a black outfit — they are described as people who have yet to find love in this world. (ㅠㅠ)

Jjajangmyeon Korean Noodles With Black Bean Sauce

After enjoying their jjajangmyeon, sometimes people even drink black coffee after.

** Be warned! Couples are told not to eat Jjajangmyeon together or they will break up. (o_o)

Are you scared of going outside and announcing to the world that you are single? It doesn’t have to be that way because even though such day was made for single people, there are three things you can do to get the wonderful experience when Black Day comes.

1. There are TONS of matchmaking service

If you’re not comfortable enjoying your jjajangmyeon alone, you can have a number of ways to meet someone who can possibly be THE ONE. There are variety of speed dating events, mobile apps that you can check online.

See? It’s not that bad when you announce that you are available. ㅋㅋㅋ

Online Dating

2. Single friends gather together 

The lack of romantic partner doesn’t have to be a sad reality for you. You can invite your friends and just like a normal bonding time, you get to enjoy each other’s presence.

Lee Hyori visits Seoul with SPICA's Bohyung

3. Free Food! Speed eating competitions

Free food? Channel all your depressive thoughts by winning an eating competition. Some stores may hold other games, so get all the information you need before the D-Day comes.

Embrace your “singleness.” Being single is not a curse and for those who are not yet convinced, there’s a famous saying that states, “True love waits.”

The right person for you will come. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Yes, it’s going to take time. But when it comes, you’ll know and you’re more than ready. ^^

 

Sources:

http://www.englishspectrum.com/black-day-and-a-good-bowl-of-jajangmyeon/

What is Black Day in Korea?

https://www.flickr.com

 

Written by Krew Member Jean Singian

Gwangjang, food jjang! Experience Seoul taste in a market

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Located at Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 광장시장 (Gwangjang Sijang) or Gwangjang Market is known for their delicious Korean street food!

Considered as Korea’s first market, it continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations of Korea (Visit Korea, 2017).

There is no food greater than street food and tasting Korea’s local flavors allows one to experience the Seoul culture through eating — I couldn’t think of any better way to!

Gwangjang market offers a wide variety of food from Oemok (fish cakes), Mandu (dumplings), Sundae (blood sausages), Naengmyeon (cold noodles), Kimbap (seaweed rice roll) and more!

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Food stalls would even post tarpaulins of them being featured on particular local variety show to attract tourists! Actually, if I were you, you’ll enjoy this market more if you watch Running Man Episode 186 (Shim Eun Kyung), one of my favorite Running Man episodes!

But, more than these facts, why do you need to stop by Gwangjang Sijang anyway?

Here are my reasons:

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  1. Deliciousness-Overload

What’s good about Gwangjang street food is that each stall offers a different type of flavor! No stall is the same! A mere ddeokbokki (rice cake) can be done in Chinese style — using sweet chili sauce, or Korean style — chili sauce made from gochujang and sugar!

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  1. Cheapness like no other

Another joy of eating street food is that your wallet won’t be complaining even after eating 10 (ten) dishes!

Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) is a must try in Gwangjang! It’s the first thing you’ll see upon entering the market — that is if you went to the right entrance! That onion-vinegar sauce just matches the crispiness of the pancake!

Bindaetteok only costs 4,000-5,000 Won, Kimchi/Meat Mandu costs around 5,000 Won, Mayak Kimbap (drug kimbap) for about 2,500 Won. Where else can you eat something that is both cheap and delicious? Face it, this is the best place for pigging-out!

  1. Meokbang on Insta-bang!

For those of you who don’t know “meokbang,” it means “food program.” The term comes from “먹어” (meogo) meaning “eat” and “방송” (bang song) meaning show or program. In my own term, meokbang means, “make-them-jealous-of-you-eating” program! I remember those Running Man episodes where Jae Suk would munch on Mandu and I would get hungry- well, who’s eating it now! Kidding!

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Gwangjang Market is the best place for you to “meokbang”. You can eat a lot, post a lot without spending a lot!

If you’re coming to Korea this year, I hope you can drop by Gwangjang Market- it’s definitely street food heaven!

Written by Krew Member Maxx Chua

Fantastic Eats and Where to find them-in Korea.

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Whenever we go abroad, my family and I would just “go with the flow” and eat in  restaurants where it is convenient for us.

So, here is where the tide took us. Unfortunately, I cannot remember all Korean restaurants we visited but, here are some that might kick start your food trip when you visit Korea.

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  1. Kimbap Chingu, Myeong-dong.img_1463

If you want to eat light or simply craving for kimbap, “Kimbap Chingu” is the place to be. They have a variety of kimbap flavors including bulgogi, shrimp and kimchi. Unfortunately, the weather was bad and it was raining hard during the time we ate there so we ended up ordering spicy tofu stew and dumplings instead!

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The menu is in Korean and i-mo will give you a “check-list” to put in your order. After eating, you go to the cashier to pay.

*In Korean restaurants, you don’t say “ajuhmma” to the female servers, rather you call them “i-mo” for respect.

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  1. Food Cafe, Dongdaemun

Near the vicinity of Doota Duty Free, “Food Cafe” is a great place to satisfy your katsu cravings! Side dishes are “self-service” so, if you ran out of kimchi and pickled radish, shouting “i-mo” would be a no-no. We ordered omurice, which was delicious; curry katsu, perfectly fried and of course spicy tofu stew. I love the spicy tofu stew (chige) so much I had to eat it in almost every meal!

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Don’t worry, the menu has “subtitles.”

*Fun fact, for some reason, waiters of this particular branch were very good at Mandarin.

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  1. Han Il Jang, Jeongro 3-ga

My mom’s definition of Korean food is “gogi“(meat)- period. I think it was only on our third day in Korea where we found out about this gogi restaurant near our hotel! What’s unique about this particular restaurant is how they grill the meat — slightly tilting one side of their skillet downward, allowing the oil to drop on a saucer while cooking the meat. Pretty smart, right?img_2100

About ten side dishes were served and you also have toimg_1071 go to the cashier to pay for the bill.

  1. Song Ok, Gangnam-gu

Because we were so tired in finding a particular store in Gangnam-gu, we accidentally stopped by this place! They offered bibimbap which was delicious and the fun part was how i-mo was waiting for me to say “chal meokkaseumnida”.

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  1. Food Capital, Lotte World

Of all the restaurants we tried, “Food Capital” is definitely one of the best. Over 30+ food varieties from about 10+ different stalls (brands), they offered jajangmyeon, jjamppong, sweet and sour pork, katsu, and anything you can imagine! Of course, in a Korean setting!

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Upon choosing from what I call the “glass-menu,” you have to pay at the cashier.
The lady would give you a buzzer for each meal you ordered. Take note, you don’t get your food from the same stall- it depends on which restaurant you ordered your food! The “glass-menu” tells you that so, better read it well! We didn’t know about this so we had to guess from the 10+ stalls!

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  1. COEX Mall Lower Ground, Samseong-dong

The hidden gem of COEX Mall- the food court! It’s not your average food court, it’s a food heaven! From hundreds of varieties, we ended up getting from “Kushideli”: fried calamari and tempura; “Genzi-Ya”: maki haven and from “Carpaccio”: sushi and more sushi! The perfect example of “pigging-out”.

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You definitely have to visit these restaurants when you come to Korea! I know there are more gogi places, jjamppong restaurants and the like but, I hope this can help you know where to start.

Enjoy food trippin’ in Korea!

Written by Krew Member Max Chua

A K-chef’s must guide: 3 things your fridge’s got to have.

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While every Filipino household would always have suka and toyo;

Oyster sauce and rice wine for Chinese;

Sake and mirin for Japanese,

Of course, Koreans also have their own favorite seasonings.

Have you tried cooking Korean food? I cook Korean dishes every time I’m craving for a hearty meal or when I am “influenced” by K-dramas. Yes, Kim Bok Ju made me crave for kimchi bokkumbap! There was even a time when I was so desperate to taste that spicy ddeokbokki and that salty-sweet omurice that I had to immediately get the recipe and cook it. Back in the days, Korean restaurants were hard to find so, I had to make them from scratch.

So, here’s Korea’s top three favorite ingredients that every K-cook’s got to keep in the fridge, especially when the craving calls and when the tummy calls for mommy!

  1. Gochujang (고추장)8801007166452

Yes, Gochujang (고추장) is that spicy red paste included in almost every Korean dish! You can make chige (stew) with this; ddeokbokki, bibimbap, or even as a dip for your gogi (meat)! You can get this for less than 200 pesos, depending on the size, and you can make a lot of Korean dishes with this. Now, store it in your fridge!

  1. Sesame Oilgr1000

That savory smell of sesame is the secret to almost every fragrant Korean dish. Mostly, cooks use this for kimbap but you can also add this to your kimchi bokkumbap. Sesame Oil is also used as a sauce and marinade for meat- added with garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. Korean side dishes like sigeumchi namul (spinach) and sukju namul muchim (mung bean sprouts) are also seasoned with salt and sesame oil after blanching. So, now you know!

  1. Kimchi (김치)kimchyuglyveg

Personally, anything I eat with kimchi  makes the food “Korean” to me. Kimchi, because it is fermented, doesn’t go bad easily. You can store it for months and still use it to make a lot of Korean dishes. Fun fact, the older the kimchi, the sour it gets.

Boiling kimchi and gochujang together would make you kimchi chige (stew). This combination can also be the soup base for any of your favorite Korean stews. Kimchi can also be a side dish, a filling for your kimbap and you can even make pasta sauce with it!

These are just a few from a number of Korean ingredients but, I hope you can start working with these on your next dish!

*images taken from Google.

Written by Krew Member Max Chua

Stressed? Munch on these K-snacks

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I must admit. I am very much of a stress eater. I love to hear the crunchy sound of chips while I am “thinking” about a project or simply studying. Actually, I even munched on some while writing this article!

Stress eating is not a sin. Sometimes it’s even better than teeth grinding or nail biting–although calories are involved. Don’t abuse this freedom to eat though, you’ll later get consequences. However, when the stress is at 200%, heart rate is at a hundred and your eyes are showing Zs — you better get these Korean snacks for munching.

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  1. Sweets

When I lack sleep, I eat sugar to gain back the energy that I need. My favorite sweet  snack is “My Gumi ( 마이구미)” which is a grape-flavored snack. It’s shaped like a grape and tastes like our local grape juice TANG.

My other favorite is “My Ju (마이쭈)”. If Philippines has Frutella, Hong Kong has Hi-Chew, then Korea has My Ju. It’s funny how the last two rhyme. It has a number of flavors; apple, grape, strawberry and the like. The one in the picture is strawberry. It’s actually softer than your usual chewy candies.

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  1. Cookies and Sticks.

When it’s raining hard and cold, all I want is my hot cocoa and cookies! I munch on these cookies when I want to feel at home, although I’m at home. For some reason, cookies bring back that kid in me, more than candy. My favorite from the picture above is “Tonk (통크)”. It’s a soft cereal stick filled with nutty chocolate on the inside.

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Another is, “Pepero (빼빼로)”, though I wanted it to be on a different category, its best if I just include it here. I really loved the idea that Pepero finally added more flavors! From Blueberry yogurt, double dip and double chocolate! Wow, who would miss out on eating this snack!

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  1. Choco Pie

Can I just take this moment and say thank you to the person who created “Choco Pie (초코파이)”? I can’t imagine my life without this! I’m sure most people have already tried this snack and each bite will definitely take away ten percent of your stress! I love the “marshmallow-covered-with-chocolate” idea, it’s like sweet heaven in one bite! Actually, is it just me or it kind of reminds me of s’mores?

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  1. Chips

Because I love saving the best for the last, therefore I present you…CHIPS! When snacks no. 1 to 3 didn’t help and when the “stress” just keeps on going, get snack no. 4 at the Korean marts near you ASAP!

My favorite is “Kkokkal Corn (꼬갈콘)” and “Swing Chip (스윙칩)”. Kkokkal Corn is actually like our local Korneto but thinner and lighter in flavor. They have different flavors such as original, spicy, honey butter and the new shrimp mayo (the one in the picture). The best is probably the spicy flavor- it’s not too hot and there’s a little bit of sweetness in it.

Also, the potato chips of Korea, Swing Chip! This is the first K-chip that I tried and immediately, I fell in love with it. I love the sour cream flavor and spicy ridges. Again, this chip is thinner than our local potato chips. Swing Chip can be compared to Lays but, this one’s not too salty and greasy like the latter.

When you’re having a hard time and just want to munch on some snacks, you might want to try one of these. Korean snacks are light and fun to eat – not to mention how attractive their packaging are! Just a friendly reminder though, eat with moderation.

Written by Krew Member Max Chua