Korea is situated on a small fertile peninsular, with fair share of mountains, favored with four distinct seasons. Cuisine developed here trickled down to upper classes and gradually some of the dishes became popular fare particularly at more formal or festive times. This cuisine is renowned world over for the beautiful manifestation of nature in every dish. Korean dishes are exotic and is an amalgamation of centuries old traditions and cultures. It derives its flavors and tastes from various sources and combinations of sesame oil, soybean paste, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger and, most importantly, chili pepper, which gives it its distinctive spicy taste. Here is a list of 10 Mouth Watering Korean Food Dishes:
Oi-muchim is a popular summer dish. It is basically sliced cucumber dressed with vinegar, onions, red chili pepper flakes and sesame seeds. This sweet and sour tasting dish takes about 15 minutes to be prepared. This spicy, slightly sweet and tangy cucumber dish will be an excellent complement to any of your main dishes.
Jangeo-gui is grilled eel is very popular summer dish in Korea because it’s known for being a source of vitamins and providing energy boost if you are low on stamina. Eel contains Vitamin A and Vitamin E and is very good for blood circulation. It is also believed to be helpful in boosting stamina. In this eel seasoned with soy-sauce, garlic and sesame oil and then grilled. There are two ways of cooking Jangeogui. They are: 1) first season it with various spices such as hot pepper paste, sugar, soybean sauce, minced garlic and ginger, sesame oil, and then grill the eel. 2) The other way is to season the eel only with salt and then grill it. The towns of Pungcheon and Paju in Korea are mainly famous for Jangeogui. Many visitors that travel to Korea enjoy this dish.
Soondubu jiggae is a Korean stew (jiggae) which is thicker than a soup but thinner than porridge. It is hot and spicy and contains tofu, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, gochu garu (chilli powder). When cooked in the traditional way as in an earthenware pot, then all of the cooking is done in just the one dish. A raw egg is put in the jjigae just before its being served and the dish is delivered while still bubbling. This dish is eaten with a bowl of cooked white rice and several banchan (side dishes).
Kongguksu is a seasonal Korean noodle dish served in a cold soy milk soup. The name of this dish translates to ‘bean noodle’. It comprises noodles made with wheat flour and soup made from ground soybeans. The soy beans are boiled and blended. After blending the soybeans, cold water, pine nuts and a pinch of salt are added to make the broth. The texture is usually chewy and milky. The noodles are added to a bowl with ice cubes to add to the cool quotient of this dish.
Bibimbap is a very famous Korean dish and the word translates to “mixed rice”. All of the ingredients except the meat are prepared in advance so that it can be added at room temperature to the top of hot steamed rice. Bibimbap is usually served with a spicy sauce made from gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) and as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul or seasoned vegetables.
Patbingsu is Korean shaved ice dessert with chopped fruits, condensed milk, fruit syrup and red bean paste as toppings. It is sweet and chilling and is common to see people sharing a big Patbingsu together. This dessert is very popular in South Korea.Green tea, coffee and yogurt are some of the popular flavors of Patbingsu. If you ever visit Korea don’t forget to try this delicious Dish.
Naengmyeon is a Korean cold noodles served in a large stainless-steel bowl with a tangy iced broth, julienned cucumbers, slices of Korean pear, and either a boiled egg or slices of cold boiled beef or both. Spicy mustard sauce (or Mustard oil) and vinegar are often added before consumption. This dish made of beef broth with ice, vegetables, pear and slices of meat, topped with a boiled egg. This dish is thought to have become popular in Korea after the Korean War.
Kimchi is the national dish of Korea. It is basically brined cabbage with red pepper flakes. The cabbage is coated leaf by leaf in a delicious spicy mix of hot pepper flakes, garlic, chives, onion, pear juice, and more. It can be then eaten right away. It lasts for months and is also used as the base for many other dishes such as kimchi stews and filling for kimbap (Korean sushi). It usually tastes spicy and sour.
02. Ganjang gejang
Ganjang gejang is salted fermented seafood which is prepared by marinating fresh raw crabs either in ganging (soy sauce) or in chilli pepper powder sauce. The term gejang consists of two words “ge” meaning “a crab” and “jang” which mean “condiment” in the Korean language. Ge-jang is pickled whole crabs in boiled soy sauce brine. This is a traditional dish of Korea and is said to taste the best when it is made with egg-bearing crabs.
Jajangmyeon is noodles topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang (black soya bean sauce), pork and vegetables. Jajang is the name of the sauce which literally means “fried sauce” and myeon means “noodles”. It is one of the most celebrated dishes so many associate with special occasions from their childhood. Jajangmyeon is actually a Chinese dish which the Koreans have created a thicker, yummier version. Still this dish is the favorite dish of most Koreans.