Korean Food Part I

Typical Korean Food

Korean foods are definitely different from foods elsewhere in the world. The one attribute which stands out the most is spiciness. The other is that many dishes are served at room temperature (yet some are served boiling hot). Korean food has a distinctive flavor, with the use of various vegetables and spices to complement the meats. Hanjongshik (한정식) literally means "full course Korean meal" which consists of grilled fish, steamed short ribs, and multiple side dishes. The usual Korean meal is rather elaborate when served in a restaurant even if defined only by the quantity offered.

The staple of the Korean diet is kimchi (김치). It has become, through tradition and enduring style, almost a religious activity to prepare. Kimjang (김장), which occurs in the autumn harvest season, is the most important annual social event of Korea, at which time the dish is prepared in great quantities. The ingredients are trucked in in huge piles. The women gather in groups to spend hours cutting, washing and salting the cabbage and white radishes. Then they are rubbed with red pepper, then garlicked and pickled. The concoction is then buried in huge earthenware crocks to keep it fresh yet fermenting though the winter months. By the time the moment arrives for people to feast upon the final product, it is fiery hot. Some kimchi is milder, such as a light brine kimchi, usually prepared in the summer months when it is difficult to retain its freshness. There is also a type of light kimchi soup - fermented water with vegetables which is usually served aside a variety of other side dishes.

Part I | Part II | Part III