Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two interesting articles about Korea and Korean Americans in New York Times recently.

Thomas Friedman writes that the world needs more American leadership, extensively quoting from Korean officials. The Korean wholeheartedly agrees.

Second generation Korean Americans are coming up with interesting Korean fusion food that is gaining in popularity. The Korean is actually a purist when it comes to Korean food, so he is ambivalent about this development. Thank you for the readers who sent the story. The Korean already saw the article by the time it was emailed, but thank you anyway.

But the Korean cannot let that story pass without saying this. About a decade ago, the Korean and the Korean Brother discussed a plan to retrofit a truck such that it can grill galbi on a stick. We would have taken it to the beach and sell it to the passers-by. Unfortunately, the Korean and the Korean Brother had to go to college and end up at boring jobs. We would have been millionaires.


  1. Curse you, Korean educational and professional expectations!

    I have to say, the image of the Korean and his brother scheming about this is awesome and made me laugh. Laugh "OL," even!

  2. Dear AAK!,

    Couldn't you do it better? Then you would have the beach and the Lakers, not to speak of no winter to speak of....

  3. What is up with the spelling of Gyenari? Am I missing something here?

  4. I'm a honky that worked in a Korean restaurant for about 4 years here in Austin, Tx. We have this amazing burger joint called BurgerTex that is korean owned. They have a bulgogi burger that is out of this freaking world. Bulgogi (thick cut which is not traditional) with bbq sauce (in addition to it being a burger) with fries. Not quite up to L.A.'s fusion but it is fantastic! If you are ever in Austin, Korean try it and also Koreana. (a much better place than I worked at)

  5. Jim, indeed.

    Cactus, the Korean regrets it every morning as he steps out into the cold.

    95, don't get the Korean started on Romanization.

    Roy, the Korean actually knows the folks who run that place. It's the Korean's friend's parents.

  6. 95, don't get the Korean started on Romanization.

    [kushibo uses his inside-head voice] Hmm... What an opaque comment. All the more so because he referred to me using 숫자 instead of 글자.

    At least I could figure out where he was going had he written kushibo or gusibo... or even cushy beau... or goosey bow. Oh, what an inscrutable person this "the Korean" is.

  7. eh, it's that purist approach, I think, that limits the role Korean food has in the west. Two thoughts:

    1) Look at how other 'ethnic' foods have been altered (General Tso's Chicken, fortune-cookies, sushi rolls) and you see instances in which that culture has expanded into the west. If Korea wants to do this, it has to accept pidgin-foods. And I think that barbeque and soju, with the right marketing push, would become as American as apple pie.

    2) After eating "pizza" and "Mexican food" in Korea, my irony-meter gets near asplosion at the idea of the cultural purity of Korean food. ;-) What's good for the goose is, as the say, good for the gander.

    Make mine a' L'orange sauce, please!

  8. rwellor,

    1) the Korean would agree -- if Korean food wanted to make inroads in America. The Korean, for one, sees absolutely no need for that. But he recongnizes that he is in the minority in this opinion.

    2) the Korean does not even touch pizza and Mexican food in Korea for exactly the same reason. They are vile.

  9. I've had some good pizza here in Seoul, but indeed a lot of it is pretty bad. You just gotta know where to go and/or do the pojang thing.

  10. In Hyundai dept store in Mok-Dong, I saw the food court carrying '퀘사딜라'. Someone go try it!

  11. Korean

    I am influenced by that anthropomorphic (as you phrase it ;-p) approach to Korean food because here, in Seoul, they talk about this possibility in terms that make it seem like a requirement. It's in the paper about once a week and seems to be at least an informal part of how the KTO is hoping to spread Korean culture.

    I'm not much of a purist about any food (if I like the taste - I'm fine with SPAM in Budae Jiggae and Kimbap, for instance, not so much with sweet potato and corn pizza!), so this is also partly a difference in personal approach

  12. kushibo- that's the way the restaurant spells the name. and they pronounce it jeh-NAR-ee. as in wrong, in both pronunciation and emphasis. and it's watered-down and expensive.


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