Category Archives: Blog

Protecting Yourself from Mercury

When people think about the health implications of fish, mercury tends to stand out among their concerns. How much should you worry about it? How much can you eat without putting yourself at risk? We want you to feel at ease when you dine on our seafood at our Seattle Korean restaurant, so we offer the following advice:

In truth, you can’t expect to entirely avoid mercury no matter what you eat. It exists naturally, with more of it released naturally into the atmosphere every year from the Earth itself than from human pollutants. It finds its way into sea plants, which are eaten by small fish, which are eaten by larger fish, and so on up the food chain. The question should therefore be how can you limit your intake and counter the harmful effects associated with it.

The good news is that the FDA minimum safety level is set at one part per million (ppm), and most fish feature a mercury level of between 0.01 ppm to 0.5 ppm. The minimum safety level by itself is a conservative number, significantly below the level present in fish that have historically been found to cause mercury poisoning. Meanwhile, many seafoods have been found to boast properties that serve to reverse the negative impacts of mercury and purge such toxins from your system. A wisely-planned fish diet is therefore considered to be highly beneficial.

Sustainable Farmed Fish

When it comes to fish, sustainability is becoming more and more important. Our consumption of seafood strains the populations of the ocean, which are already having a lot of trouble with pollution and the increased ocean acidity caused by our carbon output. This is why our Seattle Korean restaurant believes in the importance of farmed fish.

According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, farmed fish accounts for about half of the fish that we consume. In this way, struggling fish populations are being given a fighting chance, and communities that depend on the bounty of the ocean are better able to support themselves. Seek out sustainable fish where you can, and allow the world of the future to continue to enjoy fine fish and Korean food as we do today.

The Story of Soy Sauce

Have you ever considered the history of soy sauce? For the most part, this simple sauce may be little more to you than a condiment you might find in your food at our Seattle Korean restaurant. However, there is an ancient history surrounding this cultural phenomenon that goes far, far back into the more elusive reaches of human civilization.

We can’t know for sure when soy sauce was first invented, though it apparently originated in ancient China. Before people could refrigerate their food, they needed to come up with creative ways to preserve perishables. To the ancient Chinese people, preserved food and the salt or other seasonings that were used in their preservation were called jiang. Jiang was made from meat, seafood, vegetables, and even grains. The grain-based jiang was the most easily accessible, so the fermentation of soybeans and wheat developed quickly. Over time, this became the soy sauce we’re familiar with today.

Korea’s Delivery Practices

Our Seattle Korean restaurant can bring you very close to an authentic Korean dining experience, but there are some things that you just don’t get out of the country. Consider, for example, the experience of ordering delivery in Korea. Though mundane, this task is a source of much confusion to first-time visitors on the peninsula due to the unusual practice that often goes behind it.

When you order food from many restaurants in Korea, you may find that it comes to your door in higher-quality dishes than you may expect. Maybe you’ll get bulgogi in a fine, lacquered box, or you’ll get jjigae in a metal bowl with matching spoons and rice dishes. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t throw these dishes away! The person who delivered your food is going to come back later to retrieve these dishes. It’s just another part of Korea’s exceptional efforts to reduce waste and lead a greener, cleaner future!

Chicken: Everybody’s Favorite Bird

Everyone loves chicken. All across the world, it’s the most common variety of poultry. At our Seattle Korean restaurant, you can enjoy this classic bird in the form of our barbecue chicken dishes or our oriental chicken salad. But where did the common chicken come from, and how did it win such a foothold in so many culinary traditions?

The chicken we know today is a domesticated offshoot of the red junglefowl, a bird from Southeast Asia. This bird was first raised in India around 3,000 BC. Ancient Chinese writings tell us that it was first brought to China in about 1,400 BC, and its popularity spread into the Korean peninsula from there. Popular for its easy availability and neutral taste, the bird was one of the most important proteins throughout the Middle Ages for much of the continent, and has remained a culinary phenomenon to this day.

Napa: the Cabbage Behind the Kimchi

Would you know napa cabbage if you saw it?  It’s a word that’s foreign to many Americans, but there’s a good chance that you’ve had some before if you’ve dined at our Seattle Korean restaurant.  This is the vegetable that most kimchi is made out of, as well as the leaf that is often used to wrap up your Korean barbecue before eating it.  It’s well loved across much of Asia for its taste, as well as its many nutritional benefits:

  • Napa has a particularly low caloric content, putting it among celery as a zero or negative calorie vegetable.

  • Napa provides a high level of vitamin C, and a good amount of vitamin A.  It also features a number of important B vitamins, like riboflavin and folic acid.

  • Napa is an abundant source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble.

  • Vitamin K, found largely in cabbages like napa, plays an important role in the health of your bones.  Scientific studies have also revealed the vitamin’s potential to prevent damage to the brain and help prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Napa also contains many electrolytes and minerals, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and iron.

The Harmony of a Good Korean Meal

Have you ever been struck by the aesthetic beauty of a Korean meal? Indeed, though it only makes sense that our Seattle Korean restaurant would want to produce an attractive product, this is more about tradition than it is about salesmanship. The truth is that Korean food has a long history of harmony, be it it appearance, flavor, or nutritional quality.

The traditional values of balance go into every Korean meal. Solid food is balanced with liquid soups or stews. Spicy kimchi is balanced with mild rice. Hot is balanced with cold, rough is balanced with soft, proteins are balanced with vegetables, and even colors are balanced with their appropriate opposites so as to appeal to the eye. So important was this sense of balance that the royal court of the Joseon period would dine upon meals that could take several days to prepare.

Today, these elaborate “royal cuisine” meals can be enjoyed in Korea for over $250 American. Of course, you don’t have to spend that much to get quality Korean food at Old Village. So if you’re in the mood for a meal that pleases the eye as much as it pleases the tongue, drop by our Seattle Korean restaurant today!

Korea’s Favorite Onion

The green onion is an unassuming little vegetable. It’s generally content to hang around in the background of many dishes, including much of what you find at our Seattle Korean restaurant, rarely ever drawing notice to itself. In case you’ve ever paid them any thought, though, it’s worth noting the many health benefits that the green onion offers.

A typical vegetable, the green onion is low in calories and features no fat or cholesterol. A single stalk of the plant offers ten percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, nine percent of your vitamin C, and a touch of calcium and iron.

Green onions also contain organosulfur compounds. These compounds are good for preventing the decline of your cartilage as you age. A diet rich on organosulfur compounds can therefore help you avoid osteoarthritis, a painful condition associated with the atrophy of cartilage in the joints.

Quercetin, a valuable flavonoid found in green onions, is a valuable part of a healthy body. Not only does it neutralize free radicals to keep them from harming your DNA and bringing about deadly cancerous cells, but it also appears to protect the heart from the dangerous effects of cholesterol.

You can find green onions all over in Korean food. It’s mixed into the kimchi, baked into the pa-jeon, sprinkled atop bibimbaps and bulgogi and boiled into all sorts of soups and stews. Come and get a little bit more of this valuable vegetable today at the Old Village Korean Restaurant!

The Hidden Wonders of Soy Sauce

One of the chief condiments found at our Seattle Korean restaurant is, of course, soy sauce.  It’s one of the most important seasonings in Korean cuisine, as well as popular the world over for its potent flavor.  Due to its high sodium content, and its general similarities to table salt, many make the mistake of thinking that this famous sauce is an indulgence that the health-conscious individual would be wise to stay away from.  However, the humble soy sauce actually offers some very valuable nutrients:

  • Niacin: Also known as vitamin B-3, this nutrient is essential for the maintenance of a healthy heart.  It works to lower fats in the bloodstream while simultaneously raising the levels of healthy cholesterol.  As an added bonus, it is also an important part of a healthy skin, nervous system, and digestive system.

  • Manganese: This mineral is used in the creation of connective tissue, blood clots, and a powerful antioxidant agent that battles free radicals that can damage your DNA.

  • Tryptophan:  Soy sauce is particularly rich in this essential amino acid.  Your body uses tryptophan to create serotonin, which promotes restful sleep.  Some research also suggests that it can improve your mood.

A Brief History of Chopsticks

Have you ever wondered by which quirks of fate such a singular set of utensils as the chopsticks at our Seattle Korean restaurant? Indeed, the sticks that are so popular in much of Asia are an enigma to many Westerners; how did this most unusual method of dining come to be, and what brought about its propagation throughout the East?

The story of chopsticks goes back about five thousand years in ancient China. It is speculated that the early people cooked much of their food in large pots, using twigs to safely remove cooked items. As civilization progressed, people discovered that food could be cooked with less fuel if it were first cut up into smaller pieces, and thusly it became practical to eat a meal entirely without the use of a knife.

Historians believe that chopsticks started to take off as a utensil with the rise of Confucianism. As a vegetarian, Confucius encouraged people to separate themselves as much as they could from the slaughterhouse by removing any knives from the dining table. The chopstick therefore spread along with his philosophy, and found its way to Japan, Vietnam, and Korea.