Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dinner time!

순두부찌개, my favorite soup.

There are many different variations, which some include seafood or pork instead of beef. I prefer the one with beef, which I honestly prefer without the beef itself. The blogs I've been following, Beyond Kimchee, Nosh on me, and Korean American Mommy, have different variations of 순두부찌개. Below is Nosh on me's picture of her soup from her local Korean restaurant with seafood.

For those curious, it usually comes with Oysters, Clams and any kind of fish they put it with. Usually white fish. Beyond Kimchee has a recipe on this, but she has Clams and Beef. Interesting combination and she made it herself, which doesn't matter how it should be made since you can really customize it.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. This soup usually comes with a raw egg on top because the soup is boiling as it gets to your table at any Korean restaurant, which cooks it while you wait for it to cool down. 

Korean American Mommy has such a great flow in her blog about the making of the soup, it made me hungry after I just ate dinner. She showed pictures of her using beef, boiling the water to make beef stock, the addition of other ingredients, and the final product.

Kudos, K.A.M. 

Mini Vocabulary with Countries

Now it's time to put your handy Korean skills and figure out the meaning of the following words!

Because Hangul is partly influenced by English there are some borrowed words.
Let's try it!

스타 벅스

In case you were not able to get them all: television, computer, sofa, coffee, Starbucks, jazz, camera, hamburger, bus, coat, romance, sandwich, hot dog.

Hangul does not have a "f", "c" and "x" sound in their vocabulary. This is compensated for the sound of what it sounds like to them in their natural language if you were able to match the translation with the Hangul.

Imagine the countries!



Those were the easier ones. Here are the harder ones:


필리핀 제도

Here is the list in no particular order: France, Spain, Italy, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Norway, Philippines, England, Canada.

And last but not least, America (미국).

~안녕히 가세요~

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Numeral Systems

미안합니다, I have not been true to making posts for everyone to read that is directly connected to learning 한글. I have been extremely occupied with school, work and my family. October is usually my worst month, and I am really sorry for not organizing my time.

To make up for this I will move onto numbers, which will be a little complicated than you think.

So, there are two number systems. There is the Native Korean and the Sino-Korean systems.

A little history will help understand why they have two numeral systems. Sino-Korean is the lettering that is influenced by the original Korean lettering called Hanja. Because Hanja is mostly influenced by Chinese characters, that's where the Native Korean comes in. It's adapted from English and other various languages.

Now that we understand why there's two systems, why can't we just use one?

I honestly have no idea. I searched the inter-webs for an answer that could have been posted, but to no avail. I will ask someone I know personally to get a better understanding. I *presume* it's because the Sino-Korean was passed down, and then the Native Korean was adapted. Don't hold me against that.

Now, the numbers!
I will show you the basic 1 - 10.

Sino-Korean Native Korean Number
하나 1
다섯 5
여섯 6
일곱 7
여덟 8
아홉 9

Remember Professor Oh? Sure you do! Here she is for the NATIVE KOREAN numeral system.

And here is she again for the SINO-KOREAN:


Friday, October 19, 2012

Seasons of Korea

Five hundred twenty-five thousand 
Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five
Moments so dear

Five hundred twenty-five thousand 
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure,
Measure a year?

Korea likes to measure their years by their distinct four seasons. It is believed among the Koreans that they are the only country in the world where the weather does look like their respective season, only because they are proud of their country. I don't blame them, Korea is beautiful in the pictures I can see. I strongly look forward to seeing 겨울 (kyeo ul). Here are the seasons with their respective names from left to right each row:  봄, 여름, 겨울 and 가을. 

In December of this year, I will be flying to Seoul, South Korea for two weeks. I will be celebrating the holidays and the Western New Years. The weather at this point will be Winter. There will be snow, lots of snow, and did I mention snow? If the weather is already cold in Jasper, Georgia (thank you family vacation), Korea is going to be extremely cold. According to the Korean, who writes a response to people asking an actual Korean person questions they want to ask but are afraid to offend them, writes that it is just a sense of pride of their weathers, but when they learn English, it comes off as a bit much

However, it was stated at the end that the four distinct seasons pride could favor towards their seasonal holidays. Last week we celebrated 추석, which is the holiday of 가을, 설날 for the 겨울 which I won't be able to celebrate in Korea, 대보름 for 봄, and 단오 for 여름. The last two celebrations, I've never heard of until now. 

대보름 is the celebration of the first full moon of the lunar calendar, after 설날. It literally translates to Full Great Moon, and it's not very exciting as the last two celebrations, but it is a deep respect of their culture to respect the first full moon because it is believed the first person to see the rise of the moon will get good luck for the rest of the year, or grant one wish

단오, also known as 수릿날, is celebrated on the 5th lunar day of the 5th lunar month. They like the number five, don't they? It is a celebration for the end of the sowing season, thanking the high god, which is the translation of 수릿날. This holiday actually originated from North Korea, but recognizing the significance, South Korea adapted it for the same reasons. 

It is fascinating to know there are four major holidays associated with the four seasons respectively. I can't wait to see how they prepare for the Lunar new year. 

Until next time!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My expectations.. Exceeded.

안녕하세요, I hope you all had a great week. I've come to tell you about my experiences of 추석. It went amazingly great and exceeded my expectations. I wasn't able to take pictures of everything, but I did get the fun parts. There were booths lined up to tell you about South Korea and it's culture.

The first booth you saw as you walked in, was a booth based solely on visiting Seoul (서울), the capital. I spoke with the girls a little, and it turns out you can get a Korean name for yourself if you visit a temple in Seoul. However doing some research online, I was not able to find it (drats).

The next booth of five was about Hanbok. Hanbok is the traditional Korean clothing that consists of two different styles. The females wear a long dress that starts at the cleavage, ends on the floor. It can be many layers depending on the seasons. The dress is covered by a small jacket that ends around your waist. Below you can see the red fabric is for the female, however it's not enough to show you the full outfit.

The males wear large "baggy" pants that's very suitable for sitting on the floor with a large overcoat. Their traditional outfit also includes shoes and a hat for the respective genders. The females don't really wear "hats" but rather hairpieces that signifies their social status. You can find more information of this webpage about hanboks.

The next booth was on 태권도.

I found it to be very fascinating because I asked what the difference was between Tae Kwon Do and the other marital arts, and the booth leaders stated,
"The main difference is where it originates from, and at with this particular form, it means to strike with foot. We emphasize on continuing the military form of 태권도 and we emphasize on perserving the history of this method."
 They also had a performance.

The rest of the booths were basically about Korean cuisine and Barley tea. I saved you from the trouble of getting hungry by not taking any pictures. 

There were two more performances I found very critical to the culture of South Korea. One was 부채춤, and the other was another traditional Korean dance, but to my dismay, there are several of those. 부채춤 translate literally into "fan dance" and this is what it looked like.

Her movements mostly resembled a butterfly, which was the whole purpose. It was very entrancing to watch as well as the traditional dance.

The traditional dance was at first used in the Joseon Dynasty to entertain the royals. The dancer had to be very graceful and to show her talents, such as tightrope walking, horse riding, and throwing a ball. Simpler times calls for simpler entertainments. 

I also found an area that no one visited mainly, because it was a study abroad booth. Not connected to the local Korean club, but it was on a school campus, so the placement made sense. 

I found a student inquiring for details of Yonsei University. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

To be thankful

Everyone likes parties, especially when it's your kind of party. I'm attending a party this evening called:


    Yes, you are right, it's Ch-oo-s-euh-k. It's a Korean Thanksgiving celebration in honor of good harvest. It happens on the 12th day of the 8th lunar month. I did some quick research, and to no avail could I understand the lunar calendar. Here's an example. The last day of September was a full moon, as was the first of October. So really, 추석 could happen either tonight or tomorrow night. However the event my local Korean Association is throwing is tonight. 

I look forward to this "celebration" here, but in South Korea, they don't celebrate it. They do honor the "holiday" as we call it, but it's more of a day of remembrance to them. They get up in the morning, go to their hometowns, visit their ancestors and trim their tombs, and prepare for the harvest. I expect there should be lots of food, because when they visit their ancestors, they must pay their respects to them. It's more of praising the ancestors for their support and teachings that they can share with their children. I look foward to eating some 잡채, 불고기 and 송편. I've never had 송편 (s-oh-ng p-yeo-n), and it's a delicacy in traditional Korean cuisine. It's rice cake filled with something sweet of their choice. See below:

That looks goooooood...... For a snack, that is. I found a recipe for this snack-worthy dish, but it came from a full Korean blog, called .... Now about the other food choices I mentioned. 잡채 (j-ah-p ch-ae) is commonly a side dish based of clear noodles and vegetables, but it can be a main dish served on top of rice. The picture is also a secret gateway to the recipe, Beyond Kimchi.

And last but not least, 불고기 (b-oo-l g-oh g-ee). This is Korean BBQ marinated beef, and it's very popular in South Korea as well as other countries with Korean cuisine. It is expensive too, so come with a hefty wallet and an empty stomach to enjoy it more.

I give full credit to Beyond Kimchi for making such delicious recipes and food porn for Korean cuisine. Oops, did I say food p*rn? My bad :).

Friday, October 5, 2012

Eating a Stone Pot.

It was lunchtime and my stomach grumbled, I thought about what to eat for lunch, and I decided on 돌솥 비빔밥. It's also know as 비빔밥, but the difference is how it's served. 비빔밥 (b-ee-b-ee-m-b-ah-p) is mixed vegetables with rice served cold. 돌솥 (d-uh-l-s-uh-t)  비빔밥 is served in a pre-heated stone bowl. The bowl keeps cooking the rice, and you turn it over every so often so the rice gets crispy and not burnt.

Thanks to a food blog on Korean and American cuisines, Nosh on me, for her wonderful picture above. As for the meaning of the dish, 돌솥 means "stone bowl", and 비빔밥 is "mixed rice". There is a huge convenience of  돌솥 비빔밥, which is a Korean classic dish, making it easy to cook. I've prepared another picture from a food blog, Korean Cuisine, in case you were hungry. You can thank me later, just say 잘 먹었습니다, 감사합니다 (jahl-muh-guhs-ssouhm-nee-dah, kahm-sah-hahm-nee-dah).

The biggest part about this dish, is there is a certain way to eat it. Some dishes are presented to look good, but you have to mix it up to it's "boring" state to get the full punch of the flavors. Trust me, this dish is a must  for your first time. Also, this dish comes with side dishes and a 비빔밥 sauce. Here's what they look like:

(I don't know all the names for these dishes, but they are all called 
which literally translates to "side dish")

And the sauce (고추장):

The sauce is not too spicy, but it has a sweetness spicy flavor to help the blandness of the rice. All this talking about 반찬 and 돌솥 비빔밥 is making me in the mood for some 순두부찌개. 

Until next time, 안녕히 가세요.