Korean Alcohol Feature: Soju


Korean Alcohol Feature: Soju



If you’re a fan of alcohol and Korean cuisine, then you must have already heard of soju or even gulped bottles of it before. Soju is one of the most famous alcoholic contributions of Korea to the world, and its popularity has grown massively given that it is currently being mass-produced in over 75 countries worldwide. It also helps that soju is very cheap and is readily accessible to almost anyone.

The taste of this clear and colorless alcoholic drink is another story, however. Most foreigners feel that it’s hard to get used to soju’s taste, but most Koreans, as expected, profess their love for this beloved drink endlessly. But regardless of whether you personally like the taste of soju or not, there are still some etiquette to be observed when drinking soju especially with locals.

Keep the following guidelines in mind so you can show respect and even impress your Korean friends:

Opening the bottle

The proper way to open a bottle of soju is to first give it a good shake or swirl to mix the contents properly. Afterward, bash the bottom of the bottle to your elbow so you can crack it open. You need to then spread your fingers so you can have a good leverage in jabbing the bottle’s neck.

Pouring and drinking the contents

If you are drinking soju with a group of Koreans, then one of the older members of the group will offer you a shot glass. Always remember to accept the shot glass with both hands. Put your left palm at the bottom of the glass and hold the glass using your right hand. The person will then pour soju on your glass. Afterwards, turn your head away so you will not establish any form of eye contact to the person who just poured you a drink. This practice must be strictly observed as this is a sign of respect to the elders. In other words, you must not get a bottle of soju and then start pouring a drink on your own glass.

Another thing to remember is to always drink your first shot of soju in one go. Afterwards, you can take sips of soju (if you prefer) for the succeeding shots. Remember to take it easy as a bottle of soju typically has 16%-45% alcohol content.

Once your glass is empty, give it back to the same person who poured you a drink and offer to pour soju for him or her. Offer to fill empty glasses as you see them as a sign of respect and camaraderie.

Feel free to share with us your soju drinking experiences! And don’t forget that sojus go well with Korean BBQ Online’s diverse menu of meat cuts and sides. Drop us a line today so we can get them delivered straight to your doorstep!

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!

5 tips to save time in Korean cooking

korean cooks

5 tips to save time in Korean cooking

People might find Korean dish preparations as intimidating given the diverse ingredients being used and the wide array of side dishes that are available. However, we can guarantee you that Korean cooking can be possibly done in a highly efficient manner for as long as you prepare and observe the following tips:


1. Prep in advance as many ingredients as you can.

Chop and puree ahead of time whatever ingredients you can chop and puree. Ingredients like scallions, tomatoes, peppers and a lot more can be sliced in advance to save time. There are also some pre-chopped ingredients in the supermarket if you really want to save time or if you are in a hurry.


2. Marinate meat in bulk.

If you want to save on time and costs, then always shop for meat in bulk that are available in a good price. You then marinate them in advance and place them in your freezer for storage. Doing this is definitely a timesaver as all you’ll worry about is cooking the marinated meat itself. Plus, you can host more Korean BBQ feasts at home given your stock of marinated meat!


3. Always stock on Korean soups and broths

It is very common for Koreans to have soups on almost every meal, so it is always best to have soup stocks stored in your fridge just in case you have to prepare Korean dinner for unexpected guests. These are the kinds of stocks that take only less than 30 minutes to heat up.


4. Improvise on your side dishes.

We know that there are hundreds and hundreds of possible Korean side dishes out there. This idea alone can be daunting at first, but this actually gives a lot of room for improvisation because the side dish possibilities are plentiful. Side dishes can be as simple as grilled vegetables or anchovies anyway, so feel free to spice things up and devise new side dishes based on your tastes and on what’s available in your pantry.


5. Let modern kitchen tools save your day.

There’s a reason why rice cookers and crock pots exist, and that is to make your life at the kitchen much easier. Feel free to go to various kitchen stores or supermarkets to invest on practical tools that will make your cooking way easier and more efficient. For instance, using steam bags can be used to quickly steam vegetables. Indoor grills can also help you save time compared with the longer preparation of food that must be done if you do the grilling outside.


Now that we’re on the issue of saving time while cooking, we at Korean BBQ Online is more than happy and willing to help you save time. Planning your next Korean BBQ? Then feel the huge convenience of shopping for all that you need for your Korean BBQ only at Korean BBQ Online.