Category Archives: Blog

The Year of the Monkey

Here in the United States, we’re all largely finished celebrating the New Year by now. However, for Korea, the real celebration is coming up on February 8th. It is then that the traditional Chinese lunar calendar marks the return of the Year of the Monkey.

If you were born on the Year of the Monkey, you were born under a very auspicious sign. Monkeys are associated with many qualities that assure them great success in business. They are known to be a playful, adaptable, curious, and highly intellectual group, adept at playing pranks and excelling at whatever career they choose. Particularly strong choices for people born under the influence of the Monkey include careers in science, engineering, the arts, or sales.

As monkeys are easily bored, they can often take a while to settle down in a relationship. Fortunately, when they do find their special someone, they are generally able to commit to him or her for life.

Try making your own Year of the Monkey more special by making healthy and delicious Korean food a bigger part of your life. Our Lynnwood Korean BBQ has numerous favorites that go well with any occasion.

Christmas in South Korea

South Korea has been officially a Buddhist country for a long time. However, Christianity has become remarkably popular in recent decades, to the point where between 25% and 30% of the population identifies as Christian. This makes the religion roughly the equal of the 30% Buddhist population, which has led the country to be the only East Asian country to have made Christmas a national holiday.

In many ways, the traditional South Korean Christmas is similar to our own seasonal celebrations. Department stores and theme parks will put up festive decorations to mark the occasion. Some homes have taken to erecting the familiar Christmas tree and other traditional decorations we know in the United States. Gift-giving is common, with many children receiving presents from Santa Claus, whom they know as “Santa Harabujee”. Though this is largely recognized as a religious day, even much of the non-Christian population will partake of the festivities with Christmas dinners, caroling parties, and more.

Bring a little bit of South Korea into your own holiday season this year with Arirang’s Lynnwood Korean BBQ. A plate of hearty bulgogi or other Korean classics goes great with any special occasion!

The South Korean Christmas Dinner

In the United States, you can generally expect a traditional Christmas meal of turkey, stuffing, and other seasonal favorites. However, much of this is largely unknown in South Korea. Turkey is hard to find and prohibitively expensive, eggnog is not widely sold in stores, and it’s generally difficult for an American expat to put together a familiar holiday meal.

Much of Korea enjoys a traditional Christmas meal, though theirs is very different from our own. They are more likely to indulge in old Korean favorites, including Korean barbecue, sweet potato noodles, rice cake soups, and kimchi. For dessert, they may enjoy colorful sweet rice cakes.

It is very common for Koreans to go out to eat for Christmas dinner. For couples, it is a romantic occasion similar to Valentine’s Day. Fine dining establishments will fill up with reservations on the day.

You, too, can enjoy a hearty and traditional Korean meal this holiday season with the help of Arirang. Come to our Lynnwood Korean BBQ today to make your season brighter!

Saying “Thank You” in Korean

There are many ways to express your thanks this Thanksgiving season. From shared prayers, gifts, and toasts to simple thank-yous, the lexicon for gratitude is a rich one. Should you ever find yourself at a Korean table, though, there is a selection of Korean terms that may come in handy:

  • Gomawo/Kamsahaeyo: Either of these terms is a good thank-you to use with people you can comfortably be informal with, like close friends and children.
  • Gomapseumnida: This is a moderately formal expression of gratitude, appropriate for use with teachers, workplace superiors, and people who are older than you.
  • Kamsa Hamnida: The most formal of the Korean thank-yous, this expression translates to “thank you very much”.
  • Jal Meokkesseumnida: This expression is specifically for use before meals, used to show your thanks to your chef or host.

After you are tired of turkey leftovers this holiday season come to our Lynnwood Korean BBQ for a change of pace. We’ll give you a Korean dining experience that you can truly feel thankful for!

Could Domestic Rice Have Originated in Korea?

Rice may very well be the single most important food in the world. It has been eaten by more people over a longer period of time than any other crop cultivated by civilization. Its history goes at least as far back thousands of years in ancient China. Since its versatility allows it to be grown in many parts of the world, from deserts to wetlands, it showed promise as a staple crop for many cultures. The crop therefore spread from China to Sri Lanka and India, then into the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, North Africa, and the rest of the world.

For a while, the earliest cultivation of rice was placed at ten thousand years ago. However, in 2003, South Korean archaeologists claimed to find the oldest known domesticated rice in central South Korea. This rice, coming in the form of 59 burnt grains, apparently comes from between fourteen and fifteen thousand years ago. This roundly beats out the previous oldest rice grains, found in the Yangtze River in China. These findings challenge our previous notions of when and where domestic rice first came about, and suggest an even greater significance of the grain to Korean culinary history.