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Sweet Potato Pastries for “Chuseok”

This year’s 추석: (Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving Day) falls on September 19th. As one of the most important celebrations in South Korea is fast approaching, Chuseok gift sets abound. Have you thought of what present to bring along when you visit your husband’s parents or your Korean friend’s house?

If you happen to pass by Dongdaemun station, why not check out 고구마명가 (Goguma myeongga)? This small cafe and bakery, which is actually just a food stall, sells delicious pie, bread, cookies and other pastries made of goguma or sweet potato. They have gift sets which are very affordable and perfect as Chuseok presents.

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Here are gift set samples for Chuseok.

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A 20-piece gift set costs 26 USD (1,137 PHP); a 14-piece gift set is 17 USD (771 PHP)… not too pricey compared to other Chuseok gifts like traditional Korean sweets or pastries, wine, fruit, meat, etc.

Today, I found a Chuseok gift set of traditional Korean sweets in Lotte Department Store, and my jaw dropped when I looked at the price… 200,000 KRW (183 USD) (8,119 PHP)! Traditional Korean sweets are not even that toothsome.

I don’t really like sweet potatoes, but 고구마명가 makes very good sweet potato pastries. My favorite is goguma-green tea pie which is best eaten when it is just out of the oven. I always ask for the newly-baked pie whenever I buy.

Here in Korea, there are so many dishes made of sweet potato, from appetizers to desserts such as salad, pizza, cookies, cake and even ice cream! Sometimes it’s cooked with meat, too.

You can buy 20 pieces of assorted sweet potato cookies in a box for 16 USD (731 PHP). If you would like to bring some for your family, you can buy 10 pieces of different flavors of pie and cookies for 13 USD (568 PHP).

I bought sweet potato pastries for my parents-in-law the other day, and they liked them. I am going to order a Chuseok set for my husband’s eldest uncle. I think his family will like the gift. =)

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고구마명가 has shops all over Korea. Here is a list of where the shops are located and their numbers. Visit their website for more information. 

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What other gifts are great for Chuseok? Please share them with us by clicking the comment button. ^^

Have a happy Chuseok! ^^


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Different Kinds of Korean Pancakes (Buchimgae)

What do you like to eat when it rains?

When I was in the Philippines, my Mom would make delicious champorado (chocolate rice porridge) or lugaw (congee or boiled rice porridge) to warm us up on a rainy day.

Here in South Korea, the most famous comfort food during the rainy season is 부침개 (buchimgae) or 전 (jeon), also known as Korean pancake or Korean pizza. Koreans eat it with 막걸리 (makgeolli) or rice wine.

Officially drunk with makgeolli ^^

Officially drunk with makgeolli ^^

Last night, hubby and I went to a new restaurant in Janghyeon that serves buchimgae and makgeolli. These restaurants are called 부침개집 (buchimgae jib or buchimgae house).

We ordered 해물파전 (haemul pajeon), buchimgae with green onions and seafood, and of course, makgeolli. It was my first time to try home-made makgeolli. Not only was it tastier than the ones we usually buy in plastic bottles or cans, but it was also stronger in alcohol content. After my third bowl, I felt my head spinning. I don’t really drink. I just like the sweet taste of makgeolli. I couldn’t resist it every time my husband refilled my bowl.

The buchimgae we ordered was so good that we ate all of it right away! Since we still had makgeolli and hubby wanted to drink soju, we ordered another dish두부김치 (dubu kimchi or tofu kimchi). Dubu kimchi is not a kind of buchimgae, but most buchimgae houses include it in their menu.

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There are many kinds of buchimgae. I have tried most of them. They are often served as 반찬 (banchan or side dishes), 안주 (anju or food for drinking), appetizers or desserts.

Below is a list of this appetizing dish made with various ingredients such as meat, seafood and vegetables:

WITH MEAT

  • Yukjeon (육전), made with sliced beefa
  • Wanjajeon (완자전) or donggeurang ttaeng (동그랑땡), small ball-shaped jeon made with minced beef, tofu, and vegetables
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Hubby and I made our favorite jeon two years ago. We weren’t busy then, so we had a lot of time to cook together. The round ones are wanjajeon. The longer ones are called getip jeon. We also use minced beef for this kind of jeon, but the beef is wrapped in sesame leaves.

  • Cheonyeopjeon (처녑전), made with part of an animal’s stomach (Yup, animal’s stomach, particularly that of a cow! ^^)a
  • Ganjeon (간전), made with beef livera

WITH SEAFOOD

  • Saewoojeon (새우전), made with shrimp

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  • Daehajeon (대하전), made with prawns123
  • Guljeon (굴전), made with oysters

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  • Daegujeon (대구전), made with gray codugcCAKQO983
  • Mineojeon (민어전), made with croakera

WITH VEGETABLES

  • Kimchijeon (김치전), made with kimchi (Every Korean household has kimchi in the fridge, so this has got to be the most common buchimgae.)

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    Haemul kimchijeon (kimchijeon with seafood) from my favorite buchimgae house ^^

  • Gamjajeon (감자전), made with mashed or ground potato

    My Omonim (mother-in-law) brought home a box of potatoes, so I thought of making gamjajeon. I will share with you the recipe on my next post. ^^

    My Omonim (mother-in-law) brought home a big box of potatoes, so I thought of making gamjajeon. I will share with you the recipe on my next post. ^^

  • Hobakjeon (호박전), made with squash

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  • Gochujeon (고추전), made with chili peppers

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  • Gajijeon (가지전), made with eggplant

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Sometimes meat, vegetables and seafood are combined to make buchimgae.

Other kinds of buchimgae are as follows:

  • Dubujeon (두부전), made with tofuugc
  • Bindaetteok (빈대떡), made with mung beans, vegetables, and meat or seafoodugcCAPOMWSG
  • Memiljeon (메밀전), made with buckwheatugcCAMS0DER
  • Hwajeon (화전), made with edible flowers like rose or azaleaugcCASMN0Q0

This coming 추석 (Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving Day), my family and I will be making different kinds of buchimgae as we do every year. Buchimgae is not only served with makgeolli or eaten as part of everyday meal. It is also prepared on important traditional ceremonies and feasts in South Korea. 

What is your favorite buchimgae? Do you like to eat it while drinking makgeolli? If you haven’t tried this dish yet, there might be one kind of buchimgae that will rock your palate. Among all the buchimgae mentioned in this post, which one looks appetizing to you?

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