The South Korean drama My Love from the Star won millions of Chinese viewers with its romantic scenes, well-written plot and beautiful actors.
Actress Gianna Jun, best known across Asia for her role in the romantic comedy My Sassy Girl (2001), stars as the female lead Cheon Song-Yi.
Fans have been picking apart Cheon’s wardrobe for fashion inspiration, as well as rediscovering Korean street food favorites like fried chicken and raw seafood marinated in soy sauce.
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Fried chicken and Korean beer
Although bird flu scares may have kept chicken off many tables during Chinese New Year, they did not affect business at the fried-chicken eatery in Wangjing.
The take-out shop is operated by a Korean and serves deep-fried chicken wings and legs. Fried chicken legs are 75 yuan, with wing and leg combos priced 90 yuan. Mixed original and spicy chicken wings cost 90 yuan, with a 10-yuan discount on an all-spicy order.
The chicken is fried immediately after ordering, ensuring it is crispy, juicy and fresh. The taste is much less oily than what you find at fast food chains.
Portion sizes are fairly reasonable. The chicken combo (100 yuan) includes 20 medium wings; the spicy combo (80 yuan) has 10 wings and four legs – enough for two people.
The only drawback is the wait. On weekends, the line drags on for 40 to 60 minutes.
There are plenty of supermarkets selling South Korean beers in Wangjing, so be sure to grab one to go with your chicken.
Room 126, Youlehui C, 603 Wangjingyuan, Chaoyang District
Daily, 10 am – 10 pm
(010) 5249 8977
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Marinated raw seafood
Marinated fresh and raw seafood is popular in regions with plentiful fish, crabs and oysters.
Korea’s version has a unique flavor. The crabs taste fresh after being marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, garlic and ginger for several days.
The dish, called ganjang gejang, or salted, fermented seafood, is wonderfully briny, with a hint of spice and ginger.
In the popular TV series, the characters discuss how to eat it “the Korean way:” mix the roe with well-cooked rice for a treat.
Although many Korean restaurants offer this dish, some might require diners to place an order in advance.
If you are not sure whether you will like it, you can try it as a free starter at Dalu Korean Barbecue. The crab it provides is small but flavorful.
Dalu also sells marinated crab for takeaway.
Dalu Korean Barbecue
East gate of Wangjing Xiyuan Sanqu, Futong Xi Dajie, Chaoyang District
Daily, 10 am – 10 pm
(010) 6478 6029