Korean food

Important Tips When You are Invited to a Korean friend’s house: Bring a thing!

In Australia, when your friend invited you to a Sunday bbq at home, it is very common that people just bring their BYO drinks. However if you do the same in Korea, people might think that you don’t have a good sense or you are just very stingy.

Here are some tips to act right when a Korean person invites you to a home dinner.

Bring a gift and don’t be stingy

If you were invited to casual home dinner, those gifts do not need to be pricey. Probably you can bring something to eat or drink.

Good items: Cakes (Koreans do not like super sweet cakes. Avoid too heavy, sweet cakes like chocolate mud cake), fruits, ice-cream (not from supermarket but from an ice-cream shops) and quality juice bottles in the box (you can buy them from Korean grocery stores for $10~15), a bottle of wine, a bunch of flowers or herb pots. Bad items: a bag of chips plus a bottle of coke (unless you are year1), a bottle of soju (it’s only $1 in Seoul ^^)

Dress to look your best

Even he/she is your very close friend, Korean people think what you wear is reflecting who you are, especially if it is a home party. It is not polite to wear smelly t-shirt and dirty socks (remember, you will take off your shoes.). A clean/ironed outfit plus well-groomed hair/ nice make-up is basic when you are invited to a Korean home party.

Well, do you think that Koreans are too picky? Don’t worry. Once you are in their living room, they will treat you like a prince/princess by awesome foods and drinks.  Enjoy your Korean party!

Ashley (Korean teacher)

Series 1 of Korean Food : Japchae (잡채) Recipe

The picture referenced from http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/09/23/2010092300228.html



Japchae is one of the best Korean traditional foods have been still loved for every Korean regardless of gender and age. The dish is often served in Korean traditional Holidays such as Lunar New Year, Chuseok (추석/ kind of Korean Thanksgiving Day) and even someone’s birthday.

Japchae is a healthy and delicious food made with chewy cellophane noodle from sweet potato starch. 잡채 (Japchae) literally means a mix of chopped vegetables but modernized Japchae is a cooked noodle mixed up with many kinds of cokked vegetables and meat. Japchae is also very good dish for vegetarian if you make it without meat. You may choose the kind of vegetables you prefer. Japchae is a very colorful, tasty and highly nutritious food.

Let’s have a look at ingredients and how to cook it now!



200g japchae sweet noodles

1 onion, finely sliced

1 carrot, finely julienned

1 green or yellow capsicum, julienned

6~10 shitake mushrooms, soaked until soft and sliced into 5mm

Cooked spinach

100g lean beef, cut into thin strips (around 5~7mm)

Soy sauce

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

Sesame seeds

Vegetable oil

Pepper and salt


How to cook

1.Preparing beef

Marinate the sliced thin beef with 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil.

(If you want to remove the bad smell of meat, add a pinch of ginger power.)

Place it for 15 minutes.

Stir-fry them with vegetable oil in a pan over high heat until cooked through.

Put it on the platter.


2. Preparing shitake mushroom

Marinate the sliced mushroom with 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil.

Place it for 15 minutes.

Stir-fry them with vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.

Put it on the platter.


3. Preparing spinach

Put your spinach in a pot of boiling water and blanch it slightly for around 30 seconds.

Do not overcook.

Then rinse it in cold water 2~3 times and squeeze it lightly.

Chop it in half or into 5~7cm long.

Mix it with a pinch of salt, sesame oil, sesame seeds and pepper.

Put it on the platter.


4. Preparing carrots and onions

Cut carrots into strips and stir-fry it until they soften.

Add a pinch of salt. Just season to taste.

Put it on the platter.

Cook sliced onions with the same way.


5. Preparing capsicums.

Julienne capsicums into 5mm. It doesn’t need to be precooked.


6.Preparing noodles

Cook the noodle in plenty of boiling water for around 5 minutes.

When it is cooked thoroughly, it will look translucent.

If you are not sure of it, just taste it J. But do not overcook.

Rinse in cold water and drain well.

Cut the noodles into around 15cm.


7. Making Sauce

Mix 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Add a pinch of pepper.


8. Mix every ingredient.

Put the noodles into a big bowl.

Add stir-fried beef, marinated shitake mushroom and precooked all vegetables.

Mix all ingredients smoothly with premade sauce.

Depending on your taste, control the amount of soy sauce or sugar.


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January 2018
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