Teaching Korean Cooking

Korean cuisine is the customary cooking traditions and practices of the culinary arts of Korea. Korean cuisine has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in Korea and southern Manchuria, Korean cuisine has evolved through a complex interaction of the natural environment and different cultural trends.


Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are named for the number of side dishes (반찬; banchan) that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi is served at nearly every meal. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, gochujang (fermented red chili paste) and napa cabbage.


Ingredients and dishes vary by province. Many regional dishes have become national, and dishes that were once regional have proliferated in different variations across the country. Korean royal court cuisine once brought all of the unique regional specialties together for the royal family. Foods are regulated by Korean cultural etiquette.

 

Condiments and seasoning

Condiments are divided into fermented and nonfermented variants. Fermented condiments include ganjang, doenjang, gochujang and vinegars. Nonfermented condiments or spices include red pepper, black pepper, cordifolia, mustard, chinensis, garlic, onion, ginger, leek, and scallion (spring onion).

 

Meat and Seafood


Koreans enjoying grilled meat and alcohol in the 18th century. Meat-based dishesIn antiquity, most meat in Korea was likely obtained through hunting and fishing. Ancient records indicate rearing of livestock began on a small scale during the Three Kingdoms period. Meat was consumed roasted or in soups or stews during this period. Those who lived closer to the oceans were able to complement their diet with more fish, while those who lived in the interior had a diet containing more meat.

In antiquity, most meat in Korea was likely obtained through hunting and fishing. Ancient records indicate rearing of livestock began on a small scale during the Three Kingdoms period. Meat was consumed roasted or in soups or stews during this period. Those who lived closer to the oceans were able to complement their diet with more fish, while those who lived in the interior had a diet containing more meat.

Fish and shellfish have been a major part of Korean cuisine because of the oceans bordering the peninsula. Evidence from the 12th century illustrates commoners consumed a diet mostly of fish and shellfish, such as shrimp, clams, oysters, abalone, and loach, while sheep and hogs were reserved for the upper class

Chicken has played an important role as a protein in Korean history, evidenced by a number of myths. One myth tells of the birth of Kim Alji, founder of the Kim family of Gyeongju being announced by the cry of a white chicken. As the birth of a clan's founder is always announced by an animal with preternatural qualities, this myth speaks to the importance of chicken in Korean culture. Chicken is often served roasted or braised with vegetables or in soups.

Pork has also been another important land-based protein for Korea. Records indicate pork has been a part of the Korean diet back to antiquity, similar to beef. A number of foods have been avoided while eating pork, including Chinese bellflower and lotus root , as the combinations have been thought to cause diarrhea. All parts of the pig are used in Korean cuisine, including the head, intestines, liver, kidney and other internal organs. Koreans utilize these parts in a variety of cooking methods including steaming, stewing, boiling and smoking.Koreans especially like to eat grilled pork belly, which is called samgyeopsal.

Vegetables

Vegetable-based dishesKorean cuisine uses a wide variety of vegetables, which are often served uncooked, either in salads or pickles, as well as cooked in various stews, stir-fried dishes, and other hot dishes.[33] Commonly used vegetables include Korean radish, napa cabbage, cucumber, potato, sweet potato, spinach, bean sprouts, scallions, garlic, chili peppers, seaweed, zucchini, mushrooms and lotus root. Several types of wild greens, known collectively as chwinamul (such as Aster scaber), are a popular dish, and other wild vegetables such as bracken fern shoots (gosari) or Korean bellflower root (doraji) are also harvested and eaten in season.[34] Medicinal herbs, such as ginseng, reishi, wolfberry, Codonopsis pilosula, and Angelica sinensis, are often used as ingredients in cooking, as in samgyetang.

 

Soups and stews


Soups are a common part of any Korean meal. Unlike other cultures, in Korean culture, soup is served as part of the main course rather than at the beginning or the end of the meal, as an accompaniment to rice along with other banchan. Soups known as guk are often made with meats, shellfish and vegetables. Soups can be made into more formal soups known as tang, often served as the main dish of the meal. Jjigae are a thicker, heavier seasoned soups or stews

 

Kimchi


Kimchi refers to often fermented vegetable dishes usually made with napa cabbage, Korean radish, or sometimes cucumber, commonly fermented in a brine of ginger, garlic, scallions, and chili pepper. There are endless varieties with regional variations, and it is served as a side dish or cooked into soups and rice dishes. Koreans traditionally make enough kimchi to last for the entire winter season, as fermented foods can keep for several years. These were stored in traditional Korean mud pots known as Jangdokdae although with the advent of refrigerators, special Kimchi freezers and commercially produced kimchi, this practice has become less common. Kimchi is packed with vitamin A, thiamine B1, riboflavin B2, calcium, and iron. Its main benefit though is found in the bacteria lactobacilli; this is found in yogurt and fermented foods. This bacteria helps with digestion. South Koreans eat an average of 40 pounds of Kimchi each year.

Noodles

 

Noodles or noodle dishes in Korean cuisine are collectively referred to as guksu in native Korean or myeon in hanja. While noodles were eaten in Korea from ancient times, productions of wheat was less than other crops, so wheat noodles did not become a daily food until 1945.[50][51] Wheat noodles (milguksu) were specialty foods for birthdays, weddings or auspicious occasions because the long and continued shape were thought to be associated with the bliss for longevity and long-lasting marriage

 

 

More about korean food here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_cuisine