4 ways to eat Korean spicy food well!

Korean enjoy spicy food and many dishes are red-color, spicy-taste. Some of the Korean are even addicted in spicy food that they eat it every day.

But the interesting thing is, it is not that long since Korean start eating spicy food. It will be short than you expected. Korean start to eat spicy food after Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. Before the war there was no pepper that foods were not spicy. For example Kimchi was white not red.

  White Kimchi                                                  

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General Kimchi

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Even though today, we also eat white kimchi, but the most of the kimchi is red and spicy as right photo.

What methods Korean use to eat spicy food well?

Not all the Korean eat spicy food well. But, sometimes whose are weak at spicy food also have to eat spicy food. This is because many Korean foods are spicy and when they go restaurant with their friends, occasionally they have no choice but to go to the spicy food restaurant. Which is in below are the normal ways what Korean use when eating spicy food well.

1. Try to make the Capsaicin touch your tongue less when eating spicy food.

Korean usually eats meat wrapped in sesame leaf. Same as the meat, wrap the spicy food in cabbage, sesame leaf or lettuce which ones you like.

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2. Eat spicy food with steamed egg and rice ball.

Many Korean spicy food restaurant have a side dish as steamed egg and rice ball.

Steamed egg                                                              

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Rice ball  

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Spicy chicken feet(매운닭발 in Korea), Spicy braised short ribs(매운갈비찜 in Korean), Spicy octopus stir fry(쭈꾸미볶음) is representative food which comes with “steamed egg and rice ball”.

If you eat soft, bland steamed egg or rice ball along with spicy food, it will help you feel less spicy.

3. Drink milk or Cool piece(쿨피스 in Korean) when feeling spicy in your mouth.

Milk, contains casein, a fat-loving compound that binds with spicy capsaicin oil and then washes it away.

Cool piece is a Korea lactic acid bacillus drink and first released in 1980. Korean think Cool piece is one of the best drink for eating spicy food. It contains a milk inside that helps for relieving the spicy feeling. Also cool piece is sweet, many people prefer this drink rather than milk. Because of this, many Korea spicy food restaurant prepare this drink for customers.

쿨피스 세트

4. Eat frequently

This is the most common answer, if you ask to Korean people “How I can eat spicy food well?”. When I searched in Korea site(Daum, Naver is the popular site) about this question, about 50% of the answer was eat spicy food frequently.

It may seems like nonsense. However, it worked for me and my friends! When I was young, I even couldn’t eat even a little spicy food. I remember when my mom give me Kimchi(Korean spicy vegetables dish), I block my mouth not to eat it, because it was too spicy for me.

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But now I can eat spicy food well. In fact, Spicy is not a taste as bitter, sweet, salty. The spicy taste which you feel is a sense of pain. Because of this reason, I think eating spicy food is as same as exercising. If you start to workout in gym, it will be painful for the first time. Painful muscle and out of breath when running. But if you exercise every day, you will feel the difference in the body for each day. As exercising, when you eat spicy food often, I assume that you will be stronger in spicy food.

Now, you will be curious how this spicy food effect in our body. Maybe you will be little worry and questioned if it is ok for eating spicy food often. Scientifically, if you eat suitable amount of spicy food in a day, this can help you to lose weight and relieve stress. Most of the Korean spicy food use pepper to make spicy. “Capsaicin” which is one of the ingredient in pepper offers many positive attributes to your body.

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1. Diet-Burn more fat: Ingesting hot peppers ramps up the metabolism which in turn switches the body into fat burning mode.

2. Relieve strees: Engorphins.

When we eat spicy food this gives you a pain and it makes to secrete endorphins, response to the pain. Endorphins are among the brain chemicals that reduce your perception of pain and also trigger a positive feeling in the body. So when we eat the spicy food we can relieve stress.:)

Why don’t you try it?

Thanks for reading. 🙂

About Korea military-Does all Korean men HAVE to go military?

Yes. All Korean men should go to the military about 2years and the type of the military is divided as army, navy, air force, KATUSA(Korean Augmentation Troops to the United States Army), ROTC.

KATUSA-The most preferred military

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Normally when the boys get sophomore they go to the military and the most preferred military is KATUSA. This is because when they enter the KATUSA not only can learn English but also working environment is better than other Korea military.

If someone wants to apply the KATUSA they need at least TOEIC 780 or TOEFL 83. Even, there is an English institution for entering KATUSA and some of the classes are called “KATUSA road map” “KATUSA entrance class”. Before it was common for applying 2, 3 times and wait 2,3years to go KATUSA. But recently the law changed for preventing the negative effect like waiting few years and now people can only apply one time.

The way not to go military

2years are quite a long time and many methods are used to escape going military. Especially for celebration, singer, athletics, it is a big abandonment of the income, if they decide to go military when they are in best days. But the problem is Korean men should go military before getting 30 and can’t delay more longer. Some of them used the below way not to go military.

1. Weight

If someone is less than 40kg(88Ib) or more than 120kg(264Ib) can avoid going military. But this weight can be little different depends on the height. There were people who changed the weight and didn’t go military as eating more or eating less.

2. Birth tourism-US citizenship

Birth tourism was and are usually used for avoid going military. Birth tourism is travel to another country for the purpose of giving birth in that country that US is the most preferred for birth tourism. Korea grant citizenship by descent while US grant citizenship by birth that if someone’s parents have Korean citizenship and born in US can have both countries citizenship. However, when someone became 22years, he or she has to select between the two. If Korean men choose US citizenship, he can avoid going military.

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3. Tattoo in a body

If there is tattoo more than 70% in a body, they can be except for going military. Because of this reason, normally many gang members didn’t go the military. The reason of the rejection is military is a group life, but the big tattoo can make other solders feel aversion.

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4. Extraordinary way

-Disguise as a mental patient as depression, social phobia.

-Cut fingers with straw cutter for evading the military

-dislocate the shoulder for evading the military

-take out testicles and prostate for evading the military

These are the part of the ways which people used. However, if  these acts are found for the purpose of evading the military, he has to go to the prison between 1year and 5years.

Thanks for reading.:)

Inside story-Korea plastic surgery

Since 1990s, people seeking for perfect beauty and new cosmetic surgeries trends have overflowed in Korea. Now Korea has world’s highest rate of cosmetic plastic surgery with the comparison of population. When I walk around the street or when taking a bus and subway, I can see the plastic surgery advertisement in everywhere.

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Plastic surgery advertisement in the building

IMG_0384Plastic surgery advertisement in the subway

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Plastic surgery advertisement in the bus

Today, I will introduce the real inside story of plastic surgery in Korea.

Why Korea is crazy at plastic surgery?

  1. In my opinion, Korean people compare with other people a lot. For example, when parents meet their child’s friend parents, they ask a question as “Does your child studies well?” We also compare the looks with other people a lot. Accordingly, many of them choose plastic surgery to be more competitive in appearance.
  1. Lookism(외모지상주의 in Korean) is a frequently used word in Korea that it reflects the Korea society well. Lookism means positive stereotypes and preferential treatment given to people whose appearance matches cultural preferences.

“I will overlook because you’re pretty(예뻐서 봐주다)”

This is a sentence which commonly used especially from Korean men to women.

How I can feel that many people are doing plastic surgery?

1. I can see the people whose face is wrapped in bandage in a street about once a week. For your information, Gangnam, Shinsa, Apgujeong are the famous place for plastic surgery clinic and these people can be easily found in these street.

2. Before I was searching for orthopaedic in Shinsa street, but finally couldn’t find it. During that time, I only saw 30 plastic surgery clinic in a street. On the other day, I was searching for otolaryngology in same street and finally! found only one after walking 30-40minutes.

3. Some of the plastic surgery clinic seems like luxurious hotel and uses the whole building.


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Then which part people usually do the surgery?

This is differ from the age group

Age Type of surgery
19(Before the freshman year of college) Double eyelid surgery
25-30 age bracket Nose: to make more top and sharp nose or facial contour surgery
30-40 age bracket Surgery for making look younger. Normally facial contour surgery, bimaxillary operation which relating or affecting both jaws, and lift surgery for the sagging face skin.

What has been changed in Korea after the plastic surgery got popular?

  1. Surgery is a present for college entrance.

It is common for having plastic surgery prior to freshman year of college. The students think they studied hard for entering university and had no time to take care of their beauty. Accordingly, many of them desire to do the surgery after they got admission to college. Also the good thing for surgery in this time is new college friends can think the face was a genetic blessing of some sort.

2. Plastic surgeon has the highest annual salary between all types of doctors.

3. Plastic surgeon-most preferred job

If the student studies well, he or she prefers to choose medical college as a major that it is hard to enter the medical college. Normally the exam score should be within 1% between all of the Korean students. Also when students choose the type of the medical major in college, plastic surgeon is the most preferred.

4. Do you want to be a celebrity? Do a plastic surgery.

People assume that if someone wants to be a celebrity, he or she should do the plastic surgery. Among the Korea celebrities, lots of them did. Even, some of the celebrities are the surgery advertisement model, and they are not shame of being plastic surgery model.

  1. Plastic Surgery package

Many foreigners come to Korea to do the plastic surgery with package product. Recently, Korea medical tourism has grown that many foreigners visit Korea for plastic surgery. Korean clinics provide various service for visitors, such as hotel accommodations, airport, pickups, and multilingual websites, e-mail as a package.

  1. Some Korea do  plastic surgery to get a job

Recently, it is getting more harder to get a job in Korea that even some of the job seekers are doing plastic surgery to find a job. They think if the face is more pretty and handsome, it will give good impression to interviewers and could be better for having a job.

How people think about plastic surgery?

In the ‘90s, if someone did a plastic surgery, it should be a secret, and they tried to cover it. However, after the famous celebrities did a coming out which she did a plastic surgery, the experience of plastic surgery has not been a fact of shame. Today, even some of the Korean think, looks ugly is more shame than the fact that he or she did the plastic surgery. Accordingly, boys are also generous at plastic surgery and many of them think it is ok or no matter if their girlfriend had plastic surgery.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Ondol and Special items-How the Korean people survive “Cold winter”?

Korea has 4 seasons and winter is VERY COLD. Winter is from November to March and average Seoul temperature of January is -2.4C(28).

Today I will introduce an Ondol which means warm stone and 2 special items what was developed from the Ondol principle. Ondol is Korean traditional architecture that involves transferring heat from a stove to an adjoining room through horizontal smoke passages under a thick, raised masonry floor. The heat of an Ondol is also used for cooking.

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Nowadays, Ondol is the predominant heating system in all Korean homes, even modern apartments with hot-water pipes embedded in the floor. So if you are in Korean apartment, you can feel the floor is warm.:) Normally apartment building has central heating but if not, people use gas boiler in each house for heating pipes.

Korea special 2 items- There are 2 special items which was developed from the Ondol principle.

1. Stone bed

The principle of stone bed is similar with Ondol which the stone in bed transfers the heat. Stone bed was first made in 1992 from Korea company and it has more than 20years of history.

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This stone bed seems like similar as normal bed. But is isn’t!! There is no mattress. The bed is made of quartz, mica, topaz and several varieties of jade, and feature embedded heating coils that give off a low, radiant heat.

 

 

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There is a switch in panel, you can turn that on and adjust the temperature. So you can sleep warm in a winter and also can be cool in summer. However, there is a pros and cons for using the stone bed.

 

 

Pros

  • Help you to increase blood circulation and muscle to relax. Some people use this for medical treatment. It is known that, stone bed is good for hernia of intervertebral disks patient. Because they can use the bed as physical therapy and the waist can be straightened after sleeping in it.
  • Once the stone get warm, the heat goes long. If the blanket is on the bed, the heat will go more longer.
  • Electronic charge comes a little from the stone bed.
  • It is cool in summer.

Cons

  • It needs quite a long time to make the stone warm.
  • Stone is firm than mattress and there are some people who can’t adjust.
  • It is heavy. If you move to a new house, stone bed can be “heavy rock” for you.
  • Because the stone is not that strong, when moving the stone bed one part of it can be broken.
  • Price is quite expensive about 1500~3000 dollar.

2. Warm Stone massage

Originally warm stone massage was one of the Korea folk remedy that when grandchild is sick, grandmother heats the millstone or round pebble and covers it with towel and then put it on the stomach. It got modernly developed as an electronic warm stone massage and  it is commonly used in Korea.

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How to use this?

Step 1 :

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Connect the electronic power switch and wait 2~3 minutes. After 6~7minutes the stone will get warm that the temperature of stone will be about 60~70C(140~158F). The heat goes about 2hours after charge.

 

But when you charge the stone, you should put it inside the pocket before making hot and don’t put this stone on the weak stuff such as bed or carpet. That’s all because the stone is hot.

 

Step 2:

Put the warm stone in wherever you want. Normally people put it in stomach, shoulder, chest, waist, leg. Or there is a waist support belt for warm stone.

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Where is it good for?

It keep the body warm in cold winter and also good at relaxing the muscle pain. I’m using this warm stone in home and the most advantage what I felt is don’t need to plug in when using it and heat goes for a long time.

 

 

Fight fire with fire -How the Korean people survive “hot summer”?

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Korea summer is hot and humid with temperatures soaring as high as 35 C(95) on occasion. Summer is Jun, Jul, Aug and average August temperature is 27.9c(82).

Today I will introduce what Korean people eat in summer.

Ee-yeoi-chee-yeal(이열치열(以熱治熱) )is the idioms originated in an ancient event of Korean. This mean fight fire with fire! So when body gets hot, body system makes to sweat off and over come the heat.

In oriental medicine which we call Han-Bang(한방), our body gets cold so as to overcome the hot weather. Thus, eating a hot food makes the body’s cold energy get hot and help overcomes the hot weather with sweating.

Then which food is good for making sweat?

Hot food-SamGyeTang

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SamGyeTang is the healthiest way to cook chicken. It is a combination of chicken, ginseng, jujube, glutinous rice, medicinal herbs and these are boiled together. Usually a whole chicken is served for one person. It is believed to revitalizes the body and boosts the immune system.

When we eat SamGyeTang?

We have a special day for eating SamGyeTang. This is the hottest days in Korea from early July to mid August and it is called “Sambok deowl”. ‘Sambok’ refers to the hottest days in Korea according to the lunar calendar and is divided into 3 periods. Chobok(초복), the beginning period; Jungbok(중복), the middle; and Malbok(말복), the end of the summertime.

How to eat?

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 5.26.49 PMEat SamGyeTanng with Kimchi

There are many side dishes in Korea food and Kimchi always come out with Korean dish. SamGyeTang and Kimchi is a good combination to eat.:)

 

Bowl of SamGyeThang

It is also important to use the right kind of pot, such as Dolsot(stone pot) or a Ttukbaegi(earthenware pot). This helps to keep the food hot in a best taste.

But be carful when eating SamGyeThang. It is really hot and you can burn the roof of your mouth if you are not careful.

Although traditionally SamGyeTang is a summer food, it also enjoyed as a regular meal at any time of the year. As for me, I eat it at least once in three months.:)

If you don’t have an appetite or feel low then try it!! It will be good for rejuvenating the body and increasing stamina.

Spicy hot food-YookGaeJang

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YookGaeJang(beef stew) is a spicy, soup like Korean dish made from beef, sliced onion, bean sprouts, garlic, gosari(bracken fern), dangmyeon(sweet potato noodles), soy sauce, black pepper, and salt. Originally is a summer food but also enjoyed as a regular meal at any time of the year.

Origin of YookGaeJang

We should divide the word of YookGaeJang in two part to understand the meaning. Yook(肉) means beef and GaeJang(狗醬) means the soup of the dog meat. For a long time ancestors also ate Bosintang(soup of dog meat) in“Sambok deowl” but when the dog got lack in a year they boiled the old cow instead of dog. This is the origin of YookGaeJang which this word means the beef soup instead of dog soup.

Currently all YookGaeJang is made of beef and when we say  YookGaeJang we think not the dog but the beef is inside. Normally Korean people don’t eat dog as a food and we think the dog is one of the family members. However in a past time(about 500-600years age) food was not enough for people, so the dog was one of the food ingredients.

YookGaeJang effect

-Gosari which is in YookGaeJang has a high dietary fiber, this helps the intestine moves well and have a removal of fever effect.

-Bean sprouts relieve your thirst and good for functioning of kidney.

How to eat?

Put rice inside the YookGaeJang. Then it will be seem like right side of the below picture.

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And eat with Radish Kimchi which is in below or just Kimchi.:)

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Interested? I will update How the Korean people survive “cold winter”? in next time.:)