Do head over to see the previous AFF month; Indonesia.
I am glad to be hosting this month’s theme. Korean food originated from ancient nomadic cultures and traditions. The Korean cuisines of today have experienced interactions with various cultural and environmental progressions. Korean cuisine is largely based upon rice, vegetables, and meats. Ingredients and dishes vary by province.
I would like to put in my two-cents of an observation regarding the popularity of Korean food here in Malaysia. Before the emergence of this famous TV show called ‘Jewel of the Palace’, Korean food was very much meat, BBQs and the banchans (side dishes). The popularity of the show broke the barriers of mindsets and limited taste buds. Now I’d like to think that the show attributed to the fact that rather than just Korean BBQ restaurants popping up everywhere here, people are venturing into wider varieties like bibimbaps and jjigaes, ramen dishes as well as Korean sweets.
Cuisine and Dishes
Kimchi is the quintessential Korean side dish consisting of a main vegetable like napa cabbage, Korean radish or sometimes cucumber. They are salted first to draw out as much moisture as possible and then will be fermented in a brine of ginger, garlic, scallions and and Korean red chili pepper. Cabbage kimchi can be used in a variety of soups, stir-fries, stews, dumplings and many other dishes.
Scholars have asserted that bibimbap originated from the traditional practice of mixing all the food offerings made at an ancestral rite (jesa) in a bowl before partaking in it. In everyday Korean households, bibimbap is frequently prepared from steamed rice, vegetables, and meat. A sauce mixture is poured on top with an egg in the middle, its yolk exposed while the other ingredients are laid out by the sides. Before you eat, you mix these ingredients together with the rice at the bottom. Bibimbaps are a healthy and wholesome meal.
Meat and BBQs
Marinated beef; Bulgogi (불고기), Galbi (갈비), Jumulleok (주물럭) short steaks marinated with sesame oil
Non-marinated beef; Kkot deungsim (꽃등심) Rib eye roll, Ansim (안심) Tenderloin, Salchisal (살치살) Chuck flap tail, Galbisal (갈비살) Rib meat, Chae kkeut (채끝) Strip loin, Buchaesal (부채살) Top blade
Marinated pork; Dwaeji bulgogi (돼지불고기) spicy pork bulgogi
Non-marinated pork; Samgyeopsal (삼겹살) pork belly
Marinated chicken; Dak galbi (닭갈비) barbecued chicken
Non-marinated chicken; Dak gui (닭구이)
Soups and Stews
In Korean culture, soup is served as part of the main course rather than at the beginning or the end of the meal.
Some popular types of soups are:
• Malgeunguk is a clear soup with small amounts of tender boiled meat added or seafood both fresh and dried or vegetables.
• Tojangguk is seasoned with doenjang. Main ingredients for tojang guk are seafood such as clams, dried anchovies, and shrimp. Gochujang is added for a spicier version.
• Samgyetang is a dish where a whole young chicken is used with Korean ginseng. The name literally means ‘ginseng chicken soup”. Samgyetang is usually served in the summer to replace nutrients lost due to excessive sweating.
Stews are referred to as jjigae. Jjigae is often cooked and served in the glazed earthenware pot. Some common version jjigaes are doenjang jjigae, which is soybean paste stew that can be based with meats, seafood and vegetables. Other varieties of jjigae contain kimchi (kimchi jjigae) or tofu (soondubu jjigae).
Banchan are small dishes of food served along with the main protein dish. The basic table setting for a meal is called ‘bansang’ (반상) consisting of;
bap (밥, cooked rice)
guk or tang (soup)
gochujang or ganjang
Banchan are served in small portions. When you eat at most Korean restaurants, they are meant to be replenished when finished. The more formal the meals are, the more banchan there will be.
During the festivals and holidays, there will be these traditional rice cakes called tteok. They are made from either pounded rice or pounded glutinous rice. It is then covered with mung bean paste, red bean paste or even fillings made with sesame seeds, pumpkin or pine nuts. Another variety of this rice cake is called songpyeon. These are sweet rice cakes shaped like dumplings filled with sweet black bean mash or black sesame seed.
Hangwa is a term referred to all sorts of Korean traditional confectionery. Hangwa is largely divided into yumilgwa (fried confectionery), suksilgwa, jeonggwa, gwapyeon,dasik (tea food) and yeot.
For candies, you have Gwapyeon, a jelly-like confection made by boiling sour fruits, starch, and sugar and Dasik, which means “eatery for tea”, made by kneading rice flour, honey and other types of flour from nuts, herbs, sesame, or jujubes.
Link references for some dishes;
1. Who can join? Anyone can join.
2. Prepare a dish that is from Korea. Remember to take photos of the finished product and if possible, the preparatory process as well.
3. Provide recipe that is credited (from books, internet, friends or family or your own, be specific). Submissions without stating recipe and/or sources will not be accepted for all forms of submission.
4. Submit your entry latest by 30th April 2014.
a. Prepare a dish that is from Korea
b. Blog about it from 1st to 30th April 2014
c. Include the caption below your blog post “I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: Korea, hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts. (please include the necessary links)
d. Submit your entry via the Linky provided at the end of this blog post.
2. Facebook Users
Bloggers can submit their previous blog posts on Korean dishes they have prepared to Facebook, but please state ‘OLD BLOG POST’. Anyone that has made a Korean dish with picture(s) and recipe can submit to Facebook. It does not have to be a recently done dish. These Facebook entries will hopefully provide inspiration and motivation for other folks to cook them.
3. Non-Facebook users and Non Bloggers
Email a picture of the dish together with the credited recipe to [email protected] latest by 30th April 2014 by 11.59pm (Singapore and Malaysian time).
A Round Up will be done for all blog entries and emailed in entries on 2nd May 2014
For bloggers, only new entries made in your blog within the stipulated period with complete recipe and/or recipe links/references would be accepted. For non-bloggers, only entries complete with recipe and/or recipe links/references would be accepted.