Korean dishes are based on three essential ingredients: rice, vegetables, and meat. Fish dishes and products are also widely used in Korean cuisine. A Korean meal consists of many small side dishes. For a normal meal with the family, there are three to four side dishes on the table in addition to rice, soup, and kimchi. On special occasions, however, it can be 12 or more. The people sitting together at the table share all the side dishes, except for rice, soup, and kimchi – each person gets their portion.
Another unique feature of Korean cuisine is the variety and importance of soups, which should not be missing in any dish. A classic among Korean recipes is the hot fish soup Maeuntang or Doenjang-guk, a soup made from soybean paste with vegetables, meat, and seafood.
A popular way on how to cook Korean food (วิธี ทํา อาหาร เกาหลี which is the term in Thai) or how to prepare the meat side dishes is the so-called Gogi-gui – Korean grill. The meat marinated in soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic are usually grilled directly on a fireplace in the table or on small table grills.
Korean Recipes Cannot Do Without These Ingredients
As in other Asian cuisines, Korean cuisine mainly uses fermented products such as soy sauce ganjang, soy bean pastes, doenjang, and vinegar. Fish sauce is also often used in Korean recipes.
Korean food also includes the intense and nutty taste of toasted sesame oil. In general, sesame is an essential ingredient in Korean cuisine. Sesame seeds are mainly added to the garnish of vegetable dishes or in sauces for dipping, but – unlike other garnishes – they cannot simply be left out. The specific Korean heat usually comes from the fermented red chili paste Gochujang and the Korean red chili flakes Gochugaru. The latter also gives kimchi its spiciness.
Soybeans, in turn, have records of being cultivated in the region for centuries before Christ. Today it is widely consumed as tofu, milk, oil, and sauce. And pepper, which became one of the main spices used in Korean cuisine, was introduced to the region after the 16th century.
There is also in Korea, a strong Buddhist tradition from which vegetarian cuisine emerged. There are many restaurants with options for vegetarian dishes, teas, and non-alcoholic wines.