Korean cuisine is rich in flavor. It is also respectful of well-being. That’s why the World Health Organization (WHO) has called it exemplary cuisine. If you are planning to enjoy Korean specialties, here are some dishes to try.
Kimchi serves as a side dish or condiment. It is made from fermented Chinese cabbage and pickled with chili pepper. Because of its popularity, it has been called the country’s “national treasure”. It is also the king of “banchan”. Relatively spicy, this dish should be avoided by some sensitive palates. It is often prepared in family at the approach of winter or for the year’s reserves.
Kimchi is the equivalent of paste in Italy or baguette in France. There are several types of Kimchi:
- baek kimchi: white cabbage, without chili;
- mul or nabak kimchi : cabbage with water;
- possam kimchi: cabbage wrapped and filled with many ingredients;
- tongbaechu kimchi: whole cabbage.
If you are used to eating white rice, try black rice. Japgokbap is Korean rice with a purple to black color. It tastes similar to classic rice.
This is a set of small dishes served in bowls: lotus, fried, pickled white radish, seaweed, etc.
They are often cooked on a barbecue, accompanied by salad leaves, red pepper, bean paste, etc. It is the best option for dinner with colleagues, friends, or family. There are several types of grilled meat:
Bulgogi: literally translated as “meat cooked on the fire”. It is a barbecue of beef (or sometimes pork) marinated in soy sauce, sugar, garlic, onions, pepper, and sesame oil.
Galbi: this is grilled pork or beef ribs.
Samgyeopsal: it is grilled pork slices.
There are several varieties of Korean noodles, such as:
Japchae: this dish is of Chinese origin and is a stir-fried noodle with vegetables such as sweet potato, meat, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, carrots, etc.
Naengmyeon: buckwheat noodles served in a cold broth with hard-boiled egg, red pepper paste, apple pieces, cucumber slices. Sometimes they are served with mustard and vinegar.
Ramyeon: these are spicy instant noodles. They are easily found in small restaurants.
Galgusku: these are white noodles made by hand. They are served with a thick broth.
If you go to a Korean restaurant, don’t forget to taste these famous soups:
Haemul tang: a very spicy seafood soup. It is usually eaten by two people and is made of crayfish, prawns, shellfish, and a crab.
Samgye tang: a soup with a fully cooked cockerel, few vegetables, ginseng, chestnuts, rice and jujube.
Jeonggukjang: this soup is roughly equivalent to Doenjang jjigae with a slightly stronger taste. It is neither strong nor spicy.
Doenjang jjigae: this is a thick soup made of fermented bean paste, zucchini, pork, clams, and onions.
This is one of the most famous Korean dishes in Europe. It is a large bowl filled with seaweed, sautéed vegetables, kimchi, mushrooms, bean sprouts, beef, an egg, etc. All these ingredients are served on a plate with a portion of white rice seasoned with gochujang chili paste or sesame. Moreover, it is a dish that can be eaten hot or cold.