The Scrumptious Guide to Craveable Korean Foods Your Mouth Will Love
An Introduction to Korean Food
Korean food is known for its bold spicy flavors and vast variety of soups and side dishes served with each meal. There is so much variety, it’s impossible to exhaust all of the irresistible combinations. Moreover, it can be easily altered to fit a vegetarian or vegan diet – and lactose rejoice, dairy is rarely used in Korean cooking! So get your chopsticks ready because you are about to become a menu-reading pro for the next time you visit a Korean restaurant!
Why Eat Korean Food?
Health Benefits of Korean Food:
- Fermented foods (like kimchi) are high in healthy probiotics that aid digestion.
- Most side dishes feature vegetables high in nutrients and vitamins.
- Spices such as chili pepper and garlic can boost metabolism and help your cardiovascular health. For more foods that can boost your metabolism, check out this post, “15 Foods to Boost Your Metabolism this Winter”.
- Soup is eaten with most meals, which is filling yet low in calories.
- While Koreans do enjoy red meats, it is often in small balanced portions, rather than the bulk of a meal. Moreover, most meats are grilled, rather than fried, making them lower in saturated fats.
Traditional Korean Meals
Quick Terminology Guide:
- Myeon = noodles
- Jjigae = soup/stew
- Jeon = crispy pancake/fritter
- Gochugaru = red chili flakes
- Gochujang – red chili paste
These bouncy noodles can be served in small portions as a side dish, or topped with meats and vegetables to make a full meal! They can be served hot or cold, depending on how you enjoy them. Japchae has a slightly sweet nutty (sesame) taste, which pairs easily with many flavors.
Kimchi Jjigae (김치찌개)
Sundubu-jjigae (순두부 찌개)
Haemul Pajeon (해물파전)
Korean Side Dishes (Banchan)
Oi Muchim (오이무침)
Sigeumchi Namul (시금치나물)
The sikhye is never fermented long enough to become alcoholic, only long enough for the sugars in the rice to break down, which naturally sweetens the beverage (added sugars are optional when making this). It can be enjoyed served hot or cold, and can even be made into a slushie with added toppings!
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