This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
APRIL 2, 2008
No jalapenos? Try ‘Gochu poppers’
Expat living is a page dedicated
to the issues that affect expats' daily lives. It is your page, where you can share stories about your life in Korea. Send story ideas to Matthew Lamers at email@example.com
Out of all the adapted recipes I’ve written about in this column, this has to be the tastiest by far. I was surprised that it turned out so well — it’s so simple, yet so addictive. A staple American bar snack is jalapeno poppers. They’re not the same wherever you go. There are slight regional differences that determine what gets stuffed into the jalapenos and what breading is used. Some areas of the country use mostly cheddar cheese, while others use cream cheese. Some are even stuffed with bacon and some are stuffed with lump crab meat. The breading can consist of breadcrumbs, cracker meal and cornmeal.
Joe McPherson on Dining
Let’s try a Korean take on them, and call them “Gochu Poppers,” using Korean peppers instead of jalapenos. The name also works well with the prurient quality of many bar food and cocktail titles . You can find the ingredients at any big box supermarket, maybe even the local grocer. The hardest to find and most expensive item on the list is cream cheese. Impossible to find a few years ago, cream cheese is steadily growing in popularity. As of now, they mostly come in small tubs and it’s exactly the amount you
need for a batch of poppers. You also need a standard bag of Korean peppers. Try to get one with some fat ones in there so they are easier to stuff. Make sure they are fresh and not soft or wrinkly. You want fat, round, stiff peppers. The most controversial ingredient on the list is imitation crab meat. It’s controversial because there are purists who refuse to eat any crab except the real stuff. All I have to say to that is: imitation crab meat is, in fact, real seafood. It’s from whitefish. It also originated in this part of the world, and Korea and Japan have come a long way in imitation crab meat technology. When shopping for
fake crab, the best are the ones that look like king crab legs, where producers try to mimic the texture of a real crab. Enough shopping. Here’s the recipe: Dump the cream cheese into a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for a while. Finely, chop a clove of garlic and two fake crab sticks. Mix them with the cream cheese. You can add more ingredients and seasonings if you want to, but I feel that these simple three ingredients are a perfect match. Split the peppers in half and remove the insides. I recommend wearing plastic gloves for this part, especially for those of us who wear contact lenses.
Stuff the cream cheese mixture into each half and lay them out on a plate. Put the plate in the fridge or freezer for a while so the cream cheese hardens. Heat some oil for deep frying. Make a tempura batter using a cup of flour, one cold egg and a cup of ice water. Carbonated water works even better. Dip the stuffed peppers in the batter and fry them until they’re golden brown. Serve with whatever sauce strikes your fancy. Joe can be reached through his website, the ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal, zenkimchi.com — Ed.
Wines that expand your horizons
Dan Ellis on Wine
You could be forgiven for thinking there are very few grape varieties out there for making wine. There are a few varietals that dominate the wine market’s limelight so comprehensively that shelf space for some of the world’s more interesting grapes is limited. In Korea, this effect is doubled. There is, as in many of the developing Asian wine markets, a desire to buy only the best — and, for many, this means Bordeaux, Burgundy and the big reds of Italy. There is a tendency to see red wine as serious and masculine, and that only mature, tannic and, most importantly, expensive wines are worthy of consideration. This week I want to highlight some of the more obscure wines that are available that offer drinkers a chance to expand their repertoires, and hopefully open up some new drinking pleasures. First up is one of my absolute favorite grape varieties — Gewurztraminer. It’s a killer to spell but a knock-out to smell. If you like aromatic wines, then this is the king of the aromatics. A white wine with probably the most distinctive nose in the wine world. Lychees, rose, passion fruit and florals — it is like the most decadent bubble bath you can imagine. All these flavors follow through to the palate, and, be it dry or off dry, it is as exotic a wine as you could want. If you like Turkish Delight, you will like this. New World examples tend to be dry and good value and unfortunately have not yet made an impact in Korea. Alsace is Gewurz’s home in France, and in Shindong Wine and Les Vins Maeils, you will find Hugels on offer. Aromatic and slightly oily, it comes in at a pocket picking 30,000 won ($30.50) but if you are feeling adventurous, it is well worth a punt. If I described Pinot Grigio as an adventurous varietal in England I would be laughed out of the room. Pinot Grigio is about as safe a white wine as can be bought. It is clean, crisp and is generally produced from slightly unripe fruit, leading to a very simple wine. It is difficult to get hold of at all in Korea, and the ones available are, to my mind, overpriced. Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same thing but the use of a different name actually leads to a totally different wine. Pieroth has a great example of New Zealand Pinot Gris. It is wonderfully soft with good stoned fruit characteristics — think apricot — and a brisk citrus acidity that leads to something of a guzzler. At the time of writing, it is available by the glass at Kabinett in Itaewon at a happy-hour price of less than 5,000 won. You cannot argue with that. Sileni’s Semillon, for 28,000 won from Shindong Wine, is a honey lemon delight and is the only New World Semillon I have seen here. By supporting these more unusual wines, we are encouraging more experimentation. South African Chenin Blancs please! Unusual reds are less likely to be found but we do get Chilean Carmenere, which offers a soft, cherry fruit wine with a distinctive chocolate aspect. These can be found in your local convenience store at a convenient price. You are in Korea; you are an adventurous type. Be adventurous in your wine choices and you are sure to be rewarded. Go to www.pierothwines.co.kr for more information on Pieroth Wines. Dan can be reached through his website at wine-in-korea.blogspot.com — Ed.
PHOTO CHALLENGE — At the Lotus Festival Parade Rehearsal, a woman holds up a lotus flower.The lotus flower grows from the depths of muddy water to rise above the surface and bloom with remarkable beauty. The lotus symbolizes purity of heart and mind.
Laura L. Hall (flickr.com/photos/torchcrooner)
In focus — Bokeh
By David Smeaton
I’ve just learned about “bokeh.” It’s such a cool technique. How do I learn more about it? Ji-young, Seoul. “Bokeh” is one of the most popular, and talked-about, techniques in photography. The word bokeh is Japanese and it refers to the quality of any outof-focus areas in a photograph. Photos naturally have varying depths of field. Some parts of a photo will be in focus; some will be out of focus. Obviously, out-of-focus areas are blurry. The art of bokeh is turning the out-of-focus area to your advantage and using it
to create beautiful photos with soft backgrounds. Bokeh is achieved by using a shallow depth of field. You control the depth of field with your camera’s aperture settings. A big aperture is where your lens iris is wide open. This is represented by an f-stop, such as f1.4, f2, f2.8, and so on. A big aperture has the shallowest depth of field. So, by shooting at f2, a large portion of the shot will be out of focus. This is bokeh. Lowering your aperture to f16 or lower, will give a greater depth of field and show more of the shot in focus. This is handy when shooting landscapes, but is the exact opposite of what a photographer wants to do when
they are trying to achieve a photo with good bokeh. To make bokeh look pleasing, set your aperture as wide as possible. Some lenses go as low as f1.4, but f2 or f2.8 is good as well. Photograph a subject with an interesting background and the blurriness will enhance the appeal of the photo. Photographers often talk about which lenses get better bokeh results. There’s no doubt that prime lenses (lenses that don’t zoom) produce much better bokeh. Zoom lenses, due to their construction, don’t have as pleasing bokeh, but these days, the quality of zoom lenses is so good that many do a wonderful job.
Finally, while shallow depth of field produces great bokeh, be careful that you don’t make your depth of field too shallow. When shooting people, the nose can be in focus, and their eyes may be out of focus. In that case, your depth of field is too shallow for your shot. Make sure that you find a compromise to keep your subject sharp and your background soft. Here are some useful tips: 1. Keep your aperture as wide as it goes. 2. Use a prime lens; you’ll always get better results. 3. When using a telephoto lens, zoom out as far as possible. 4. Stand as close to your subject as you can (allowing for
minimum focal distance). 5. Try to stay far away from your background. The further the better! 6. Natural light through trees makes for a great background and awesome bokeh. 7. Shooting in macro (bugs and flowers) makes it easy to get great bokeh. Happy shooting. Send David a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.davidsmeaton.com. If you want to be a part of the weekly Photo Challenge, join the “Seoul Photo Club” group at flickr (flickr.com/groups/seoulphotoclub). — Ed.
Sunday football back in action
By Eoghan Ryan
Korea’s busiest expat football league is in its fourth week of games following an off season dominated by player transfers, team withdrawals and even some additions. As expected, the early pace-setters in Division One have been the Seoul Celtic and the Seoul British Jokers. Both teams strengthened their squads in the off season and have already secured maximum points. The elevation of the Celtic and Jokers to the roles of favorites has been at the expense of last year’s champions Daejeon De La Cuba, and perennial contenders, Seoul United. Keeping key players fit could be the difference between the Celtic winning their first title or the Jokers notching up a sixth crown. Seoul United have consolidated their two teams, and have changed management and moved grounds. Despite losing some influential players, manager Cisse Youssouf feels that the club is now stronger than ever. He said that the win over Anyang shows
“Seoul United Football Club (is) getting back on track to where it belongs.” He accepted that, with two losses, it will be difficult to win the title, but they are confident of contesting for a top-three position. The Daejeon situation is further evidence that the biggest challenge which faces the league is consistency from one season to the next. Despite winning the championship last year, Daejeon was forced to withdraw from the league due to squad depletion. Two teams have been added to Divison Two. Dave Kim of the Incheon Red Dogs welcomed the addition of Bundang F.C. and Persian Storm F.C. as being an important step in “maintaining a two division league.” Last Season’s Division Two champions, Inter Suwon, edged rivals Anyang by a single goal in one of the games of the season so far. Both teams have now lost two games and, while perhaps out of the running for the title, will have something to say about who wins it. Anyang assistant manager Aaron Jolly said after their loss to Seoul United, “We’ve probably missed our
chance at having a realistic shot at the title now, but we will still be a handful for the two teams in the race.” Suwon, having been competitive in its away loss to the Jokers the week before, conceded seven to a rampant Celtic at home in a game that turned on the horrific injury sustained by Sean Blakeley in the Suwon midfield. Blakeley broke his leg in three places, and captain Phil Ringrose felt that the 15 minutes following the incident, when his “shellshocked” team conceded t h r e e times, were pivotal.
Photo by Edgar Hodge
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.