Thanks to KPop, Korean cuisine is poised to take over the world’s gastronomy crown. From the most basic palate down to the picky eaters – things to eat in South Korea for the lack of better words is an experience. The uniqueness of the cuisine is famous for its subtle flavours and spicy spices, Korean cuisine is a gem for anyone who wants to eat healthily. Generous servings of side dishes composed of leafy vegetables are usually served every meal, and these items are all refillable. While it’s entirely possible to find Korean food almost anywhere these days, it’s a must that you taste it straight from where the cuisine came from if you really love Korean food. For the curious, what food do they eat in South Korea? We have a shortlist of what we think are the best dishes:
No Korean meal is complete without a side of kimchi. This spicy dish of fermented vegetables, usual cabbage, is a national treasure. In addition, it is also considered as a superfood that high in fibre and low in calories. For instance, it is common to see kimchi as a side dish (or banchan) in all restaurants in Korea. Certainly, if there are no banchan in that restaurant, pretty sure it does not exist!
Westerners have hair of the dog as a cure for hangovers. South Koreans, on the other hand, have ox blood soup, a soup made with beef broth, radish, cabbage, bean sprouts and congealed oxblood.
Seolleongtang (Ox bone stew)
A rather sparse dish made with noodles, scallions and a few slivers of meat, ox bone stew is deceptively simple. A sip of the broth, however, will clue you into just how rich this stew tastes. It is comfort food that’s perfect as it is. The Seolleongtang dish is a native of Seoul and has its roots traced from the Joseon Dynasty.
Is seaweed rice in South Korea’s take on Japanese sushi. It can be as plain as just rice rolled in seaweed. It can also be filled with ingredients like cheese, squid, kimchi, fermented octopus, tuna, luncheon meat, and many others.
A bowl of rice mixed with a variety of vegetables, beef and mushrooms. After that, it is topped with egg and a spicy red pepper paste. The trick to eating bibimbap is to literally stir what’s in your bowl with your chopsticks.
It is seafood pancake – oysters, clams, shrimp and squid mixed in a batter of wheat and rice flour and eggs with green onions and shredded vegetables. It’s soft and chewy and rich with a hint of freshness and crunch from the onions and the veggies.
One of the most popular Korean dishes that made its way to the West, Bulgogi is a Korean beef barbecue. Marinated in pear juice, seasoned with soy sauce and garlic and cooked barbecue-style. After that, is it rolled with rice and vegetables in a lettuce leaf.
In the West, it’s traditional to celebrate a special occasion with a cake. In South Korea, celebrations are never complete without tteok or rice cakes made with sweet and sticky rice. Either plain or cooked with nuts, mung beans, red beans, sesame seeds or dried fruits.
In short, make it a point to taste authentic Korean food on your visit to South Korea. Better yet, start planning your South Korea holiday right now.