Follow Us!

rssemailyou-tube-icon
twitterpintgplus

Top Articles

kc2Top rated Kitchen Gadgets that makes cooking time quick and easy. Top 5 Must have Kitchen Gadgets under 20 Dollars. See: Must Have Kitchen Gadgets
 
a beautiful bowl of soupIf you are looking for delicious, healthy and easy to cook vegetarian recipe, check out these top 5 vegetarian cookbooks that we tried and loved it. See: Top loved Vegetarian Cookbooks
 
silicone1If you are baking cakes, muffins, stews, baked dishes then check out best bakingware for your kitchen: See Best Bakeware
 
Calphalon 18-in. Tri-Ply Stainless Steel RoasterIf you like to cook and host a party at home, check out these must have cookware that will make your hosting much simpler and easy. See: Must have Party Cookware.

 
cookingdvdOne way to learn how to cook from professional chef, frugally is to buy and see cooking show DVDs. Many of us can learn cooking tips and techniques from it. See: Learn from Cooking Show DVDs
 

Top Cookware

all clad

Archives

Korean.food-Hanjungsik-01

Korean Cuisine with Side Dishes

I ate out a lot at Korean BBQ type restaurants but watching Korean Dramas have made me appreciate Korean Cuisine much more and want to learn more about it. Korean cuisine is largely based upon rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes  that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi is served often, sometimes at every meal. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and gochujang (fermented red chili paste). Ingredients and dishes vary by province. Many regional dishes have become national, and dishes that were once regional have proliferated in different variations across the country.

What Kind of Staple Korean Cuisine Use:

Grains:

During the pre-modern era, grains such as barley and millet were the main staples and were supplemented by wheat, sorghum, and buckwheat. Rice is not an indigenous crop to Korea, and millet was likely the preferred grain before rice was cultivated. Rice became the grain of choice during the later period. Rice is used to make a number of items, outside of the traditional bowl of plain white rice. It is commonly ground into a flour and used to make rice cakes called tteok in over two hundred varieties. It is also cooked down into a congee (juk), or gruel (mieum) and mixed with other grains, meat, or seafood. Koreans also produce a number of rice wines (soju), both in filtered and unfiltered versions.

Vegetables:

Soybeans are most used and are made into tofu, while soybean sprouts are sauteed as a vegetable  and whole soybeans are seasoned and served as a side dish. They are also made into soy milk, which is used as the base for the noodle dish called kongguksu. A byproduct of soy milk production is okara (kongbiji), which is used to thicken stews and porridges. Soybeans may also be one of the beans in kongbap, which boil together with several types of beans and other grains, and they are also the primary ingredient in the production of fermented condiments.

Mung bean sprouts, are often served as a side dish, blanched and sautéed with sesame oil, garlic, and salt. Ground mung beans are used to make a porridge called nokdujuk, which is eaten as a nutritional supplement and digestive aid, especially for ill patients. A popular snack, mung bean pancake is made with ground mung beans and fresh mung bean sprouts. Starch extracted from ground mung beans is used to make transparent cellophane noodles (dangmyeon). The noodles are the main ingredients for japchae (a salad-like dish),  a subsidiary ingredient for soups and stews. Azuki beans are used a lot in various ways in Korean Cuisine.

Meat:

Korean people love their meat and has lot of beef, pork, chicken, fish, seafood are used local cuisine. Being mostly vegetarian, I know little about it meat dishes. One interesting thing my Korean friend said that, they also eat “dog meat”, which seems very strange liking dogs as a pet in American culture, to say the least.

Korean Cuisine Types:

Korean Cuisine is mainly soup and stews which they use not only as a starter but as part of main course meal.  Kimchi is eaten with almost all meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Noodle, variety of side dishes and alcoholic drinks generally make up a typical Korean meal.

Soup/Stews:

Soups are a common part of any Korean meal. Unlike other cultures, in Korean culture, soup is served as part of the main course rather than at the beginning or the end of the meal, as an accompaniment to rice along with other banchan (side dishes). Soups known as guk are often made with meats, shellfish and vegetables. Soups can be made into more formal soups known as tang, often served as the main dish of the meal. Jjigae are a thicker, heavier seasoned soups or stews.

Stews are referred to as jjigae, and are often a shared side dish. Jjigae is often both cooked and served in the glazed earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The most common version of this stew is doenjang jjigae, which is a stew of soybean paste, with many variations; common ingredients include vegetables, saltwater or freshwater fish, and tofu.

Korean Noodles:

Ramyoen is common noodle eaten by everyone. They even have a special cookware used to make Ramen noodle and eaten from the pot itself.  Noodle with clear broth or liquid, buckwheat noodles, cold noodle soup, cellophane (clear) noodles salad and soup are popular and can be made with meat, tofu and vegetables.

Side dish/Banchan:

Korean cuisine is known for its vast variety of side dishes that one can see from table set (as shown in image above). At traditional restaurants, meats are cooked at the center of the table over a charcoal grill, surrounded by various banchan and individual rice bowls. The cooked meat is then cut into small pieces and wrapped with fresh lettuce leaves, with rice, thinly sliced garlic, ssamjang (a mixture of gochujang and dwenjang), and other seasonings.

Banchan can be steamed, grilled, raw or marinated (with vinegar, salt and seasoning) dishes. Anju are side dishes that can be eaten during drinking soju or rice wine.

Click here Korean Recipes and Cookbooks

Kimchi:

Baek kimchi

Kimchi refers to often fermented vegetable dishes usually made with napa cabbage, Korean radish, or sometimes cucumber, commonly fermented in a brine of ginger, garlic, scallions, and chili pepper.There are endless varieties with regional variations, and it is served as a side dish or cooked into soups and rice dishes.

Koreans traditionally make enough kimchi to last for the entire winter season, as fermented foods can keep for several years.  Kimchi is packed with vitamin A, thiamine B1, riboflavin B2, calcium, and iron. Its main benefit though is found in the bacteria lactobacilli; this is found in yogurt and fermented foods. This bacteria helps with digestion. South Koreans eat an average of 40 pounds of Kimchi each year.

Drinks:

Korean cuisine will not be complete without drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) both. Non alcoholic drinks has following categories: tea, hwachae (fruit punch), sikhye (sweet rice drink), sujeonggwa (persimmon punch), tang (boiled water), jang ,(fermented grain juice with a sour taste), suksu ( beverage made of herbs), galsu ( drink made of fruit extract, and Oriental medicine), honeyed water, juice and milk by their ingredient materials and preparation methods. Among the varieties, tea, hwachae, sikhye, and sujeonggwa are still widely favored and consumed.

For alcoholic drinks, While soju is the best known liquor, there are well over 100 different alcoholic beverages, such as beers, rice and fruit wines, and liquors produced in South Korea as well as a sweet rice drink. The top-selling domestic beers are lagers, which differ from Western beers in that they are brewed from rice, rather than barley.

Sweets/Desserts:

Traditional rice cakes, and Korean confectionery hangwa are eaten as treats during holidays and festivals. Tteok refers to all kind of rice cakes made from either pounded rice, pounded glutinous rice, or glutinous rice left whole, without pounding. It is served either filled or covered with sweetened mung bean paste, red bean paste, mashed red beans, raisins, a sweetened filling made with sesame seeds, sweet pumpkin, beans, jujubes, pine nuts, and/or honey).

Tteok is usually served as dessert or snack. Among varieties, songpyeon is a chewy stuffed tteok served at Chuseok. Honey or another soft sweet material such as sweetened sesame or black beans are used as fillings.  Yaksik is a sweet rice cake made with glutinous rice, chestnuts, pine nuts, jujubes, and other ingredients, while chapssaltteok is a tteok filled with sweet bean paste.

On the other hand, hangwa is a general term referring to all types of Korean traditional confectionery. The ingredients of hahngwa mainly consist of grain flour, honey, yeot, and sugar, or of fruit and edible roots. Hangwa is largely divided into yumilgwa (fried confectionery), suksilgwa, jeonggwa, gwapyeon, dasik (tea food) and yeot.

Yumilgwa is made by stir frying or frying pieces of dough, such as maejakgwa and yakgwa. Maejakgwa is a ring-shaped confection made of wheat flour, vegetable oil, cinnamon, ginger juice, jocheong, and pine nuts, while yakgwa, literally “medicinal confectionery”, is a flower-shaped biscuit made of honey, sesame oil and wheat flour. Suksilgwa is made by boiling fruits, ginger, or nuts in water, and then forming the mix into the original fruit’s shape, or other shapes.  Yeot is a Korean traditional candy in liquid or solid form made from steamed rice, glutinous rice, glutinous kaoliang, corn, sweet potatoes or mixed grains. The steamed ingredients are lightly fermented and boiled in a large pot called sot for a long time. (source: wikipedia)

Dining Culture:

The eldest male at the table was always served first, commonly served to them in the men’s quarters by the women of the house. Women usually dined in a separate portion of the house after the men were served. The eldest men or women always ate before the younger family members. The meal was usually quiet, as conversation was discouraged during meals. In modern times, these rules have become lax, as families usually dine together now and use the time to converse.

When you are having a meal with others, do not speak of smelly or dirty things ” “when eating a meal, neither eat so slowly as to appear to be eating against your will nor so fast as if to be taking someone else’s food. Do not throw chopsticks on the table. Spoons should not touch plates, making a clashing sound”, amongst many other recommendations which emphasized proper table etiquette.

Each diner is expected to face away from the eldest male and cover his mouth when drinking alcohol. It is impolite for a king and his vassal, a father and his son, or a teacher and his student to drink face to face. Also, a guest should not refuse the first drink offered by host, and in the most formal situations, the diner should politely refuse twice a drink offered by the eldest male or a host.

Korean cuisine certainly has history, culture, respect to elders, drinking intermingle with culture and its people. It certainly was an eye opening to do this research for here as I will eat Korean cuisine next time, I will surely to watch for the eating etiquette and enjoy my side dishes as well drinks too.

Click here Korean Recipes and Cookbooks

Comments are closed.