From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."


Pop Rice

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite snacks in the Philippines was pop rice (puffed rice), also known as “ampao”. Pop rice is Philippine’s version of rice krispies. The sugary treat is made of cooked rice that is sun-dried so that it turns very crispy. Peanut is sometimes an added ingredient. Pop rice comes in different colors and shapes. There are white, brown and rainbow-colored pop rice. Sometimes they are made into balls or mini square bars. Some are rectangular or shaped into cookies.

As I was walking along Janghyeon today, a truck full of traditional Korean snacks caught my attention. (It was o-il jang, five-day market. ^^) The ajossi asked me to try some of the snacks. (Yipee! ^^ There’s always free taste in SK.)

One of the snacks I tried reminded me of the pop rice I used to buy in the sari-sari store (convenience store in the Philippines). The grains of the “puffed rice” in Korea are bigger compared to the rice grains used in the Philippines, but they taste almost similar. I like the texture of Philippine pop rice more, though. The “brown” pop rice in the Philippines is not as hard as the “brown” pop rice in Korea. There are also nuts in Korean pop rice. (Actually, it’s nuttier than Philippine pop rice.)

I bought a bundle of brown caramel-flavored pop rice for 3,000 KRW (110.17 PHP) (2.54 USD).

The ajossi, who was very nice and chatty, gave me  some Magic Pop or popped cake, too. ^^ Popped cake is a fat-free, low-calorie snack made from brown rice, wheat and corn. I think the snack is called Magic POP because when a piece of popped cake is fed into the machine where it is made, it makes that cute “popping” sound. ^^

When hubby and I had our vacation in the Philippines last year, I was surprised to see Korean popped cake being sold in SM Clark, a well-known shopping center in my hometown in Pampanga. Filipinos don’t like bland snacks or food. Popped cake doesn’t have much taste, but I saw a few Filipinos buying Magic Pop… or maybe they were curious? As for me, I prefer Korean pop rice.


Korean Snacks: What’s Your Favorite Korean Chocolate?

Just last week, I remember writing about the gift check we got from LG in a post “Freebies Galore“. A few days ago, my husband and I got another gift check from LG worth 200, 000 KRW (7,563 PHP or 177 USD), for signing a 3-year internet contract with them… yipee! ^^

After collecting the checks in Homeplus, we decided to spend some of the money to buy some of our favorite snacks. My husband is delighted when his mini-snack bar is full.  ^^

We are both chocolate lovers… the very reason we have gained weight since we got married and lived together.

 My husband likes chocolates in the Philippines more than chocolates in Korea. Chocolates made in the Philippines are sweeter and more flavorful. Chocolates made in Korea are not as sweet; however, there are a few Korean chocolates that we enjoy such as…

Ghana Mild Cacao is a product of Lotte. It is actually a popular Japanese chocolate brand. Hubby and I like this chocolate because of its "mild taste and dissolving sensation." Two bars cost only 1000 KRW (38 PHP or 89 cents).

This mini chocolate from Royal reminds me of the "pop rice" in the Philippines (similar to rice krispie treats), because of the crunchy crisp balls coated in milk chocolate. A box costs 1,350 KRW (51 PHP or 1.20 USD) and contains 10 pieces.

This is my favorite Korean chocolate. It's another product of Lotte which isn't too sweet but has that rich milk chocolate goodness. I always buy the bigger pack (231 grams)which is 4,790 KRW (181 PHP or 4.24 USD). The smaller pack (75 grams) is 1,300 KRW (49 php or 1.15 USD). ABC Chocolate has peanut butter flavor which is delicious, too.

Watch out for the next post on Korean snacks… we will scream for ice cream!!! ^^