Korean Food : Red bean Noodle Soup, Pat Kalguksu : Azuki bean Noodle Soup

red bean noodle soup
It was drizzling outside, my b-friend was driving my home to pick me up for dinner. I was choosing dinner menu. It is the most difficult topic, what to eat, for us. The reason is that I want all food. Last time, he chose one, so it was my turn to select our delights.

It was dark, dim, damp, drooping, depressing outside. On the day like this, I feel cold and craving for hot soup. I fell into deep thought to find the novel menu among soup category.

A hundred menus floated on my mind, but I wanted adjacency to sooth my starvation as soon as possible. I drew a virtual village map and browse all restaurants. And suddenly red bean noodle soup restaurant, that I had been nearly 5 years ago, just hit my head. It locates 10 minute far from my home. It is yummy and hot. Finally, I made my decision.

My b-friends and I hurried on to the place. We took a seat on the corner table and ordered two bowls of noodle soup, called Pat Kalguksu, and one plate of dumpling. Soon they arrived.

red bean noodle soupAt first, it seemed not to have any noodle.
But the nuttiness swirling from soup did not at all dishearten me.

red bean noodle soupStirring, I could see green tea mixed noodle submerged in the red bean soup.
More nourishing with anti-aging ingredients.

red bean noodle soupIt tastes best with newly-made fresh kimchi.

red bean noodle soup
I wanted it Sweeter and Sweeter

Red bean noodle soup served here was stuffed with red bean. It was a bit under-seasoned, and I assumed that owner intendedly add less salt for health reason, compared to unconscient owners pour an enormous amount of seasonings.
I feel thankful for her considerate thought.

But, apart from her intent, my taste was a lot different. When I was young, grandma made red bean porridge on winter solstice, but I disliked its blandness without any stimulative sweetness. I refused to eat it, so grandma added sugar in it so that I could eat blithely. Since then, I got accustomed to sugary red bean soup. So I wanted this red bean noodle soup sweeter and sweeter.

After finishing half bowl, I asked the owner a bit of sugar. She immediately brought me a small bowl of it. I didn’t seem the only one who required it. I put a small spoon of sugar on it and gently stir it. When it melts underneath the soup, I ate soup again. This was it, that my grandma used to give me.
Red bean in Korea

In the past

Red beans, also known as azuki beans, are used frequently in Korean dishes. The red color is traditionally considered to repel evil spirits. Red bean rice cake is placed on the tables of babies' first birthday parties, house warming parties and other ceremonies like that.

On winter solstice, the shortest day with the longest night of the year, Koreans eat red bean porridge in Korea. They believed that red color of porridge will block the devils from their family.

The traditional role of defeating evils disappeared and just habitual customs remained, while the red bean’s health effects had more highlighted. It is known as a super-concentrated store of nutritions such as protein, iron, fiber and antioxidant.

It is famed as a diuretic food, that means it’s an effective diet food. Koreans drink red bean boiled water daily, and even eat in place of rice. Red bean also helps blood circulation, so it lowers cholesterol level and treat hypertension, diabetes, and blood related diseases.
Based on these popularity, red bean have been applied to various product categories including snacks, doughnut, pastries, drinks, and even cosmetics. 

The perspective and usage of red bean have been changing as time.
But it is obvious that it is always lovable food for Korean.


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They Beauty of Korea food : With 100 best-loved recipes.

I bought a new cookbook about Korean Cuisine.
I wanted by an authorized book with proved standard recipes although I have several Korean food recipe books. I could find this book after a long search of one. It is called

They Beauty of Korea food : With 100 best-loved recipes.


korean cookbook

This book was written by Institute of Traditional Korea Food. As the Korean government has been making an effort to promote Korean food. They started a project called Research and Development Project for Standardization of Korean Cuisine.

This book was made for standardizing recipes so that any foreigner can easily cook Korean food. It describes specific techniques from the preparation to the final garnishes. It also contains several stories related to Korean foods. so you can have better understanding of food origin.

This book consists of three chapters including an overview of Korea food, The basics of cooking Korean food, and Standard recipes for 100 Korean food. All the things are explained with numerous pictures.

1. an overview of Korean food


korean cookbook

2. Basics of cooking Korean food

korean cookbook

3. Standard recipes for 100 Korean food

korean cookbook

korean cookbook

The ingredients and quantity, recipe(Preparation, recipe), tips with pictures.

This is not a trendy and best selling Korean food at the restaurant. They are Korean home food which Korean people have grown up with. Food which Mom made at home, and which was only prepared for special occasions. If you look for a book about basic Korean food, this is exactly the book with precisely measured by the measuring materials.

Where to Buy online

The Beauty of Korean Food at the Amazone(Bookstore Out of Korea)
The Beauty of Korean Food at the Yes24(Bookstore In Korea)

* I am writing this post to introduce this book to foreign Korean food lovers. Not for my sake.
   If this post is against the copyrights law, I am willing to erase it.
   Please inform me of it. Thank you so much. 

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Korean Food : Korea Military Army Food, Hardtack. Geonbbang.

I wanted to eat these tiny star candies.

When I was a elementary school student, I used to buy a pack of geonbbang at the store. I liked that small embossing cracker with two holes. I sometimes kept it inside my mouth for a longer time, so it was soaked with water and got melted. Or I just cracked it with my teeth enjoying its rough texture inner side.    

hardtack geonbbang
It is how it looks. a cute hexahedron with two holes.

Geonbbang was cheap with its good quantity and I could share it with my elder sister. But it sometimes put us in the competition. We didn't compete for getting more pieces, we did it for having a small plastic pack inside, that includes tiny star candies. It’s a little thing to give a bit of taste to the cracker.

But when we governed one package by two of us, we transformed to a gladiator who was poised to fight for those tiny stars. The moment one grabbed the plastic pack, the war began. If it is my sister, she often ran away from me to have treasure all by herself. Then, I was the one who angrily chased her to get my portion.

Finally, she got caught. I am not sure whether she just let me catch or I was fast enough to get her. Anyway, then we decided how to divide those star shaped jewels. We mostly portion it half to each fairly. The war ended, and it was time to enjoy our feast with those twinkle stars

I was so greedy about those somewhat trifling candies. I was so angry at her when I couldn't obtain a half of it. Without them, I felt like I ate something soulless. I think at that time those candies might’ve had magical power that makes me fight for it as Helene has had done at troy.

hardtack geonbbang

hardtack geonbbang

What is Geonbbang exactly?

To Briefly Explain, it is a korean version of hardtack. A simple type of cracker or biscuit made from flour, water and salt. A sort of military ration that is cheap and long lasting.
Hardtack is normally infamous for its extreme hardness with scarce moisture so that it can last long without going bad. Sometimes it was too hard that soldiers cannot break it with their teeth, so they usually softened it dunked into coffee or tea.


Korean hardtack called ‘Geonbbang’ is different in texture. Historically dating back,  Geonbbang was invented by Japanese army. Japan wanted to secure their food supply with long-lasting food during long sea voyages and military journey at Pacific war. Through years, they developed this shape of hardtack having imitated portugal biscuit. Japanese uniquely added star candies into hardtack. Later, it was spreaded to Korean army and became a vital military food in Korea.

Korean Snack For Citizen?

Interestingly, hardtack is highly sold in Korean supermarket. In the past, there were just few snack to eat, so they had no choice but to eat flour based cracker to fill their empty stomach.

Now, with abundance of food, people eat them to recall their memories at army. Almost Korean males are forced to do the military service in Korea, it means most men ate hardtack(geonbbang) at least once at their hardest time of the life. That is unforgettable for them and they continue to buy packs of it.

hardtack geonbbang

I was never a soldier, not even nearing the troop. Why did I indulge in those stars? As I said above, star candies might have had magic power.

And it is still my Helene.


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Korean Food : Street Food Calories in Winter (tteokbokki/hotteok)



When you walk through the street in winter, you can see many vendors selling hot food with steam swirling on. Spicy tteokbokki, hot hot soup with glamorous oden and deep-fries just out from oil. All of them fascinate you to come. No body would possibly pass by this food temptation.

It’s great to experience local street foods in winter. They must meet your starving experimental spirit in new world. But you need to know the side effect of it before exploring. 

Street food = Obese food?

Frying with oil or seasoning with thick sauce are common cooking way of street food. Deep fries(twigim) and hotteok are deep fried. Bungeoppang, gyeranppang are fried with oil. Ddeokbokki and oden are seasoned with very spicy or salty sauce. That is because these foods must warm itself and warm customers body when being served.

Street food mostly consists of carbohydrates and fats. It means it contains significant amount of calories, that cause obesity and diabetes. Also, it is high in sugar and sodium, so it increases blood sugar levels rapidly. Furthermore, people usually eat them standing and it also accelerates speed of level up.

 Name  Calories
 Hobbang  200kcal
 Hobbang with vegetables  250kcal
 Chinese Hotteok  160kcal
 Bungeoppang  100~120kcal
 Hotteok   260kcal
 Gyeranppang(egg bread)  130kcal
 Kukhwappang  40kcal
 Oden(50g)  70kcal
 Oden(70~80g)  100~150kcal
 Hodogwaja(walnut bread)  50kal
 Baked sweet potato(200g)  256kcal
 Tteokbokki  225kcal

   Seeing this, your rationality just blows away. Doesn't it?

To Eat a Best Diet with Street Food

Vendors attract people through stimulative and impressing taste. Those stimuli usually include unhealthy factors such as deep frying and high carb and fat content. The use of those definitely makes sales easy and cheap, and it’s profitable. 

Interestingly, customers indulge in those seductive tastes apart from nutrition facts. They enjoy eating them although they are aware of negative results of overindulge of it. And I do, too. We seem to have fallen into temptation of street food. Kind of ‘What the heck.’


I think, to eat a best diet with street food, it’s crucial to balance those greedy wants and nutritional aspects. Nothing must be neglected to better life. Vendors must reduce the quantity of unhealthy ingredients and consumers also learn to adjust its intake considering their health condition.

  It's Chinese Hotteok sold in Korea. Must be more health friendly than Korean one.


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Korean Food : Tongue Burning Pancake, Hotteok (Hoddeok) in Winter

15years ago.

Every winter,
Near my elementary school,
There was a Hotteok vendor with small students around.
I always stopped by there But not to buy one.
Just to look at it. To look at the hotteok making process.

I liked the sizzling sound when round dough met oil.
I liked the vendor’s hand technique to press it flat.
I liked the oil moving in waves when puffed dough turned over.
I liked the smell that notify me of cooking done.

Sometimes I had money to buy one, it was about 300won at those days as I remember, and then I straightly scurried to the vendor. I pay for one hoddoek. I started to observe the intriguing procedure in front of me.

When hotteok study was done, I was able to grab a cup of hotteok. (Why a cup? Hotteok is served being embedded in cardboards. But often served in a paper cup preventing sugar drops to clothes. Cups are more costly than cardboards. I assumed that the vendor near my school was thoughtful worrying us for being scolded about filthy clothes.)

I hurriedly ate a bite of hotteok with feeling of excitement. Ouch. Inside was too hot and I almost burned my tongue. I resolved not to hasten to eat it next time. I must do first bite after cooling it edible enough. But interestingly, I repeatedly burned my tongues having forgot previous learning.  

I think I had to pay more for vendor’s hotteok making performance, since I really appreciate the whole play. I owe some to him for that, but he also owes me for product liability law. He’s never warned me to be attentive of hot filling. I’ve burned my tongues umpteen times. Tradeoff.


What is exactly a Hotteok?

Hotteok is a sort of brown-sugar filled Korea pancake.

Where is Hotteok Origin?

The name Hotteok is combination of ‘Ho’ meaning barbarian and ‘tteok’ meaning rice cake. In other words, it literally means ‘barbarian rice cake’.

It was believed to be originated from middle Asia including Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan or Turkey and India. Researchers assumed the hotteok was derived from ‘Nan’, the typical bread in those areas. It was introduced to China through the silk road and became popular in China. Later, in 1882, hotteok was introduced to Korea by chinese merchants who immigrated to Korea. They started selling it in Jemulpo, Incheon at the beginning, and then moved to Jongno and Myeongdong in Seoul. Now it’s sold everywhere throughout Korea.

First introduced Chinese hotteok contained savory meat fillings, but it was replaced by a sweet mixture to meet Korean tastes. The basic ingredients of sweet filling are brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, sunflower seed and cinnamon.

How Can I Make Hotteok?

1. Mix wheat flour, water, milk, sugar and yeast in the bowl.
2. Kneed the dough.
3. Let dough lie for several hours.
4. After dough arising, tear off handful sized balls from the dough.
5. Make it round shape and fill it with sweet mixture.
   (brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon.)
6. Place the filled dough on a greased griddle.
7. Press it flat with a circle shaped metal spatula.
8. When one side cooked, turn it over and fry another side.
9. After both sides fully browned, let it off the pan.
10. Serve when it’s hot.

<Good News>

In supermarkets or discount stores, You can buy ready-made dry hotteok mix with a filling of brown sugar and ground peanuts or sesame seeds. Easy and Fast!


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A Restaurant : Angler food, Boksun Agujjim : in Busan, Korea


Boksun Agujjim ★★☆
복순 아구찜

Food : ★★★ Fantastic
Atmosphere:★★☆ Enjoyable
Service : ★☆☆ Fair

Korean Food / Casual Dining

Boksun Agujjim is a good restaurant hidden in Busan. Only locals know it. It serves few menus using a angler; Steamed angler(아구수육/Agu Suyuk), Braised spicy angler (아구찜/Agu jjim/) Angler soup(아구탕/Agu tang). A number of customers visit here everyday. It doesn’t operate direct marketing; no homepage, no franchise. It, as a single restaurant, achieved its fame only through words of mouth. Now, you can imagine the taste of food here.

The restaurant is a modified building of a normal Korean house. I feel as if I visited Korean friend’s house. As led by the staff, an middle aged man, I go into one room of three. There’s no chair seat, so I have to sit on the floor around the table.

I wait for the menu served, but they don’t have any paper based menu. I look upon the wall to find the menu. Sadly it's written only in Korean. I order Agujjim, the signature dish of this restaurant. For two of us, I order Agujjim Small adding a potato noodle and a bowl of rice. I drink a bowl of rice water 슝늉. I wait and look around. There are 4 tables full of people in the room, and most of them are family units. They look fairly old enough to afford the budget of Agujjim. (It’s a bit expensive for Korean youngsters)

In about 15 minutes, the staff brings a big tray with agujjim and side dishes. We start eating. Agujjim sauce has complex flavors with a variety of spices. But not as spicy as I thought. The bean sprouts are so crispy and moist. Its crisp mingles with the smooth flesh of angler. Noodle we added also gives great chewy starch-comfort to us. It’s quite interesting to feel two texture; freshness of sprouts and stickiness of noodle. 

The side dishes such as mayo-noodle, vinegary cucumber, seasoned mushrooms, Korean spring onion pancake and Kimchi are extra delights. Especially, spring onion pancake called ‘Pajeon’ is worthy enough to pay. Big and well seasoned. You must taste each all of side dishes.

Food storyist Tip :
You should eat Agujjim with Saengtak(생탁), a sort of Makgeoli in Busan.
They are a great match.

For Foreign Foodies 

Must Eat Menu & Very Korean Menu :   Braised spicy angler(아구찜/Agujjim/)
Spiciness : Agujjim ◆◆◇◇◇(A little Spicy)
English : ◇◇◇ (No English)

Menu : Steam angler 아구수육/Agu suyuk/(Large : 40,000won, Small : 30,000won), Braised spicy angler 아구찜/Agujjim/(Large : 40,000won, Medium : 30,000won, Small : 23,000won), Angler soup(1serving: 8,000won), Noodle adding 감자사리/Gamjasari/(1,000won), Rice bowl(1,000won), Makgeoli(3,000won), Soft drink(1,000won)

Main shop

Opens : 10:00~22:00
Location : At Minam station gate 3, towards Oncheon 3dong police office
Phone : 051-503-5222
Address : 1235-2, Oncheondong, Dongraegu, Busan
Budget : around 12,000won (except drinks)
Homepage : Not available
Branch visited : Oncheondong, Busan

<Restaurant exterior and interior>





Map: Main shop

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  1. Favicon of http://www.rolexonsale.co.uk/ BlogIcon James 2012.08.15 11:38  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    sweet food!!다.

Korean Holiday : Lunar New Year Korean Traditional Food


Luner new year..

A big holiday, that just happens twice a year, seems to end soon. Every Korean say goodbye to their parents and siblings. They go back to their normal lives again. It was a short time, but it just help refreshing their body and mind from their routine circles.

Koreans often say that
“Traditional Holidays are all eating.”

It means we welcome relatives with food at home. We also visit relatives’ house to say hello and wish their fortunes this year surrounded by uncountable kinds of food on the large table. All we do during holiday is Eating, Talking, Eating, Talking, Eating, and Talking, haha sometimes. Drinking.

I took some pictures of food that I ate on new year day.

new year

Let's Look Closer.


Sliced Rice Cake Pasta Soup

Tteokguk is a soup with diagonally sliced rice cakes simmered in beef broth, garnished with pressed meat, sliced fried egg white and yolk People enjoy tteokguk.
It includes white rice cake, beef, fragrant seasoning, green oninon.

Potato starch noodles stir-fried with vegetables

Japchae is a dish mixed of potato starch noodles with numerous stir-fried vegetables. Japchae is almost always served on holidays and traditional ceremonial days.

It includes potato starch noodles, egg, mung bean sprouts, skinned bellflower roots, cucumber, beef, brown oak mushrooms, jew’s ear mushrooms.

Simmered Chicken.

Dakjjim is a dish of chicken simmered with seasonings with various vegetables such as carrots, onions, and potatoes. I includes chicken, carrot, brown oak mushrooms, onion, gingko, egg, edible oil.


Blanched and Seasoned Wild green

Namul is blanched wild green with seasoning.


Hapari naengchae
Assorted cold plate with mustard sauce and jelly fish

Hapari naengchae is a fresh salad dish made of various vegetables and jelly fish in a mustard dressing. It stimulates the appetite with its hot, sweet and sour taste.
It includes cucumber, carrot, egg, fish flesh, jelly fish and mustard.


Korean barbecue

Bulgogi is a dish, barbecued beef that is pre-marinated with various seasonings.
It includes beer, onion, spring onion, pepper, and seasoning sauce based on soy sauce.

Do They Look Delicious? 

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