As an avid blogger, photographer and vegan cook, Claire Harris’ site Kimchi Tacos covers these interests and more in a fun, diary-style record of her life. Although Claire’s blog is worth introducing in itself, the main reason we chose to do so this week is because Claire has recently joined Team Chincha as our resident Instagrammer and Chinchagram Editor, which we’re super happy about because she’s an awesome photographer. Say hi to Claire!

Where are you from and what are you doing in Korea?

I left my home in Austin, Texas and moved to South Korea in early 2010, only planning to stay for one year. Two and a half years later I’m still here and loving it! I am a kindergarten teacher and I also work with animal rescue groups in Seoul and contribute photos to Chincha.

Why did you start a blog?

Initially, my blog was a way for me to let my friends and family back in America see what my life in Seoul was like. I love exploring the various types of foods within different cultures, so naturally, I started talking a lot about Korean food. From there, the blog took on a life of it’s own and has developed as a way for me to share dishes, recipes and restaurants with everyone back home and here in Korea.

A running theme through your blog is food, with many references to the fact that you’re a vegan. Is this lifestyle choice difficult in Korea?

Being vegan in Korea can seem inconvenient at times, but not difficult. It’s hard not to feel like the odd man out at all those galbi dinners, but at the same time it’s very easy to find vegan options at many restaurants. Seoul is becoming more veg friendly by the day and there is a large and active veg community in Seoul. I really like to cook at home, so I prepare most of my meals myself and even bring a little packed lunch to work everyday. I’m working on getting a monthly vegan potluck going to help show everyone just how easy it is to cook healthy, vegan meals at home!

We love your photography. Which area of Seoul do you like to photograph most?

I don’t really have one particular area of Seoul that I prefer to shoot more than others. I always have my camera with me, sometimes even just my cell phone, and I’m constantly trying to look for interesting people or places. I think a good shot can be found anywhere and you don’t need fancy cameras to take a great photo!

Can you give us a good food recipe that we can easily make in our tiny apartment kitchens??

Hummus is always a super simple crowd pleaser. My husband and I love Sriracha sauce so we use it to make Sriracha Hummus. Any ingredient can be added to make plain hummus more interesting and I really like making it with black beans, roasted red peppers, basil and chili flakes or cilantro and lime!

Finally, what is…

…your favourite Korean food?

Vegan instant ramyeon (I know, it’s junk food, but I love it.)

…the best restaurant in Seoul?

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite because I’m always finding awesome, new places, but as of late I’ve been fawning over the falafels at Layaly Dubai on Noksapyeong Rd.

…the most memorable meal you’ve eaten in Korea?

A perfect bowl of dolsat bibimbap made with foraged roots and mushrooms after climbing Seoraksan on a chilly fall day.


Images by Claire Harris for @chinchamag. Don’t forget to check out Kimchi Tacos and follow Claire (and us!) on Instagram. She also has a Flickr page that’s definitely worth visiting.

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