Hansik literally means Korean food. Korean cuisine ranges in taste from bland to peppery hot and includes a wide variety of wild and cultivated vegetables and animals, many that are eaten for their aromatic and medicinal properties. Most foods are prepared by stir-frying, steaming, braising, grilling, poaching, boiling or barbecuing and most carry the blending Tang and aroma of garlic, red pepper, green onions, soy sauce, and sesame seeds and oil.

Korean Food and Table Manner
- Rice, Soup and Kimchi are the main dishes
- The food generally comes all at once
- Food is often served in one bowl, dish or plate, and is shared
- Soup is often taken with spoon, but you will drink it
- Korean foods are hot and spicy
- Spoon and chopsticks are as always, but forks are on request or may not be available
- Most Koreans admit that they eat fast
- Koreans do not blow noses at the table
- Slurp widely accepted when eating noodles
- Koreans traditionally do not pick up the spoon or chopsticks before the elders do. Nor foods touched or tasted
- Reservation is not customary unless it is an important occasion or meeting

Korean restaurants
Almost all local restaurants in Korea have tables that are low to the ground. You have to take your shoes off at the door and sit on the floor while eating.
- Close as early as around 22:00 with rare exceptions
- Wine, coffee or dessert are the words for Western restaurants
- High chairs are rare, seating on warm floors
- Forks and knifes are rarely seen, but spoons and chopsticks as always
- Coffee or tea is absolutely on availability
- One portion of meat could not be enough - mind extra budget for extra order
- Sliced raw fishes are everywhere, but grilled fish restaurant are rarely found
- Chicken, lamb, mutton, Halal foods, vegetarian menus are sort of far to seek
- Local liquors like Soju or the likes are common and more popular
- Purified water or Boricha (Barley tea) is served free of charge, but mineral waters are available at the stores.

Use of chopsticks
Chopsticks are the principal eating utensils in China, Japan, Korea, and several other Asian countries, They are also useful in the kitchen for mixing, whipping, stirring, and picking up food. They come in various sizes and shapes and are made of different materials. One can find elaborate chopsticks made of enameled wood, ivory, bone, or even silver and gold. However, chopsticks used in cooking are usually made of wood or bamboo and are 25Cm long.

Hold one chopstick between the tips of the thumb and the index finger and rest it on the side of the middle finger, as you would hold a pencil-about two-thirds up the length of the chopstick, practice moving the chopstick back and forth with the index and middle fingers while the thumb remains still.

Insert the second chopstick between the base of the thumb and the fourth finger, resting against the nail.
Pick up a piece of food by bringing the tip up of the top chopstick to the up of the bottom one: move only the top chopstick with the index and middle fingers. Do not move the bottom one. Try it a few times and you will soon be an expert.

Source : Let's Eat Korean Food by Betsy O'Brien
Rice (Bap)
Rice is the staple food for Koreans and appears at every meal occasion. Korean people developed variety of rice dishes. The cooked grains are always short and slightly sticky when served, always taken with bowl of soup and Kimchi, a pickled cabbage. In the past rice was synonymous with wealth as it was a tangible way for farming people to calculate their wealth.

Rice topped with vegetable and beef (Bibimbap)
A very simple but very popular dish. The Bibimbap is a bowl of hot rice normally served in the stoneware with a variety of vegetables, cooked and raw, arranged on top. Cooked Spinach, bellflower roots, bean sprouts and bracken are the main topping together with ground beef and egg. In addition, dried laver, cucumber, sesame oil and hot pepper paste are served. Then, you stir the whole dish together. Jeonju, a charming city in Jeolla Bukdo province, is the right place for a true Bibimbap, but most Korean restaurants serve them as well. A bowl of bean sprout soup and Kimchi are served along with.

Rice in the roll (Ssambap)
Ssambap means wrapped rice in edible leaves or wet seaweed. Korean love to wrap their food up and have a variety of ways of doing this. Any kind of vegetable leaf can be used to wrap around some rice. In addition, a variety of side dishes come along. It is known as a healthy diet meal, because lettuce (or cabbage) makes you feel satisfied sooner. However, the material that is contained in lettuce, called lactcarium, can make you sleepy after the meal, so you need to watch out for that. Ssambap includes various kinds of leaves with dipping sauce, several side dishes, rice, soup or stew, and many condiments and toppings. The other ingredients include Kimchi or other Korean pickled items, butter lettuce, romaine, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, edible chrysanthemum, and kelp can be used cooked or raw depending on what they are and Ssamjang which is a spicy, sweet bean paste. A common way to enjoy the meal is to put a spoonful of rice and a small piece of meat and Ssamjang on any leaf of lettuce, crown daisy, butterbur leaf, perilla leaf, pumpkin leaf, lotus leaf, groundsel, Chinese cabbage, sweet potato leaf, soy bean leaf, chicory, water celery, laver, or sea mustard. Roll it up and enjoy.

Bean Sprout Rice (Kongnamulbap)
This is a simpler rice dish in which the important constituents are beef strips and bean sprouts. The bean sprouts are steamed gently above the cooking rice and beef mixture. Another dish combining rice and vegetables is pine mushroom rice. The added ingredient in this dish is chicken which is combined with the pine mushrooms.

Rice in dried laver (Gimbap)
Gimpap, simple yet nutritious, is one of the most popular food for picnics or a quick lunch. Steamed rice and other fillings are spread on a dried and slightly toasted sheet of paper-thin sesame oil basting laver of roughly A4 size, and then rolled up. The fillings include beef, ham, sausage, cooked and sliced egg, cheese, cooked carrot and spinach. Rolled up rice in laver are cut into bite-size mouthfuls with a knife. No soup, Kimchi or chopsticks are needed.

Five Grain Dish (Ogokbap)
It is a very filling dish. Five grains are used together in this dish. Glutinous and regular rice, glutinous sorghum, glutinous millet, dried black beans and dried sweet beans are each prepared separately in the cleaning and soaking stages and then cooked until the grains have expanded and are well done.

Lettuce and rice with hot bean paste sauce (Sangchussam)
This is the simplest and most popular Ssam. You make a parcel of rice seasoned with Gochujang sauce and wrap it up in a lettuce leaf for a bite size vegetarian snack or side dish. You may be treated to a more elaborate Ssam dish. Seasoned beef and tofu is mixed and cut into small squares.

Rice and fried Kimchi (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
Koreans developed a useful way of cooking soured Kimchi. Kimchi is washed and then fried, adding any meats and vegetables to hand and some steamed rice. Everything is mixed together in the pan. Cheap and cheerful maybe but a wonderfully warming dish in the winter.

Soup (Guk)
Korean soup is a simple meal. Koreans love hot soup particularly during their icy winter. Cold soup appears in summer. But year round it is served as the nucleus of a simple meal together with rice, Kimchi and a couple of side dishes. You cannot miss soups on a menu. They can be identified by the suffix Guk or Tang. Meat, fish and vegetable are used as the basic ingredients.

It is a rice-cake soup that is used in the ancestral rite offerings and served to family members and visitors. The soup is made with thin slices of rice-cake rolls, leeks, eggs, and strips of chicken or beef meat. The presentation and partaking of this soup represents a greeting of New Year and a rebirth of all things. A cord-like white rice-cake used in making Tteokguk implies "new birth", or the beginning of a New Year, while the slicing of these rice-cakes into round discs, in the shape of coins, signifies a wish for wealth.

Bone and stew meat stock soup (Seolleongtang)
The word Seolleongtang stems from Seonnongtang, which means soup boiled at Seonnongdan. Later, the word Seonnongtang evolved into Seolleongtang. It has a remarkably thick taste with more bone marrow, a thick broth made from beef bones and stewing meat. You need to add salt or pepper powder then eating. Before serving the stewing meat is sliced and returned to the soup. Square cut radish Kimchi, chopped scallion and hot pepper sauce finish the dish.

It is a soup-based dish made primarily from beef short ribs and it is one of most commonly found soups in Korean cuisine. It’s similar to Seoleongtang where clear and hearty soup is made by slowly simmering Galbi in water for a long period of time and is eaten as a meal. Short ribs along with radish, onions, garlic, and other ingredients are all boiled together for approximately five hours until most of the fat is drained out and the meat becomes very tender. The ribs are chopped into 5cm in length and slits are sometimes made in the top of the inner bones before the ribs are cut to make the flesh separate easily from the prepared beef ribs. The seasoned ribs and sliced radishes are again put into the pot along with vermicelli noodles which are then simmered once more. Finally, each serving bowls are seasoned with minced scallions, black pepper powder and salt to meet individual taste buds.

Stew meat and tripe soup (Gomtang)
Gomtang is much similar to Seollengtang, but less thick taste. Two boiling are necessary for this soup. Brisket and beef entrails are boiled together and the soup and meats stored separately until required. Then the two are boiled together for a second time.

Hock soup (Ujoktang)
It is beef hocks which are used in this soup. They are boiled until the glutinous meat is tender. The meat is then sliced and returned to the pot for eating. The meat around beef knuckle bones never gets really tender but they are the principal ingredient of Doganitang, knuckle bone soup. The dish is prized because of its chewy texture but is, perhaps an acquired taste.

Oxtail soup (Ggorigomtang)
It is very nutritious and much prized among Koreans. The key to its flavor is long term boiling. It can be simmered for as much as six hours. The stock jells when cold but the soup is always served piping hot.

Hot spicy stew meat soup (Yukgaejang)
This is a simple and popular clear soup made of meat stock to which a fiery sauce of red pepper sauted in fat is added. It is not for a newcomer to the heat of Korean food.

Honeycomb tripe soup (Yangjeuptang)
In addition to the tripe, ground soy beans are added to this soup. Its milky color comes from its long cooking. Another soup made from beef entrails is Naejangtang, beef chitterlings soup, which is served with sliced meat, chopped onions and radish.

Sunrise soup (Haejangguk)
If you find yourself the worse for wear after a heavy night's drinking, this is what Koreans will prescribe for you. The soup is famed for its restorative properties which are reputed to clear even the sleepiest or most hung-over head. In addition to bones, chopped radish and radish leaves, cabbage and green onions, fresh blood from the slaughter house is added to give it extra body.

Loach and bean paste soup (Chueotang)
This is a soup based on a fish stock which is obtained from boiling the loach. The dish has four main ingredients; freshwater fish including mudfish, Korean cabbage, scallion and water. Quite simply, the mudfish and other local freshwater fish were all gutted and salted for 30 minutes to remove any unpleasant taste and then boil for an hour. The chopped cabbage and green onions were boiled in a huge pot for about two hours before the fish was added. The soup is served steaming hot with a spoonful of chopped green chili and red chili sauce on top. Several condiments to liven up the soup; red chili paste and sesame oil, chopped garlic and green chilies and lastly, Sancho, prickly ash seed powder.

Fish stew (Maeuntang)
The cleaned fish cut into three or four pieces and boiled with bean curd green vegetables such as watercress and garland chrysanthemum and the red pepper paste. The flavoring in this well-loved dish is fiery red bean paste.

Boiled chicken soup (Dakgomtang)
A simpler chicken soup. The chief ingredient of this soup is a chicken which is boiled to create a stock and is then cut into six or eight pieces. The meat is seasoned with crushed garlic, scallions, sesame oil, salt and pepper and the boiling stock poured over the top. A tasty dish for the newcomer.

Bean sprout soup (Kongnamulguk)
Bean sprouts are widely used in Korean cooking and are a staple vegetable. They are simmered with garlic and scallions in salted water to produce this soup which, with a sprinkling of red pepper, is used as a remedy for the common cold. The sprouts have a crunchy texture.

It is a seafood stew that includes a lot of fresh vegetables. Haemultang or spicy seafood stew is one of Korea's most famous traditional foods, particularly amongst foreigners looking for an authentic dish. Immerse yourself in a spicy but yet sweet, soup-based dish packed with abundant seafood, including but not limited to blue crabs, octopus, lobster tail, squids, scallops, shrimps and clams, all seasoned with red pepper paste. The soup can contains various vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms, onions, bean sprouts, dropwort, leaks, crown daisies and much more, supplementing to its spicy, refreshing deep taste. Its combination gives it a rich flavor and an amazing taste that's also excellent for your health. It's definitely known as one of the best savory dish that will surprise your taste buds and make you sweat throughout the entire meal.

Chicken stew in ginseng (Samgyetang)
It is cooked by rinsing the young chicken in cold water, then the internal organs are removed, and the interior is stuffed with sweet rice, a chestnut, garlic and a Chinese date, pine nut and finally ginseng root. Then, the chicken is boiled in the broth until the soup is white in color. The whole chicken is served in hot boiling earthenware pot. It is a stamina food and often widely taken in sticky hot summer. Turnip Kimchi and raw garlic are normally served as side dishes.

It is is a pork bone stew that is considered a traditional Korean dish which is hearty and rich in flavors. In translation, the word Gamja normally means potato in Korean but in this particular dish, it is actually referring to the pork bone itself. So unlike its name, the main ingredients are not potatoes but the hearty, complex taste of the rich broth which is made from boiled pork backbone. This stew is assorted with vegetables such as cabbage, mushrooms, parsley, green onions and bean sprouts. And it is heavily seasoned with garlic, red chili peppers and roasted perilla seeds. The additions of perilla seeds are optional as it gives a more delicate flavor to the dish, taking away the greasy taste of the pork. All Gamjatang dishes may be similar in appearance, but the taste varies from one restaurant to another. This dish is known to be rich in proteins, calcium and Vitamin B1 from the pork bones and is believed to prevent snoring as well as aging.

Gruel (Juk)
Juk is made by steaming grain over a low heat until mixture thickens into a soothing, unctuous liquid. It is good for the young and the weak and it is very often the first bowl you are offered in a Korean restaurant. Simple white Juk is made from rice alone but the use of beans is also common.

Pine nut gruel (Jatjuk)
You will be an honored guest if you are served Jatjuk. This is a dish which was once served in the Joseon court. Pine nuts are still are scattered on Korean dishes to give them a touch of class. Pine nut gruel presages a lavish meal.

Red bean gruel (Patjuk)
It is designed to warm the eater in the bitter days of winter. Adzuki bean gruel is also said to ward off evil spirits and therefore bring good luck.

Abalone gruel (Jeonbokjuk)
It is a highly nutritious dish which is often recommended for convalescents. In addition to the sliced abalone and rice, a beaten egg and soy and sesame seasoning may be added before serving. Seafood and rice are also the components of Yacheguljuk. Parboiled, seasonal vegetables and oysters are added to the rice gruel to form a rice tasty dish.

Sasame seed gruel (Kkaejuk)
This is a dish which you will be able to identify by its color. It is dark gray. Not an exciting color, perhaps, but one which comes from the black sesame seeds which are soaked and cooked and mixed together with cooked rice just before serving to the produce a gruel. A pine nut garnish is sometimes added. Water Kimchi is the traditional accompaniment. Mung beans and rice is the base of Nokdujuk, Mung bean gruel.

Grilled Food (Gui)
Grilled foods are common on restaurant menus and are often cooked in Korean homes where there is little tradition of oven baking. Grilled dishes can be identified by the suffix Gui at end of the name. Beef has always been expensive in Korea and so its use has been reserved for high days and holidays, occasions of celebration. Traditionally grilled food was cooked over charcoal in a brazier. But today people use portable gas or electric rings at home and, in the main, restaurants specializing in grills have a gas burner set into the table, ready for use.

Broiled short rib (Galbigui) - Beef ribs with seasoned soy source
It is one of the most famous grilled dishes. In a restaurant or at home, Galbigui requires quite a bit of preparation but the end result is a finger licking. The beef short ribs are marinated overnight in a mixture of green onions, garlic, sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce. Rice wine and oriental pear can also be added for extra flavor. The marinade helps to tenderize the meat which is then grilled over charcoal or gas at the table. You may come across a variation on this dish, Doejigalbigui, broiled pork spareribs, which are seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, sesame seed and boiled ginger juice before being served. A bowl or rice along with Doenjang Jjigae (bean paste stew) which is not overly salty, a slight sweetness or cold noodle served on request is among the popular menus ending the course.

Saeng Galbi (Unmarinated Grilled beef)
The ribs are unmarinated thus lack aggressive flavor. A dip of sesame oil, salt, and black pepper is given on the side.
Any barbecue item, marinated or not, comes to the table raw. Only difference between Saeng Galbi vs. Bulgogi, or Yangnyeom Galbi is that the latter two choices are marinated.

Barbecued beef (Bulgogi)
Bulgogi is made from thin slices of sirloin or other prime cuts such as top round which is chosen because it is marbled with a little fat but not too much. Whatever the cut, the meat is marinated for at least four hours in a mixture of sesame oil, soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, sugar, onions, ginger and some wine. Bulgogi is grilled with whole cloves of garlic and served along with lettuce or other leafy vegetable which used to wrap a sliced of cooked meat, with Ssamjang as a dipping. Place this inside a lettuce leaf with other shredded salad vegetables and roll the whole thing up into a bite size mouthful. Use the dipping sauces provided to complete the experience. Barbecued pork is Doejibulgogi.

Grilled sirloin (Deungsimgui)
The meat in this dish is sirloin steak which is cut on request. After being seasoned with a mixture of sesame seeds, crushed garlic and salt, lubricated with some sesame oil the meat is cooked on a wire mesh grill over a gas or charcoal burner. Similar to Deungsimgui, Ansimgui is a dish made with beef tenderloin.

Grilled chicken (Dakgui)
It is a simple dish in which a chicken is chopped into medium sized portions before being marinated and grilled. You will probably notice that Koreans do not always cut their chickens up just as Westerners would. The cutting is rougher and breasts, thighs, things and so on are not necessary separated. But taste is just as good. Tongdakgui is a whole chicken, oven baked with vegetables and a soy basting sauce.

Dakgalbi, literally chicken ribs, is served on the plate sitting in the middle of the table. The chicken, cabbage, mushroom, rice cake, onion, various greens, noodles all stirred into a hot red chilli paste and cooked in front of you, creating a delicious taste experience before your very eyes. When the Dakgalbi is nicely sizzling, you grab some of the delicious-smelling mix, wrap it into fresh lettuce or wild sesame leaves and tucked in. All the food is served with banchan, side dishes consisting of types of kimchi, traditional fermented and seasoned vegetables.

Grilled fish (Saengseongui)
Korea's abundant harvest of the sea gives you lots of opportunity to eat grilled fish. You will find eating fish simplest if you try it the Korean way, grilled whole with simple seasoning such as salt or soy or hot pepper sauce. Popular choices of fish for this style of cooking are Yangnyeomgui, corvinas, snappers, herrings, Spanish mackerel, sole and flounders. Grilled squid is called Ojingeogui. Grilled crams, for example, are opened and seasoned with sesame seeds and salt and served garnished with finely chopped scallions, sesame seeds and black pepper.

Grilled eel (Jangeogui)
It is a popular choice as its stamina-including properties are useful in avoiding heat exhaustion. You will also be able to test out the theories about its aphrodisiac properties. The eels are sliced longways and the bones are removed before being seasoned with sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce and sugar and then grilled.

Samgyeopsal refers to thick slices of pork belly fat, which is similar to uncured bacon without the saltiness or smokiness, grilled up at your table and paired with various Kimchi dishes and lettuce. Prior to consumption, the large slices of meat are cut into smaller pieces with scissors. A dipping sauce consisting of sesame oil, ground black pepper and salt often accompany Samgyeopsal. A common way to consume the meat is to place a slice inside a lettuce, perilla or other green leaf with Ssamjang, a paste made out of chili paste and soybean paste. It is also common to serve Samgyeopsal with large green chilies and slices of garlic, as well as a spring onion salad. The meal will typically be accompanied with Soju, a Korean alcoholic beverage.

Tteokgalbi is a type of Korean food that is believed to originate in Damyang in the south western part of Korea. It is made by shaping a mixture of grilled minced rib meat of an ox, vegetables, and rice flour into a round or rectangular patties. It is similar to that of meatloaf or Salsibury steak but richer in flavor and more tender. The grilled meat is served sizzling hot, and the meat patties are cook very well and juicy. Sometimes, a handful of lightly toasted rice cakes that are cut into small bite size pieces are served with.

Salted Mackerel (Gangodeungeo)
It is one of the three local specialties of Andong. The fish is simply seasoned with salt for a clean taste. Dried in the sun before being grilled with charcoal fire, the fish is subtly crispy on the outside with a juicy, flaky flesh. It is a pleasant saltiness and doesn't overwhelm your taste buds.

Noodles (Guksu)

In Korea noodles are made from either buckwheat or regular wheat flour. Perhaps the most prized are the thin brownish poultry or anchovy stock.

Cold noodle in soup (Mulnaengmyeon)
Distinctly Korean summer dish is Naengmyeon or cold noodles that feature an icy, watery broth and uses buckwheat flour for its noodles, Eating Naengmyeon on a sultry humid day is always a refreshing treat. It is easy to digest and cooling on the palate. A dough made from buckwheat and potato flour is cut into slender noodles and boiled while very fresh. The strained noodles are added to the chilled broth made of beef stock and water Kimchi. Your dish is presented to you, garnished with sliced beef, a boiled egg and slices of Asian pear.

Noodle in hot sauce (Bibimnaengmyeon)
Bibim Naengmyeon is not served with broth, but is spiced with red-pepper paste. It also uses noodles made of sweet potato starch. The noodles are served with a hot sauce of red pepper paste, sliced beef, boiled egg, cucumbers and pears, sesame oil and garlic and, on the side, water Kimchi and hot beef consomme. Another variation is Hoe Naengmyeon. The noodles are covered with sliced raw fish and hot vinegar and pepper sauce. Kongguksu incorporated noodles in a soup base which is made from cooked and strained soy beans. It is always served in cold.

Handmade noodle (Makkuksu)
In this simplest of all Korean noodles dishes, you will eat wheat flour noodles cooked in beef or chicken stock and served with cabbage Kimchi. But you may order a noodle dish which is a touch more elaborate. Small piles of thin crabmeat, egg yolk and egg white and cucumber in a dish called Caheban Somyeon. A seasoning sauce flavored with anchovies and kelp is served with this dish.

Chicken soup with noodle (Kalguksu)
It is a hot and filling dish. Noodles made from buckwheat and potato flour are seasoned with Gochujang paste. They are accompanied by a bowl of chicken broth and Kimchi. Mung bean or potato pancakes often fill this dish out into a complete meal.

Deep fried food (Twigim)
Korean Twigims are not differ much from those you have met elsewhere but the range of meats , fish and vegetables cooked this way is impressive. They are not for the conscientious weight watcher but they are very toothsome.

Deep fried beef (Sogogitwigim)
Meat lends itself to deep frying. In this dish thin slices of beef are used and are served on a bed of deep fired Chinese noodles. The cutting and chopping of meat and vegetable is essential to the attractive appearance of this dish. Small squares of beef, carrots, onions, green peppers and gingko nuts are threaded on to skewers and then deep fried.

Deep fried chicken legs (Dakdaritwigim)
Chicken drumsticks dipped in egg and corn starch are deep fried twice to create this dish.

The Sinpo Market in Incheon is the birthplace of this unique dish. Today, the market tempts travelers with a variety of delicious treats including Dakgangheong, or honeyed fried-chicken with hot sauce, and colorful Mandu, or dumplings. The red color of Dakgangjeong, which has served as a signature dish in the market with its garnish of chopped pepper and peanuts, is a mouth-watering sight. The first bite is spicy enough to bring a tear to people's eye, but it leaves a refreshing taste in the mouth that keeps them coming back for more.

Deep fried shrimp (Saeutwigim)
Shrimps are plentiful in Korean waters and are often cooked in this way. You will be given a dish of soy sauce to dip the food in. The shellfish is dipped in flour and then cooked in deep fat. Shallow fried oyster are called Guljeon.

Deep fried vegetable (Yachaetwigim)
Yachaetwigim can be created from any seasonal vegetables so it varies according to the time of year. Vegetables which lend themselves particularly well to this style of cooking are lotus root, green peppers, sweet potato, onion, sesame leaves and chrysanthemum leaves. The dish will come to your table with the vegetables all on the same platter which may be lined with an absorbent paper to catch the oil. Korean often liger over this dish and are quite happy to eat it lukewarm.

Deep fried kelp (Dasimatwigim)
Seaweed may not seem a promising ingredient for deep frying to you. But don't pass judgment until you've tried this dish of strips of deep fried kelp. An attractive way of serving them is to tie them in bows before they are fried. When they are cooked they are sprinkled with sugar and are a pleasant snack with drinks.

From the frying pan (Jeon)
At almost any Korean gather, you will find pan fried foods. They are popular as side dishes at a full meal occasion or as snacks during the day or with drinks. They are served with various dipping sauces which give added flavor and cut the taste of the frying oil.

Green onion pancake (Pajeon)
Wheat, flour, rice flour and eggs create a pancake batter which is the foundation for a filling of green onions, watercress, clam meat and ground pork. These pancakes are served with a vinegar soy sauce.

Fried zucchini (Hobakjeon)
Many vegetables lend themselves to pan frying. Sometimes a whole platter of pan fried foods, Modeumjeon, is served. Zucchini used to be known as the monk's vegetable, as it was so often eaten in remote monasteries. In this dish slice of the squat round, light green zucchini are spread with a filling of seasoned minced beef before being dipped in flour and egg and shallow fried. A similar method is used with peppers to produce a dish called Putgochujeon and with mushrooms for Beoseotjeon. Sometimes julienned zuchchini are mixed into a four batter and then fired. The dish is called Hobakmiljeon. Granting the vegetable is the technique also employed in the preparation of Gamjajeon, potato pancakes. They are served warm, decorated with rings of red pepper and whole vegetable leaves.

Pan fried angelica shoots (Dureupjeon)
For an unusual vegetable dish try a Korean springtime favorite known as a Dureup. The shoots of the angelica plant are fried in an egg and flour batter.

Shallow fried fillet of fish (Saengseonjeon)
Any sort of white fish fillets, flounder, snapper, cod - can be used in this dish. This is a dish which goes equally well on working days and on holidays and celebrations. It can be prepared very simply. The fillets are dipped in flour and egg and then fried in a little oil. But for a special party variation, white fish is minced together with shrimps and then arranged with cooked strips of peppers, mushrooms and carrots in an attractive striped, rectangular pattern. The rectangles are dipped in egg and flour and shallow fried.

Mung bean pancake (Bindaetteok)
A Korean dish based on a pancake batter of ground mung beans and ground raw rice in the proportions of 8 to 2. The pancakes are fried on both sides with a variety of fillings. Ground pork, green onions, Kimchi and bean sprouts are often used. Carrot, onions are ground beef are also popular.

Stir-fry dishes (Bokkeum)
If you come across a dish with the suffix Bokkeum you can be sure it is stir-fried. It will probably be a combination of meats and vegetables and the juices may be thickened with cornstarch.

Stir-fried anchovies (Myeolchibokkeum)
You will need plenty of beer or water on hand if you order this as a side dish. Only small quantities are needed as it is very salty. The washed and drained anchovies are stir fried and garnished with sesame salt. Dried squid, Ojingeo, is treated in the same way.

Stir fried octopus (Nakjibokkeum)
Fish favorites which are cooked by stir-frying include sliced octopus pieces. They are sauteed with slices of green pepper, onion, carrot and garlic. Quick cooking over a high heat is the key to Putgochu Myeolchibokkeum, which combines Korean long, green peppers and dried anchovies with seasoning.

A meal on a stick (Sanjeok)
Sometimes Koreans want a variation on simple grilled beef and a more elegant, eye-catching way of presenting their grilled food. Like other people around the world they have discovered brochettes or skewers are good ways to hold meats and vegetables. The sticks of food can then be fried, grilled or baked.

Sticks of garlic (Maneulsanjeok)
A aromatic dish which features one of Korea's favorite goods, is created by threading the skewers with cloves of garlic, cubes of ham and pieces of carrot and cucumber. The skewers are dipped in egg and shallow fried.

Fish kebabs (Eosanjeok)
One of the features of Korean cooking is that cooks often serve fish and meat together in the same dish. It is a good example of this. Strips of fish and patties of seasoned minced beef are threaded alternately on to skewers before being fried.

Fried meat patties (Donjeok)
This is another hamburger-style dish but fried this time. Patties of ground beef or pork and tofu seasoned with sesame oil and garlic and ground green onions are dipped in flour and egg and shallow fired.

Brochettes of beef and vegetables (Sogogisanjeokgui)
These are quite complicated arrangements of sliced beef, mushrooms, onions, gingko nuts and carrots are brushed with a marinade of sugar, sesame oil, garlic and soy sauce. They are grilled, baked or fried. You will find several variations of this skewered dish so examine it carefully to determine which of Korea's Sanjeok dishes you are eating. Tteoksanjeok (rice cake), Pasanjeok (Green tops of leeks), Doejigogi Kimchisanjeok (Pork and Kimchi) and Hwasanjeok, an elaborate cold dish made from pressed beef threaded alternately with cooked mushrooms, egg yolk and egg whites, carrots, cucumbers and bellflower roots.

Casserole dishes (Jjim)
Many cuisines have casserole dishes, cooked slowly over a long period, so that much of the stock is absorbed by the other ingredients. Korean cooking is no exception. There are many casserole dishes containing different meats, fish or vegetables which are given the suffix Jjim, meaning "cooked slowly''. Steamed dishes, too, have the suffix Jjim. Fish and shell fish is often cooked this way.

Spicy chicken (Jjimdak)
Jjimdak is a dish of chicken chunks simmered with seasonings along with diced carrots, potatoes, and other vegetables such as onions, leek, and clear noodles, braised in a spicy sauce of garlic, sweet syrup and soy sauce. It is often served in a large pan that means they are shared.

Steamed red snapper (Domijjim)
This is a family party dish in Korea and appears on menus in up-market restaurants. It is served at birthdays, weddings and holidays. The fish is sprinkled with white wine, then steamed and presented decorated with red pepper rings and nuts and mushrooms.

Steamed stuffed shrimp (Daehajjim)
Large shrimp shells are refilled with chopped shrimp, onions, carrots and boiled eggs before being steamed. Clams receive a similar treatment in steamed stuffed clams. The clam meat is removed from the clam shells and is mixed with ground beef, bean curd, green onions, garlic, soy vinegar and red and black pepper powder. The empty half shell are then refilled with this mixture and steamed.

Short rib stew (Galbijjim)
Steamed short ribs, or Galbijjim is often served to dinner guests or on holidays. The dish has soft texture and rich flavor, stewed short ribs contain a variety of vegetables in seasonings. The sauce is made with soy sauce and other ingredients such as green onions, garlic, sugar, pepper, sesame seeds and oil, pear that are poured into a pot full of vegetables including mushrooms, chestnuts, carrots, Chinese dates, gingko nuts, or radish. The pot is then slowly brought to a boil over low heat, much like how stews are cooked in the West. While stew is boiled until its ingredients are barely visible, steamed food in Korea is boiled for long period for the rich flavor, but ingredients are still intact and are meant to be eaten with the ribs as an integral part of the meal. The dish is decorated with egg strips and pine nuts. When pork ribs are used the dish is called Doejigalbijjim.

Seasoned with soy (Jorim)
The basic soy stock doesn't change much. It is made from soy sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger with some water. In the past the rather salty sauce was a good medium for reserving food. The saltier the end product, the longer the food would last. Today it is just the national palate which demands lots of soy dishes on the table.

Soy beef (Jangjorim)
A prime cut of beef is cut into several largish pieces before being simmered in the stock. The pieces are sliced up further after cooking so that they are manageable with chopsticks. This is a cold dish which can be made more luxurious for a party by the addition of red and green chili peppers and quails' egg.

Spareribs in sweet and sour sauce (Doejigalbi Ganjong)
Port meat again and the key to the dish is a good sweet and sour sauce. This is made from good quality soy sauce, dark corn syrup, sugar, ginger juice and rice wine and water, all slowly simmered together. Another dish which calls for a sweet and sour sauce is Dakjorim. It is a simple version in which chicken pieces, carrots and gingko nuts are simmered together in the soy stock.

Soy fish (Saengseonjorim)
Larger fish are simmered for a short time to cook just the flesh which you can pull off the bones with chopsticks. If your fish is smaller, it will have been boiled before being simmered in soy sauce so its bones are softened. You eat it entirely. Popular soy-sauce glazed fish dishes are Godeungeojorim, soy mackerel, and Galchijorim, soy cutlass fish.

Soy abalone (Jeonbokjorim)
Shellfish is tasty cooked in soy sauce and, for Koreans, there is nothing to beat abalone as the jewel of the mollusk family. It is believed to be at tits richest and best in the spring and summer. Mussels cooked this way are called Honghapjorim.

Soy tofu (Dubujorim)
You will come across tofu, bean curd, a lot in Korean cooking. It is highly nutritious as 90% of it is absorbed by the eater. Useful in soups and stews as it maintains its integrity very well, it takes on the flavors o the ingredients it is cooked with. Soy based stock is a perfect medium. In this dish, squares of tofu are fried before being cooked in the soy stock with green and peppers and mushroom. The dish is finished when the tofu has absorbed all its cooking liquid.

Soy potato (Gamjajorim)
Diced potatoes or sweet potatoes are the basis of this dish and may be mixed with green peppers or carrots or even minced meats. They are simmered in soy stock before being served. You will find lots of other vegetables treated this way. Examples are lotus root which appears on menus as Yongeunjorim, and stuffed bamboo shoots which are called Juksunjangjorim. Salted black beans cooked in soy sauce are called Kongjorim. Cucumbers uncooked but dressed in soy sauce, are Oijjangachi and sesame leaves dressed similarly are called Kkaenipjjangachi.

Soy-glazed lotus root (Yeongeunjorim)
Lotus roots, the rhizome of the lotus plant, have a crisp texture and a mild flavor and are things of unexpected beauty. Outwardly they are unexceptional, 8 Cm across and 60 or 90 Cm long divided into segments of about 12 Cm. But opened up they reveal air passages which run the length of the rhizome and give cross sections a most attractive wagon wheel pattern. They are commonly cooked with soy sauce, deep fried or candled for special occasions.

Salted egg (Gyeranjangjorim)
You may come across a cold egg dish as par to the salad table. If the eggs have a mellow brown exterior concealing their white and yellow interior don't be alarmed. They are very tasty. Added flavor comes from simmering shelled hard boiled eggs in a sweet and sour sauce of soy, ginger juice, sugar and water.

Hot pot cooking (Jeongol)
It is another quick form of cooking at the table in a metal or stone dish. Jeongol is an elaborate stews or casseroles in Korean cuisine. It is similar to the Korean stews called Jjigae with the main difference being that Jjigae are generally made with only a single main ingredient, and named after that ingredient (such as Kimchi Jjigae or Sundubu Jjigae), while Jeongol usually contain a variety of main ingredients. You will see your food cooking in a swiftly boiling stock made from soy sauce, garlic, sugar, black pepper, sesame oil, sesame seeds and green onions. As you look on, you give the dish an occasional stir. Jeongol dishes can be made of meat or fish but very often contain both which results in an exciting blend of flavors.

Gopchang Jeongol
It is a spicy stew or casserole of vegetables and seasoned beef tripe cooked in beef broth. The beef tripe is cut into long strips while the briskets are cut into bite-sized pieces. These are marinated and kneaded. In a pan, the vegetables are placed on the bottom, and the marinated beef tripe and brisket are placed over them in a circular fashion. The shredded mushrooms and sliced vegetables are arranged between the tripe and meat. The prepared broths are mixed together, seasoned with salt, and poured little by little into the pan. When the dish is cooked, any floating foam is skimmed off and the gopchang jeongol is served. Although the dish is mainly based on beef intestine, other parts of beef tripe are also used to give the dish a richer flavor and chewy texture

Tofu hot pot (Dubujeongol)
Tofu is useful protein because it holds its shape so well during cooking, even in boiling stock. The tofu in this dish is cut into cubes coated with flour and fried. Two cubes are then sandwiched together with seasoned ground beef and then cooked in the stock. Other ingredients may be mushrooms, bamboo shoots, watercress, bean sprouts and green onions.

Mushroom Jeongol
Mushroom Jeongol is a combination of mushrooms, seasoned thin sliced beef, and variety of vegetables. The dish is made by boiling them together with small green onions, carrots, crown daisy in a casserole with meat stock. The dish has a rich taste, aroma, and nutritional value, but low in cholesterol.

Tripe and vegetable hot pot (Gobchangjeongol)
The beef entrails, seasoned with red pepper, are put to use in this dish and are cooked with vegetables at the table. Cooked noodles are added at the end to fill out the meal. This dish is served as a main course or as a side dish for drinkers.

Meat, fish and shellfish hot pot (Gungjungjeongol)
This dish is a good demonstration of Koreans' ability to cook meats and fish together in one dish. It is a combination of sliced beef, white fish, shellfish and vegetables. The stock may be beef or anchovy and noodles are added at the end.

Red snapper hot pot (Domijeongol)
A whole red snapper is used in this dish. Slits are made in the side of the fish. They are filled with a mixture of ground beef, onion and red pepper. A variety of vegetables are cooked in a soy stock around the fish. Rolls of cabbage leaves stuffed with spinach, bean curd, peppers, onions, mushrooms and clams are cooked around sliced octopus in Nakjijeongol, octopus hot pot.

Beef and vegetable hot pot (Sogogijeongol)
Sliced beef, tofu and vegetables are the constituents of this dish but shrimps and clams can be added to make the dish even more flavorful.

Songi Jeongol
Chefs and gastronomes alike seek out the highly-prized fungi every Autumn. Songi Jeongol is a beef and mushroom hot pot, as it uses delicious pine mushrooms which are available in Korea only between September and November. The pine mushrooms are main ingredients, of course, so there were plenty beautifully displayed like a fan across the top of Songi-jeongol, a one-pot soup that was bubbling of the open flame in the center of the table. The broth, a beef bone base, is rich and woodsy with the flavor of the mushrooms. Parsley, spring onions and mushrooms made up the rest of the vegetables. The flavor of the Songi is similar to the famous Italian porcini mushroom, a prized delicacy in its own right, which has a strong earthy taste that works well with neutral ingredients like rice, pasta and bread.

Hot pot (Sinseollo)
It is a traditional dish often prepared at the parties. It is cooked in a special Sinseollo pot made of metal with a fluted neck in the center into which the cooking flame is placed. Beef liver, tripe, radish, sea cucumber, abalone, mushrooms, red peppers, walnuts, as well as gingko nuts are all boiled together creating a delightful casserole dish. This casserole is prepared in a chafing dish that has hollow center with a charcoal fire that continually boils the food while you eat. Everything is simmered together in the stock and everyone dips their chopsticks in when the dish is fully cooked.

Hot Pot
It is a tasty beef broth. The main stuffs of the dish are lots of tenderized thin slices of beef together with seafood such as shrimp, ear shell, scallop, or sea mussel, noodles, zucchini, bean sprouts carrots, mushrooms and big tofu chunks which comes uncooked. Once the stock comes to a boil, put the vegetable and beef in the pot and boil them slightly, whereas seafood should be fully cooked up. Then, enjoy your portion by dipping beef in the sesame sauce or seafood in the soybean sauce. After having them all, as the same way, put the noodle in the pot - it is a perfect way ending the course.

Simple stew (Jjigae)
You may be a bit confused when you are starting out with Korean food because some dishes look very similar to the untutored eye. And there is only fine line between soup and a stew in Korean cooking. Soups are given the name tang and stews are called Jjigae but a complicated tang may be very similar to a Jjigae. A simple rule of thumb is that if you are served with a dish in one pot for all the guests then you have a Jjigae. A tang will be served to you individually.

Bean paste stew (Doenjangjjigae)
It is eaten very frequently in many homes across the nation. The key to the flavor of the dish lies in the quality of the bean paste and homemade is best.

Bean paste is made early in the lunar year by soaking Meju (bean paste blocks shaped like bricks) in brine for forty days and then draining off the soy sauce this produces and mashing the residue into a yellow paste. The other ingredients of a Doenjang Jjigae can be tofu, clam meat, port or beef but some stews are meatless. Any seasonal vegetable can be added such as zucchini, spinach, green peppers and onions, all seasoned with garlic, anchovies, red peppers powder and salt.

Fast fermented bean paste stew (Chenggukjangjjigae)
Fast fermented bean paste is created by boiling the new crop of soy beans in the autumn and leaving it in a warm place for a couple of days. Salt, ginger and crushed red pepper is added to the fermented beans and the mixture is rolled into small balls. Chenggukjangjjigae is created from this paste by adding it to minced beef, shredded cabbage, Kimchi or sliced radish, tofu, green onions or garlic.

Crab stew (Gaejjigae)
Soft shellfish crabs are the defining ingredient of this dish which uses also uses Doenjang combined with vegetables such as radish and zucchini, garlic and red pepper powder.

Salted and fermented dishes

Fish is particularly good for salting and fermenting. The finished dishes are stored and used in further Kimchi making or served as a side dish or as a snack.

Salted and spiced oyster (Eoriguljeot)
Oysters are salted for three days and then seasoned with red pepper powder, sugar, garlic, and ginger. They are stored in a jar in a cool place until required.

Salted pollack roe (Myeongranjeot)
The pollack roe is salted overnight and then placed in a jar, layered alternately with a mixture of red pepper powder, salt, garlic and green ginger. The jar is closely sealed and left for three weeks. The roes are sprinkled with sesame oil and sesame seed before serving.

Salted pollack guts (Changranjeot)
Pollack entrails are cleaned and pressed in a cloth under a heavy weight overnight before being salted for another twenty four hours. The salted guts mixed with garlic, ginger and red pepper powder are put in a jar and allowed to stand for about two weeks. The dish is finished by the addition of salted radish and more garlic and red pepper powder. It needs to stand for three for four days before serving. Another dish which requires a couple of weeks to ripen is Gajamisikhye, salted sole, which is mixed with garlic, red pepper powder and cooked boiled millet before storing. It is finished with the addition of salted radish strips, more garlic, ginger and red pepper powder. The mixture is sealed in a jar until required.

Salted crab (Gaejeot)
Shelled crabs are salted and cut into pieces. The seasoning used is soy sauce, garlic, sesame seeds, ginger, sugar, sesame oil and red pepper treads together with MSG. It must be added at least two hours before serving. The crab meat can be returned to its shell for serving. These crabs must be eater within a couple of days. For longer storage, the soy seasoning is boiled and poured over the crabs after It has cooled. Kkolttugijeot, pickled squid, is prepared in the same way but the seasoning contains a very high proportion of red pepper powder rather than soy sauce.

Other dishes and snacks
Hanjeongsik is a Korean Table D'hote. It offers multi-course meals that please your appetite featuring everything from the appetizer or colorful rollup dishes of nine ingredients all wrapped in wafer-thin rice pancakes that may be served in a Gujeolpan, a tray segmented into eight outer sections and a center piece, crab meat, pumpkin porridge, noodle casserole, braised seafood, grilled barbeque beef - you name it. Various savory dishes are served in series rather than all at once which is more traditional style. Customary dishes are arranged on a low table. What you see is what you get. You select at will from the dishes and put your choice on your own plate. Various meats and vegetables are prepared and placed in the eight compartments while a thin crepe like flat cake is placed in the center. When served, you are free to make wraps to your own liking. Some of the dishes served in Hanjeongsik generally includes squash porridge, salad, rice and soybean paste stew, mung bean jelly, grilled shrimps, steamed shrimps, grilled scallions, grilled codfish, zucchini pancakes, assorted glass noodles, ginseng in honey, sauteed mushrooms, braised short ribs, bamboo shoots, and vegetables in a persimmon dressing, kimchi, pickled plums. Sinseollo is also served. It is a casserole, an elaborate chowder-like stew consisting of meatballs, small and round pancake-like dishes, mushrooms, and vegetables cooked in a rich broth. It is served in a large bundt pan shaped vessel with a hole in the center, in which hot embers are placed to keep the dish hot throughout the meal. The ingredients are placed around the pot according to color. Nuts and other delicacies accompany the meat, fish and vegetables in one pot. It provides an array of flavors and nutrients. After the meal, fruit and tea or punch may arrive as dessert. Hanjeongsik can be the fullest and best expression of what Koreans value in the food.

Vegetable Table D'hote (Sanche Jeongsik)
Sanche is the word for mountain vegetable. There are various kinds of mountain greens and numerous field greens, which give a sense of the fresh soil. They are sometimes served raw, sometimes fried lightly in oil or slightly boiled in water. A bowl of rice, soup, fish or meat is also often accompanied.

Steamed pork with Kimchi roll (Jaeyukbossam)
In this dish pork which has been steamed in ginger water is sliced and served warm with rolls of salted cabbage leaved packed with radish and other vegetables. A slated shrimp sauce is offered for dipping.

It is one of many dishes that combine abundant ingredients that Koreans enjoy. It contains raw fish (usually salmon), white steamed rice, fresh vegetables such as green leaf lettuce, carrots, cucumber, onions and many more, mixed with a Gochujang-based sauce called ?Chojuang. This big bowl of sushi-grade raw fish, vegetables, and rice is served with a spicy-sweet Chojang, so that diners can mix it to their personal spice levels. The basic ingredients of Chojang are Gochujang and rice vinegar which is usually a traditional accompaniment to eating raw fish in Korean cuisine. A perfect meal during the summer and slices of Korean pears which can complement its overall flavors adds a fresh taste. Salmon can be substituted with a variety of fish such as tuna, yellowtail, and red snapper. However, the fish should be sushi-grade and very fresh

Rice cooked in bamboo stem (Daetongbap)
Daetongbap is the rice cooked in a hollow of bamboo stalks and is served with a variety of bamboo side dishes, including marinated bamboo and some soybean stew with bamboo. Some places add other grains, chestnuts, pine nuts to the rice, and these additions mix well with the subtle flavor infused by steaming the rice in bamboo. You will find dishes made with bamboo shoots, and bamboo tea. Damyang is famous for its vast forests of bamboo trees. With such a plentiful supply of bamboo, it might seem natural that the people of Damyang would have used it in their cooking, but the inclusion of bamboo in the region's cuisine is rather recent. The dish was created in the early 1990s by a food researcher in Cheonghak-dong, north of Hadong. He was one of the first in Korea to discover the benefits of bamboo, but he had a hard time getting people to eat it.

Sliced raw fish
The dish is not a traditional Korean origin but more people come to enjoy raw fish. Various kinds of fresh fish sliced and served raw with soy sauce or vinegared red chili pepper paste for dipping. Generally, halibut, croaker, tuna, octopus, and sea bream are served in this dish.

Nine sectioned dish (Gujeolpan)
It is octagonal with eight compartments round the sides and a central round compartment in the center. Hence the name, nine sectioned dish. In the central section, tiny wafer thin pancakes are placed and in the eight surrounding sections, vegetables, sliced match stick thin, are presented. Carrot, cucumber, mushrooms, watercress, egg white and egg yolk may be used and the skillful cook uses color variations to give the dish eye appeal. This dish is rather like hors d'oeuvres, in that it usually precedes the main meal and accompanies drinks. Special trays are made for it, consisting of a central compartment for the crepes and eight surroundings. These are arranged so that their colors and textures contrast pleasantly. You select a pancake and fill it with the ingredients of your choice, roll it up and eat it with s dipping sauce.

Sannakji is a small octopus dish that is plucked from a tank of water and taken directly to the table. Unlike calamari which is dead and still, Sannakji arrives alive and moving. They are served with garlic and green peppers, while behaving like an immortal instead of a morsel. The tentacles writhe on the plate, their suction cups latching on to chopsticks, fingers, or the roof of one's mouth. It could be a surprisingly palatable experience, especially when dipped in a hot pepper sauce

Rice cake (Tteok)
Korean rice cake cannot be missed in the Korean dietary life. No celebration is complete without traditional dessert food, usually rice cakes and cookies. Among the cakes are steamed rice cake called Sirutteok, pounded rice cake, Injolmi and Songpyeon, Chusok Half Moon cake and traditional sweets.

The hobbang is mostly consumed hot snack. It is primarily a korean with its fame spread across the borders. It is made of pre-cooked ball of wheat flour filled with red bean paste. Other types of fillings include vegetable, pizza, curry, and more. Hobbang, which tends to primarily a winter snack, is generally found in convenience stores or supermarkets. Before eating, they are steamed in a warmer.

Manduy are dumpling in Korean cuisine. First brought to Korea by the Mongols, in Korean cuisine, Mandu generally denotes a type of filled dumplings similar to the Mongolian Buuzand Turkish Manti. If the dumplings are grilled or fried, they are called Gunmandeu; when steamed Jjinmandu; and when boiled, Mulmandu. Mandu are usually served with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce and vinegar.

This bread originated in the Hwangnam-dong area of Gyeongju. Thus the name of this small red-bean filled bread is referred to as hwangnam-ppang. Hwangnam-ppang was first made in 1939. These tasty treats are all-natural and are always hand-made which make for a savory snack.

It is a very popular dessert, made of shaved ice and sweetened azuki beans, during the sweltering and humid summer season. Patbingsu features snowy shaved ice with milk and is topped with creamy, sweet red beans and fresh fruits. It also offers variations with strawberry ice, coffee ice and even one for dieters. You can get very creative with the toppings, using cereal flakes, scoops of ice cream, chewy jelly bits, nuts, sprinkles of green tea and all sorts of sweet syrups. Milk is drizzled on, and other toppings are added such as small pieces of rice cakes, or bananas. Variations Bingsu are available in different flavors depending on which ingredient you add more of the Bingsu. Green tea and coffee are popular varieties.

Side dishes
In addition to main dishes, side dishes are served. Some of such dishes include cucumber pickles, beans or beef braised in soy sauce are made in large batches and served over a period of time. Most Korean households have an assortment of these dishes at any given time to provide a tasty accompaniment to rice.

Mung bean jelly strips with vegetables (Cheongpomuk)
Mung beans are the first unlikely ingredient. In a time-consuming process they are soaked, ground and strained. The liquid produced is boiled and stirred. When it cools it sets into firm jelly. Blocks of mung bean jelly are available in stores today so one step in the making of this dish is made easier. Everything is mixed together and seasoned with a soy and sesame and garlic dressing.

Acorn jelly (Dotorimuk)
Acorn nuts are shelled and ground into flour which is soaked and then boiled to form a firm jelly. The jelly is cut into strips the finger length and is served as a side dish dressed with sesame and soy flavoring and garnished with crumbled seaweed.

Mixed vegetable dish (Japche)
Japche, or potato noodles stir-fried with vegetables is a dish served in traditional Korean festivities. It is a very easy dish to enjoy for Korean food beginners. The fibrous textures of the clear noodles with the crispy vegetables are pleasing combination that will entice you. Japche incorporates virtually any selection of vegetables. Those in season have the best flavor. The vegetables are fried separately in a very minimal amount of oil. Shredded beef, onion, carrot, mushroom and cellophane noodles are all seasoned then quickly stir fried. One needs a good ability with chopsticks or noodles will slip away. When Japche is served with Bulgogi, it makes for a hearty meal. The colors are also pleasing to the eyes.

Stuffed squid (Ojingeosundae)
A simple steamed dish is stuffed squid. The tubular body of the fish is filled with a mixture of bean curd, noodles, ginger, vegetables, nuts and the chopped tentacles of the fish which have been removed at the beginning of preparation. After dish has been cooked in steam and finished by a quick boiling in the fish stock, the tubes are sliced crosswise into attractive half inch ring which reveal the stuffing.

Cold cooked jellyfish (Haeparinaengche)
Though it is not a manufactured jelly produces, in the mouth jellyfish much the same. Koreans love this salad dish. Carrot, cucumber and cooked egg white and egg yolk are arranged with sliced jellyfish and are served with pungent garlic and mustard sauces.

A rich and well-loved dessert for a special occasion, Yaksik, sweet rice, is made from steaming glutinous rice and blending it with cooked chestnut flour, jujubes, radish, pine nuts, dark brown sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce. The cooked dish is packed into small greased cups or molds and unmolded before serving. If should be solid enough to be sliced is a sort of festive cake.

Traditional sweet (Gangjeong)
Fried cookies such as Gangjeong and Yakgwa have always been very popular. The most easily recognized Ganjeong dish is Kkaegangjeong in which white and black sesame seeds are prepared separately. They are fried until plump, mixed with sugar syrup and rolled out into golden and black sheets. A black sheet is laid on top of golden sheet and the two are rolled up together before they cool. The resulting cylindrical block is then sliced into small circular cookies with a pin wheel design.

Following are some of the traditional street foods that can be found all over the country, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic such as markets, metro station entrances, club areas, office buildings, etc. as well as at highway rest stops.

Stir fried rice cake (Tteokbokki)
It has a very distinctive spicy, yet sweet flavor. It is made of Garae Tteok, a long, white rice cakes that are sliced and then boiled, mixed with Eomuk, boiled fish paste and various fried foods. The whole is then marinated with red pepper paste and cooked over a fire. The broth used to boil the eomuk is often served as a complimentary accompanying drink. Meat, vegetables or Ramyeon can be added depending on different tastes. Tteokbokki along with Gimbap and Eomuk (skewered fish cake), is one of the most common foods sold by street food vendors.

Skewered fish cake (Eomuk)
It is a kind of fish cake. Eomuk are broad and flat and prepared on skewers, then boiled in water that is flavored with radishes and kelp. This creates a richly flavoured broth that can be sipped on while eating the skewers. Regular eomuk is not spicy, however, there is a red one that is marinated in red pepper paste and boiled in only a small amount of broth. This one is spicy. Locals suggest that the best are the skewers that have been brewing in the broth for a long time. A soy sauce marinade is provided for dipping. This popular dish is especially loved during the cold winter months.

Hotteok is a Korean-style pancake stuffed with peanuts and sugar. Handful-sized ball of stiff dough made from wheat flour, water, milk, sugar and yeast which is allowed to rise for several hours, is stuffed with a mix of brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, cinnamon, glutinous rice flour and corn powder with a dash of peas, and then pressed flat on a hot griddle. Generally, Hotteok is not available in the restaurants, but at a little roadside stall - a street snack to enjoy during the wintry weather by queuing in line. It is crispy on the outer shell and chewy on the inside.

Bungeo-bbang / Gukhwa-bbang
They get their names from their shapes. This sweet pastry filled with sweet red bean paste is molded in the shape of a carp, which is called Bungeo in Korean. Bungeo-bbang is made of wheat flour and glutinous rice flour dough filled with red bean paste. They are chewy because of the glutinous rice flour. Bungeoppang vendors can be found everywhere. Gukwha-bbang is shaped like a flower and is slightly smaller than that of the similar tasting Bungeo-bbang.  Locals like to check out how people eat them. Those who eat the head first are said to be positive and passionate, while those who choose the tail first, are considered by some to be sensitive, romantic and fashion conscious. Gukhwa-bbang are made by pouring batter into a chrysanthemum-shaped cast, filled with red bean paste, and cooked. Because each little cake is the same size and shape, two people who resemble each other are called gukhwappang. Both are especially enjoyed in the winter.

Walnut cake
Walnut cake or Hodugwaja is a round cake made by pouring batter into a walnut-shaped cast and filling it with red bean paste and a small slice of walnut.

It was once a royal snack, but today it's available for everyone. It starts as a mound of hardened honey and malt that is kneaded and stretched into 16,384 strands that look like a thin, white skein of glossy silk, suggesting the prayer for longevity, health, good fortune and wish-fulfillment. Kkultarae, meaning honey skein, is filled with a mixture of ten ingredients such as almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, peanuts, black beans, and black sesame seeds, and then rolled.  It is not much sweet, not sticky to teeth, but enjoyable with various tastes according to garnishing. It can taste better with teas as it is cold and frozen.

Korean style sausage (Sundae)
The sausages are made from the intestines of pigs which are filled with a mixture of rice, green onions, garlic, minced pork and noodles before being steamed.

Pickled cabbage (Kimchi)
Kimchi is made from Chinese cabbage and many other vegetables such as oriental turnip, cucumber, eggplant, sesame leave, young turnip top, and mustard leave, etc. and is an essential part of Korean cuisine. The ingredients are salted and seasoned with pepper, onions, garlic, ginger, and other spices. The mixture is then fermented. The result is a spicy and highly nutritious food, although the taste and flavor or Kimchi varies depending on factors like ingredients, temperature, fermentation and recipes. Kimchi is an important side dish, indispensable for any Korean meal. Therefore it has always been the most representative Korean food. A Chinese cabbage is most widely used for Kimchi. The word Kimchi with no special comment generally refers to pickled Chinese cabbage. Kimch provides beneficial vitamins, helps strengthen the immune system and activates digestion. It is also believed to prevent geriatric ailments and bird flu. Today Korea boasts more than two hundred types of Kimch, all rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins created by the lactic acid fermentation of cabbage and radish and whatever other vegetables and seafood are used. Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment that natives say Kimchi instead of cheese when getting their pictures taken. The reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chili peppers, and other spices is served at every meal, either alone or mixed with rice or noodles. And it's part of a high-fiber, low-fat diet that has kept obesity at bay in Korea. It is one of the world's 5 healthiest foods along with Greece Yogurt, India Lentils, Japanese soy, and Spain Olive oil. The article was on Health (March, 2006 edition), an American magazine.

Chopped radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)
Another popular Kimchi which you will be able to identify very readily, this dish is made from cubes of Korean radish which are parboiled and then coated with a red pepper paste which sets them with a fiery deep red color. Green onions, garlic, ginger and pickled baby shrimp are other ingredients.

Summer green water Kimch (Yeolmukimchi)
Young summer radishes and cabbage are key ingredients. They are blended with green onions, green and red chili peppers, garlic and ginger. A Kimchi souse made of red pepper powder, flour and water is poured over the mixed vegetables before storing.

Winter white water Kimchi (Dongchimi)
Small Korean pony tail radishes, soaked in brine, and green chili peppers, soaked for about two weeks until they have a slightly brownish appearance, are the major constituents of this Kimchi which needs a fair amount of advance preparation. Mustard leaves and green onions are also soaked with the radishes to soften them. Each of the soaked ingredients is folded up in separate small bundles. The final dish is assemble in its storage jar with layers of radish alternating with layers of greens and layers of chili peppers, thinly sliced garlic and ginger. The final Kimchi is covered with brine and weighted and weighted and stored. When you eat the Kimchi you may find that the radishes have been sliced before serving.

Pony tail Kimch (Chonggakkimchi)
This is another Kimchi made from pony tail radishes and for lovers of fiery food. In addition to the traditional Mimchi greens-mustard leaves, green onions- garlic and ginger and bay shrimp are added. Important constituents, too, are fully fermented anchovies which have been cooked in a little water. The strained water is mixed with red pepper powder and rice flour to make a tongue tingling paste. This finishes a dish which is ready in a couple of day if let at room temperature.

Rolled Kimchi (Bossamkimchi)
It requires a very wide variety of ingredients. Traditional Kimchi greens and forest mushrooms are spiced with salted fish and shellfish such as oysters and octopus. Fruits such as Korean pear and chestnuts are chopped chestnuts, jujubes and red pepper threads and wrapped in softened outer cabbage leaves. Then it is covered in a fermented fish juice brine and stored.

Beverage and Drink

Korean teas are based on Korean fruits, grains, herbs and vegetables often boiled and dressed simply with honey or sugar syrup. The more popular taste is available in supermarkets in granular forms similar to instant coffee. Examples of these teas are Insam Cha (Ginseng), Daechu Cha (Dates), Nok Cha (Green Tea), Yulmu Cha (Adlay), Yuja Cha (Citrons), Oksusu Suyeom Cha (Corn Silks) and Saenggang Cha (Ginger).

Bori Cha
It is healthy, naturally caffeine-free and sugar-free, and deliciously refreshing! This light, mild tea is served year-round with Korean food. It can be served hot, warm, or cold. You can make your own by toasting barley in a saute pan over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the grains turn a dark brown color. In a small kettle or pot, bring barley and water to a boil. Next, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Korean green tea (Nokcha)
Although tea is not much drunk in the tea rooms catering for the tourists, you will still find green tea in a few places. It has a place at the traditional tea ceremonies at Buddhist temples and at special ceremonial occasions. The tea is grown in the south west of Korea.

Sweet rice punch (Sikhye)
Tradition dictates that Sikhye, a slightly fermented rice punch should be drunk during the winter. But nowadays it can be found all the year round. The key to its flavor is a good quality barley malt which gives a lot of its sweetness. The malt soaked for several hours and then the clear water produced is mixed with hot steamed glutinous rice. The mixture is kept in an electric rice cooker with the warming on for four or five hours until rice grains start to float to the top. Then the mixture is strained and boiled up with sugar and ginger. A final straining and chilling take place before the drinks is served with some of the cooked rice grains and pine nuts floating in it.

Persimmon punch (Sujeonggwa)
If you have to choose just one of Korea's traditional drinks, let it be persimmon punch. It is made by simmering together ginger and cinnamon and d sugar. The stock is strained and chilled and the persimmons which have been soaked are added before the mixture is left to stand overnight. The drink is served with a ladle so that each portion has a persimmon and some stock. A float of pine nuts decorates it all.

Fruit punch (Hwache)
Most soft fresh fruit in season can be made into a refreshing fruit punch. Sliced fruits such as strawberries, peaches, or watermelons are mixed with a little sugar for about half an hour then added to cooled sugar syrup. The mixture is chilled and served with a cinnamon and pine nut float. With the addition of stuffed rice cakes, the punch becomes a luxurious Tteok Hwache.

Medicinal tea (Ssanghwacha)
Not really the drink for a foreign guest or tourist, this bitter concoction of medicinal herbs, pine nuts, jujubes and egg yolk is designed as an all purpose pick-me-up for the ailing. Korea also has a tonic wine produced by soaking ginseng roots in alcohol Soju. It is called Insamju.

Alcoholic drinks
For Koreans, alcoholic drink has been a lifelong companion in time of sorrow and joy. Korean people have been brewing their own liquor since ancient times when they first began to practice agriculture. Korea's traditional liquors are Takju, Cheongju or Yakju, and Soju. The oldest is Takju, which is made by fermenting grains like rice or wheat. When Takju is strained to refined clear liquor, it becomes Cheongju, and when Cheongju is distllled, it becomes Soju.

Makgeolli is unique to Korea. It is made by mixing steamed glutinous rice, barley, or wheat with Nuruk, a fermentation starter culture and water, and then leaving the mixture to ferment. It has a milky, opaque color and a low alcohol content of 6%-7%. The most popular types of Makgeolli are Ssal Makgeolli made of rice and Dongdongju in which unstrained rice floats on the surface. Before drinking Makgeolli, make sure to shake or stir it well. Makgeolli has an intriguing blend of sweet, sour, bitter, and astringent tastes. A milky colored rice wine is unfiltered so it is highly nutritious and still relatively cheap. It Is not available in all restaurants as it can be kept for only three days at room temperature. Other more refined wines developed from the Makgeolli brewing process are Yakju, high quality rice wine, and Cheongju, refined rice wine. Both use better quality grains than in Makgeolli and the refining process is longer. Today, Takju is more commonly known as Makgeolli, and it is enjoyed by majority of Korean as well as many visitors.

Cheongju liquor is clear. The brewing process is largely similar to that of Takju, but the straining process is different. The main ingredients, rice Nuruk starter culture, and water are put in a jug and kept for 10 to 20 days at a temperature of 20-25 degrees Celsius. During this time the mixture ferments and turns into liquor. Then, a Yongsu, a long cylindrical strainer made from closely woven bamboo strips, is inserted into the center of the jug. Clear liquor is collected inside the Yongju.

Soju is first fermented by combining rice or other grains with a starter culture and is then distilled. Depending on the intensity of the heat, the taste, quality and quantity of the Soju vary. Since it is made by distillation, it has high alcohol content. Soju is the most popular liquor in Korea. Locally produced traditional liquors which have been designated as intangible cultural assets are not only expensive but are not often sold at ordinary bars. However, common Soju is sold in almost all stores, bars, and restaurants. It comes small bottles (360ml) and there are a variety of brands available. It has high alcohol content, sometimes as much as percent and should be approached with care by novice.

Other traditional liquors
Bokbunja is made from black raspberries or Bokbunja. It has been the favorite drink of a town near Soenunsa temple in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do province for 1,400 years. Bokbunja is enjoyed by many for its sweet taste and mildness. Gwasilju is the Korean generic terms for fruit-based liquor. Ordinary Korean families often make home-made Gwasilju by mixing some kind of fruit with Soju. Some of products are Seoljungmae, Maechwisun, Maehwasu, and Sansachun most of which are made from green plum or cornel fruit.

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