Korean cuisine as known today has undergone a sea of change along with the social and political revolution and is a culmination of the interaction between the environment and culture. Korean food is usually represented by ingredients of bulgogi and kimchi only. But actually Korean food recipes make up a varied and nutritious diet. Fermented foods like Kimchi and doenjang paste have become highly valued for the medicinal purposes.
As expected, ingredients and Korean food recipes vary by province. Many varieties of Korean food recipes include boiled rice, Soup, Porridge, Stew and Casseroles, Broiled and Barbecued dishes, Smothered and Simmered dishes, Pan-fried and Pancakes, Raw fish, Corned and Fermented food and Vegetable and wild green dishes. In many aspects, Korean food recipes are technically a combination of Japanese and Chinese techniques. It relies on less seafood and less oil in comparison to Japanese and Chinese cuisine respectively. Korean food recipes are usually boiled or blanched, broiled, steamed, stir or pan-fried with vegetable oil.
Korean food recipes are far spicier mainly because of the extensive use of ingredients like chilli, sesame and ginger. Seasonings, known as yangnyom in Korean language, stems from the Chinese word for “remedy” are known to contribute to a balanced nutrition. The Korean diet has in recent times come to be considered as almost ideal from a health point of view, for which much of the credit must be given to its seasonings.
Doenjang has been a traditional fixture of the Korean Food and its ingredients-soybeans; rice, barley, wheat and salt are fermented. It is believed to have virtues of devotion, steadiness, generosity, harmony and the merciful heart of Buddha for it enriches the Korean food recipes like none other. Scientifically speaking, its benefits are far reaching. It is rich in proteins and effective in preventing cancer, constipation and diarrhoea.
Another popular ingredient of Korean Food is a hot pepper paste, Gochujang, known for improving appetite and its refreshing taste is a unique mix of hot, sweet, salty, savory, and sour tastes that no other seasoning can imitate. Among its common types are glutinous rice; non-glutinous rice, kaoliang, red bean, barley and wheat gochujang.
Another peculiar and popular feature of Korean food is the style of pickling vegetables instead of cooking them called Kimchi. Commonly cucumber, cabbage and turnips are pickled. Kimchi is an ingredient that is served with every meal of the day every single day. The well-fermented Kimchi is a rich source of fibres, minerals and vitamins. It has anti-biotic functions, suppresses hyperacidity, prevents adult diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity and prevents gastrointestinal cancers among many others. It is believed that kimchi can aid in bio-rhythm adjustment and delaying the aging process.
The Koreans are known to pay particular attention to the arrangement of the food on the plates and the dishes on the table. Korean Food should never be placed in disorderly fashion. It is supposed to be placed neatly in concentric circles or parallel linear column. Moreover, the colours of Korean food recipes should alternate in a regular manner.