Get to know Korea better through Korean food  

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Traditional Korean food (Galbi)

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When I arrived in South Korea for the first time to continue my studies, somehow I felt their local food become the most that grab my attention.  I always want to try new foods with different taste from all around the world although Korean food is quite popular in my country but I am curious how is the original taste.

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Bibimbap - Korean food
Bibimbap – Korean food

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There are several Korean foods that I have tried during my stay here and it suits my preference especially the bibimbap and grilled fishes, they serve it without much seasoning to keep the original taste of its basic ingredients. Other uniques thing here is they always serve my menu with many kinds of side dishes and soup which cannot be found in my country. As a foreigner who lives in this country,  I think the Korean food will taste even better if we eat just like Korean does, for example if we eat the Seaweed Soup (miyeokguk) at a special event like a birthday or something the taste will be more delicious.

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they serve Korean food with many kinds of side dish

 

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For me, food is not just about something to fulfill my stomach but more than that food is a culture which has been passed through generations. There is historical value in every kind of food, from what I know kimchi was found from the idea of preserving food because at that time to grow vegetables in winter is so hard. We will be grateful to ancestors which make kimchi not only long-lasting vegetables but also it good for our digestion.

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Spicy Fried Chicken
Spicy Fried Chicken
Beer
Beer in Combination with Chicken

 

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Have you heard about “Chimaek”?

Talking about Korean food is fascinating, then I was reminded when I joined the research laboratory group at the university. The Koreans have an interesting habit to greet the new members with a welcoming-party between students and professor. This party habit is also known as Chimaek, from the word chicken and maekju (beer in Korean language)  because at this party they usually ordered fried chicken and beer. I still remember the excitement, we were gathered and chatted to get know each other better, sometimes we played simple games and sang a song to enjoy our togetherness. In these games, the one who loses has to accept the punishment which is drinking the beer except me because I am a Muslim who cannot drink any alcohol and they replace it with coke. I was amazed they appreciate the difference with simple behavior yet respectful.

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Fish barbecue
Fish barbecue

So every food always has their own beautiful story which can make us more appreciate any food that goes into our mouth. In the end, Korean food has made me understanding Korea deeper to make my adaptation as a foreigner became more easy.