Beginners Guide to Eating Korean – SnackFever

Beginners Guide to Eating Korean

By Twinkle Verma

Trying a new cuisine can be exciting, but sometimes going through the menu can leave you blank. There are dish names you don't understand, ingredients you don't know; you might even think if what you have ordered is going to be good or if you end up being disappointed.

Don't worry, if you are having Korean food for the first time then we have got you covered. Here are a few dishes you need to try and trust me, these will leave you wanting for more.

  1. Bibimbap

Bibimbap literally means ‘mixed rice’. It is a colourful dish consisting of rice, vegetables, and meat topped off with a raw or fried egg then mixed together with gochujang. Vegetables commonly used in bibimbap  include julienned cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach and soybean sprouts. Chicken, pork, or seafood can be substituted for beef and vegetarians can add tofu. You can even order it in a heated stone pot called dolsot. The bottom of the bowl is coated with sesame oil so that the rice becomes crisp and golden brown. This variation of bibimbap is typically served to order with the egg and other ingredients mixed in the pot just prior to consumption.

  1. Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki is an iconic Korean street food made of garaetteok (long cylindrical rice cakes). The rice cakes along with scallions, boiled eggs and fishcakes are mixed into a spicy sauce made with gochujang which gives the dish its bright reddish-orange colour. You can add ramen to it or top it off with cheese. Have it any way you like. For people who cannot handle spice, there is a non-spicy version made with soy sauce. It's a win-win.

  1. Jajangmyeon

Jajangmyeon is the ultimate Chinese-Korean fusion dish. Dubbed one of Korea's favourite comfort foods, this dish of black-bean sauce, pork and onions ladled over thick noodles is a must try. It’s mild flavor is perfect for those with a low spice tolerance. The dish is usually served with danmuji (yellow pickled radish). Fun fact : On April 14 also known as Black Day, single Koreans dressed in black get together to eat jajangmyeon.

  1. Kimbap

No, this is not Sushi. I know what you are thinking, ‘They look the same’, but they taste different. "Kim" means roasted seaweed sheets, and "bap" means rice. A traditional Kimbap filling includes a protein, commonly beef or ham with carrot, spinach, egg and pickled radish. While sushi rice is seasoned with vinegar, the rice used in kimbap is flavoured with sesame oil and salt. Kimbap unlike sushi is not eaten with wasabi and soy sauce, because the rice, meat and vegetables in the kimbap are already seasoned. In Korea this dish is a favourite for picnics and family gatherings, and it’s commonly packed into school lunchboxes. So if you see this on the menu, don't skip it, otherwise you will definitely be missing out.

  1. Mandu

Mandu is the dumpling of Korea, and you can enjoy it steamed, fried, or in  soup. It is usually filled with pork and onions and served with a soy dipping sauce. They are always a safe bet if you are unsure of the other items on the menu. Dumplings in general are delicious and juicy, and mandu is just that.

  1. Korean fried chicken

What's so special about fried chicken? Well, you haven't had Korean fried chicken. This dish is Korea's take on the quintessential American fast food. Unlike its American counterparts, the chicken is lightly battered and fried twice. As a result, the meat is juicy and the crust more crunchy and less greasy. You can have it plain or coated with a sweet and spicy sauce. Take your pick.

  1. Hotteok

Hotteok is a variety of filled Korean pancake. It is a popular street food of Korea and consumed especially during the winter season. It is essentially a piece of dough filled with a mixture of cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, and peanuts. The filled dough is then placed on a greased griddle and pressed flat into a large circle. These sweet pancakes are best eaten straight off the grill when they are piping hot. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Hotteok promises a finger-licking sweet mess and a potentially burnt tongue.

  1. Yukgaejang

Yukgaejang or spicy beef soup is a soupy Korean dish made from shredded beef with scallions and other ingredients which are simmered together for a long time. Beef brisket is the ideal meat of choice, because it gives the broth great flavor and is really tender when cooked. Vegetables added are usually bean sprouts, mushrooms and green onions. It is packed with flavour and is popular due to its hot and spicy nature. This is another dish that is great to eat during winters, so grab a bowl of rice and get eating.

  1. Korean Barbeque

When its comes to Korean barbecue, it is not only about the food but also about the experience. Sitting around the table with a grill in the centre and grilling your own meat is fun. You can choose from a selection of marinated and non marinated meats. The variety of meat can be overwhelming and confusing to choose from, so I am suggesting 3 tried and tested choices - bulgogi, galbi and samgyeopsal. The most popular is bulgogi, usually made from thinly sliced beef sirloin or tenderloin marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper. Another popular form of marinated beef is galbi. The marination may contain soy sauce, water, garlic, sugar and sliced onions. While bulgogi and galbi are marinated, samgyeopsal is not. It is made of thicker strips of unsalted pork belly. All of this is best enjoyed with the a lot of banchan (side dishes), fresh vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, and soju.

Tip: A popular way of eating is to wrap the meat in lettuce with condiments such as kimchi, pajoeri (spicy scallion salad) and ssamjang (a spicy paste made of doenjang mixed with gochujang).

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📍Dons Bogam Black, Koreatown NY Öncelikle daha önce kore yemeği yemediyseniz çok şey kaçırıyorsunuz. Ben Kore’ye gitmedim ama New York’ta 3-4 farklı restoranda yedim. Burası en iyilerinden biri. Yemeğe gelecek olursak, iki kişiye göre belirlenmiş et tabaklarının her birinin içeriğinde farklı etler var. Resimde gördüğünüz hiçbir şeyi sipariş etmiyorsunuz onlar masayı donatıyor zaten. Yalnızca et tabağı seçiyorsunuz, ayrıca sipariş etmek için kimchi pancake ve rice cake öneririm. Bir de pilav çeşitlerinden biri olabilir. Marulun arasına bu küçük kaselerdeki farklı farklı ürünlerden doldurup bir de önünüzde pişirdikleri eti koyuyorsunuz, inanılmaz💫⭐️ Yediğim bütün steakhouselardaki ete tercih ederim😍 Mutlaka denenmeli bence bir kenara not edin📝 Son olarak bir içkileri var, Soju! Küçük shot bardaklarında içiliyor elmalısı ve şeftalili en güzeli sanırım😋 • Marinated Beef Platter for two $99 #whatsintownnewyork #newyork #koreatown #koreanfood #koreanbbq #koreanbbqbeef #koreanbarbeque #ktown

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  1. Bingsu

Bingsu is a Korean shaved ice treat. It consists of fine shaved ice in flavours such as milk, chocolate or green tea. The best part? You can top it off with anything and everything. Every edible treat imaginable: a slice of cake, edible flowers, a scoop of ice cream, fresh fruits, cookies, nuts, candies, jams, whipped cream, syrups and much much more. The list is endless.

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