Korean Meals: 23 Greatest Dishes To Attempt in Korea or At Residence
South Korea is an wonderful nation. A cultural melting pot that’s the results of a variety of 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 when you haven’t visited Korea but it is best to positively put it in your record.
Conventional Korean Dishes
Korean meals is predicated lots on grains—specifically rice. From Kimchi fried rice to a candy rice cake, it’s a delicacies that isn’t afraid of just a little spice and makes use of plenty of fermented substances. Fish and seafood additionally play an vital position in Korean meals, due to the ocean surrounding the Korean peninsula.
Many South Korean dishes have fascinating histories or cultural significance. Numerous the meals listed below are adopted or tailored from different cultures. We shall be highlighting some conventional dishes but additionally a few of these trendy takes on Korean Meals which have develop into actually common within the USA.
It’s time to begin your meals journey in Korea. We will’t wait to indicate you a few of our all-time favourite dishes.
1. Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl)
Bibimbap is likely one of the extra well-known Korean dishes. You might have in all probability tried it at dwelling however till you’ve got it in Korea, we are saying you’re 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 standard means then make it possible for every ingredient is sectioned individually within the bowl. Then you may combine them collectively earlier than consuming. The perfect Bibimbap used greens which were 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 wonderful proper?
The benefit of this being such a well-liked Korean dish is which you can get a model with seafood, beef, and tofu—there’s one thing to swimsuit all tastes! In the event 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 may’t miss when you’re visiting South Korea. Its identify means “fireplace meat” and derives from its technique of cooking. Bulgogi is made up of thin-cut slices of beef or pork which were marinated and grilled on a barbecue.
Bulgogi is a type of easy Korean dishes which you can make at dwelling. The important thing to a very good Bulgogi is certainly the appropriate minimize of meat. We like to make use of prime sirloin, however you should utilize whichever kind of beef you want. Be certain that to slice it good and skinny, that means it’s extra tender, then marinate it in soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. Once you cook dinner it, you need to hear that sizzle so be certain the grill is basically scorching.
This dish truly comes from Northern Korea, however right now it’s common in South Korea as properly. 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 a listing of Korean meals with out together with one in every of our favorites: Korean Barbecue! Also referred to as Gogigui, this kind of meals is as enjoyable to eat as it’s scrumptious.
At Korean Barbecue eating places, you order your meat, you’re given a collection of veggies, after which you may go to city grilling your individual dinner. It’s an excellent enjoyable approach to spend a night and a really social means of consuming.
Now it’s possible you’ll assume that this sounds lots like Bulgogi however the distinction is that Bulgogi is definitely a sort of Gogigui. The time period Gogigui simply refers back to the apply of grilling or roasting meat in Korean delicacies.
4. Gimbap: Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls
In the event you’re a fan of sushi then you definitely’ve bought to strive gimbap. Gimbap is the Korean tackle sushi and it’s most frequently loved as road meals—it’s tremendous reasonably priced so nice when you’re touring on a funds. It may embody all kinds of ingenious substances, 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 most probably first invented when Korea was underneath Japanese rule. Though some say it’s an adaptation of the standard dish Bokssam.
Kimchi is one other tremendous common meals in South Korea. It’s a mixture of spiced and fermented greens usually served as a aspect dish. It’s made from 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 common strategies of preserving meals earlier than the invention of recent home equipment similar to fridges. What’s attention-grabbing is that it wasn’t all the time spicy, the warmth was solely added after Portuguese merchants launched chilis to the area within the fifteenth century.
You may make so many various Korean dishes utilizing it. There may be kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae), kimchi pancake (kimchi jeon), and kimchi fried rice simply to call just a few. 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 when you’re visiting South Korea you’ll little question see it on menus in all places.
Saengseon Jjigae is a fish stew that consists often of chicken fish and infrequently prawns or different shellfish. In the event you’re a lover of fish then you definitely’ve bought to verify to do this dish!
Making this at dwelling is just not that simple, however if you wish to give it a strive you principally minimize 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 the whole lot cook dinner collectively for a couple of minutes till the flavors have melded collectively.
7. Sundubu-jjigae (tender tofu stew)
In the event you’d wish to strive a Korean stew (or jjigae) however you don’t eat meat or fish, you may all the time strive Sundubu Jjigae, a variation of the standard stew that’s made with tofu. Fish, kimchi, and beef will also be added to this dish when you like.
A Korean essential meal will nearly all the time include some type of jjigae—that’s how a lot of a staple it’s! So when you’re in a restaurant there’s a very good probability you’ll get to strive it. This dish is assumed up to now again to historical occasions, although lately extra trendy diversifications have been invented as properly.
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 likely one of the hottest road snacks in South Korea and it’s not exhausting to see why! It may embody additions similar to crushed peanuts or cinnamon, and it’s often eaten throughout the winter months to warmth up chilly commuters on chilly mornings.
9. Gilgeori Toast
In the event you’re on the lookout for some tasty breakfast after you’ve shaken off your jet lag, we’ve bought the proper dish for you. Gilgeori toast is what most younger South Koreans will seize for breakfast on their approach to work. It’s savory, candy, filling, and scrumptious.
Its essential substances are egg, cabbage, and grated carrots. Ketchup, mayonnaise, and sugar—sure sugar—are different frequent additions. This common road meals could sound loopy, however one way or the other, it actually works!
10. Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Muffins)
One other common Korean road 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 tender, cylindrical, and deliciously chewy.
To make Tteokbokki, first, the rice truffles and fish truffles are boiled till they’re tender 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 a variety of totally different varieties, from curry to cream sauce and the whole lot in between. This candy and spicy dish might be not like something you’ve tried earlier than, but it surely’s too good to move up. This dish is especially common on the streets of Seoul, so don’t neglect to look out when you’re visiting.
11. Soondae (Korean blood sausage)
No, we’re not speaking about ice cream and sauce right here, so when you see this on a menu in Korea, don’t make this error! Sundae is in actual fact a blood sausage much like the sort you may get in a full Irish breakfast when you’re visiting the emerald isle.
This dish is often made by steaming cow or pig intestines and stuffing them with numerous substances. It’s not for the faint-hearted, however when you’re an adventurous eater it’s positively one to strive.
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 constructed from glass noodles and infrequently incorporates mushrooms, carrots, spinach, and different veggies. It was as soon as a dish reserved for royalty, and it’s now frequent to eat at celebrations similar to weddings or birthdays.
There may be nothing like a dish of glass noodles stir-fried in sesame oil and garnished with toasted sesame seeds to get your mouth watering. Attempt making your individual at dwelling with this recipe!
13. Gyeranppang (Egg Bread)
In the event you’re a lover of all issues wealthy, then Gyeranppang is the dish for you. The identify of this road snack interprets to “egg bread” and that’s precisely what it’s.
A lightweight, fluffy, little loaf of sweet-tasting bread that incorporates an entire egg inside. Frequent toppings embody ham, cheese, or contemporary herbs similar to parsley.
14. Nakji Bokkeum (Spicy Octopus)
Nakji-Bokkeum is one other dish that is perhaps greatest left to adventurous eaters, and when you’re not a fan of fish, you may in all probability give it a miss. Nonetheless, it’s an exceedingly common dish in South Korea, and it’s positively price trying out.
Nakji-Bokkeum is a spicy dish constructed from stir-fried octopus. It’s believed to be a comparatively current addition to the South Korean weight loss program, courting again to across the mid-1900s.
15. Yaksik (Candy Rice)
Lastly, we’ve got a candy dish that’s common all through South Korea. Yaksik is constructed from steamed rice, honey, and dried fruits. It additionally usually consists of cinnamon and even soy sauce.
This dish dates again to across the thirteenth century. Immediately, it’s historically served up on Jeongwol Daeboreum, a Korean vacation. It’s also loved at weddings.
16. Hangover Stew (Haejangguk)
Haejangguk, often known as Hangover Soup, is a conventional Korean soup that’s believed to assist treatment hangovers. The identify 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 incorporates quite a lot of spices and seasonings, like garlic, ginger, and Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes).
I’d say you can be hard-pressed to make this at dwelling, however you may give it a strive with this recipe.
Haejangguk is often served with rice, kimchi, and pickled greens. If you’re in Seoul you’ll positively see Koreans consuming this after an evening of heavy consuming to assist alleviate the signs of a hangover the following day. Does it work? Let’s simply say we imagine.
17. Samgyeopsal (Grilled Pork Stomach)
Samgyeopsal is a well-liked Korean dish that consists of grilled pork stomach slices. The identify “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 minimize of pork stomach is sliced into skinny, bite-sized items. Then marinate it in a combination of soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and sesame oil. Lastly, grill it on a scorching plate or barbecue till it’s cooked by and barely crispy on the skin.
The ultimate step on this scrumptious dish is to position it on a lettuce leaf together with some garlic, ssamjang, and grilled onions, wrap it up, and eat it in a single chunk.
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 substances. 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 properly, as it’s barely drier and simpler to stir-fry. Kimchi is then chopped into small items and blended with different substances similar 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 and coated with the kimchi and vegetable combination. Some variations of this Fried Rice could embody different substances similar to diced ham, bacon, or tofu.
It’s usually served with a fried egg on prime, which provides a creamy texture to the dish. The dish will also 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 usually crammed with meat and greens. The dumpling is much 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 similar to garlic, onion, carrot, and inexperienced onion. The filling is seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper to style. Another kinds of Jjinmandu could embody tofu, kimchi, or different substances.
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 and the wrapper is tender.
Jjinmandu is usually served with a dipping sauce constructed from soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. The dish will be loved as a snack or as a essential course and is common 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 conventional dish in Korea and is usually served as a essential course, particularly throughout the winter. The dish has a protracted historical past and was first made throughout 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 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 rooster, often known as KFC, is a well-liked Korean dish that consists of fried rooster coated in a crispy, crunchy batter and sometimes served with a spicy or candy sauce. The distinction between Korean fried rooster and different kinds of fried rooster is using a double-frying approach that creates an extra-crispy exterior whereas protecting the meat juicy and tender on the within.
As soon as the rooster 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 rooster is a well-liked Korean road meals and you’ll find it nearly wherever 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 numerous greens like onions, zucchini, and potatoes. The dish has a protracted historical past in Korea and was first launched throughout 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 common in Korea due to its wealthy and savory taste and satisfying texture.
23. Samgyetang (Hen Ginseng Soup)
Samgyetang is a conventional Korean soup made with an entire younger rooster, ginseng, jujubes, and different medicinal herbs. The dish is usually eaten throughout the summer season months in Korea and is believed to have well being advantages like boosting the immune system and growing stamina.
So, how do you make Samgyetang? First, an entire younger rooster is full of glutinous rice and numerous herbs like ginseng, jujubes, and garlic. The rooster 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 rooster. 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 strive, and the above characterize only a few of our favorites. In the event you’re on the lookout for extra journey ideas, don’t neglect to take a look at the remainder of our posts now!