Evolving through the ages to ebb and flow with cultural changes and influences from other nations, the trade of exotic ingredients and the spread of Western ideas, Korean cuisine is a mouth-watering mix of elements, including spices, vegetables, meat, noodles and the ever-popular fermented vegetable, kimchi.
A popularly loved noodle dish, black bean noodles are a simple main or side dish with bold flavours. There are a few different ways to serve it; sauce on the side, sauce on the top, sauce evenly dispersed through the noodles, fresh vegetables on top and even adding your favourite meats to the mix. For a taste of black bean noodles, try the recipe and experiment with your own style from there.
Consumed as a main meal, a side dish, at high end restaurants and fast food bars, there’s no denying Korean fried chicken is a popular dish. So much so in fact that it has made its way around the world and is served in many countries. It differs from other fried chicken as it is fried twice, making the skin less oily and addictively crunchy. A thin coating of sweet and spicy seasoning is also used, differentiating it from the typical American style of fried chicken.
Though this soup is served hot and full of warming herbs and spices, Koreans generally consume this during warmer summer months. Traditionally, a whole young chicken is used and stuffed with garlic and rice, spring onions and other tantalising spices. The main ingredient, ginseng, is known as “the secret of perpetual youth” in Korea, thought to recuperate strength.
A street food treat often enjoyed through winter months, try making your own Hotteok pancakes at home. In Korea, they can be purchased from small vendors and the filling can be purchased pre-mixed to save time. Bite through a crispy golden outer layer to enjoy the chewy dough inside and onto the sweet centre. The centre can be filled with whatever your favourite ingredients are, but the most common include nut, honey, cinnamon and sesame seeds.
A dish to feed a crowd, dig into a bowl of this tasty Kimchi fried rice. Make your own kimchi ahead of time, or for the quick and easy option, buy a jar already pickled to perfection from your local Asian grocer. This is a great dish to use up leftover ingredients, especially large quantities of rice; throw in your favourite meats, chopped into small cubes, scramble through some egg, add some extra stir-fry style vegetables or serve it simple.