Now that we’ve given you some recipes to start you off on your journey into Korean cooking, how about some tools that you’ll need for your adventure? Many will be similar to what you may already have in your kitchen, but if you don't have them, you may want to look into getting one or a few.
- Rice Cooker
There is nothing wrong with cooking rice in a plain pot, but a rice cooker makes it so much easier. You can put the step of cooking rice at the back of your mind, and continue on with other steps in your recipe; not worrying about whether your rice is under-cooked, overcooked or burnt. It will turn out perfectly.
With the amount of slicing and dicing of vegetables that goes into Korean cuisine, this tool is one that will save your fingers from developing calluses and a perfect slice every time. Always practice safety first, and use that chopping guard!
- Sharp Knives
Nothing can replace a good knife in any chef's kitchen. Although some foods can be chopped by the mandolin, others cannot. The type of knife will vary on the job you have ahead of you, but having a good paring knife, chef's knife, and pair of kitchen shears should get you through most jobs.
- Large Stock Pot
A good stock pot is essential, especially when you consider the number of broths and stews that are at the core of Korean cooking. A good stock pot should be made of a good grade metal and should not be too thin so your food will cook evenly and not burn.
- Set of Mixing Bowls
These bowls will play a large part in your cooking as they are not only used for mixing, but also to separate ingredients between steps. Bowls can be plastic or metal, but you may want to use metal for certain situations, such as mixing and ingredients with a strong smell or color that may be difficult to wash out of plastic.
- Rubber Gloves
Rubber gloves are perfect for things such as making kimchi, cleaning seafood, and butchering meat. I prefer to have a separate pair of gloves for each type of use, but if you are only using one pair, make sure they are cleaned thoroughly. Some prefer disposable gloves to make clean up even easier.
- Kimchi Container
No Korean kitchen should be without this item. It allows the fermented gases to escape without any of the smells permeating the rest of the refrigerated items. If you cannot find this specialized container where you are, they can easily be ordered online. Placing kimchi in any other type of sealed container is not recommended as the fermented gases will not escape as necessary.
These are just some of the essentials for cooking basics of Korean cuisine. There are many other items, but having these in your kitchen should start you off on the road to success.
**Always make sure to consult the recipe beforehand to see if there is something you are missing that cannot be substituted for some other item.