Winter Staff Pick: The Best Korean Dramas And Local Korean Cuisine To Survive The Seasonal Blues

When the pandemic hit, my stress and anxiety took me to some pretty dark areas. I truly feel, now, like I nearly completely misplaced who I was. 1 of the techniques I started out coping was by watching tv shows with subtitles. I figured if I was looking through, then I couldn’t believe about my fears.

Confirming what I suspected, my therapist proposed that viewing tv with subtitles was a very good way to tranquil my stress for that specific motive. It’s the healthiest addiction I have at any time experienced.

In my minimal spare time, I look at several subtitled television systems but my really like for Korean drama, in certain, is significant. It impressed me to get started learning the Korean Language, which I do at the Korean College of Louisville.

If you’re uninitiated with K-drama, enable me aid you out. They are like soap operas but considerably extra advanced in their filming and improvement. 

In this list are five K-dramas to get you begun and, to hold it community, I’m pairing them with my favourite Korean foodstuff from community institutions. It’s excellent to discover during the holiday downtime. 

If you are informed of the developing desire in Korean culture and songs, know that Korean dramas are a element of this pattern and expert services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are boosting their Korean information. Individually, I know almost nothing about K-pop other than BTS, but I do know dramas. So below is my gift to you. 

Let’s get started off easy…

Itaewon Course (on Netflix) 

This drama facilities on Park Sae Ro-Yi (played by shortly-to-be Marvel star Park Seo Joon), a younger gentleman expelled from university for punching a bully. When the bully afterwards kills Sae ro-yi’s father in a reckless car or truck accident, Sae Ro-Yi attacks the bully and is sentenced to 3 decades in jail. Upon his release, he follows his father’s desire and opens a restaurant in the Itaewon area of Seoul. The area of Itaewon in Seoul has been in the information just lately owing to the horrific crushing demise of more than 150 men and women on Oct. 29. Itaewon is around the U.S. army base and is a well-known foods and nightlife vacation spot for foreigners and Koreans alike. 

Unnecessary to say, Park Sae ro-yi runs into the bully all over again and the father of the bully who makes his lifestyle progressively tricky. You’ll be mad. You could possibly cry. 

Given that they will be earning so much very good food in the display, you are going to want to eat. My recommendation is to grab a speedy tteokbokki from Sarang (1908 Jap Parkway). These chewy rice noodles come in a savory chili sauce, normally with veggies and thinly sliced fish cakes. The chewiness of the noodles will support with the pressure you are going to sense seeing this drama. 

Guardian: The Lonely and Fantastic God (Viki)

“Guardian” is a drama that no K-drama fan will connect with by its true title. Most watchers connect with it “Goblin” when they are conversing about this show. Only on Asian Television streaming assistance VIKI, “Goblin” facilities on the lifestyle of a goblin (not the terrifying monsters of western lore, but a helper and from time to time trickster with supernatural powers). The Goblin (played by Gong Yoo of “Train to Busan” fame) in this drama is wanting for his bride so that she can clear away a sword that will allow for him to die. Only she can do it. 

He finds his bride in a younger female who sees spirits and can see the sword in his chest. Inspite of his quest to die, he gets psychological about parting from his newfound bride.

This drama is a enjoyable and emotional journey with 1 of the most effective onscreen bromances amongst the Goblin and the Grim Reaper (played by Lee Dong Wook). 

Influenced by the wintery scenes in this drama, I’d counsel a significant incredibly hot bowl of kimchi jjigae from Koreana (5009 Preston Hwy). Kimchi jjigae is a loaded, savory stew entire of (you guessed it) kimchi, pork, tofu, and onions. If you are a vegetarian, Kimchi jjigae is straightforward to make with out pork. However you get it, it is the fantastic warming dish for a cold winter enjoy of “Goblin”

Now for a minimal much more investment in time and emotions…

Healthcare facility Playlist (Netflix)

In essence, “Hospital Playlist” is like a Korean “ER” apart from the health professionals are all higher education pals in a garage band. The medical practitioners differ in specialties, as properly as affected individual and interpersonal drama. Starring Jo Jung Suk as a general surgeon, guitarist, and singer of the band. It’s a time expenditure of two seasons (most Korean dramas are one particular-period tales instructed in total), and the emotional experience is big in this one particular. If you’re a fan of professional medical dramas, this is a single of the greatest, I consider. 

1 of the matters that bring this wild group with each other is food stuff and like numerous Korean dramas, the foods is its personal character extra to the tale (not by accident) to make you hungry and to advertise Korean cuisine. I propose whilst looking at “Hospital Playlist” that you try to eat a thing that will give you a good sensation and consolation for the emotional journey you are enterprise. 

Get an buy of mandu, kimbap, and bibimbap from Kum’s Cafe and Arirang (4544 Poplar Level Rd.), a best nearby “IYKYN” location that serves great Korean foodstuff. Mandu is fried dumplings filled with pork or beef and greens. Kimbap is similar to sushi but typically incorporates spam or beef and pickled radish (unquestionably amazing). Bibimbap is one particular of the most common Korean dishes and 1 of the most convenience foodstuff-degree dishes available regionally. Bibimbap usually means mixed rice. It is a dish with a base of rice (occasionally served in a incredibly hot stone dolsot) layered with meat, carrots, spinach, bean sprouts, or other greens, topped with a fried egg, and served with a spicy gochujang sauce. Pour in the sauce, combine it with each other, cry with this drama and eat until finally your soul is satiated. Reward, Kum’s doubles as a fried chicken spot, so comfort and ease food items is an uncomplicated obtain listed here. at?v=xqIM2cenBAs

Our Blues (Netflix)

An ensemble solid next the life and enjoys of a little fishing city on the island of Jeju. Very long associations, deep resentments, and strategies rule this exhibit. It’s tranquil, but a lot of feelings bubble beneath the surface. If you’re a enthusiast of stories about an more mature group of figures, this is a good guess. 

I have identified that I like seaside dramas like this and “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.” The picturesque settings, typical-folk sense and the highlighted delicacies is always unique.  

The “Our Blues” story surrounds the figures who dwell and function in the marketplace on Jeju island, relying on the sea for their livelihood.

There is plenty of seafood in the clearly show. A superior suggestion during a observe, is to get a several bottles of soju — the nationwide liquor of South Korea — and either a seafood pancake (haemuljeon), or an buy of broiled mackerel at Lee’s Korean Restaurant (1941 Bishop Ln.), one of the oldest Korean institutions in the metropolis. Phrase of warning: Soju may well seem to be like an quick sip — not way too a great deal alcohol and relatively sleek but “soju sleep” is genuine. It will strike you tricky, so for the new-to-soju crew, go straightforward.

She Was Rather (Viki)

“She Was Pretty” is on my all-time favorites list, even although I hardly ever observe previous episode 15 any more. I have ahead of, and it remaining me enraged, and heartbroken… but I’ll go away that for you to choose. 

This drama is one particular of the absolute funniest (even with the unattractive cry) with an awkward guide in Hwang Jung-Eum and the two top guys in a love triangle with Hwang, (Park Website positioning-Joon and Choi Siwon). Hwang, who performs the character Kim Hye-Jin, receives employed at a organization to operate in the administrative office but ends up unintentionally drafted into the workforce of the fictional Most journal. There she satisfies Kim Shin Hyuk, a author performed by Choi Siwon, and Deputy Editor, Ji Sung Joon performed by Park Seo-Joon. 

Hwang’s Kim Hye-Jin has a past with Ji Sung Joon and when she is confronted with the possibility to reconnect with her previous friend, she works by using her friend, Min Ha-Ri, as a stand-in. Factors get intricate when she realizes that she operates with her old buddy even while he doesn’t recognize her simply because puberty has improved her previously “beautiful” seems to be into a quirky mass of curls and rosy cheeks. 

When I view this drama, I want a couple of matters. Ramyun (Ramen) and squeezy ice creams. You really don’t will need to strike a Korean restaurant for these, but a excursion to Choi’s Asian Foods Marketplace (607 Lyndon Ln.) will get you every thing for the best bowl of noodles (they have tons of solutions) and a great deal of ice cream choices in the freezer.

If these dramas get you hooked, in this article are a few reward kinds: Kingdom, The Topped Clown, Crash Landing on You, My Liberation Notes, and It is All right Not To Be Ok. All are on Netflix.

K-Drama is a deep gap but a fun and delicious a person — ideal if you are fighting the seasonal blues. 


Editor’s Note: We’re off on holiday vacation but we left you with some of our beloved things… a ton like Oprah, only you get to devote your possess funds. 

Shirley McQuay

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