Monday, 23 January 2012

새해 복 많이 받으세요 ^^

I cook 팥죽 patjuk this morning  ^^  Well, not exactly in juk form cos I prefer to eat some soft red beans  ^^    I think Korean eat 떡국 Tteokguk (soup with sliced rice cakes) on New year but I cook this instead!  Hahahaa...cos I felt like eating red bean soup .  Dessert symbolised a sweet year ahead for me ㅋㅋㅋ 
새해 복 많이 받으세요!  Wishing everyone a peaceful and harmony year ahead  ^^ 

Friday, 13 January 2012

50 beautiful places to visit in Korea

I am so happy that cnngo.com features this piece of information because there are really too many beautiful places in Korea waiting to be explored!  I wish I can visit all of these places!  Ermmm.....except for Daedun Mountain Suspension Bridge 대둔산 구름다리...I like the caption for that picture,"Whatever you do, don't look down." 
This is so so true....I really really understand what it means....

I am excited that three of these places are in my itinerary for my next trip!!  Yeahhh!!
Yeojwa Stream (경상남도 진해 여좌천 벚꽃길)
Daegwallyeong Ranch (대관령 양떼목장)
Gwang-An Bridge (부산 광안대교)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

안녕하세요!

Yesterday, my friend whatsApp this message to me, "민서엄마, 수환엄마예요. 오늘 몇시에 만날까요?  전화 좀 주세요.."   
He told me this message was sent out from overseas and asked me what does it mean.
I wish I'm the one to receive this message!!  ㅋㅋㅋ  Becos it will be a good chance for me to practise my Korean!   ㅎㅎㅎ   If I am the one to receive this message, I think I will reply, "안녕하세요. 사람을 잘못가지고.  나는 민서엄마 아니에요. 여기는 싱가포르입니다."

I wonder will she understand what I mean!  ㅎㅎㅎ   


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

옹기

Finally, I learnt what these containers are called ^^ They are called 옹기 Onggi. Thanks to a reader, Kevin. I learnt the difference between 장독대 Jang Dok Dae and 기 Onggi from Wikipedia.org. There are many things that I don't know about Korean culture and still trying my best to learn about it. Please feel free to correct me if there is any wrong information given in my blog ^^  감사합니다.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Free samples ^^

Koreans are really generous when it comes to giving free samples.  It may be a sales tactic but it benefits their customers as well  ^^    I have already used some of the free samples and these are the remaining samples given to me during my trip in Oct 2011!  They might be able to last me till my next trip  ㅋㅋㅋ  Innisfree and Laneige are my favourites  ^^ 

Saturday, 7 January 2012




No, this was not taken in Seoul...but from my kitchen window in Singapore ㅋㅋㅋ   It was about 6.30pm when I took this picture... Korea would be 7.30pm when I took this picture but the sky in Korea would not be like this at 6.30pm in Autumn. The sky in Korea at 6.30pm in Autumn will look like 9pm in Singapore ㅎㅎㅎ 
It took me a lot of courage to take the pictures because I was terrified of heights...I tried not to look down and that helps a lot...
Today is a good day for making wishes...Om....
Looking at the clouds but my heart is in Seoul...같은 푸른 하늘 아래에서 Under the same blue sky but Seoul is far away...I really miss Seoul a lot a lot a lot...

At 비비고 bibigo today ^^

It was about 4pm when Kat and I had lunch cums dinner bibigo at Raffles City Shopping Centre after Bryan's seminar.   I have been eyeing at this place everytime I passed by.  Finally I have the chance to eat here  ^^ 
Bibigo has outlets in Seoul as well but I didn't notice that during my last trip.  After checking out their website, I realised Singapore and Beijing are the only Asian countries to have a bibigo outlet!   I am so proud of Singapore ㅋㅋㅋ  The other overseas outlet was in LA.  

Genmaicha.  I wanted to check out the name for this tea in hangul.  From wikipedia, I learnt that Genmaicha is actually Japanese green tea combined with roasted brown rice.   In Korea, it is also known as  현미녹차 Hyeonmi nokcha, which means roasted brown rice green tea.  Hmmm...if that's the case, why was it known as Genmaicha in the menu??  Did I interprete it wrongly??

I always love triangle tea bag ^^  They are pretty but more expensive.

Kat's kimchi fried rice 김치 볶음밥.  It looks like any other fried rice but it is really delicious!  진짜 맛있다!!

해물파전 Haemul Pajeon(Seafood pancake)  
Another one of my all time favourite Korean food  ^^
  Kat and I agreed this is really yummy!  
Lots of veggie and doesn't give us the sinful feeling of eating  ㅎㅎㅎ 
Please eat it when its hot ^^ 

Yippeeee!!!
Today, I ate all my all time favourite Korean food  ㅋㅋㅋ
해물 순두부찌개!   Haemul sundubu jjigae Seafood toufu soup ^^

I just have to show this ㅋㅋㅋ
I drank up most of the soup before I can pour my rice into the pot!
Slurpppp.....

Its interesting and flexible to eat at bibigo.   Customer can choose to eat in salad type of healthy bibimbap, 나물 nah mul way of eating, or even in traditional bibimbap served in hot stone pot.    Not only that, customer can also choose their preferred type of rice, toppings and sauce.  Although Kat and I were not aware of this, I would definitely be back again to create my own bowl of healthy bibimbap  ^^

Friday, 6 January 2012

M Pass in Seoul

I came across an article from Visitkorea. 
"To better accommodate the needs of foreign tourists visiting Korea, M-PASS, a public transit card exclusively for foreign tourists, is now available for purchase.

M-PASS, short for Metropolitan Pass, is good for up to 20 rides per day of any subway lines in the Seoul metropolitan area (e.g. Seoul Subway Lines 1~9, Incheon Metro, Airport Metro Commuter (except Express)). The card comes in 5 types – one-day, two-day, three-day, five-day and seven-day passes. The one-day pass costs 10,000 won.

You may purchase M-PASS at I-Tour Seoul (Seoul Tourist Information Center) located in the Incheon International Airport Arrivals Terminal. On purchase, a 5,000 won deposit is required, which is refundable with a 500 won fee deducted upon returning the card at wherever you purchased it or at any GS convenience store."


This would be good news for tourists who has to travel a lot by subway.  I remembered I spent about KRW 40,000 ~ KRW 45,000 on subway rides during my last trip to Korea.  I stayed about 13 days in Seoul but did not really need to take so many rides per day via the subway.    Therefore, M pass will not be too useful for me.  Nevertheless, this is just for sharing  ^^
    
I was always on the look out for the subway route map in the subway stations!  When I was first doing my research on  Seoul subway routes, I almost fainted...hahaha..the routes look so complicated.  I get the hang of it after using the subway for two days.  Seoul subway is really not as intimidating as it looked.    In fact, many people were telling me Japan subway is much more complicated.    
From my personal learning experience, I took note of the last station on the line of the direction I was heading to and know the number of the line, eg I am at City hall station and I want to go to Jegi dong station.  Jegi dong is on line 1, therefore I should look for the signage heading towards Soyosan, and not Incheon.
Seoul subway cyber map is very useful, you can check out seoulmetro.


Another type of map in the subway station


Map to show the route on line 2
Among all the maps, the first one was the one I preferred most but there were a few occasions where I couldn't find it in the stations...On such occasions, I will depend on my memory of the routes that I have taken before, and checking out other maps that were available.

 Singapore subway route map used to be like this...so so simple...


Now it has evolved to this....When I first take the circle line, I felt its almost like travelling in Seoul subway because I need to walk from one place to another in order to change train.   Well, I know its the same for Northeast line but circle line felt more like travelling in Seoul subway ㅋㅋㅋ    I don't know how to describe but I wish I am in Seoul right now!!!

Jae told me to travel on Seoul subway just like the way I did in Singapore...He is right.  Do not be afraid to use the subway in Seoul.  It is a very convenient public transport.  I hope I can travel by buses more often during my next trip to Seoul!


Unlike in Singapore, where the word "Lift" is more commonly used instead of "Elevator"


Be alert and take note of the arrow direction.
I tends to get distracted easily and took the wrong directions twice during my trip....zzz....zzz.....
This picture was taken at Myeongdong station.
Train is coming from Hoehyeon Station and the next station after Myeongdong is Chungmuro.

What does this mean?   
Different cabins has different temperatures.  I am not sure whether it was stated anywhere on the glass panels but the only way for me to know was when I stepped into the cabin.  Hur hur...There were a few times whereby I almost jumped up when I sat on the seat.  Hot!  Hahahaa...not exactly hot but warm..I really appreciate the warm seats when the weather gets cold.....걱정 마  Don't worry the heat is bearable, I was just shocked to feel the heat..hahahaa...

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Planning 2012

Jeju Island is known for its delicious mandarin oranges and they varies in taste, size, juiciness and color.  I think Jeju oranges are in season now because  I saw boxes and loose display of Jeju oranges in Shengsiong and NTUC....  

The intitial stage of planning a trip is always more difficult because there will be plenty of information available and it gets so overwhelming that you may not know where to get started.   Give yourself time to do your research...don't rush yourself but don't do it the very last minute.  Some people do not like to plan, cos they prefer surprises.  Oh yes, I agreed certain unexpected discoveries can be pleasant surprises but I prefer to have some knowledge of the place to get myself prepared.  Most importantly, doing research give me more confidence ㅎㅎㅎ


Aside from price, my main considerations in choosing a hotel are:
1)  Wi-fi in the bedroom
2)  Proximity from airport limousine bus stop to hotel

Have a few hotels in mind for now...ahh....dilemma....
Hotels that I have shortlisted includes:

  • Metro Hotel (Euljiro 1-ga/Myeongdong)
  • J Hill hotel (Myeongdong)
  • Casaville Shinchon Residence(Sinchon) 
Actually, I was hoping to find my accomodation around Daehangno but not much luck because I was too fussy...hur hur
Hmmm...I wonder why Asiana has yet to roll out their fares for April...fares for Korean Air is already out..

Monday, 2 January 2012

감자탕 Gamjatang, 계란 말이 Gyeranmalee, 부추전 Buchujeon

Today is a public holiday and I happened to have the mood to cook  ㅎㅎㅎ  
I have been thinking about my 감자탕 Gamjatang (Pork and potatoes soup) for a long time, so I decided to try it out for tonight's dinner.   I went through a few online recipes and realised there is one ingredient which we hardly use in Singapore.  This ingredient is 깻잎 Korean perilla leaves.  Perilla leaves is also known as sesame leaves.  I have a feeling that perilla leaves is the ingredient that makes 감자탕 Gamjatang different from our normal pork and potatoes soup.  You can check out maangchi.com if you are not sure how a perilla leaf looks like.   I think I have eaten perilla leaves before when I was in Korea many many years ago...did I ate it with 닭갈비 Dak galbi at that time??  Can't recalled but the leaves tasted a bit bitter, right?    In my impression, the leaf has a strong smell but I don't know how to describe it...
I went to several places, including "Market Place", Cold Storage, NTUC, ShengSiong and even Shine Korean Supermarket to look for perilla leaves this morning...but none of them has perilla leaves..I called up Sol Mart but they informed me stocks may only arrive tomorrow....I also tried looking for it at one of the wet market but all the stalls were closed.  That's right.  In Singapore, Monday is not a good day to buy veggie...either the stalls are closed or very few varieties of veggie available.
I knew perilla leaves is not commonly used here but I thought I saw it before in some supermarkets...or maybe in my dreams......zzzzz....zzzzzz.....

I decided to go ahead with my own version of 감자탕 Gamjatang without perilla leaves ...felt kinda incomplete and dissatisfied ㅠㅠ
As I explored Korean recipes, I realised Koreans have different cooking methods which I couldn't really understand the reasons behind those methods.  Hope I have the opportunity to learn from a Korean expert one day  ㅋㅋㅋ


ㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎ
I knew I am too greedy...
I used pork ribs instead of pork spine or pork neck.   My "magic pot" contained pork ribs, potatoes, 배추 cabbage, portobello mushrooms, 콩나물 big bean sprouts, 부추 leek, 된장 soybean paste and 고추장 hot pepper paste..
After simmering for an hour...

계란 말이 Gyeranmalee is one of the dishes for dinner  ^^

The most difficult step is to roll the omelette successfully!!

Oh noooo this is not my 계란 말이 ...I am not so smart! hahahaa
Well, remember this picture?  It was taken when I went to Gwanghwamun Jip during my trip.  How did 아줌마 make her egg omelette so nicely done?  I mean mine was fine but I really like 아줌마 egg omelette...her egg omelette was very soft, unlike many recipes where their egg omelettes doesn't look soft like this.

부추전 Buchujeon (Garlic Chives Pancake) is the third dish for dinner
At home, we always called this veggie "Koo Chye"...Ehhh....I think "Koo Chye" is Hokkien..hahahaa...too used to calling it "Koo Chye" until I don't really know what language is this!  In Mandarin, it is called 韭菜(Jiu Cai).    I used only prawns and chives for my 부추전. 

You can see that my 부추전 Buchujeon was an absolute failure...It looks perfect before I flipped over...guessed I don't have the skill to flip it ㅠㅠ
Ehhh.......I thought it looked more like our carrot cake ㅋㅋㅋ

부추전 Buchujeon(Garlic chives pancake)
One online recipe shared about using 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar as a sauce for this pancake.  I tried it!  Niceee  ^^

계란 말이 Gyeranmalee (Egg roll omelette)


My own version of 감자탕 Gamjatang....still not satisfied although it tasted ok but I wanted the Korean taste...arghhh..

My second bowl of rice goes directly into the soup ㅋㅋㅋ
It may not looked very appetising to you but this is my favourite way to eat my jjigae ^^

Guilt slowly arises as I post this picture....omgggg...I ate two bowls of rice...that's why I fear to eat jjigae and Korean rice together....