Some Korean Culinary History
Korean cuisine has been affected by its geography (peninsula), climate (hot, humid summers and very cold winters), proximity to neighbors China and Japan, and the Japanese occupation from 1910-1945. European traders also had an impact in the cuisine with the Portuguese introduction of chili peppers to Korea in the 17th century. By the 18th century, chili peppers were already being widely used in the preparation of Korean cuisine.
Rice is the backbone of almost every Korean meal. On rare occasions, noodles will replace the rice, but the vast majority of the time, every person eats a bowl of rice with their meal. Typically, each person will also have their own bowl of soup or stew. The side dishes and main dish or dishes, which can be meat, seafood, or tofu are all be served family-style in the middle of the table. Sometimes a large stew will replace the main dish and will be served family-style at the table.
The Little Things
Everything, including meat and poultry, is cut into bite-sised pieces so there is no need for a knife. Koreans are also adept at using chopsticks so if the meat is too large or a whole grilled fish is served, it can be split with chopsticks. (Many Korean meat dishes are braised or marinated for a long time for a tender flesh). Korean food is traditionally eaten with stainless steel chopsticks and a long stainless steel spoon and is traditionally served at a low table with people sitting on the floor.
15 most important items to have:
This is a short list of the 15 most important things you need in a well-stocked Korean pantry. You can make a huge variety of Korean dishes using these ingredients, and having most or all of these things on hand in your kitchen will make cooking and meal planning easier.
1. Soy sauce
3. Sesame seed oil (chamgeereum)
5. Kochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)
6. Kochukaru (Korean chili pepper powder)
7. Daenjang (Korean soybean paste)
9. Scallions (green onions)
10. Rice wine (chungju, mirin)
11. Dried anchovies (myulchi)
12. Roasted sesame seeds
13. Gim (dried seaweed sheets)
14. Noodles (somyun and/or dangmyun)
Chicken Noodle Soup:
The long noodles in “Janchi Gooksu” represent long life, so it’s a symbolic dish served at weddings and important birthdays. But it doesn’t require special equipment or fancy ingredients- it’s also a delicious chicken noodle soup you can make at home
(“Janchi”= Feast and “Gooksu” = Noodles)
1 small chicken
somyun noodles (somen, somyeon, thin, white wheat noodles)
8 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
1. Place the chicken in a pot and pour water to just cover.
2. Simmer chicken with garlic, leeks & peppercorns for about 40 min. until chicken tender.
3. Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and save the meat, discarding the bones.
4. Shred the chicken into small strips & discard fat/skin. If the meat is too hot to handle, you can wait for the meat to cool if you have not made the eggs or noodles in advance and have to do those preparations.
5. Season chicken lightly with some salt and pepper.
6. Strain the broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve the broth for laer.
7. Slice the zucchini and carrot into thin strips.
8. Fry the zucchini and carrot in a lightly-oiled pan for a few minutes (2-3 minutes).
9. Separate the eggs into yolk and whites. Fry them separately to make two separate egg layers (like very thin omelets)- one with egg white and the other with egg yolks.
10. Slice the yellow and white egg layers into thin strips, about the same size as the vegetables.
11. Boil water in a big pot to cook the somyun noodles (white, thin noodles), according to the package directions or for about 7 minutes.
12. Rinse noodles in cold water and drain.
13. Warm up the broth when ready to serve the noodle soup.
14. Place the cooked somyun noodles in a soup bowl and top with seasoned chicken meat, vegetables and egg.
15. In each bowl, add the warmed broth and a dash of some sesame oil.
I am looking for feedback on this one…Cooking is not my forte, so I need lots of culinary help.
fighting…in the kitchen!!!