South Korea is an superb nation. A cultural melting pot that’s the results of various totally different influences, from the colonial powers that at one time occupied it to the distinctive panorama and local weather it boasts. It’s the confluence of those components which have created the customs, attitudes, and meals tradition that exists there right now. And in case you haven’t visited Korea but it is best to positively put it in your listing.
Conventional Korean Dishes
Korean meals is predicated quite a bit on grains—particularly rice. From Kimchi fried rice to a candy rice cake, it’s a delicacies that isn’t afraid of somewhat spice and makes use of numerous fermented components. Fish and seafood additionally play an essential function in Korean meals, due to the ocean surrounding the Korean peninsula.
Many South Korean dishes have fascinating histories or cultural significance. Loads of the meals listed here are adopted or tailored from different cultures. We might be highlighting some conventional dishes but in addition a few of these fashionable takes on Korean Meals which have change into actually in style within the USA.
It’s time to begin your meals journey in Korea. We are able to’t wait to point out you a few of our all-time favourite dishes.
1. Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl)
Bibimbap is without doubt one of the extra well-known Korean dishes. You have got most likely tried it at dwelling however till you’ve gotten it in Korea, we are saying you might be lacking out. Bibimbap is a rice-based dish that may encompass greens, a fried egg, and no matter different protein you want.
If you wish to make it the normal approach then make it possible for every ingredient is sectioned individually within the bowl. Then you’ll be able to combine them collectively earlier than consuming. The perfect Bibimbap used greens which have been blanched or sautéed with sesame oil and soy sauce, and meat that has been marinated earlier than being cooked. I just like the egg to be sunny-side up after which I prime it with sesame seeds, spicy sauce, and scallions. Sounds superb proper?
The benefit of this being such a well-liked Korean dish is you could get a model with seafood, beef, and tofu—there’s one thing to go well with all tastes! In case you go to Korea you’ll discover that totally different areas have their very own takes on this dish.
2. Bulgogi (marinated beef barbecue)
Bulgogi is a dish you’ll be able to’t miss in case you’re visiting South Korea. Its title means “fireplace meat” and derives from its technique of cooking. Bulgogi is made up of thin-cut slices of beef or pork which have been marinated and grilled on a barbecue.
Bulgogi is a kind of easy Korean dishes you could make at dwelling. The important thing to a great Bulgogi is certainly the suitable reduce of meat. We like to make use of prime sirloin, however you should utilize whichever kind of beef you want. Be sure to slice it good and skinny, that approach it’s extra tender, then marinate it in soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. Once you cook dinner it, you wish to hear that sizzle so be sure the grill is basically scorching.
This dish really comes from Northern Korea, however right now it’s in style in South Korea as nicely. This can be a scrumptious and unpretentious dish that you just’ll discover in most quick meals and BBQ eating places throughout South Korea.
3. Korean barbecue (Gogigui )
Talking of BBQ, we couldn’t do an inventory of Korean meals with out together with considered one of our favorites: Korean Barbecue! Also called Gogigui, this sort of meals is as enjoyable to eat as it’s scrumptious.
At Korean Barbecue eating places, you order your meat, you’re given a choice of veggies, after which you’ll be able to go to city grilling your individual dinner. It’s a brilliant enjoyable option to spend a night and a really social approach of consuming.
Now chances are you’ll suppose that this sounds quite a bit like Bulgogi however the distinction is that Bulgogi is definitely a sort of Gogigui. The time period Gogigui simply refers back to the follow of grilling or roasting meat in Korean delicacies.
4. Gimbap: Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls
In case you’re a fan of sushi you then’ve received to attempt gimbap. Gimbap is the Korean tackle sushi and it’s most frequently loved as avenue meals—it’s tremendous reasonably priced so nice in case you’re touring on a finances. It could possibly embrace all types of creative components, together with however not restricted to beef, cheese, omelet, and even pork stomach cutlet.
One other spelling of this dish is “kimbap” with Kim that means seaweed and bap that means rice. It was almost definitely first invented when Korea was below Japanese rule. Though some say it’s an adaptation of the normal dish Bokssam.
Kimchi is one other tremendous in style meals in South Korea. It’s a mixture of spiced and fermented greens typically served as a aspect dish. It’s product of cabbage, carrots inexperienced peppers, radish, and spring onions.
We all know that it’s been round since historical occasions, with written accounts of it showing as early as the first century. Pickling and fermenting had been in style strategies of preserving meals earlier than the invention of contemporary home equipment equivalent to fridges. What’s attention-grabbing is that it wasn’t at all times spicy, the warmth was solely added after Portuguese merchants launched chilis to the area within the fifteenth century.
You can also make so many alternative Korean dishes utilizing it. There’s kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae), kimchi pancake (kimchi jeon), and kimchi fried rice simply to call a couple of. Make your individual Kimchi with this scrumptious recipe!
6. Saengseon Jjigae (Spicy Fish Stew)
We talked about above that seafood and fish are main staples of South Korean delicacies, and so are soups and stews. This dish brings collectively each of those ideas and in case you’re visiting South Korea you’ll little doubt see it on menus all over the place.
Saengseon Jjigae is a fish stew that consists often of chicken fish and sometimes prawns or different shellfish. In case you’re a lover of fish you then’ve received to ensure to do that dish!
Making this at dwelling isn’t that straightforward, however if you wish to give it a attempt you mainly reduce the fish into bite-sized items, mud in flour, and pan fry till it’s crispy.
The broth is made with anchovy paste and kelp in water to make a flavorful inventory. Then throw in some spicy chili paste, garlic, soy sauce, and different seasonings, to offer it a wealthy and spicy taste.
Lastly, you mix the inventory with no matter greens you want and let it simmer till they’re cooked. Lastly, add within the fish, together with some chopped scallions, and let all the things cook dinner collectively for a couple of minutes till the flavors have melded collectively.
7. Sundubu-jjigae (delicate tofu stew)
In case you’d prefer to attempt a Korean stew (or jjigae) however you don’t eat meat or fish, you’ll be able to at all times attempt Sundubu Jjigae, a variation of the normal stew that’s made with tofu. Fish, kimchi, and beef can be added to this dish in case you like.
A Korean primary meal will nearly at all times include some type of jjigae—that’s how a lot of a staple it’s! So in case you’re in a restaurant there’s a great likelihood you’ll get to attempt it. This dish is believed thus far again to historical occasions, although not too long ago extra fashionable diversifications have been invented as nicely.
8. Hotteok (Korean Candy Pancakes)
From the very savory to the tremendous candy, Hotteok is a sort of pancake oozing with candy syrup. This is without doubt one of the hottest avenue snacks in South Korea and it’s not onerous to see why! It could possibly embrace additions equivalent to crushed peanuts or cinnamon, and it’s often eaten in the course of the winter months to warmth up chilly commuters on chilly mornings.
9. Gilgeori Toast
In case you’re searching for some tasty breakfast after you’ve shaken off your jet lag, we’ve received the proper dish for you. Gilgeori toast is what most younger South Koreans will seize for breakfast on their option to work. It’s savory, candy, filling, and scrumptious.
Its primary components are egg, cabbage, and grated carrots. Ketchup, mayonnaise, and sugar—sure sugar—are different widespread additions. This in style avenue meals could sound loopy, however by some means, it actually works!
10. Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Truffles)
One other in style Korean avenue meals, Tteokbokki is sliced rice truffles—although not as you recognize them. Removed from the crunchy disks of puffed-up rice, this time period conjures up, these rice truffles are delicate, cylindrical, and deliciously chewy.
To make Tteokbokki, first, the rice truffles and fish truffles are boiled till they’re delicate and tender. Then, the crimson pepper sauce, which is made with gochujang (Korean crimson pepper paste), garlic, soy sauce, and sugar, is added to the pot. The combination is simmered till the sauce thickens and coats the rice truffles and fish truffles.
Tteokbokki is available in various totally different varieties, from curry to cream sauce and all the things in between. This candy and spicy dish might be in contrast to something you’ve tried earlier than, nevertheless it’s too good to cross up. This dish is especially in style on the streets of Seoul, so don’t neglect to look out in case you’re visiting.
11. Soondae (Korean blood sausage)
No, we’re not speaking about ice cream and sauce right here, so in case you see this on a menu in Korea, don’t make this error! Sundae is in truth a blood sausage just like the kind you may get in a full Irish breakfast in case you’re visiting the emerald isle.
This dish is often made by steaming cow or pig intestines and stuffing them with varied components. It’s not for the faint-hearted, however in case you’re an adventurous eater it’s positively one to attempt.
12. Japchae (Korean Glass Noodles)
That is one other dish that exemplifies the South Korean penchant for the mix of candy and savory. It’s created from glass noodles and sometimes comprises mushrooms, carrots, spinach, and different veggies. It was as soon as a dish reserved for royalty, and it’s now widespread to eat at celebrations equivalent to weddings or birthdays.
There’s nothing like a dish of glass noodles stir-fried in sesame oil and garnished with toasted sesame seeds to get your mouth watering. Strive making your individual at dwelling with this recipe!
13. Gyeranppang (Egg Bread)
In case you’re a lover of all issues wealthy, then Gyeranppang is the dish for you. The title of this avenue snack interprets to “egg bread” and that’s precisely what it’s.
A lightweight, fluffy, little loaf of sweet-tasting bread that comprises a complete egg inside. Widespread toppings embrace ham, cheese, or recent herbs equivalent to parsley.
14. Nakji Bokkeum (Spicy Octopus)
Nakji-Bokkeum is one other dish that could be finest left to adventurous eaters, and in case you’re not a fan of fish, you’ll be able to most likely give it a miss. Nonetheless, it’s an exceedingly in style dish in South Korea, and it’s positively value testing.
Nakji-Bokkeum is a spicy dish created from stir-fried octopus. It’s believed to be a comparatively latest addition to the South Korean eating regimen, courting again to across the mid-1900s.
15. Yaksik (Candy Rice)
Lastly, now we have a candy dish that’s in style all through South Korea. Yaksik is created from steamed rice, honey, and dried fruits. It additionally typically consists of cinnamon and even soy sauce.
This dish dates again to across the thirteenth century. At present, it’s historically served up on Jeongwol Daeboreum, a Korean vacation. Additionally it is loved at weddings.
16. Hangover Stew (Haejangguk)
Haejangguk, often known as Hangover Soup, is a standard Korean soup that’s believed to assist remedy hangovers. The title Haejangguk interprets to “soup to chase a hangover.” The soup is made with pork bones and quite a lot of greens like bean sprouts, Napa cabbage, and radish. The soup additionally comprises quite a lot of spices and seasonings, like garlic, ginger, and Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes).
I might say you’ll be hard-pressed to make this at dwelling, however you can provide it a attempt with this recipe.
Haejangguk is often served with rice, kimchi, and pickled greens. In case you are in Seoul you’ll positively see Koreans consuming this after an evening of heavy ingesting to assist alleviate the signs of a hangover the following day. Does it work? Let’s simply say we consider.
17. Samgyeopsal (Grilled Pork Stomach)
Samgyeopsal is a well-liked Korean dish that consists of grilled pork stomach slices. The title “samgyeopsal” interprets to “three-layered flesh,” which refers back to the three layers of fats and meat on a pork stomach. The dish is served with quite a lot of aspect dishes, together with lettuce leaves, sliced garlic, ssamjang (a spicy soybean paste), and grilled onions.
To make Samgyeopsal, first, a thick reduce of pork stomach is sliced into skinny, bite-sized items. Then marinate it in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and sesame oil. Lastly, grill it on a scorching plate or barbecue till it’s cooked by way of and barely crispy on the skin.
The ultimate step on this scrumptious dish is to put it on a lettuce leaf together with some garlic, ssamjang, and grilled onions, wrap it up, and eat it in a single chew.
18. Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimchi Fried Rice is a well-liked Korean dish that’s made by stir-frying cooked rice with kimchi and different components. The dish is usually served as a fast and straightforward meal or as a aspect dish to accompany different Korean dishes.
To make the Fried Rice, first, cooked rice is required. Leftover rice works nicely, as it’s barely drier and simpler to stir-fry. Kimchi is then chopped into small items and blended with different components equivalent to diced onions, carrots, and inexperienced onions.
In a pan or wok, oil is heated over medium-high warmth. The kimchi and vegetable combination is added to the pan and stir-fried till the greens are softened. The cooked rice is then added to the pan and stir-fried till it’s heated by way of and coated with the kimchi and vegetable combination. Some variations of this Fried Rice could embrace different components equivalent to diced ham, bacon, or tofu.
It’s typically served with a fried egg on prime, which provides a creamy texture to the dish. The dish can be garnished with extra chopped inexperienced onions and sesame seeds for added taste.
19. Steamed Mandu Dumplings (Jjinmandu)
Jjinmandu is a sort of Korean dumpling that’s typically crammed with meat and greens. The dumpling is just like a Chinese language-style jiaozi or Japanese-style gyoza however with its personal distinctive taste and texture.
To make Jjinmandu, first, a filling is ready by mixing floor pork or beef with greens equivalent to garlic, onion, carrot, and inexperienced onion. The filling is seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper to style. Another sorts of Jjinmandu could embrace tofu, kimchi, or different components.
Subsequent, small circles of dumpling wrapper dough are rolled out and crammed with the meat and vegetable combination. The perimeters of the wrapper are then pinched collectively to seal the filling inside. The dumplings are then steamed or boiled till they’re cooked by way of and the wrapper is tender.
Jjinmandu is usually served with a dipping sauce created from soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. The dish might be loved as a snack or as a primary course and is in style all through Korea.
20. Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)
Kimchi Jjigae is a well-liked Korean stew made with fermented kimchi, pork, tofu, and different greens. Kimchi Jjigae is a standard dish in Korea and is usually served as a primary course, particularly in the course of the winter. The dish has an extended historical past and was first made in the course of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) when households would ferment their very own kimchi in giant earthenware jars known as Onggi.
To make Kimchi Jjigae, first, the kimchi is chopped into small items and added to a pot together with sliced pork and tofu. Different greens like onion, garlic, and inexperienced onions are additionally added, together with some water or broth. The stew is simmered till the pork is cooked by way of and the greens are tender. The ensuing dish is hearty and warming, with a tangy and spicy taste from the fermented kimchi.
21. Korean Fried Hen
Korean fried hen, often known as KFC, is a well-liked Korean dish that consists of fried hen coated in a crispy, crunchy batter and sometimes served with a spicy or candy sauce. The distinction between Korean fried hen and different sorts of fried hen is the usage of a double-frying method that creates an extra-crispy exterior whereas preserving the meat juicy and tender on the within.
As soon as the hen is absolutely cooked and crispy, it’s sometimes served with a candy and spicy sauce made with Korean chili paste, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger. Korean fried hen is a well-liked Korean avenue meals and yow will discover it nearly anyplace in South Korea.
22. Jjajangmyeon (Noodles in Black-Bean Sauce)
Jjajangmyeon is a well-liked Korean-Chinese language dish made with wheat noodles, black bean sauce, and varied greens like onions, zucchini, and potatoes. The dish has an extended historical past in Korea and was first launched in the course of the early twentieth century by Chinese language immigrants who settled in Korea.
To make Jjajangmyeon, first, the black bean sauce is ready by frying diced pork stomach with chopped onions and black bean paste. Greens like zucchini and potatoes are then added to the pot and cooked till tender. The ensuing sauce is thick and savory with a touch of sweetness.
The wheat noodles are then cooked and served with the black bean sauce on prime. The dish is usually garnished with sliced cucumber and a drizzle of sesame oil. Jjajangmyeon is in style in Korea due to its wealthy and savory taste and satisfying texture.
23. Samgyetang (Hen Ginseng Soup)
Samgyetang is a standard Korean soup made with a complete younger hen, ginseng, jujubes, and different medicinal herbs. The dish is usually eaten in the course of the summer time months in Korea and is believed to have well being advantages like boosting the immune system and rising stamina.
So, how do you make Samgyetang? First, a complete younger hen is filled with glutinous rice and varied herbs like ginseng, jujubes, and garlic. The hen is then boiled in a pot with water till it’s absolutely cooked and the broth is wealthy and flavorful.
The ensuing soup is thick and hearty, with a fragile taste from the herbs and tender meat from the hen. Samgyetang is a well-liked dish in Korea and is usually served in Korean eating places and as part of conventional Korean delicacies.
Our Favourite South Korean Delicacies
South Korea is an enchanting and culturally wealthy nation and Korean meals does a tremendous job of reflecting this. There are such a lot of totally different dishes to attempt, and the above signify only a few of our favorites. In case you’re searching for extra journey ideas, don’t neglect to take a look at the remainder of our posts now!