Category Archives: Blog

Discover the Power of Fish Eggs

Have you ever had a soup made from fish eggs? At the Old Village Seattle Korean restaurant, you can! Fish eggs, commonly known in English by the Japanese word “roe”, may not be a common food item in the US, but those who have tried them generally agree that they are a delicious delicacy. And in case you need any further incentive to give these tiny round marvels a try, it also turns out that they’re amazingly good for you.

On top of being a good source of protein, vitamin A, and vitamin D, fish eggs have been shown to be the single best source of omega-3 fatty acids in the world. This invaluable substance, considered absolutely necessary for proper heart function and circulatory health, is present in both its most important forms in roe. If you find yourself having a hard time getting all the omega-3 your system needs, even a modest serving of fish eggs can be enough to satisfy your requirement.

At Old Village, you can try fish eggs in our fish egg soup and our soft tofu fish egg soup. Try them out now, and discover your heart’s most delicious new ally!

Bossam: A Taste of Family Love

Of all of the appetizers at our Seattle Korean restaurant, it would be hardest to beat the experience that is our Korean herb pork sampler. This dish, known as bossam in Korea, consists of thin pieces of pork steamed to perfection and served with a variety of seasonings and vegetable leaves. You eat the bossam by wrapping the pork in a leaf of lettuce or kimchi, usually with a dab of ssamjang sauce or other herbal ingredients. The result is something succulent and flavorful, and a big-time favorite to many Koreans and foreigners alike.

For a long time, bossam has been associated with the Korean tradition of gimjang. This is the process by which a family prepares large amounts of kimchi to be fermented over the winter. Not only does the dish go well with kimchi, but its high nutrient content makes it ideal for households weathering a long cold season. Bossam is therefore said to be cooked with familial love, and serves as a symbol of the bond that exists between a housewife and her family.

In Defense of White Rice

Have you ever wondered why rice is such a significant staple throughout much of the world?  It’s an integral part of the Korean dining experience, and nearly unavoidable at our Seattle Korean restaurant.  Even the classic white rice, though it has been subject to criticism as of late, should not be written off; though it is true that it loses some of its value when converted from brown rice, it also takes on a few extra nutrients in the enrichment process.  Just take a look at what this grain has to offer:

  • White rice is a low fat, low sodium source of iron and protein that is free of both cholesterol and gluten.

  • Though not as strong a source of fiber as brown rice, a cup of white rice still provides .6 grams of dietary fiber.

  • Rice is a natural tonic and anti-inflammat..

  • The resistant starch found in rice is capable of reaching the bowel undigested, where it is able to cultivate beneficial bacteria that work to maintain a clean digestive system..

  • The manganese found in white rice is important to the immune system and bone development.

  • Rice offers a good dose of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure by regulating your sodium content.

  • Several essential B vitamins are found in rice, which help to maintain a healthy heart and nervous system.

Where Did Tofu Come From?

Tofu has a strong presence in our Seattle Korean restaurant. From our hot tofu soups, to our pan broiled tofu, to our lightly fried tofu salads, we’ve got a good many options for the tofu lover in you. But where did tofu come from? Who first created tofu, and why is it such an important part of the culinary tradition throughout Asia?

Unfortunately, nobody really knows for sure how tofu came to be. It is said that it was invented by Lord Liu An around 164 BC, but inventions that arose during this time were often falsely attributed to important political figures. Whatever its origins, it is clear that its production methods were standardized to those we know today by the second century, BC.

It’s likely that tofu spread from China along with Buddhism. The vegetarian principles thereof made it necessary to introduce alternative sources for protein. Tofu was therefore able to win a strong foothold in Korea, where it has been a significant part of the cooking culture to this day.

The History of Kimchi

Have you ever wondered about the origins of kimchi? Indeed, Korea’s favorite food had a long and rich journey from its ancient roots in Asia to our Korean restaurant in Seattle.

Though the genesis of kimchi is hard to place, the first known record of it appears in a Chinese book of poetry called Sikyeong that dates back at least 2,600 years ago. At the time it was known as ji, and it consisted solely of pickled Chinese cabbage. People began to experiment more with the dish around the 12th century, adding spices and other new ingredients to give kimchi a broad array of flavors. The most recognizable form of kimchi that we know today finally came about in the 17th century, when Portuguese traders introduced the Brazilian red pepper to Asia. This variety of kimchi skyrocketed in popularity in the 19th century, and has remained an iconic part of Korean cuisine since.

Today, kimchi is commonly made from a vast array of ingredients and seasonings, each incarnation reflecting the regional and seasonal nuances of modern Korea. One hundred and eighty seven distinct kinds of kimchi have been documented, and there is no telling what the future might bring. Come and be a part of the kimchi phenomenon today, with Old Village Korean Restaurant!

Korean Rice Cakes

What do you think of when you hear the term “rice cake”? For many Americans, the term probably evokes a dry disk of joyless diet food that you eat only in a vain attempt to tell your body that it counts as a snack. At our Seattle Korean restaurant, however, it is something much more appetizing. Here, a rice cake is what the Koreans call “ddeok” (alternatively “tteok”, or even “ddeog”).

In general, a ddeog is a soft, spongy cake made out of sweet rice flour. They come in many forms in Korea, fitting in as easily among the dessert table as they do in a hearty dinner stew. Some of the sweeter ddeok will be baked with bits of fruits, nuts, or beans, or prepared in festive colors or shapes. Koreans will traditionally enjoy ddeok at times of celebration, serving sweet ddeok during birthdays or weddings or dining on ddeok soup during the New Year meal.

We Love Ginger Because Ginger Loves Us

Ginger; it’s a big part of the dining experience throughout much of Asia.  You’ve probably encountered this herb in your tea, next to your sushi, or, indeed, hiding amid many of the dishes here at our Seattle Korean restaurant.  And it’s a good thing that you have, too, as the health benefits of ginger are not to be underestimated:

  • Digestive Health: Ginger is great for your digestive system.  It stimulates the release of digestive enzymes, easing the process of breaking down fats and proteins while simultaneously neutralizing some of the harsh acids that can cause heartburn.  Ginger has been used as a cure for nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, diarrhea, and gas.

  • Circulatory Health:  Ginger is an anti-inflammat, allowing it to open up blood vessels while it stimulates the flow of blood and prevents clotting.  Meanwhile, it also helps to reduce the amount of harmful cholesterol absorbed into the blood.

  • Curative Properties: Ginger is a natural decongestant, antihistamine, and anti-inflammat.  It also boasts powerful fever-stopping attributes, and has demonstrated an ability to prevent the replication of certain viruses.  The herb has even been used to inhibit the growth of some cancer cells, or even wipe them out entirely.

The Versatile Mandu

The Asian-style dumpling is a classic and ancient dish. They were first introduced to Korea as far back as the 14th century by Mongol nomads, and have since been a large part of the Korean dining experience. Today, Koreans call their dumplings “mandu”, and you can try several varieties of this highly versatile food at our Seattle Korean restaurant.

A far cry from what we in the West call a “dumpling”, mandu resemble a large, stuffed noodle, very similar to the Japanese “gyoza”. These dumplings vary greatly both in what they are filled with and how they are prepared. There are mandu stuffed with meat, mandu stuffed with vegetables, and of course the “kimchi mandu” stuffed with Korea’s signature food. Mandu are often enjoyed fried (“gunmandu”), steamed (“jjinmandu”), or in a soup. Try them all three ways at the Old Village Korean Restaurant!

Pa-Jeon: the Korean Pancake

At the Old Village Korean Restaurant in Seattle, you might come across a strange, pancake-like dish with an assortment of seafood and green onions fried into the dough. This is our “seafood green onion pizza”, what Koreans would call a “hae-mool pa-jeon”.

This is a popular snack or appetizer throughout Korea, representing something that is both simple to make and savory to eat. The “jeon”-style pancake is commonly eaten during rainy days, or enjoyed as a part of a larger meal to sop up leftover sauces. Aside from the seafood variety, jeon pancakes have also been known to be cooked with a wide variety of ingredients, one of the most common versions being the “kimchi pa-jeon”.

Korea’s Famous Rice-Cooking Skills

We put our hearts and souls into the food at our Seattle Korean restaurant because Korean food demands heart and soul from its chefs. It’s a part of Korean cuisine that is more important than the chili sauce, more important than the soy, and almost as important as the rice. Just as Korean food without rice can hardly be called a meal, so is Korean food without love hardly Korean food at all, and it is for this reason that the country has had such a notable history of cooking rice with unparalleled skill.

Indeed, Korea’s skill with rice is a famous one even among its rice-loving neighbors in East Asia. The housewives of the Joseon Dynasty could even produce rice dishes of different textures within the same iron pot. They would do this by piling the grains up in varying depths so that the rice would be exposed to different moisture levels. Such was the Korean rice-cooking art that it was noted in the writing of a famed courtier and scholar named Jang Young, who described Korean rice as “…very shiny and soft, and very fragrant. Throughout the pot, the rice is evenly cooked and glossy.”