5 Awesome Korean Soju Uses

January 12, 2017

My first experience drinking Soju was while living in Europe. A South Korean friend brought me out to have some Korean food, and of course Soju. At first, I was a bit confused since I thought we were only going to drink shots with our dinner. After the first initial shot, I realized it was acceptable to sip on this new liquor. It was a strange first impression and one I think most expats experience at some point. Drinking straight alcohol is sometimes common, but not normally while eating dinner. The majority of westerners prefer mixed drinks to a straight shot of alcohol or a beer with dinner. Soju is certainly an acquired taste and most expats cringe at the thought of taking shots after shots. I certainly don’t like drinking Soju this way. Actually, the only alcohol I like neat is whiskey. Since I am a broke college student, Soju is one of the only drinks in my budget.

The green-glassed liquor is the most sold alcohol worldwide and price is defiantly one of the main reasons for this surprising statistic. Soju was in the past made from ingredients like rice, wheat or barley. Now it is often times made from starch substitutes like potatoes. Soju has a long history and was first produced during the 13th century and later transformed from rice based to starch due to rice shortages.

Since moving to Korea I have picked up a few great uses for Soju and tried out a few things that I want to recommend for others. Below is a list of five great ways to enjoy Soju you might not of thought of. Regardless of your past experiences with soju, try these out and let me know what you think!

5 New Ways to Enjoy Soju:

1.)  Soju, Cider and Beer (Ambarsaju or 암바사주)

Most people have tried Soju mixed with Beer (SoMc) and it tastes really good in my opinion. Korean beer mixed with soju actually seems to make it taste a lot better. But if you are getting sick of soju and beer, try mixing in some cider. This is supposed to be taken as a bomb or in one shot. Take equal parts of all three and you’ll be surprised at the joyful taste.

5 Ways to make Soju

2.)  Soju and Watermelon

In college, we used to infuse a watermelon with vodka. So I got the idea to try this out with soju. Surprisingly, it worked out really well and there is nothing better than getting a bit tipsy from eating fruit. All you need to do is cut a hole in a watermelon (trace the cap for precision), dig out a bit of the watermelon and then put the bottle inside like below. To fully infuse, it will take a while, sometimes even a couple of days. The watermelon infuses better if it has not yet been in the fridge.5 Ways to make Soju

3.)  Soju Cleaner

If you have some soju that you really don’t want to drink then you can use it to clean off your greasy stovetop or around your apartment. It also works pretty well on dry erase boards and windows.

4.)  Cooking with Soju

I haven’t had a chance to attempt this yet, but there are a few ways to cook with soju. One recipe I found sounds pretty good for cooking soju and pork chops:

Directions:

Step 1: Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, then place in the skillet in the hot oil; cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the pork is no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Step 2: Remove pork chops from the skillet, and set aside. Add the sliced onion to the skillet; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and soju, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Simmer until liquid as reduced, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle the sauce over the pork chops for serving. (Source )

5.) Soju Sleep Aid

If you are having trouble sleeping at night then try out a bit of Soju. Mix it with some juice or even liquid yogurt for a great sleeping aid. Soju has the great ability to help you fall asleep anywhere.

 

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