I had tried some Korean food before coming to Korea but little did I know that I was in for a big treat. Most meals out are served with banchan or side dishes. There are a variety of side dishes and some places make their own so there is never 2 banchan dishes which are the same. Here are some Korean dishes to try!
- Cold Soybean soup (kong guksu)
This is an interesting dish that once I heard about, wanted to try. It’s wheat noodles served in cold soy milk soup. The soy milk soup is quite nutty and a little grainy unlike the soy milk you can buy in the shops. I had a look at some recipes and apart from soy beans, you can add other types of nuts or tahini in too when making it. It’s served cold and usually with egg, cucumber and tomatoes depending where you go.
2. Knife cut noodles (kalguksu)
Kalguku is a heart warming dish. You can use different kinds of broth (anchovy based, chicken based etc) and add different foods (chicken, vegetables or even seafood). On this particular occasion, we also had pork dumplings and the side dishes served were white kimchi and regular kimchi.
Another fabulously delicious dish, bossam is boiled pork belly (oh so tender!) which is commonly eaten with a range of side dishes and sometimes also eaten wrap style. This is where you use lettuce of some sort and load in the pork and veges, wrap it up and then eat it. At this particular place I went to, they served it with a soup and rice.
An all in one combo. These rolls contain a mix of vegetables and meat (or tuna) depending on what you order. There are vegetarian ones too and small gimbap restaurants with friendly aunts can be found everywhere. Gimbaps are the go to foods for picnics and hikes. One roll will cost you around 4,000 won which is an easy and wallet friendly meal.
The famous bibimbap. You can have this served hot in a clay pot so the rice becomes alittle crunchy or opt for a normal bowl. Depending on what restaurant you go to will depend on the toppings you get. There’s usually a mix of vegetables, sometimes meat and sometimes an egg. Pour over the bibimbap sauce and you have yourself a very healthy and delicious meal.
This translates to literally cold noodles, it’s usually buckwheat/potato or sweet potato starch noodles in a clear broth of beef broth and/or radish water broth. It’s served cold with ice cubes it in and topped with cucumber, egg and or radish. I hadn’t had cold noodles prior to having this so it was something different. I can see why it’s a popular dish in summer.
It’s summer now so there will be another stew/jjigae post when it gets colder! What are your favourite Korean dishes that you’ve had?