It is said that kimchi is “the national food” created the fame of Korea. Therefore, it is the most important side dish in every meal in Korea. There are hundred kinds of kimchi; most of them have strong smell and attractive spice. They are salted, washed carefully, mixed with scallions, garlic, ginger, chili and cured in spices before salting. This is considered the healthiest fermented food in Korean cuisine.
Gimbap (Dried Seaweed Rice Rolls)
Being the Korean people’s traditional food with rich flavor, gimbap is the wonderful combination of the salty seaweed, the soft rice, the fatty egg, sausage with fresh cucumber and carrot. Gimbap is cut into round slices, easy to eat and nutritious. It is the second popular Korean dish after kimchi.
Bibimbap (Mixed Rice)
This mixed rice has the eye-catching colors with at least 6 or 7 kinds of food such as the white of rice, the yellow of egg, the green of vegetable, the brown of meat. The vegetables consist of cucumbers cut into small slices, carrots, spinach, sprouts, a few houttuynia. Fried egg, marinated beef cut into small are also added. When eating, mix them well together with hot pepper sauce to make dish spicier.
Naengmyeon (Cold Noodle)
In summer, cold noodle is a popular Korean dish. The noodle is made from buckwheat powder, so its color is quite grey. The broth is cooked from beef bone. Naengmyeon is usually served in big bowl with quite spicy, fresh and sweet taste. However, if you want to eat cold noodle in winter, the broth should be replaced by kimchi’s water to keep body warm.
Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup)
This dish is very healthy as it can cure and keep warm well, so Korean people usually cook it for their family. To have a bowl of this soup, it takes more time and many steps. Firstly, young chicken is prepared well. Ginseng, sticky rice, astragalus and jujube are added into the chicken. Then, it is stitched before being stewed in stone pot in few hours. This food gives people the freshness and the energy in summer.
Soondubu jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew)
It is made mainly from soft tofu with super spicy soup. Seafood, meat, mushroom, kimchi and vegetables are also added in it. Before eating, people usually put an raw egg inside and stir up, it will be softer with distinctive taste. This is one of popular Korean street food in winter and known as “beef in vegetable garden”.
Japchae are small vermicelli made from bean starch, which is blanched slightly in boiling water, then adding a little oil into it to split each other with some ingredients such as meat, vegetables, sprout, carrot, spinach, mushroom stir-fried well with sesame oil. Main seasonings are soy sauce, chili and sesame seed. You can enjoy japchae when it is hot or cold.
Bulgogi (Marinated Beef BBQ)
Korean people usually use beef instead of other kinds of meat to marinate because it makes special smell. Beef is sliced thinly and marinated with soy sauce, peanut oil, garlic, sugar, coriander and pepper, then put on the grill. When enjoy Bulgogi, people usually wrap it in houttuynia, sesame leaf or other leaves to make it more delicious and nutritious.
Tteokbokki (Stir-fried rice cake)
Tteokbokki is the pieces of fine white glutinous rice cake, cut into strips of equal cylindrical shape, covered with red pepper sauce, glowing with special smell, with kimchi, half an egg, sausage, green onion, a few slices pork or thin sliced beef. This is the popular street food of young people in Korea.
Jajangmyeon (Black Bean Sauce Noodle Soup)
Black Bean Sauce Noodle Soup or Jajang noodle is one of popular dishes appeared in Korean drama. This is the main food in Black Day for Love in Korea (April 14th). What makes it special is its black soup made from soy sauce with pumpkin, garlic, meat or seafood cut into spieces.