Hi all!

It has been a quite a journey since I started Beyond Kimchee. I originally started in Blogger platform in 2010 but switched into self-hosting WordPress in 2012. The transition was a lot of work! I have to modify nearly 100 posts to fit into a new platform in WordPress even with the plugins. So I highly recommend for those who are serious about starting a food blog, study carefully before you choose where you want to begin.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am affiliated with these resources, which means I get a small commission if you purchase any items through these links. That will help Beyond Kimchee blog to pay for its bill. These are the items I am using and happy with how they perform in my blog.

For the website:


How smart is your Theme?  How good is your support? Check out ThesisTheme for WordPress.

The Thesis theme for WordPress

I use WordPress Thesis theme as my platform. It is well optimized for the performance, search engine, and mobile devices.


Bluehost is the hosting and domain company I use for Beyond Kimchee. Things that I like about Bluehost is that, they offer free domain(s), unlimited disk space for storage and bandwidth. I don’t think I ever faced any trouble with their service so far. It is affordable and easy to start with. Their customer service, especially their live chat service, is very helpful when you start. Currently (as of Apr, 2014) they offer $3.95 per month for web hosting, so don’t miss out the great chance to join if you are looking for a hosting company.



I can’t assure enough to back-up all your blog data. I just don’t want the worst nightmare to happen when my site is not backed up properly. I use VaultPress plugin to keep all my blog posts safe and sound.

Amazon CloudFront (CDN) – Content Delivery Network

With over 150 recipes (as of Apr, 2014) with countless images on my site, it can easily lengthen the loading time in any browser. I use Amazon CloudFront as for my CDN, a content delivery web service. It integrates with other Amazon Web Services to give developers and businesses an easy way to distribute content to end users with low latency, high data transfer speeds. They promise no commitments. It requires monthly fee, though, depends on the data capacity and the location. I had to ask an expert to install the CDN for my site. Charles from Five Euro Food helped me with the installation. He was very patient and communicative with a person like myself who doesn’t have much knowledge in computer technology thing (That gives me headache!)

My Photography Tools:


Nikon D7000 Digital SLR

For the first two years of my blog I used Pentax K20D which I was impressed with its image quality, but its low light performance was disappointing . I switched my photography system to Nikon and purchased Nikon D7000 Digital SLR and very happy with its performance in indoor shooting with a great ISO performance and the image quality. The price has gone down a lot since it came out 2010.

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro-Nikkor Lens

This is a macro lens I use the most for my food photography. If you want to be up-close and personal with the food you created or anything that you want to document visually, a macro lens is a must. I was deciding between 60mm and 100mm macro lens and I chose 60mm because the 100mm macro lens requires a tripod. I am happy with the image outcome of this lens.

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens

When the weather is slightly cloudy and I need bigger aperture on my lens, I use this lens for the food photography. Although it has shorter focal length and you can’t get too close to the food, you can always crop the image afterward. And the bokeh is beautiful. See my Korean Pumpkin Pancakes and Kimchi Tuna Rice Patties and Balls photos for an example. Besides for the food photography, this is a great lens to capture everyday images as well.

Lowel EGO Indoor Light Unit

I can’t expect the beautiful sunny days everyday, especially during winter season. Of course no artificial light can beat the beauty of natural light. But when the weather throws you or you are making dinner at 7pm on the east coast, the sun is gone to bed. I found this Lowel EGO Indoor Light Unit works a charm in those time. See my LA Galbi photo to see how the image will look like.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

I process all of my food photos with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5. It is a powerful photo editing software and very easy to use. I can highly recommend it to anyone who are serious about improving their images. I don’t use Photoshop CS. In fact I don’t even own it. However I do use Adobe Photoshop Elements 12  for a very minor adjustment and for the watermarking.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12

Unless you are serious on editing with Adobe Photoshop CS, I found Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 will offer the food photography editing in a satisfactory level you want.

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  1. 1

    Reuven Segal says


    I am desperately searching for a hotteok press and had no luck. Anyone know where I can find one in the US or Australia??
    I know it is not necessary, but as an engineer, I am obligated to purchase and even use as many tools as humanly possible in order to complicate the process and extend the cleaning time of any project :)


    • 2


      Hi Reuven
      If you can’t find this press in any Korean store in US, you can order from the Korean online shop.
      However, the price of the press is only $2 but the shipping cost to overseas (US) is 10X more expensive.

      The best place to look for this little tool is local Korean housewares shops. If you live near major cities where many Koreans live, there should be stores like that. They usually sell somewhat cheap Korean household items. Ask for Hotteok Noorugae(호떡 누르개). Good luck!

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