Category Archives: Blog

Korea’s Rice Wine is the World’s Best-Selling Alcohol

If somebody asked you what the most popular liquor in the world was, what would you guess? The answer may surprise you. Though soju may not be as recognizable a name as vodka, whiskey, or sake, it has topped lists of best-selling alcoholic beverages throughout the globe for years.

Soju, the national drink of South Korea, has been skyrocketing in popularity recently. It currently sells in about eighty countries, and is only spreading further. According to Drinks International in their annual lists of best-selling spirits, a brand of soju known as Jinro Soju sold 65 million nine-litre cases in 2013, beating out Smirnoff for the coveted title of best-selling spirit by threefold.

It’s little wonder that soju should be so popular. South Korea boasts the world’s highest alcohol consumption per capita, and this rice wine makes up fully 97% of their alcohol market. If you’ve never experienced the magic of soju for yourself, come and give it a try at Arirang Korean BBQ in Lynnwood today!

A Short History of Kimchi

Modern kimchi can be traced back to something that the ancient Korean people knew as ji. This dish was similar to the most common varieties of kimchi we see today in that it came in the form of pickled napa cabbage. It was mostly a practicality, in that the lack of sophisticated refrigeration made the preservation of vegetables difficult.

This early kimchi remained more or less the same until the twelfth century. It was around this time that people began to experiment with adding new ingredients to their recipes. The most significant of these innovations came about in the seventeenth century, when traders from Portugal finally brought the Brazilian red pepper to Korea. This would lead to the gochujang red pepper paste that has become such a significant fixture in Korean cooking, and is responsible for the distinctive red coloration that most kimchi has today.

Today, Korean historians have identified nearly two hundred distinct varieties of this ancient favorite, encompassing regional recipes and innovations from throughout the ages. If you’ll like to get a taste of this treasure of Korean culture, come and visit us at our Lynnwood Korean BBQ.

Valentine’s Day and White Day in South Korea

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in South Korea in much the same way that it is in the United States, but with a few exceptions. Most notably, it is the Korean women who traditionally buy gifts for the special men in their lives, rather than the other way around. These gifts will most often come in the form of special chocolate boxes.

Though this might seem one-sided to us in the United States, South Korea has a second holiday where the men have the opportunity to return the favor. They call this day White Day, which takes place exactly one month after Valentine’s Day. The day gets its name from the boxes of chocolate that are marketed for men to buy for the women, which are generally colored white.

When you need a way to show your appreciation to the special man or woman in your life, consider a trip to Arirang Korean Barbeque in Lynnwood. Our hearty and healthy Korean fare is a great accompaniment to any romantic night out.

Korean Dining on a Low-Sodium Diet

There are many superior health benefits to eating Korean food. Indeed, Korea is one of the world’s healthiest countries. However, the Korean people are also known for consuming more sodium than almost all other nations. But does this mean that you can’t have Korean food if you’re trying to reduce your sodium levels? Not at all! Just follow these simple guidelines, and you should be able to enjoy a meal at Lynnwood Korean BBQ while abiding by your low-sodium diet:

  • Much of the sodium that Koreans consume can be traced to the fact that they eat salt-rich kimchi with just about every meal. Enjoy this classic dish sparingly, and you’re already cutting out much of the sodium of the Korean diet.
  • Soy sauce is fairly high in sodium, though it is also a lower sodium alternative to a comparable amount of salt. Use soy sauce sparingly.
  • If you’re trying to reduce your sodium, you want to make sure you’re getting enough potassium. This mineral helps purge sodium from your body. Look for potassium-rich foods, like soy, potato, and fatty fish. Other fair sources of potassium include red meat and green vegetables.

The Story of Korea’s Zodiac

South Korea, like many other Asian countries, has recognized the traditional Chinese lunar calendar for a long time. This is a calendar with a twelve-year cycle, each year falling under the influence of one of the calendar’s zodiac animals.

The legend behind the development of the Chinese zodiac comes in numerous forms. According to some, it was Buddha himself who first invited the animals who would become the twelve zodiac signs to pay witness to his departure from the material world. In other versions, it was China’s Jade Emperor inviting the animals to his birthday celebration. In some accounts, all of the animals were invited, and the only twelve to respond were rewarded with their positions on the Chinese calendar. In other versions, positions on the calendar were awarded according to a competition between the animals. Even the animals themselves are not always agreed upon, though the most widely recognized lineup includes the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Serpent, the Horse, the Ram, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Pig.

This year, we celebrate the return of the Year of the Monkey. Come and get your year off to a strong start with Arirang Korean BBQ in Lynnwood.