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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 28, 2010

Let's try a foodie tour of South Korea


By Jeff Chung

In writing this column, I get the most feedback from readers after I write about specific Korean foods during my travels back to South Korea.

There are many "Drama Tours" to Korea from Hawaii, and many Korean drama fans have already visited Korea a few on several occasions. I would like to put together a "Foodie Tour" to Korea this autumn.

Of all the four seasons in Korea, autumn brings about a variety of foods that are exciting to sample. For one thing, seasonal food in Hawaii is a rare thing, as most types of food are shipped over frozen, and getting really fresh items is hard to come by unless locally grown.

I am planning to do a food tour of South Korea starting in Seoul, then traveling throughout the peninsula and eating regional cuisine that is in season. A tour from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3 is priced at $3,700, including air, transportation, hotel, ground transportation and three meals a day. The tour is limited to a maximum of 45, as most of the restaurants we plan to attend are often not ballroom sized and instead very quaint. We will also do a few drama site visits, such as the Shilla Millenium Park in Kyong Ju where the drama "Queen Seon Deok" was filmed.

I will personally be on the tour along with a professional guide, visiting various regions of South Korea tasting really great Korean food. The tour stresses quality, not quantity, and a genuine experience. You will also have a taste of the various styles of kim chee in different regions.

Have you ever had live king crab or snow crab, freshly steamed and served to eat? We will. And if Jun-ju province bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables) is considered the best in Korea, don't eat it in Seoul; we will go to Jun-ju.

How about Un Nyang bulgogi, or one of my favorites, blowfish soup, in Busan?How about fresh sashimi, Dong-rae seafood and green onion pancakes (where it originated), a vegetarian meal with so many side dishes that the entire table will be full, or fresh grilled fish? Oysters will be in season, as will blue pincher crab just fat with meat that you can have as a spicy stew or raw (soy marinade or spicy marinade).

How about some oxtail soup with freshly made kim chee? Most often, food prices in Seoul are higher versus the other regions so this tour concept is to get to the source for the best and freshest we can find.

This is not a KBFD planned tour but a personal project as I love food and want to share this opportunity with others who have interest in the Korean culture. Everyone asks me where I go for Korean food; I tell them Korea. The weather will be very cool, and autumn is the best time to visit Korea. If you are interested in joining me on this food tour to Korea, please e-mail me at jeffchung@hotmail.com.

THIS WEEK'S K-DRAMA SYNOPSES

'LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL'

Episodes 5 and 6

Tonight at 7:45 p.m.: Hosup gets mad at Yeonju for disrespecting him, but she fights back and asks him why he ignored her the first time they met. Hosup says he'd never tell her why. Chaeyoung pays a surprise visit to Taesup's and tells Min-jae she wants to marry Taesup.

Tomorrow at 7:45 p.m.: Grandma catches Grandpa doing exercises on the second-floor balcony and goes after him. She slaps Byungtae for hiding him. Everyone suspects Byunggeol told her. Byungtae tells Byunggeol to resolve the situation since he's responsible for the chaos.

'LOVE YOU 1,000 TIMES'

Episodes 53 and 54

Sunday at 6:45 p.m.: Gang-ho finds Eun-nim and takes her to the hospital to run tests. The test results are the same. So Gang-ho moves in with Eun-nim to take care of her. Hyang-sook repents and thinks about how she's lived her life during her lucid moments. She tries to make amends with Sun-young and Gang-ho. So-weol finds out that Bong likes Chung-ja.

Sunday at 7:45 p.m.: Eun-nim can't stand to let Gang-ho see her when she's sick, so she leaves him. Gang-ho, desperate to find Eun-nim, goes to her parents' house looking for her. He tells her parents everything. Meanwhile, Hyang-sook keeps acting like a child. Gang-ho's family finds out where he's been and everyone is against him helping Eun-nim, except for Se-hoon. Eun-nim comes home and starts treatment.

'OH! MY LADY'

Episodes 11 and 12

Monday at 7:45 p.m.: Min-woo and Si-joon rescue Gae-hwa from Mr. Jung. Si-joon asks Gae-hwa why Mr. Jung would do something like that to her, but Gae-hwa lies and tells him it's just a minor conflict. Reporter Han finds Yura alone at the airport. Min-woo invites The Show staff to his house.

Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.: Si-joon comes back to Min-woo's house to drop off some DVDs and catches Gae-hwa cleaning the house. He asks her what's going on and Gae-hwa tells him she's living with Min-woo. Reporter Han eavesdrops and the story is printed the next day.

'PRINCESS PROSECUTOR'

Episodes 5 and 6

Wednesday at 7:45 p.m.: Inwoo tries to stop Hyeri from leaving and asks why she's running away when the case is so close to being resolved. Inwoo fails to change Hyeri's mind and she boards a plane. She falls asleep and dreams of her co-workers then changes her mind. She goes back to the office and stops her resignation letter from being delivered.

Thursday at 7:45 p.m.: Hyeri is terrified to find out that her old pictures have been posted on the Internet. Saejun sees Hyeri eating melon by herself during lunch and takes her to eat with the other prosecutors. The chief prosecutor mentions that he chose tofu stew for her because it is low in calories. Others, assuming Hyeri won't eat all her food, take some of it from her. Hyeri leaves the restaurant embarrassed.