11 national dishes in South Korea
People in over the world have a thing for the exquisite culinary culture of Korea. Once tasting those Korean traditional foods like Kimchi, Bibimbap, a steamy hot pot or savory grilled pork chop, it’d be hard to resist the appeal of trying them again. Let’s have a look at those 12 mouth-watering dishes of Korea to see if they can stimulate your taste buds!
1. Bibimbap – Korean Mixed Rice
The tasty Bibimbap is very easy to make
Bibimbap makes a good impression with an eye-catching mix of colors originated from above 6 different ingredients: bright yellow egg yolk, a catchy green of many kinds of vegetable, brown meat, orange carrot, etc. The vegetables and fried meat (usually beef) will be cut into small shreds and placed neatly around the bowl. The highlight of the dish is a fried egg put in the center.
2. Gimbap (Kimbap) – Rice Roll
Gimbap is the combination of many ingredients inside a rice roll
This is a popular dish to the Korean people. Gimbap is simply rice rolled inside a thin flat of seaweed. People often mistake Gimbap with Sushi (a Japanese dish), but if you look closely, you’ll see that the filling of Gimbap is bigger than Sushi and the size of Gimbap slices is a little thinner.
Hobakjuk is a kind of pumpkin porridge
Hobakjuk is a kind of sweet porridge of Korea. Made from smashed pumpkin, oatmeal, and adzuki bean, the dish is suitable to serve ill patients who are recovering from their sickness or the elderly. Due to the smooth and the light sweetness, the porridge is delicious and easy to eat.
4. Naengmyeon – Cold Noodles
A bowl of Naengmyeon
During summertime, the dish containing handmade noodles is often served in a big bowl with a tasty light sweetness of meat broth to help to cool off the hot temperature of the season. In cold seasons, people will add kimchi in the broth to enhance the flavor. This unique dish might be simple but no one can deny its tasty flavor.
5. Samgyetang – Ginseng Chicken Soup
Samgyetang is highly nutritious
Samgyetang is a popular high-nutrition dish, which usually appears during three hottest days of summer, which are called as Chobok, Jungbok, and Malbok. Why do people eat this on those hot days? Because the special soup can help them relieve the heat.
People will add glutinous rice, ginseng and other herbs inside a poussin (young chicken). Then, the whole chicken will be stewed for hours.
6. Soondubu jjigae – Spicy tofu
Does this Soondubu jjigae look tasty to you?
Are you a fan of spicy foods? If you do, you should not miss Sindubu-jjigae, a spicy tofu stew with delicious seafood (usually clam). The amazing taste of Korea’s silky and soft tofu is something that you can’t forget, not to mention that spicy flavor of kimchi and natural sweetness of clam in the soup. People favor this hot spicy soup in cold days.
7. Japchae – Stir-fry Glass Noodle
The appetizing look of Japchae
Aside from the main ingredient which is chewy glass noodle, Japchae is enhanced by the supporting flavors of seasonal vegetables (usually shredded carrot, onion, spinach, kinds of mushroom), and the main protein is meat (commonly beef). The dish is seasoned with a little sesame oil, soy sauce, and spicy pepper when being stir-fried. The noodle is served in a large bowl.
8. Galbi – Grilled Pork Chop
Galbi is a dish you cannot miss in Korea
Galbi is the general name referring all kinds of grilled chop in Korean cuisine. The chop used in this delicious dish can be beef, pork or chicken. Before being grilled, the meat is seasoned with kanch’ang (a Korean sauce). With grilled beef chop, which is the most popular protein in Galbi, people call it “Sokalbi” or “soekalbi”. Pork and chicken are called “twaechi galbi” or “t’ak galbi”.
9. Bulgogi – Grilled Beef
Can you resist a dish look as delicious as Bulgogi?
Bulgogi is mainly marinated with soy sauce and sugar, which enhance the flavor when the meat is grilled. The well-done meat after being grilled is juicy and savory, and the time for completing this delicious Bulgogi is not too long.
Korean people enjoy eating Bulgogi by rolling it in a lettuce leaf along with other herbs, which brings up a lot of flavors and add more nutrition than only eating the meat. In addition, Bulgogi can be eaten with rice, noodle or be a part of a hot soup. The way of eating Bulgogi can be adjusted diversely.
10. Seafood pajeon – Green onion pancake
Seafood pancake of Korea
At the first sight, the dish might remind you of a pizza with colorful color on top. In fact, this pancake is made by mixing wheat or rice flour with water along with onion, different kinds of seafood before being fried in a pan. The food has existed for a long time, and it was once classified as a royal food.
11. Korean Kimchi
Kimchi is an important part of Korean cuisine
Kimchi has been a world-famous food and an indispensable part of Korean cuisine. There are hundreds of kimchi which made from salted or fermented vegetables like napa cabbage, radish, etc. The signature flavor of kimchi is the rich spicy taste deriving from Korean special chili sauce.
For instance, Baechu Gimchi is one of the most typical kimchi. If you cannot endure the spice, try the non-spicy dongchimi or baek-kimchi. You can easily see the presence of kimchi in most of the Korean meals. Kimchi can be used as a side dish or an ingredient of a dish.
The savory taste of those Korean foods above will make you fall in love right at the first bite.