Hey guys! I was thinking about what to write about when I suddenly realized... I'M STARVING! I am so hungry! Then I started thinking about all the yummy Korean foods that I've tried but haven't had for so long! Here are 5 must try Korean foods/snacks. Let me know in the comments below if you've every tried any of these!
1) Bibimbap 비빔밥
In Korean, “bibim” means “mixed” and “bap” means rice. All of the ingredients except the meat (which is optional) are prepared in advance so you can add them at room temperature to the top of hot steamed rice. You then quickly fry and add the meat and a sunny-side up egg to the top. Bibimbap is usually served with a spicy sauce made from gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) which you can add to your liking – allowing you to control how hot it is. You then use your spoon (Korean food is always served with metal chopsticks and a spoon) to “bibim” it all until it is completely mixed together.
2) Bulgogi 불고기
Bulgogi is an extremely versatile way of preparing beef and the one most westerners have sampled at Korean restaurants. Typically in the west we eat bulgogi on a korean barbecue – a hot plate in the middle of the table. But in Korea this is just one of many ways. It can be made into a stew (as in the recipe above) or as the basis for other dishes. It is such a versatile marinated meet that you could even use it to replace pulled pork in a western style sandwich. Bulgogi is very thinly sliced beef which is marinated in a sauce made from pear juice, garlic, soy sauce, and many other things.
3) Japchae 잡채
Japchae is one of the most popular Korean dishes both inside and outside of Korea and when you taste it you will understand why. Originally japchae was made without noodles – it was invented for the King by one of his chefs and he loved it so much that it became famous across Korea. In more recent times the noodles were added and now they are an essential element to the dish. The noodles used are sweet potato starch noodles which give japchae its very distinct chewy texture. The vegetables are all lightly cooked so they retain all their flavor.
4) Dakjuk 닭죽
Essentially you boil a chicken in a huge pot of water with onions and a lot of garlic – then you add sushi rice and cook it until the chicken is done. The end result is a thick stew (which Koreans refer to as a porridge even though it has no oats) caused by the rice breaking down bursting with rich chicken and garlic flavor. You tear the chicken up and eat it with the porridge.
5) Tteokbokki 떡볶이
In large Korean cities like Seoul, the streets are filled with vendors selling their own special recipe versions of the most popular street food. Tteokbokki is one of the most popular and it comes in various styles. The sauce is spicy but it is also very sweet and packed with an immense amount of flavor. The spiciness is cut by the long cylindrical rice cakes which, when cooked, become chewy and soft. The rice cakes are probably the most unusual part of the recipe for most westerners but when they try it – they love it.
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Writer: Shey! @ParkHwaYoung
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