All about the Gimjang (kimchi-making) tradition


All about the Gimjang (kimchi-making) tradition



Kimchi is already considered as an integral part of Korean identity. Koreans value kimchi so much that it does not come as a surprise anymore that there’s a specific ceremony dedicated to its preparation.

What is gimjang?

Gimjang refers to the lengthy process of preparing kimchi, a tradition that stems from the old days when villagers and other people from communities would gather together to prepare kimchi just before wintertime comes. The vegetables back then that are needed to prepare kimchi are seasonal and not really available year-round, so people always planned ahead in terms of gathering all the necessary ingredients so that the kimchi that they produced would last them throughout the entire winter season. Although fresh vegetables and even kimchi itself are now cultivated to be made available all throughout the year, this still has not stopped Koreans from partaking in gimjang.

The preparation

One of the reasons why gimjang is celebrated is to highlight the hard work that the people who are involved in the process invest in producing the best-tasting kimchi. Gathering all the required ingredients is tough, but ensuring that the proportion of each ingredient is just right is even more challenging. We are not even mentioning here the possibility that the weather might not cooperate. Anyway, kimchi’s usual ingredients of cabbage, radish, mustard leaves, spring onions, ginger, chili pepper power, seafood like shrimp and anchovies, and garlic are the usual items that must be prepared.

The process

The enjoyable part of gimjang is the point when everyone is just involved in every step of the process, from harvesting to slicing other ingredients. It is a collective effort! Families who will take part in gimjang will usually harvest around thirty cabbages, wash them, and put all of them in a saline solution so that the cabbages will lose their crispiness. The rest of the ingredients will be chopped and sliced, particularly the mustard leaves and spring onions. Seasoning will also be added to further enhance the flavor.

There are various opportunities to participate in gimjang, most especially when you’re in Korea. We recommend that you participate in one and then you let us know how your experience went!

Korean BBQ Online is ready to deliver fresh and delicious kimchi straight to your doorstep. Contact us today so we can serve you today!

All about Hanbok, Korea’s Traditional Costume


All about Hanbok, Korea’s Traditional Costume



If you have already been to Korea, then you must have already seen some locals donning very colorful and visually appealing costumes. Chances are you might have already observed the hanbok tradition in action.

Hanbok is Korea’s traditional outfit and is often worn to celebrate special moments such as birthday parties, festivals and anniversaries. For instance, children celebrate their first birthdays wearing hanbok. Couples who get married also wear one, and also those who just turned 60. Even those who attend funerals to pay tribute to their loved ones who passed away also wear hanbok. Hanbok is indeed a big part of Koreans’ biggest life milestones. But did you know that back in the day, hanbok is actually worn daily? This explains why in some Korean provinces and villages, hanbok is even worn as a casual wear.

Traditional Koreans are usually seen wearing white hanbok or those with lighter tones. This explains why many people refer to Koreans as “people in white”. However, modern versions of hanbok can now be seen in various colors. In fact, the variety of colors that is present on a hanbok somehow symbolizes one’s social status. Usually, the brighter and more colorful hanbok is, the richer the person who is wearing it is. Now you can see more ultra-chic types of hanbok in the global fashion scene.

Koreans always have a strong connection with nature, so this explains why a lot of their traditional clothing are made out of natural materials such as silk and cotton. Designers of hanbok often favored curvy lines rather than straight ones on hanbok so that the body’s line will be more graciously emphasized. This is the reason why so many people are saying that hanbok looks so much better when it is worn by someone than when it is just left on a hanger.

What are your impressions of hanbok? Don’t hesitate to post some of your thoughts on the comments section below.

Bring an authentic taste of Korean cuisine to your home by hosting your own Korean BBQ party! Korean BBQ Online delivers fun, simple and amazingly tasty Korean BBQ just for you.


Guide to Korean Pojangmacha


Guide to Korean Pojangmacha



Today we are going to feature pojangmacha, one of the iconic symbols of Korea’s undying love for food. It’s almost impossible for anyone to not see a pojangmacha in Korea for they are everywhere. Or perhaps you’ve seen some of them already in those Korean movies that you barely understood. Let’s get down to its basics, shall we?

Pojangmacha, or more popularly known as pocha, are outdoor tents that are commonly found along Korean streets and night markets that are set up to accommodate street food and drinking patrons. This Korean term, when translated to English, means covered wagons. Technically speaking, pochas are small eateries that sell a diverse range of Korean street food like kimbap, spicy race cakes, fried rice cake skewers, ice-cream filled waffles, tornado potatoes, and a whole lot more. The characteristics of a pocha almost resemble that of an American food truck if you would like a point of comparison.

There are two types of pocha: those that are set up during the daytime where most of the items being sold are snacks and those that are set up during the evening when most of the drinking sessions happen. The evening pochas are the perfect places to observe how the Koreans down their sojus and makollis, and also to join them for some chill drinking session with some savoury drinking snacks (anjus) on the side. Most of these evening pochas start appearing like mushrooms all throughout the city at around 8 PM or so and would remain in operation even until the wee hours of the morning.

How did the pojangmacha phenomenon start?

Pochas only started appearing in Korea after the country achieved its independence from Japan back in 1945. The set up of pochas back then was very simple – they are just small eateries by the roadside that serve cheap yet filling meals to ordinary workers. Pochas back in the day didn’t have chairs for their patrons because these small eateries were meant to be quick food stops. The owners of these roadside eateries eventually added chairs upon realizing that more and more people preferred to hang out at these eateries longer given the conversations that would usually happen among the patrons. The 1970s saw Korea experiencing a significant economic development, and this period provided the perfect time for pochas to exponentially flourish. The reason for pochas’ increased presence is to meet the demand for cheap yet tasty food, which generally came from the increasing number of workers from various corporations and companies. Pochas just became one of the chillest hang-out spots for a majority of Koreans after going through a long day’s worth of work.

Pojangmacha in modern Korea

There are over 4,000 pochas scattered all throughout Seoul alone. The visibility of pochas throughout the city is widespread considering that the Korean government continues to exert efforts to shut them down because of food and city cleanliness issues. Some of the owners of these pochas also don’t have legal permits to operate. But despite the crackdown efforts and discouraging measures being employed by the Korean government, a lot of locals and foreigners still consider pochas as a colorful part of Korean culture. As many people would say, you haven’t really experienced authentic Korean living until you’ve eaten under one of those colorful outdoor tents.

Have you ever experienced eating pojangmacha food? Tell us all about your experiences!

Meanwhile, if you are craving for some Korean BBQ, then let Korean BBQ Online serve you today. Just order your favourite Korean BBQ meats online and we’ll deliver them to you. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Top 5 Korean Nightlife Activities

korean club

Top 5 Korean Nightlife Activities

Koreans are not only known for their magnificent cuisine; they are also acclaimed for their tremendous work ethic. This does not come as a surprise anymore considering that Seoul is one of the most progressive and dynamic cities in the world. However, this does not mean that passionate and goal-oriented Koreans do not know how to play harder. In fact, you’ll immediately notice when you get to visit Seoul that its night life is not just bustling but also thriving.

Here are the top 5 activities that Koreans do to enjoy their marvelous nights:



1. Night shopping

Nothing beats the feeling of being able to shop until you drop as the cool and crisp evening air touches your skin and you are in the midst of fellow shoppers who are on the hunt for the best shopping and food deals. If night shopping is your cup of tea, then head out to Dongdaemun night market when you are in Seoul. Strolling here at night is just awesome because of the bright lights and live entertainment that you will see. Yellow tents for the open market are also yours to explore as it features a wide array of shopping items of clothes, shoes, leather goods, street food, and almost anything that you can think of in usually discounted prices.



2. Food feasting

Koreans love food so much so this is a already a no-brainer. Spend your weeknights trying out some of the innumerable food spots that make Seoul as one of the food capitals in the world! Korean BBQ is definitely one of the most popular choices, so don’t hesitate to get some grilling action to taste some of the most tender and flavourful galbis and samgyeopsals that you can ever have. Or if you’re feeling tired of going outside, then hosting your own Korean BBQ feast at home is also a great option. Happy friends, amazing merrymaking, and great stories to be exchanged – we are sure that your night will truly be unforgettable.

korean club


3. Bar hopping and clubbing

Who says that Koreans don’t know how to party? Seoul actually has some of the biggest and best clubs in the world, so Koreans definitely know to party the night away. Some of the most popular nightlife districts in Seoul with the diverse mix of bars and pubs are Itaewon, Sincheon, Hongdae (hipster district), Apgujeong and Gangnam (there’s a reason why Gangnam Style song/dance craze became such a global hit). Feel free to roam the streets of this district to get to meet new people from all walks of life, locals and foreigners alike. As a tip, most clubs in Seoul start their activity at around 12 midnight!



4. Drinking

Koreans have been reported as one of the biggest consumers of alcohol in the world, so expect a lot of drinking during social gatherings in Seoul! The most famous alcoholic beverage in Korea is soju, a Korean rice liquor that usually has around 20% of alcohol content. Over 60 million cases of sojus are produced in Korea annually, so if that doesn’t solidify the fact that drinking is well integrated in Korean culture, then we don’t know what else will.



5. Singing

Koreans can certainly belt out some great tunes as if the world’s about to end. Karaoke bars, which Koreans refer to as noraebang or song room, have been introduced by the Japanese to Korea in the 1980s and have maintained a popular and wide presence in the country ever since. Indeed, noraebangs are one of the best places to go to after a night of partying and drinking. It also won’t be too difficult to spot a noraebang in Seoul given its ubiquitous flashy neon lights (usually featuring a musical note or microphone symbol). So go ahead and pretend that you’re Britney Spears or Bruno Mars in a noraebang for several nights by singing some of the world’s popular songs with your peers and loved ones!

How about you? How do you spend your night-outs? Do you recognize any similarities or differences when you compare your nightlife activities with what Koreans do? Share them all in the comments section below! And of course, regardless of what your night-out plans are, Korean BBQ Online is here to make your evenings more memorable by supplying you with the highest quality Korean BBQ meats, sides and equipment available. Contact us today so we know how we can help!

5 Korean customs to know before you visit Korea


5 Korean customs to know before you visit Korea

So you already have your flights booked and just beyond excited to finally see Korea in person. You are perhaps planning to stay longer than usual to experience more of what Korea has to genuinely offer. That said, how familiar are you with some of the Korean customs? If you need some catching up to do on the way of life in Korea, then here’s a brief article to help you out just before you embark on your Korean adventure:



1. Kimchi is everywhere

Kimchi is such an integral part of Korean identity that you will see it in almost every meal. It’s nutritious and balanced, but its taste can be too pungent and spicy for some. How about you try some kimchi before flying to Korea so you can see for yourself if it is for you or not? It will definitely take some time to get used to the taste for some people at least.

shoes off


2. Shoes off

Koreans are very particular about cleanliness so as expected in almost all Asian homes, you need to take off your shoes before entering. You don’t really want to bring in some dust, soil and other outside dirt that accumulated under your shoes into the house of your host, do you? Taking off one’s shoes is also a sign of respect to the owner of the household.



3. Soju

Just like kimchi, soju is such a big part of Korean lifestyle and is also a globally known drink. Feel free to socialize with the locals and sing your hearts out in a karaoke bar while enjoying bottles of this beloved Korean alcohol. Also, do not forget to hold your glass with both hands when someone is pouring soju for you as a sign of respect.



4. Rice

Rice is present on almost all Asian dining tables, including those of Koreans. Those who are not used to eating rice a lot will definitely find other alternatives, but consider this as a fair warning that rice will almost always served to you once you are in Korea.




5. No excuse me?

Korea is a very large country and its major cities can be very crowded and fast-paced. It can be very surprising at first to see people just pushing their way into trains and buses without even saying “excuse me” for example, but that’s just one of those things that you need to accept about Korea so you can thrive.

What other Korean customs and traditions that you would like to share with people before they visit Korea? Share them all in the comments section below. Meanwhile, Korean BBQ Online believes that everyone should have the chance to try the delightful and fun experience of Korean Barbeque. Contact us today!

5 Korean Dishes to welcome the Lunar New Year

ddeokguk and hanbok

5 Korean Dishes to welcome the Lunar New Year

Countdown to Seollal 2016 has already begun, and nothing is busier in preparing for it than the Koreans. Welcoming the Lunar New Year is such a big deal among Koreans that people take breaks from their usual busy lives to reconnect with loved ones and spend quality time with them. Some even travel at great lengths just to be with family and friends so they can all together welcome the New Year. Food is of course an essential part of the Lunar New Year celebrations, so for your convenience we have a compiled a list of Korean dishes that are traditionally served during Seollal:


1. Ddeokguk (rice cake soup)

ddeok guk

Tteokguk (tteok means rice cake; guk means soup) is a traditional dish served during the New Year that all Koreans know. This soup with slices of rice cakes is served in beef broth and is made with garaetteok, a long, cylindrical and unsweetened variety of rice cake that is eventually cut into oval shapes. Koreans believe that the oval-shaped rice cake will bring prosperity to everyone during the New Year and that eating it means that people would have grown a year older and wiser.


2. Modeumjeon (pan-fried zucchini, shrimp and fish in egg batter)


Jeon refers to any battered food that has been pan-fried in Korean cuisine. There are usually two types of jeon:  the first are those that are shaped like a pancake where the main ingredients are all mixed together in a flour mixture and then fried to make everything crisp. The other type involves pan-frying each of the ingredients such as vegetables, fish, mushrooms, and shrimp, among others, to enhance the flavour and tenderness of the overall dish. A combination of these ingredients is what is referred to as modumjeon.


3. Galbijim (braised short ribs)


Another irresistible dish that you can cook to welcome the New Year is galbijim. The meat or ribs for this dish are not seared before being braised. The ribs are parboiled to remove the excess blood and fat; ingredients such pine nuts, chest nuts, or basically any nut that you prefer can be added for extra taste and garnishing.


4. Manduguk (Korean dumpling soup)


This is a traditional version of tteokguk where dumplings are put in the beef broth instead of rice cake slices. This dish originated from North Korea and became a staple when the lands remained arid and unsuitable to grow rice and other crops. This is another flavourful dish because the savoury dumplings and warm broth complement well to provide a simple yet tasty hint of sweetness and saltiness.


5. Japchae (starch noodles with vegetables)


Japchae , which means mixed vegetables when translated to English, is starch or glass noodles that are just chewy and balanced given this dish’s variety of ingredients. Noodles are believed to symbolize longevity, which explains why Koreans don’t even hesitate to eat platefuls of japchae when welcoming the New Year. Again, you are free to add mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, carrots, and other ingredients that you prefer


Do you know of any other dishes that Koreans serve when celebrating the Lunar New Year? We would love to know them all through the comments section below. Also, it’s never too late to contact us at Korean BBQ Online so we can assist you in preparing for the most delicious and memorable New Year’s Eve celebration ever!


Cheap Korean food for budget travelers

korean street food

Cheap Korean food for budget travelers

Seoul might be one of the most expensive and cosmopolitan cities in the world, but that does not mean that this bustling city does not have affordable food options. You can definitely still enjoy Seoul and its plethora of dining choices without burning a hole in your pocket. So to all the budget travelers out there, today’s article is for you. There’s no need to deprive yourself of some great eating when you can get the following food choices for less than five dollars:


1. Food items from kimbap Restaurant

kimbap house

Think of kimbap restaurant as Korea’s version of American fast food. The food served here are generally cheap and not really that bad when it comes to taste and quality. Feel free to feed yourself with affordable ramyeon noodles, bibimbap, dumplings, meat stews, and a whole lot more for a price that usually won’t exceed 6,000 won. 


2. Take-away pizza

pizza school itaewon

Nothing can instantly fill your stomach more than a good slice of pizza, but pizza shop giants like Pizza Hut and Domino’s have quite pricey pizzas in South Korea. But pizza lovers should not fret as smaller pizza shops like Pizza School sell whole pies for less than 6,000 won. Not only do these pizza pies come in different flavors, they can also feed approximately 3-4 people.


3. Kimbap (Korean Sushi)

homeplus kimbap

If you are craving for a quick sushi fix, then going to supermarkets like Home Plus or E-Mart will be your best bet. These establishments sell a diverse variety of ready-to-eat sushi that sell for less than 600 won per piece. With a per piece rate this cheap, feel free to buy more than 10 pieces for a filling lunch or dinner!


4. Bunshik (Street Food)

korean street food

Another way to get immersed into Korean culture without breaking the bank is to try the delicious Korean street food or bunshik. Food trucks selling cheap food can be found almost anywhere in South Korea. Examples of must-try bunshiks are the twigim (fried treats), rice cakes, fish cakes and a lot more. And these savoury street food items generally cost only 5,500 won or even less, which is just perfect for people who have limited budget but still want to be adventurous when it comes to eating.


5. Doshirak (lunch boxes)


Always be on the look out for supermarkets and other food establishments that actually sell lunch box sets to people who are always on the go. An example of these places is Hansot Doshirak where most lunch box sets sell for less than 6,000 won. For this set you already usually have an egg, a rice dish and two tasty sides. This is not too bad at all!


We at Korean BBQ Online would like to know more about your suggestions on where budget travelers can eat affordable meals in Korea. Please share them all in the comments section below!

What makes Korean food Korean?

korean food restaurant

What makes Korean food Korean?

In a world that offers a massive array of cuisines from all over, the Korean food definitely knows how to distinguish itself. Today we are going to feature what makes Korean food distinctly Korean, and we believe that this is especially helpful for people out there who have yet to fully familiarize themselves with Korean cuisine. But for those who are already Korean foodies by heart and soul, we are sure that you will be nodding your heads in affirmation as you go through this article. Now allow us to brief you with the typical characteristics of Korean food:


1. Spice.
Koreans know their spice, and man do they use it so well. Vinegar, wine, garlic, sesame, ginger, bean paste, peppers, soy sauce, you name it. Koreans will never back down in intensifying their food’s flavors using a variety of spices. Oh the sensory feast!


2. Side dish.
It’s almost impossible to enjoy a typical Korean meal without a side dish, and honestly, these side dishes are actually already very tasty on their own. From the most popular Korean side dish of all time, kimchi, to the equally common ones like shrimps, fish, cabbage, lettuce, steamed veggies, and beef, ah, your meal is just bound for awesomeness. Make those delectable side dishes by checking out what we offer!

3. Meat, meat, meat.
eat galbi like a pro
Of course! This is why we all love Korean BBQ! We are all too familiar with the cuts, the marinades, and the dipping sauces. And how can we forget that distinct flavor and tenderness that only Korean BBQ meats can deliver? Check out our offering of marinated and non-marinated meats AND wagyus today!

4. Soups.
mae un tang
Koreans love their soups that are just packed with flavor. Regardless of whether you prefer having a hot and spicy soup to feel warm during the cold weather or just a simple vegetable and beef broth on a normal, sunny day, there are always a Korean soup that will suit your preferences and tastes.

5. Healthy balance.
healthy balance
Korean dishes are known for how healthily balanced they are. Yes, you have the meats, but Koreans don’t forget their vegetables and grains on the side. It’s very common for Koreans to wrap their meats using vegetable leaves for eating or to devour veggie-based side dishes to complement their meat-heavy feasts. Regardless of how much Korean cuisine has grown and evolved, this healthily balanced concept of Korean food has always remained.


Feel free to comment below on any characteristic of Korean food that we’ve missed! And don’t forget to check out our Korean BBQ Online menu so you can bring that awesome Korean dishy goodness conveniently to your home.