'Seoul' on Serious Eats

Snapshots from Korea: Looking For Frozen Sweets in the Hongdae District of Seoul

Artisanal ice cream seems like it would be a sure-fire hit in Seoul, especially during the hot and humid summer days when temperatures can easily reach into the 90s. I recently found myself in the young and hip Hongdae district, full of indie spirit and whimsical shops, clubs, and restaurants. Wandering in the heat amidst the cat cafes and street vendors, I was focused on finding some frozen refreshment. More

Snapshots from Korea: Smashing Pastry at Schneeballen in Seoul

A late spring stroll through the hip Hondae district of Seoul yielded a strange and surprising sight: a window full of colorful, giant "snowballs." Upon closer inspection, I was delighted to see that these were actually powdered sugar-covered pastries called Schneeballen at a bakery/café that's appropriately named Schneeballen. The best part? When you smash them with a mallet. More

A Sandwich A Day: Seoul from SUNdeVICH in Washington, DC

SUNdeVICH in the Shaw neighborhood of DC has all of the hallmarks of a hip, metropolitan restaurant. Locally sourced ingredients, specially baked baguettes from a nearby bakery, globally inspired menu. Each of SUNdeVICH's sandwiches represent the cuisine from different countries around the world, from Argentina to Turkey. But none of this would really matter if the sandwiches were gimmicky or contrived. Fortunately, SUNdeVICH's wide range of flavors are tastefully understated and consistently delicious. One of the best examples is the Seoul ($11). More

Snapshots from Seoul: Noryangjin Fish Market

As the seafood hub of a town that loves seafood, Noryangjin market in Seoul, South Korea, sees plenty of aquatic action. Daily seafood auctions take place in the wee hours of the morning between 1 and 6 a.m. every day, and while not as cutthroat or exciting as the wholesale tuna auctions that take place across the sea in Tokyo's Tsukiji market, it's still no place for the faint of heart or the open-toe-shoed. More

Snapshots from Seoul: 8 Must-Eat Foods

Korean food is simpler and homier than, say, Japanese food, though the two cuisines do share some characteristics—the combination of sweet and savory flavors, plenty of seafood, and lots of grilled and simmered dishes. Check out the eight dishes you can't leave Seoul without eating. More

Complimentary Korean Hotel Breakfast of Deliciousness

[Photograph: Tia Kim] During her visit to Seoul, South Korea, Serious Eats contributor Tia Kim of Bionic Bites unexpectedly came across a great complimentary Korean breakfast at her hotel, Artnouveau City, that would make me rethink my non-breakfast-eating ways if I had easier access to the same dishes: Everyday there was junbok jook (전복죽, abalone rice porridge), a huge stone vat of bubbling kimchi jigae (김치찌개, kimchi stew) with pork belly, kim (김, roasted seaweed), rice, and some sort of japchae (잡채, stir-fried noodles with meat and vegetables) or haemul japtang (해물잡탕, seafood and vegetables in a thick soy ginger garlic sauce) with lots of oyster mushrooms, which, by the way, was my favorite. The oyster mushrooms in Korea... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Electronic Menu Console Helps Tourists Order Food

Last month I visited Seoul, South Korea, Here's a look at something I ate from my trip. For more, check out the rest of my Snapshots from South Korea. For a city where most people don't speak English, Seoul does a good job (and seems to be constantly trying to improve) accommodating English-speaking tourists and expats. Metro announcements are made in Korean and English, streets signs have English translations, and every taxi has a sticker with a phone number you can call if you need a translator. But what if you're clueless about Korean food? Tourists without a Korean speaker by their side may end up ordering something they don't like, or forgo a meal altogether since they can't read... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Triple Pork Barbecue at Galmaegi-sal Jeonmun

Last month I visited Seoul, South Korea, Here's a look at something I ate from my trip. For more, check out the rest of my Snapshots from South Korea. My last day in Seoul was, unfortunately, the most miserable in terms of weather. Non-stop rain meant awkwardly lugging around bags and an umbrella all day, walking around in damp shoes, and having little desire to whip out my dSLR and take photos of the gloomy city. But it ended in one of the best ways possible: with a mountain of pork. Accompanied by food bloggers Dan Gray and Fat Man Seoul, chef Rachel Yang and Soo Hyang Choi of the Institute of Traditional Korean Food, I got my wish of... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Soondubu and More from Ddukbaegi Jip

Last month I visited Seoul, South Korea, Here's a look at something I ate from my trip. For more, check out the rest of my Snapshots from South Korea. "This is it," Rob said while pointing to a window full of bubbling mini-cauldrons of stew on top of a gas range. My eyes grew wide. Some girls are enticed by windows full of jewelry or shoes; I'm all about the seething pots of stew. Or rather, I'm all about the single-dish restaurants. Ddukbaegi Jip, or Hot Pot/Stew House, is the haven of stew that stood before us. This small, homey restaurant only serves four items: boiled snails with doenjang (fermented soybean paste), doenjang jjigae (fermented soybean soup), soondubu (soft tofu... More

Snapshots from South Korea: School Food

Last month I visited Seoul, South Korea, Here's a look at something I ate from my trip. For more, check out the rest of my Snapshots from South Korea. "There's a place nearby that serves food like you'd find in a school canteen, but a little more upscale," said Terry Rah, my friend and food guide for the morning. "Do you want to check it out?" Back in the U.S., I don't think the prospect of eating at a restaurant that served food akin to a school cafeteria's would ever appeal to me. I'm still haunted by the Aramark-made pizza, nachos, and sandwiches from my high school cafeteria. But Korean school food is a different matter, certainly not reminiscent of... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Patbingsu, a Popular Shaved Ice Dessert

Last month I visited Seoul, South Korea, for the first time. Here's a look at something I ate from my one-week trip. For more, check out the rest of my Snapshots from South Korea. Patbingsu, a shaved ice-based dessert loaded with sweet toppings such as chopped fruit, condensed milk, fruit syrup, and red beans, is so popular in South Korea that you can find it at most fast food restaurants in addition to cafes and bakeries. One of my friends even highly recommended the version from KFC ("My family went there all the time during our trip to Seoul!"). Although I wouldn't have been opposed to breaking my patbingsu virgnity at KFC, it was probably for the best that Dan... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Convenience Stores Galore

Last month I visited Seoul, South Korea, for the first time. Here's a look at something I ate from my one-week trip. For more, check out the rest of my Snapshots from South Korea. If I had planned my trip to Seoul better I would've tried to document as prolific themes in food-related signage as I could—some major ones being chicken and hof restaurants, and anything advertising waffles (a huge trend at the moment). But the only one I planned to capture from the beginning was the many different convenience stores throughout the city. What's fascinating about convenience stores? Probably not much if you grow up around them, but for those of us who haven't (such as my Northern New... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Vegetarian Temple Food at Sanchon

Last month I visited Seoul, South Korea, for the first time. Here's a look at something I ate from my one-week trip. It wasn't until I had asked friends for food recommendations in Seoul that I first heard of temple cuisine, traditional vegetarian (or vegan, to be more specific) food served at Buddhist temples. Because I can't just eat fried things and noodles all the time, I was grateful to come across Sanchon ("Mountain Village"), one of the most famous restaurants in Seoul (and worldwide) that specializes in temple-inspired cuisine, while walking around Insadong with Rachel Yang and her mother on my last full day in South Korea. The restaurant was opened in 1981 by Kim Yon Shik, a former... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Hotteok, Two Ways

The popular street food hotteok (hoddeok, hodduk, or if I were to say it out loud, ho-duck) is a brown sugar, cinnamon, and nut-filled pancake-like dessert found on the streets of South Korea. The first time I came across it with Dan Gray, I didn't know what I was looking at. Me: [while passing a truck with a big sign in Korean] "Do I wanna eat whatever's in that truck?" Dan: "Yeah, it's hotteok!" Me: "OH GOD, YES." (This is how I speak in real life. I try to tone it down in my writing.) This truck in I-don't-know-where Seoul made the healthier baked version of hotteok, as opposed to the deep fried version I would come across the... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Kalguksu from Myeongdong Gyoja

Earlier this month I visited Seoul, South Korea, for the first time. Here's a look at something I ate from my one-week trip. Myeongdong Gyoja is the only sit-down restaurant I've every been to that requires payment right after you order at your table and provides you with gum—Lotte xylitol gum to be exact—before any food appears. Paying up-front wasn't that strange, but what was the gum for? I'd find out very soon. Myeongdong Gyoja is famous for their kalguksu, knife-cut noodle soup. My fooding partner Dan Gray of Seoul Eats told me that lines frequently form out the door for this 40-year-old restaurant, which he described as making "the Model T of kalguksu." (We happened to arrive at a... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup from Koong

Earlier this month I visited Seoul, South Korea, for the first time. Here's a look at something I ate from my one-week trip. One of my favorite foods in the world are Asian dumplings in all shapes and forms. After hearing my plea to eat mandu, Korean dumplings, my friend Rob brought me and a friend to Koong in Insadong. That the front window looked onto a dumpling-making station seemed like a good sign. Another potentially good sign was the prominent photograph of a old woman and her granddaughter outside of the restaurant, if I am to equate "grandmother" with "tasty home-style cuisine." The story behind the restaurant is that this woman fled from North Korea to South Korea during... More

Snapshots from South Korea: Fried Things on Sticks

From May 8 to May 12 I visited Seoul for the first time, mostly to eat as much food as I could and learn about a cuisine I knew little about. A food stand in Myeongdong, Seoul. Judging from the popularity of street food (and restaurants in general) in Seoul, I'm under the impression that Seoulites are hungry all the time, or they really like eating. Which means, aside from not knowing how to speak Korean, I fit right in. The variety of food was overwhelming, making it impossible to tackle in its entirety. If you want grilled meats, sweet potato french fries, dried fish, rice cakes, taco-like concoctions, boiled silkworm pupae*, waffles, or cream puffs while roaming around the... More

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