Winter Wonderland in South Korea

Let it Snow

Photo Courtesy of Lee Jin-man/Ap

With the Winter Olympics nearly upon us, olympic size décor takes center stage. This ice sculpture in Pyeongchang represents not only the traditional Olympic rings, but vignettes of various snow sports.

 Tip Courtesy of NBC News

Bulgogi Burgers

Photo Courtesy of Emily and Matt Clifton

While the Olympics may take place in South Korea this year, this mash up still shows your Go USA pride.


For the Bulgogi Sauce:
1/2 cup (120ml) soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons (20ml) gochujang (spicy Korean red pepper paste)
3 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger (from about one 2-inch knob)
1 tablespoon (15ml) rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
2 teaspoons (10ml) toasted sesame oil
For the Kimchi Mayo:
1 cup (215g) mayonnaise
2 tablespoons (30ml) kimchi brine
1/2 cup finely diced drained kimchi (100g)
1 teaspoon (4g) sugar
1 tablespoon (15ml) toasted sesame oil
1 small clove garlic, grated or minced
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped (about 40g)
For the Burgers:
1 1/2 pounds (680g) fresh ground beef chuck (about 80% lean)
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill
2 tablespoons (10g) toasted sesame seeds
4 sesame seed buns, split
2 cups (about 200g) finely shredded quartered and cored red cabbage
1 recipe danmuji (Korean pickled daikon radish), prepared following the recipe but using thin rounds of daikon instead of strips


For the Bulgogi Sauce: In a small saucepan, mix soy sauce, gochujang, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and brown sugar together. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened enough to coat a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, add sesame oil and let cool. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

For the Kimchi Mayo: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together mayonnaise, kimchi brine, kimchi, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and scallions until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Burgers: Form beef into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch wider than the burger buns. Using your thumb, press a depression into the center of each patty to prevent bulging during cooking.

Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Place patties directly over hot coals, cover with vents open, and cook, turning occasionally. When patties are well charred and the centers register 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, brush each with the bulgogi sauce on both sides. Continue cooking burgers, flipping and brushing with sauce occasionally, until they register 120°F for medium-rare or 130°F for medium.

Remove patties from grill and brush with more sauce on both sides until well glazed and coated. Sprinkle all over with sesame seeds and let rest 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast burger buns over moderate heat on grill until light golden brown. Spread bottom and top buns with kimchi mayonnaise. Layer bottom buns with half the cabbage followed by the danmuji, and patties. Brush top side of patties once more with bulgogi sauce, then top with remaining cabbage, close top buns, and serve.

Super Soju

Photo Courtesy of Graham Hills

Soju, is the most popular drink in South Korea. Likened to Russian vodka, Soju has a sweeter taste thanks to added sugar during the distillation process. Drink it neat or mixed into a variety of drinks.

How to Explain Curling

Photo Courtesy of Dean Hannas

One of the Olympic games that’s often talked about but not understood is curling. In the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, TBA Global Canada created an interactive gaming station that not only explained the elusive sport but allowed guests to play virtually. Interactive gaming stations make the perfect fit for an Olympic themed event.


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