Korean Cuisine – Wonderful Tastes of Great Food
Looking back on it now, I think it was very funny that my wife, she was my girlfriend at the time, really enjoyed going to the few Korean restaurants in Jerusalem. The people were lovely, and the food was certainly unique to the region! There are many Koreans living in Israel so it wasn’t so much a surprise to find Korean Cuisine there, but it was inspiring how good it tasted!
The Korean cuisine have a distinct sense of flavors and spices. Due to the geographic traits of the Korean Peninsula, the people have enjoyed the products of mountains, seas, and fields for centuries. They consider food to be of higher importance than merely something that fills our belly, it is a source of nutrition and medicine for them.
The biggest trait of the Korean cuisine is probably the use of spices.
They season their food with peppers, bean paste, soy sauce etc. Being a traveler and a foodie, one of my favorite activities is trying the local cuisines of the places I go to.
Here are a few dishes you must try when in Korea:
Soft-Tofu Stew (Soondubu Jiggae)
This is one of the staple foods of Korean Cuisine! This soup is absolutely amazing! Its consistency is thicker than that of a soup, but it’s still much thinner than something like porridge.
It is a mixture of beef and fish stock as the base to strengthen the flavor, topped with silken tofu, shellfish, eggs (optional) and hot pepper. They add only a small amount of beef to keep it light instead of making it filling – keeping it light is the cornerstone of all Korean food.
Rice Cake Street Food (Ddukbokkie)
One of the most famous of Korean Cuisine are street foods of the country is ddukbokkie.
Its smell crawls through the busy streets of all big Korean cities. Almost all the vendors cook a slightly different version so a lot of varieties are available for all sorts of taste buds. It is made usually with rice cakes and vegetables soaked in a sweet and spicy sauce. The rice cakes become absolutely divine once they are dipped in the soup!
Seasoned Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom Tongdak)
Everybody enjoys a deep fried chicken leg once in a while, but I doubt you have tried the Korean version. It is marinated in a sweet, spicy, and sticky red sauce and fried till the crust is hard and crunchy making it a uniquely Korean Cuisine dish.
I have simply never had tastier chicken in my entire life, and that’s coming from a man who has eaten entire poultry farms (not in one sitting though). There are no words that could explain the taste; you will have to try this one for yourself if you want to believe me.
Stir-Fried noodles (Japchae)
Korean food is not just limited to Korea. One of the dishes that the world has accepted as a great restaurant meal is Japchae. The original Japchae was a royal dish, invented by the King’s chefs.
It was made without noodles. Later on, the recipe evolved, sweet potato starch noodles were added which gave the dish a unique chewy texture. Lightly cooked vegetables make this dish wholesome, hearty, and a delight to consume.
Fermented Cabbage (Kimchi)
The national dish of Korean Cuisine, Kimchi, is an important dish that is widely used. It is basically fermented cabbage marinated leaf-by-leaf with spices. It is then used as a base for numerous Korean dishes. Leaving it in the refrigerator for two-three days enhances its flavor and gives it a tangy and sour taste. Be sure to read about the museum dedicated to Kimchi here.
Korean food is the new hype around the world, as more and more people become exposed to it and the demand of Korean Cuisine outlets rise. If you are a fan of exotic cuisine and would love to try new things, Korea is the right place for you.