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Making Greek-style yogurt in Korea

First: a yogurt maker from Gmarket (here’s the yogurt machine category). I bought the Daewoo DWY-SH101 (1 liter capacity) for 13,600 원, shipping included. It’s a really basic model: plug it in, a light goes on, it stays warm at some unknown temperature.

Why did I choose this particular model? Because it was the cheapest, and I wasn’t sure how far I was willing to go with yogurt-making.

daewoo yogurt


For yogurt starter, I bought a tub of Maeil Bio yogurt. It comes in two sizes – small and large. The large container (pictured below) is nearly the same size as the yogurt maker’s container! Extra container!!

Why this particular yogurt? It was plain unflavored yogurt, and I also wanted the container. The point is, you can use any plain yogurt … unless you’re cool with your yogurt tasting faintly of strawberry or banana or whatever. As far as I know, there’s nothing particularly special about Maeil Bio Yogurt.



I also bought a ice cube tray at Daiso – the kind that makes small ice cubes, about 1.5 cm². It even came with a cover for the tray!! The cover helps with loosening the cubes (upside-down), and probably stops weird flavors from seeping in.

Spread out the yogurt, freeze it, and then remove the cubes and place them in a ziploc bag. To loosen the frozen yogurt, it helps to run warm water across the bottom of the ice cube tray.

frozen cubes



Straining the whey out of yogurt: Use a strainer, line with cheesecloth, and leave for a few hours in the fridge. Save the whey for baking. Or toss the whey.


Final product:

2014-11-29 17.34.26


Any milk from the refrigerated section should work. So far, I’ve used these successfully:


1st attempt, Nov 28
Seoul Milk’s 뼈에 쏙쏙 고칼슘 우유
(extra calcium milk) seoul calcium

2nd attempt, Nov 30
Seoul Milk’s 365 1등급 우유
(365 First-Class Milk)
3,600 won for 2×900 ml

seoul 365


Whatever. They all work.


The Yogurt Recipe

Sterilize all equipment and containers with boiled hot water.

  1. Heat milk to 180 ºF / 82 ºC in a small pot. Stir milk to avoid burning or forming a milk skin. If you don’t have a thermometer: stop when your stirring starts making foam on top of the milk.
  2. Cool milk to 110 ºF / 43 ºC. Do this by plunging the pot into cold water (better yet, an ice bath). Change the cold water several times, and as soon as the cold water becomes warm. On average, I tend to do 5 cold water changes, and it takes less than 5 minutes to cool the milk.
  3. Put three frozen yogurt cubes in a mug, and mix with a few spoonfuls of cooled milk from (2). Break up the ice cubes.
  4. Pour the rest of the milk from (2) into the yogurt maker’s container.
  5. Pour the yogurt/milk mix from (3) into the yogurt maker’s container. Stir.
  6. Leave overnight.

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