My Korean Icon Contest

What do you think of when you hear the word “Korea”?

Lots of things come to my mind when I hear the word “Korea”… the country, food, culture, Korean dramas, KPop music, Korean actors and actresses, Korean artists and many more. One thing is for sure, I want to visit Korea. I want to step foot in Korean ground, eat Korean food and experience Korean culture.

Actually, one of the contest mechanics is to choose an Icon from PSY’s Wiki Korea Dictionary to write about when answering the question above. I came to know about this contest 2 weeks ago but didn’t know what icon to choose. Should I choose Haeundae because, it is a famous beach located in Busan where my heart lies? Kekeke… I’m a BIG fan of CNBLUE and my favorite members are all of them but the Busan Brothers Jung Yong Hwa and Lee Jong Hyun are like magnets… I am incredibly attracted to them.

Just today when I came to PSY’s Wiki Korea Dictionary and clicked on the icon Samgyeopsal, a memory came to mind… which gave me an idea on what to write as my contest entry. I thought at first that this might be embarrassing, revealing my ignorance… but so be it.


It’s a food I used to hear frequently and seen a lot in Korean dramas or shows. I wonder if there are KPop fans who didn’t know what samgyeopsal is. But I’ve never actually seen it for real or tasted it until recently. My friends and I went to KPub, a newly opened Korean restaurant in Manila after watching CNBLUE’s concert held at Araneta Coliseum on June 15, 2013. And guess what our main meal was? It’s samgyeopsal with kimchi rice!!

I hardly knew how to eat samgyeopsal “properly”. I didn’t even know that there is a proper way to eat it until I told my best-friend that we ate samgyeopsal during my short stay in Manila and answering the question at PSY’s Wiki Korea Dictionary. What is the proper way to eat samgyeopsal? I was like, What?! I’m so ignorant! T__T

All I knew was we had to cook the meat on the grill as instructed by the waitress. So that’s what I did.

Me cooking samgyeopsal

Me cooking samgyeopsal

And there’s actually a lot of food that goes with it. The photo below shows the Banchan (side dishes) that was served along with it. I found out recently that side dishes are called Banchan from PSY’s Wiki Korea Dictionary. ^^



I love Korea and I always knew I will love their food!  Or so that’s what I thought. It’s not my first time eating food which is unfamiliar to me. I already learned a lesson from previous experiences. So, I took small bits of some of the food served, even if I’m really hungry at that time. I hardly ate anything ever since I arrived in Manila on June 14.

There was a fish pancake, I called it that because it’s like a pancake which tasted of fish and a noodle which looks really delicious… but my taste buds didn’t like it so much not even the Kimchi Rice. So, I am totally disheartened. How will I live in Korea if I can’t even eat the food there?

? Noodles

? Noodles

I forgot what the noodle is called. I’m sorry but I don’t know the names of all the food being served. Honestly, I don’t know which among them is Banchan since there really was a lot… hahaha!  Please feel free to let me know. ^^

What I knew is the sliced meats are called samgyeopsal. Nothing else. T__T Talk about being naïve!

So, when I first tasted samgyeopsal, guess what? It tasted bland for me. So, I didn’t get it. I compared samgyeopsal with Liempo (roasted/grilled pork meat), but why does it tasted different. I tried the one which is marinated, it’s a little bit spicy. I added some banchan, I liked the one which looks like atsara (strips of pickled unripe papaya) and anchovies. But, it’s not good if you eat too much of it, it’s very spicy. And, I cannot tolerate spicy food… LOL! I wonder what those are called… Hmmm…

When I told my best-friend about it, she literally screamed at me and said that I should wrap it with the lettuce and put some banchan in it. Then I was like… “Ahh… so the lettuce is for wrapping.” All the while, I thought it’s a salad! My ignorance… is so embarrassing. Right? I was wondering why those who were with me on the table never said anything. Dindin, Jane, Ate Gen, Ate Ayie, Cam, Ate Celine, Ate Ron wae yo??? Maybe because I didn’t ask… Or, we were still in Seventh Heaven spazzing about the concert and how we are eating at the same place with CNBLUE on the 2nd floor. Maybe…

Taken by Veronica @grlygirlie

Taken by Veronica @grlygirlie

Then, when I looked for the answers to the question at PSY’s Wiki Korea Dictionary, What is the proper way to eat samgyeopsal? I stumbled on a very informative blog entry about samgyeopsal by Elle, her blog is titled Cute in Korea. Elle is from California living in Korea with her Korean fiancé. She talks about different types of meat, samgyeopsal and her experience. She actually didn’t like samgyeopsal the first time she had it. At least I’m not alone on that point. ^^

According to her, the “proper” way to eat Samgyeopsal is by taking a piece of the meat and dipping it in the sesame oil or adding the paste to a lettuce leaf, maybe add a bit of cooked garlic or kimchi, wrap it burrito style, and stuff it in your mouth!


From Elle’s blog Cute in Korea

I want to eat samgyeopsal again the proper way because I really want to know how and what it should taste like. It might take some time for that to happen since I’m living in a remote area. 😦

Based from that experience, I’ve learned that it’s not enough just to gush and exclaim how much I love this and that without knowing anything about it. I should get to know it and experience it!

There’s a funny moment for me that night. I’m not sure if it’s funny for those who are with me that moment. I mentioned before that I’m not fond of Kimchi rice. But, I haven’t thought of ordering anything and decided to just go with whatever was served in the table. When the waitress came to our table, Dindin asked if there’s plain rice and if we can have it. Finally! Someone spoke up. When the waitress said “yes”, most of us spoke up and requested for plain rice. 😀 Thanks Din! Because I think I won’t be able to ask and would just continue to drink my melon shake. Not to mention, that’s one of the most expensive meals I’ve had! LOL… For someone who usually spends 20.00 Php for a whole meal. Talk about living in the province. 😦

I would like to thank everyone who made those memories possible. I can’t say or express how grateful I am. I have some great memories to cherish and it’s all because of these people. Thank you very much!

This is my entry for ‘My Korean Icon Contest’ hosted by Korea Tourism Organization Manila Office. Please help me win. Share this blog entry to your friends and comment will be very much appreciated. Thank you for reading. ^^

Why do I want to win??? Going to Korea has been my lifelong dream and for someone in my status who can’t afford such, it takes a miracle for it to happen. As I’ve said, I want to get to know Korea and experience it. What’s the best way to do that but go to Korea, right? So, please help me make this dream come true. Thank you. ^^



45 thoughts on “My Korean Icon Contest

  1. At first I want to eat korean food just because I saw my favorite artist eating it too. But then, I feel inlove with the different taste of korean cuisine until I cook it myself which is a great experience too, making my family and friends taste it too and they’re definitely loving it saying that it taste extra-ordinary. haha! Well among other cuisine, I enjoy eating and making korean foods not only because my Bias eat them but because I enjoy it myself. ^_________^

  2. It’s my third time to eat Samgyupsal, unnie but I still think I haven’t mastered eating it yet. If there is really an art of eating it. lol My recent know-how on it was, Koreans tend to eat it with lettuce then after making the wrap, they would cover the whole thing again with sesame leaf (to which I find rather not good with all the minty taste and all. I still rather have the lettuce wrap alone).

    If you guys like samgyupsal so much, I highly recommend DonDay Resto at QC. I think they now have two branches but I only been to in the main branch. 🙂

  3. Samgyupsal- the first korean food I ate. 🙂 I also want to try other korean foods. But the problem is I’m a picky eater. I hope someday I can eat other Korean foods like ddukboki. 🙂

  4. I love korean foods especially the spicy one..i envy you lyn.the last time i ate with my friends in a korean resto was year ago p when i was in iloilo.. I transferred here in manila because i know CNBLUE will perform here live and presto!!! I’m correct..anyway enjoy eating!!

  5. I hope you will win and next time I want to join too.. I hope there will still be contest like this next time by the time I will have enough time to write and think of an amazing blog like this waaahhh I am not really into writing…aigoo so ottoke? haaahahhaha I also love CNBLUE so much so I will do that next time for the love of our boys!! 🙂 I also love korean foods!!!! Though, most of their foods are spicy I have my pinoy style of making my own kimchi.. ahahha indeed it’s really fascinating to learn and explore new culture, food, people and language. Goodluck Ms. Lyna!!! Hope youll win and don’t forget to share to us again your experiences. #CLAIM IT!! You will win!!! Fighting!!! 🙂 next time sana ako or kme naman ng mga fangirl frends ko haha!!!!

  6. That was quite an experience Ms. Lyna. It’s glad to know that i’m not alone in having the same problem whenever i go to a new place & try a new dish. Not that i do it very often =), but still. I also heard Samgyupsal a lot. From Kdramas & the kpop fans in this kpop world we’re addicted to, one can’t help but be expose to korean foods. And I finally tried one last July 9 in KPUB during CNBLUE Fiesta, i forgot what it’s called but it was spicy & the other one was bland (at least for me) together with softdrink. I hardly finished it & sigh as i look at the waiter taking it away. It was like ‘what a waste ..’ =) But, i still like to try other other korean foods..and this Samgyupsal. Thanks to your blog, i already have the tip on how to eat it properly. Thanks & goodluck! Hope you win & have your dream come true.=)

  7. actually Unnie, i wanted to experience those things in the future.. i wanted to have my experience in korea, 🙂 i think that’s the best experience in my whole life when it comes. 🙂 thank you for giving me more strenght, encourage and challenging me for achieving my goal. 🙂 fighting Unnie god bless and take 🙂

  8. I think samgyeopsal will be really unforgettable for you. 🙂 It was also my friends who taught me how to eat samgyeopsal properly and the 1st time I tasted it, ah it was so delicious! now, I feel so hungry while reading this.. 🙂

  9. I think Samgyupsal is really delicious because most foreigners and also K-Pop idols who are foreigners, like 2PM’s Nichkhun and f(x)’s Victoria, who tasted Samgupsal instantly fell in love with the food. lol. And I also want to try it too because the only only Korean food that I have tasted so far is dukbokki and I didn’t really enjoy eating. Hahahahhaa.
    “I love Korea and I always knew I will love their food!” —> Agree! I will do my best to love their food.

    Daebak! ❤

  10. like u lyna i only see and heard Samgyeopsal in korean dramas i watch. and thanks to u, thru u i met quellie, maricar and kris who introduce me to this tasteful korean food i ever first tasted, and like it instantly.

  11. waaaah !! eonnie ! I envy you !!!! I also want to eat any korean food someday and samgyeopsal will be the first I will taste !! based on what you’ve experience I think I will love eating samgyeopsal :))) it’s meat and I really love meat though I dont like fresh vegetables >.< hahaha. and also it's spicy !! 😀 and for the kimchi rice … hmmm. i've tasted a kimchi before and a don't like it a bit. haha ! I prefer eating plain rice with soup 😀 but what I like about korean food is they have so many side dishes ❤ ❤ like exactly on the kdramas and kmovies. sometimes I think once you eat a korean dish all of the nutrients that you will need for a day is already complete. XD i already want to go to korea !!! anyways eonnie !! GOD BLESS 😀

  12. Haha Eonnie, your experience is quite funny..LOL..Actually, samgyupsal is the only korean food I actually liked ‘coz its a meat and u know for a fact that i’m a carnivorous..haha..When i ate samgyupsal i always ask for a soy sauce and vinegar since i really dont like mixing it with the side dishes much worse wrapping it on a lettuce..And i always have plain rice thats why i’m kinda brave to ask for one since most of the korean resto we went to have plain rice..I do love korea but i think one thing that i would have difficulty is their food. Maybe we can bring cup noodles and skyflakes when we go there (someday).. Anyways, hope u win this contest eonnie..FIGHTING 🙂

    • Eonnie /dindinmejong ~ same with you!! I do love Korea, but its not easy for me to like their food~ I haven’t tried anything.. just a k-noodles, LOL my friends always make my try to eat some!~ but a no, no. I wish I could eat them.. because that what our favorite k-idol’s eat and I believe korean foods are really delicious and its just unfimiliar taste to us! 🙂 btw, Eonnie Lyna thanks for sharing your k-food experience, i enjoyed reading it! 🙂

    • Thanks a lot Din! I thought you would say something.. during the dinner. Mejo mahirap din tay mag-usap that time. LOL. Camille, should have told me. LOL. We were seatmates. 😀

  13. LOVE this, unnie. Lucky you for tasting korean foods. :)) I also share the same wish as yours. :(( I wish we’ll have the chance to go to Korea and hang out with our 4boys ❤ DAEBAK!

  14. Looking at those pictures makes me drool. haha~
    I’ve always wanted to eat samgyeopsal since I always see it in Korean dramas (and the cast makes me drool while they’re eating it TT.TT). From then, samgyeopsal was like my “dream Korean food”, with those lettuce wraps and all .<3
    I really like the Korean food for being nutritious yet appealing to the eye. I even tried some dishes and even cook! My first dish was Kimchi fried rice and somehow, I liked it :))
    Somehow, being a Bicolano for having a great tolerance for spicy foods (I really like spicy foods since "normal" taste seems a bit bland for me XD). So I tried their "mild" ramyun (from a Korean food chain), but I was really shocked by its taste- IT WASN'T EVEN MILD AT ALL. Good thing I didn't try the other one labeled "spicy" haha 🙂

    Okay I've shared enough, thank you for sharing your "Samgyeopsal experience", Ate Lyna. If I ever try eating samgyeopsal, I'll remember this~!

  15. I’ve been bugging everyone about how I want to try samgyeopsal and have been wondering how tasty that would be based mainly on how it looks but after reading this blog entry, I felt a bit embarrassed… All I know is samgyeopsal is supposed to be grilled in front of you and nothing more… For me, because I like Korea, means I would like every food served at the country but this blog really helped me realize that not all korean food can satisfy anyone … But still I wanted to try every Korean food that comes my way… that would be kind of a great experience for my taste buds 🙂

  16. For me, i sometimes I don’t like Korean foods too, LOL because Im very picky and I don’t eat vegetables same with spicy foods, which is my big problem! 😦 but I really want to try eating there at KPub, k-foods look so yummy especially the one you’re talking about, samgyeopsal 🙂

  17. Yes! Samgyupsal is one of the most notorious Korean dishes that is oftenly seen in Korean dramas. I’ve never been to a Korean BBQ place that sells Samgyupsal because, the one I went to before had broken grills so they grilled the meat inside their kitchen 😦 Anyway, eating Samgyupsal even if you’re not in Korea and you’re not Korean feels like you’re in Korea and you’re one with them! ^^

    Btw, the noodles is called Japchae. (maybe?) 🙂

    • Thanks!… maybe its Japchae.. LOL. I wish there are labels on the food. XD
      Why did you say its notorious? am somewhat surprised with your description. kekeke..

      • I often see it e, aside from Ddukbokki and kimchi. hehe. For a non-Korean, what we always see is syempre what we know. That’s why Samgyupsal is making waves internationally na rin. 🙂 hahaha

      • When you hear the word Korea, what comes in to your mind?
        Paragraph: Korea, a vast land of outrageous and epic culture full with literature and Music.
        Hearing the word Korea is like giving a warm whisper into your ear.
        The waves crashing in the shores of the great little country, and it’s never ending glory awaits in the people who are planning to depart in this amazing country.
        Seeing the flickering lights of the advance building and the night sky of the entropy of their music, the Kpop.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s