Meet Joo, JYP's secret weapon

The talented Park Jin-young has a new secret weapon in his arsenal of talents!

It comes in the form of a young girl named Joo whose picture is only released to the public today (Jan 10).


As a result of that, Netizens have gone wild, showing keen interest in the talent by visiting her website as printed on the poster.

Go to Joo’s site (www.becauseofyou.co.kr) and you’ll get to listen to the girl belting out her ballad 남자 때문에 (Because of you (a man)) which was written by Park Jin-young. She sounds really good. While you’re there, why don’t you leave a note to encourage Joo as well?

The songbird will be making her first public appearance on the Music Bank show on Jan 11 (in Korea).

And so the K-popped! world awaits with bated breath.

Source & Pic credit: Newsen

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Mind Your Korean 4: From learning the alphabets to self-introduction

While Rooster continues to play Sleeping Beauty, Orchid and Liz attend another enjoyable Korean language class. They share with you their adventures and misadventures with the language in MYK4!

We had two teachers in class that day. One was the original 선생님 (if you don’t know what this means, you’d have to backtrack to the first article of the series) and another was a 선생님-in-training who was there to observe the session. Omo, two Teachers in one class? Give us a break already ;-). (Yesss, I’m sure I used “Omo” correctly here, pats self on the back).


It’s “bit” not “bich”

Teacher (the original one) started off the class with the five final consonants of ㅋ, ㅍ, ㅌ, ㅊ and ㅎ and the pronunciation when the alphabets appear at the end of a word.

Teacher: You pronounce the word like the original consonant it is “birthed” from.

For instance, 엌. Just remember that ㅋ (kh) is derived from ㄱ (g/k), thus you pronounce the word as if it was written 억 (eok).

Thus: ㅍ = ㅂ –> 앞 = 압 (ap)
also ㅌ = ㄷ = ㅅ = ㅈ = ㅊ = ㅆ = ㅎ –> 낱 = 낟 = 낫…and so on (nat)

While practising with our notes, we came across the word for “ray of light”, which was 빛. I chuckled a little because without learning the rule, I would have gone “bich”, which sounds so similar to the English word for she-dog. However, now I know that it’s pronounced “bit” a more similar sound to a quick “bid”.

Teacher: It is “bit”. Don’t pronounce it like in English, don’t go “bit-th”. You must say it as one syllable only. Cut yourself off and say “bit”.

Double trouble

Wrapping up our study on Hangeul was the two final consonants of ㄲ, ㅆ and a few more combinations which we will meet as we progress with the language.

The above pronunciation rule applies here as well: ㄲ = ㅋ = ㄱ and ㅆ = ㅅ. Everything was fine and dandy until we came across the word for chicken = 닭 and price = 값.

Teacher: For cases like this, sometimes we pronounce the word using the 1st (bottom) consonant, sometimes the 2nd. There is no set rule to it; it’s on a case by case basis.
For chicken 닭 (dalk), we say “dak” and not “dal” choosing to use the 2nd consonant. But for the word price 값 (gabs), we go “gab” and not “gas”, choosing the 1st consonant.
Fellow student: Huh? Like that how do I know which is used?
Teacher: 나중에, later, we learn this. In Beginner 2 class, we learn more of this. But in Beginner 1 class, we just learn the Hangeul first. And with that, we have learned all the consonants and vowels of the Korean language. 박수! (bak-soo = clap hands)

Countries and nationality

We learnt the names of some countries in Korean, some sound like English while others sound like Mandarin.

In Korean, the countries America, China and Australia sound similar to Mandarin:
America = 미국 = mi-goog = mei-guo in Mandarin
China = 중국 = jung-goog = chung-guo in Mandarin
Australia = 호주 = ho-joo = ao-zhou in Mandarin

The ones that sound like English include:
Russia = 러시아 = leo-shi-a
France = 프랑스 = peu-rang-seu
Mexico = 멕시코 = mek-shi-kho
Malaysia = 말레이시아 = mal-lei-si-a

Korean seems to be a pretty straightforward language. Like say, you want to tell someone you’re Malaysian or American or Korean, you’re just saying “Malaysia person”, “America person” and yeah, “Korea person”.

So when Teacher asked us this question: 어느 나라 사람이에요? (eoneu nara saramieyo?) Literal translation: Which country person?, basically the question: Where are you from?

For me, it would be 저는 말레이시아 사람이에요 (jeo-neun mal-lei-shi-a saramieyo), literally translating to “I’m Malaysia person”. Cool.

Self-introduction (자기 소개)

We finally arrive at learning how to introduce ourselves. Thank you, Grace, for the headstart of (name)입니다. However, Teacher went with the 이에요/ 예요 instead.

The text we have to learn included introducing our name, nationality, hometown and occupation.

It went (some information has been omitted to protect the innocent, tee hee):

저는 리즈예요. (jeo-neun li-jeu-ye-yo = I’m Liz)

저는 말레이시아 사람이에요. (jeo-neun mal-lei-sia saramieyo = I’m Malaysian)

고향이 _____ 이에요/ 예요. (ko-hyangi _____ i-e-yo/ ye-yo = _____ is my hometown)

저는 회사원이에요. (jeo-neun hwe-sa-wonieyo = I’m an office worker)

만나서 반갑습니다. (mannaseo bangapseumnida = Nice to meet you)

Teacher said that in the next class, she will ask every one of us to introduce ourselves in Korean.

Alrighty, bring it.

Mind Your Korean series:
MYK 1: I’m sorry (미안합니다) – You’re welcome (아니에요)
MYK 2: The one where 선생님 beats Liz to the punch line
MYK 3: The tale of the uncooperative tissue paper
MYK 5: Simple conversations in Korean
MYK 6: 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷…come on and count in Korean!
MYK Quiz 1: The Match Up
MYK Quiz 1: Answers and winner announcement
MYK 7: Location, location, location
MYK Tidbits
MYK 8: 일, 이, 삼, 사…come on and count in Sino-Korean!

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Bad Love – Episode 3

Things are beginning to get interesting in episode 3 of Bad Love. If you are watching the drama, how is it at this point for you? Do you intend to keep watching?

Kang Yong-gi (Kwon Sang-woo) is turning to be quite a cheeky fella. Despite nursing an emotional scar from his previous relationship with a certain Kim Jo-ann, he dishes our naughty remarks and his “friendship” with Na In-jung (Lee Yo-won) is heading from acquaintance to complication.

Yong-gi and his BMW: Single, handsome
Yong-gi drives around the
fisherman
village / island in a Beemer.

Yong-gi discovers In-jung supports her
ailing father and pays hefty hospital bills.


Yong-gi discovers that In-jung funds her dad’s hospital bills and his conscience gets the better of him.

Yong-gi and his ‘samchun’ (uncle).
I wonder if he is really his
uncle or just a good friend.
Again, we are not told how they met.
And is he In-jung’s uncle as well?


Yong-gi decides to help In-jung (after she was scammed by the property owner), by paying her the same amount of money for her depo$it for the property. But that does not come free. In-jung will have to cook for Yong-gi’s construction workers as payment.


Yong-gi strikes a deal with In-jung over a bottle of soju.


(Yay they get to spend more time with each other. One of the reasons why i love K-dramas is that the leads get a lot of scenes together.)

Although both act rude towards each other, there is attraction between the two. Which hot-blooded man wouldn’t be attracted to doe-eyed sweet In-sung, and which hot blooded woman wouldn’t be attracted to someone as fine as Kwon Sang-woo erm i mean Kang Yong-gi!?

They proceed to spend time together at Yong-gi’s property. To get to the said property, they need to travel by boat. (I was told by Azura from KWS’s Singapore Fan forum that filming location is in Geonggi-do, Samcheok island.)


Yong-gi: “I have no designs on your flat chest!”

On the first day itself, both Yong-gi and In-jung gets trapped on the island due to a storm.

Yong-gi and In-jung missed the boat.


Yong-gi: “I think i might have had too much to drink.
You look very pretty to me right now.
May i kiss you?”


Yeah, episode 3 ends with this scene. Do they kiss?

Some viewers might think, how come they like each other so quickly when they just met and were so rude to each other? Well, i think they were attracted very early on, but “pretended” to dislike each other.

Let’s see what happens next.

Drama stills sourced from Naver.

Join in – read & discuss:
Bad Love – Episode 4


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‘Likeable or Not’ tops ratings

KBS2’s daily drama series ‘Likeable or Not‘ starring the newly unattached Han Ji-hye has topped the ratings in South Korea.

In a TNS Media Korea and AGB Nielsen Media survey, the rattings topped 40%, the highest yet in a self-commissioned poll and the highest aong programs on all channels in the same time slot.

Looks like this is becoming a popular drama in Korea. Check it out if you want something new to watch – if you are not already following it on Astro’s KBS World.


“Likeable or Not” cast.
Han Ji-hye, Kim Ji-seok, the girl on the
extreme left is Yoo In-yeong and she was in Snow Queen
and the one on the
extreme right, Lee Yeong-eun was in Full House. ;-)
Jo Dong-hyeok is Han Ji-hye’s on-screen brother in the drama.


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K-popped! Kitchen: Pajeon (파전)

Thanks to a reader comment, I clicked to My Korean Kitchen for some recipes on Korean pancakes. Check out the blog! Lots of sumptuous recipes and tantalising pictures.

The hae-mul pajeon Liz and Orchid had looked delish. It didn’t look difficult to make, so I decided to try my own. Below is a recipe for a plain vegetarian pajeon. I think I’ll try a hae-mul pajeon (seafood pancake) next time because it’s so easy!

Let’s make 파전!

Step 1: Ingredients!

Pretty straightforward stuff here -

  • green onions / scallions
  • oyster mushrooms
  • daikon radish
  • carrot
  • an egg (beaten)
  • flour mix = 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup rice flour + pinch of salt + sprinkle of black sesame seeds (optional)

Julienne or thinly slice vegetables, toss together with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Dipping sauce – mix 1tbsp light soy sauce + 2tbsp brown sugar + 3tbsp hot water + splash of lemon juice (or any kind of vinegar, but I ran out) + chopped chilli + lemon zest (why not, eh? he he)

Step 2: Make the batter!

Combine flour mix and beaten egg in a bowl. Add room temperature water and stir until your batter has a consistency that’s smooth and slightly runny.

Note: Egg can be replaced with 1 tbsp of corn or potato starch as a binder. And if you don’t have rice flour, just use all-purpose all the way. :)

Step 3: Make pajeon!

I’ve seen many ways to this from websites – some mix the veggie in the batter or cook the filling first then mix it in the batter – I guess whichever suites your mood will do.

Lightly grease frying pan with vegetable oil and place pan over a low heat. When the pan is well heated, I placed my veggies in first, then spooned the batter over the vegetables. These were small pajeons so they only took about a minute and a half to cook on each side. Keep your pan evenly heated and well greased to avoid sticky pajeon.

Step 4: Eat!


Easy, no? And the best thing is – pajeon recipes are so flexible! Have fun!

More K-popped! Kitchen
Japchae
Su jeong gwa (Persimmon Tea)
Tuna Kimbap
Kimchi Jjigae

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The Host prequel in the works

Hit monster movie The Host is getting a prequel! Korean comic artist Kang Pool is reportedly penning the screenplay this time around.

The story is set 3 years prior to the events of the original film.

So far, none of the original cast or filmmakers are attached to the prequel.

Details are sketchy but apparently, it is about the excavation of the Cheonggye Stream, an ancient waterway running through Seoul that was recently reclaimed and restored. The flick will feature multiple monsters.

Shooting is scheduled for later this year while the movie is slated for a 2009 release.

What, no original stars or director? Doesn’t sound too promising, does it?

Source: Twitchfilm
Pic credit: HanCinema

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Gong Xi Fa Cai from the K-popped! Trio

Now that we’ve entered into 2008, the K-popped! Trio has decided to don their festive new clothes for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, which fall on Feb 7 and 8.

Whoo hoo, we hope to usher in the Year of the Rat with loads of good friends, food, fortune, health and…er, ang pows (that’s Hokkien, or hong baos in Mandarin. They are red packets containing $$$ given by those who are married to children and those who aren’t hitched.)!

Now: Gong Xi Fa Cai from the K-popped! Trio

After being bundled up all winter, Rooster has put on her long-sleeved Chinese top and is ready for some yee sang action! Yee sang (that’s Cantonese or yusheng in Mandarin; simplified Chinese: 鱼生) is a Chinese-style raw fish salad.

Strips of raw fish, typically salmon, mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments are all mixed into the dish, which symbolises abundance, prosperity and vigour.

The main highlight in having yee sang is when family and friends gather to toss the dish or Lo Sang. Loved ones gather around the table and, on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks. It is believed that the higher you toss the ingredients the more prosperous you’ll be. Tee hee, someone, get me a ladder already :-P.

Meanwhile, Orchid is reliving her childhood by playing with fire sparklers! Ah, this brings back many fond memories. It was always fun when the Trio got together to burn stuff play sparklers. We would burn dried mango leaves, write our names on cement, burn grass and ants etc. Orchid and Rooster, those we good times, no?

As for me, I’m trying to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year the traditional way. Clasping my hands together and going…err, 안녕하세요? Hee hee hee…how do I wish one a Happy Chinese New Year in Korean, by the way?

To all our readers, thanks for dropping by K-popped! and please, help yourself to some of the Mandarin oranges and sweet delicacies laid out for you ;-).

*Lights the firecrackers on the far left of the masthead and runs away*

Before: The Trio in a very Christmassy mood

K-popped! Trio’s other antics…so far:

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Eating out at Seoul Korea Restaurant

If you’ve been following K-popped!, you’d have read that the women of the K-popped! Trio’s family (we miss ya, Rooster!) had a Korean lunch on Christmas Day (told ya our passion for all things Korean is contagious).

Outside looking in: Seoul Korea Restaurant is on the first floor,
above Restoran Jalal Yusuf

In the group of six, some of them are good cooks in their own right (not me). Thus, it was a really pleasant outing when everyone agreed that the meal at Seoul Korea Restaurant in Taman Desa was delicious. You know how it is with good cooks, they are so hard to please ;-)!

Choices: A menu of good food

After a little while pondering over the menu, we settled for:

Spicy Chicken BBQ, 매운닭불고기 (RM25) – the waiter cooked the BBQ dish for us after heating up the charcoal.

Hot stuff: Heating up the charcoal

The cooks of the household were actually impressed by the dish, one commenting that it had a “unique flavour as it is marinated very nicely”. I don’t know what was used to marinate the chicken because it wasn’t written on the menu. No, I can’t tell you what was in it just by tasting the dish.

Ummm, my 어머니 actually calls me “crocodile mouth”, a term directly translated from Hokkien. Figuratively, it means someone who doesn’t taste anything, like a crocodile, the person just swallows the food.

However, I do know when food is good or bad even if all that nitty-gritty bit in the middle kind of eludes me.

BBQ Chicken: I wonder what ingredients are used to marinate
the chicken?

Oh, but I digress. Back to the Spicy Chicken BBQ, which wasn’t spicy at all. Malaysians who love their sambal (Malaysian-style chili paste) would have no problems whatsoever with it. I bet even children could eat it.

Kimchi Jjigae, 김치 찌개 (RM15) – this seems to be a K-popped! favourite, huh? Even Rooster cooked the dish in her K-popped! Kitchen.

Too spicy: A favourite K-popped! dish that didn’t turn out too well

My Singapore 언니, who loves sour-flavoured dishes took to this one, saying it was pretty similar to the famous Thai soup called Tom Yum (a spicy and sour-flavoured dish with fragrant herbs).

However, the Kimchi Jjigae here was a little too spicy for my liking. It would have been more delicious if the soup was a little less spicy. The sour part was OK though.

Mushroom and Tofu Steamboat, 두부 버섯전골 (RM45) – the beef in the soup made the dish more fragrant and flavourful. Like its namesake, there were generous amounts of mushroom and tofu in the dish. What I liked most about it was the glass noodles because it was very springy.

Steamboat: Delicious glass noodles inside!

And that’s where we learned from another 언니 that the restaurant proprietor actually imports the noodles from Korea. We have glass noodles in Malaysia, but the local ones aren’t that springy.

Korean-style Seafood Spring Onion Pancake, 해물파전 (RM20) – ah, a hit with the group. I loved this one as well because it was filled with seafood and spring onion – yummy. Flavourful, lovely aroma and tasty.

Yummy: Loads of seafood! Yay!

Some even likened it to “O chien” – oysters cooked in egg omelette.

Added flavour: Dipping the pancake into the sauce

It came with a sauce and our friendly waiter pointed out that we should dip the pancake in it (it’s a little sour) before popping it into the mouth.

Of course, to complete the meal, there were many side dishes…so many, I can’t even describe them. You could actually enjoy a light meal on just the side dishes alone. And the best part was, you could top up on your fav side dish without extra cost.

Side dishes galore: This alone will keep you half-full :-)

Dessert was complimentary and each person was served a slice of watermelon and a ginger-flavoured drink. I don’t know what the drink was called but it was really refreshing after all the food. It tasted a little like tang yuan (湯圓)/glutinous rice ball soup.

Sweet: Watermelon slices for dessert

Refreshing: A toast to a fantastic year ahead with
our ginger-flavoured beverage

All said, it was a lovely and affordable meal. The bill only came up to RM115 – pretty amazing for a party of six.

However, the restaurant’s default drink wasn’t green tea like most other Korean restaurants. They served plain water instead.

How to get there:
The restaurant is opposite the Danau Idaman condominium entrance (the green and white-coloured condo beside the Shell petrol station) in Taman Desa.

Opening hours:
11am – 10.30pm

Telephone number:
03-7982 4607

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Bad Love – Episode 2

Cast:
Lee Su-hwan (Kim Sung-su)
Na In-jung (Lee Yo-won)
Kang Yong-gi (Kwon Sang-woo)
Jo Ann (Cha Yae-ryeon)


I watched Bad Love – Episode 2, and am just dying to discuss the drama with someone. May I?

For those who are not following the drama but plan to watch it later, there are spoilers in this entry.

Su-hwan & In-jung had an affair.
Despite trying to cling on
to the relationship,
Su-hwan is forced to give it up.
In-jung is no match
for his ambition, hot-tempered forthright
wife
and gambling mother.


As a result of her affair with the married Lee Su-hwan, Na In-jung suffers great loss. Su-hwan’s wig-wearing hot tempered wife slashes In-jung’s wrist causing irreparable damage and poor In-jung is left without a career. She cannot play her cello.

She also finds herself pregnant with Su-hwan’s child. After that, a series of bad luck strikes and she looses the child and her beloved parents meet with a serious car accident.


The confrontation: Su-hwan’s wife confronts In-jung
causing her to loose her baby.

In-jung’s mom bows her head in embarrassment.


Fast forward five years later and you find In-jung happy but working hard selling fried chicken in a small town. I find the change in scenery very refreshing.

In-jung’s little shop – Chicken House.
Does anyone know where this is filmed?

It looks like a small fishing village / island.


There she bumps into Kang Yong-gi again. Yong-gi also has been through heartbreak and his 10-hour-to-shoot kissing partner Jo Ann, has since passed on. We are not told why she committed suicide.

I wouldn’t mind meeting handsome Oppa at a seaside town!


All three characters of the love triangle are brought together once again in the small town.

Su-hwan is seen at the small town checking out the row of shops in which In-jung happens to have her “Chicken House” located. His company probably wants to demolish the place and build a modern building.

So near yet to far. Both ex-lovers are less than
10 feet away yet do not see each other.
(So typical of Korean dramas)


In-jung and Yong-gi discover that they bought the same piece of property. In-jung had plans to turn the place into a farm for her surviving father. Her mom died in the car crash.

Another confrontation! Yong-gi and In-jung
happened to have purchased the same piece of property.


Episode 2 ends with In-jung in the arms of Yong-gi
because he was saving her from a ~ certain legless reptile.


What will happen next? Will the two victims of love hit it off and become friends in next episode? They seem to have one thing in common – both recovering from the pain of past broken relationships.


Bad Love – Episode 3

Drama stills sourced from Naver

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