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Reality Vs. Kdrama - Chimaek, the King of Korean Takeout

2019/09/07 | 376 views | Permalink

(Lee Honey, Gong Myung, Jin Seon-kyu, Ryu Seung-ryong, and Lee Dong-hwi in "Extreme Job")

Have you ever been watching a drama or film and a helmeted delivery man arrives at a door holding a bag of chicken and beer making you think, "Good golly, I could go for some of that at my door step right now". Or, has a heroine and her two trusty friends gone to a local chicken and beer place to drink and eat away their anger and sorrows about an over all no-good day and ordered an alluring spread of chicken accompanied by a tankard of refreshing beer? It's not just a drama thing, let me and every other expat and native in Korea assure you. Chicken and beer, also known as chimaek, is a thriving part of Korean food culture.

(My latest meal of yangyum chicken.)


First, a breakdown of the word "chimaek" for chicken and beer fans:

치맥 (Romanized: chimaek)/(Meaning: chicken and beer) = 치킨 (Romanized: chikin)/(Meaning: Chicken) + 맥주 (Romantized: maekju)/(Meaning: beer).

Usually chimaek is served with chicken, beer, and a side of radish. The choices in flavor seem to be endless and range from the popular yangyum chicken, which is a spicy and sweet sauce that drenches the crispy chicken, to garlic chicken, soy sauce chicken, boneless chicken, green onion chicken, and many more. Many restaurants have special recipes unique to their establishment, like the one seen in the film "Extreme Job", which was based off a real type of chicken found in Incheon, a city west of Seoul. In fact, the chicken you see in drama is often delivered to the drama set! The actors are not only sharing chicken love in the drama, but enjoying it as they film.

(Pelicana menu)

Here is a menu from a local restaurant. You can see the variety even just in the one category shown, original chicken. Looks amazingly tasty, doesn't it?

(Cho Hye-jung, Lee Sung-kyung, and Lee Joo-young in "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo")

The number of times you see chimaek in a drama quite accurately represents the popularity in Korea. It's a delicious meal that is often eaten during sports games, after a long day of work, or when one is craving a bite of chicken with a crunchy outside and a tender inside. In "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo", Bok-joo (Lee Sung-kyung) is the daughter of a chimaek restaurant owner. She and her friends Nan-hee (Cho Hye-jung) and Seok-ok (Lee Joo-young) often indulged in the house chicken, but the frequency in which they do is actually quite accurate from my experience. Chicken places are popular both for in house visits and for delivery. My husband and I are often at the local restaurants enjoying our favorite boneless chicken, garlic chicken, and spicy chicken. I'm quite addicted. In fact, I just had some chicken, which was the inspiration for this episode of Reality Vs. K-drama.

(Radish, called "Chicken Radish")


Have you ever had the change to try chimaek? Or, do you really want to try it? Which flavor entices you most? Let Me know in the comments.

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

#WeightliftingFairyKimBokJoo #kdrama With #LeeSungKyung #NamJooHyuk #KyungSooJin #LeeJaeYoon #LeeJooYoung #ChoHyeJung #역도요정김복주 #이성경 #남주혁 #경수진 #이재윤 #이주영 #조혜정

#ExtremeJob #kmovie With #RyuSeungRyong #LeeHoney #JinSeonKyu #LeeDongHwi #GongMyung #ShinHaKyun #극한직업 #류승룡 #이하늬 #진선규 #이동휘 #공명 #신하균

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