An Intro to Some Korean Food Products

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An Intro to Some Korean Food Products

Post  Daphne and Co on Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:44 am

Here is a link for a site showing some of the Korean Food Stuffs available here, as well as their descriptions
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Re: An Intro to Some Korean Food Products

Post  bjeb318 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:38 am

here is a a great beginners link to a site with wonderful recipes to the most popular dishes here, and a nice beginners breakdown on some of the alcoholic beverages offered here in Korea.. enjoy!!

How to enjoy Korean Alcohols


Modern gourmets know how to enjoy a wine, but few people know how to enjoy traditional Korean alcohols well.

First- See it!
Overall, the color of traditional alcohols is golden, but can vary from a light gold to a dark brownish gold. The lighter it is, the more clean taste it has. Darker colors indicate an older brew with a stronger taste. Good ones look clean and have a golden color, but the colors are supposed to be a bit different based on the kinds of herbs or grains used to make it. Generally, the longer the brewing process, the better the taste. However, for alcohols made from rice or other grains (beer and Japanese Sake), ones that are brewed for less than 100 days are supposed to have a perfect taste.

Second - Smell it!
There are 2 kinds of flavors in traditional alcohols. One is a peculiar malt flavor that delivers a savory taste, and the other is a fruity flavor. Even though traditional alcohols do not use any fruits, well-fermented ones strangely have an apple or watermelon fragrance. These fragrances are produced from the process of fermentation of wheat skin and are often found when the alcohol has been fermented at a low temperature.

Third- Taste it!
There are 6 different tastes in traditional alcohols: sweet, sour, bitter, savory, spicy, and puckery. The best ones have all 6 different tastes mixed together harmoniously.

Sweet taste:
For wines, the sweet taste is usually controlled by the level of sugar left in it, while traditional alcohols use 'deoksul-beop.' The principle of this method is that the sugar level is controlled by the malt's decomposition process. When the sweetness lessens, the fermentation is stopped. Rice is added one more time for a second fermentation. This process is called deoksul-beop and when it exceeds a certain alcohol level, the amount of glucose produced excels the decomposition speed of alcohol, making the sweet taste more obvious. In general, when normal fermentation is stopped artificially, the resulting alcohol tends to cause headaches among drinkers, so the natural way of producing the sweet taste by deoksul-beop is considered very scientific. When you select yakju based on its sweet taste, you should check if the sweetness comes from articificial addiments or deoksul-beop in order to avoid headaches.

Sour taste:
The sour taste is a natural taste resulting from micro-organisms in malt producing lactic acid, citric acid, and other diverse organic acids. However, a smell like kimchi or vinegar means it is has fermented too much. Remember that the most outstanding characteristic of traditional alcohols is a sweet taste mixed with a natural sour taste derived from citric acid, lactic acid, and hobak-san.

Puckury taste:
The puckury taste can be found in acorns and astringent persimmons. When the palate gets numb, it can give an unpleasant feeling. However, a puckury taste resulting from lactic acid can be a perfect match with side dishes, such as cooked meats.

Bitter/spicy tastes:
The spicy taste is produced from ingredients in the alcohol. Bitter tastes coming from herbs are better. The longer the fermentation period, the higher alcohol level and the thicker taster it has.

Savory taste:
This is a very important taste in traditional alcohols, making it more different from other alcohols, such as rice wines. It is produced in the decompostion process of proteins transforming into amino acids, and Koreans consider the taste very important. If you enjoy this taste, you had better choose darker colored alcohols. However, if you want a lighter and cleaner taste, choose a lighter color of alcohol.

In general, in low temperature, sweet, and savory taste and stimulating charateristics of alcohol are lessened, while sour tastes get stronger. The one with temperature between 6-15 degrees C give the perfect taste. When you enjoy lighter taste, drink cold one but when you prefer heavy and complex taste, drink the one preserved in around 15'c temperature. That is to say, in order to enjoy alcohol fully, you have to pay attention to its temperature.

The methods to enjoy traditional alcohol
You can enjoy traditional alcohols with a meal or without any other side dishes. The following etiquette serves as a guide for serving traditional yakju with meals.

As mentioned above, the temperature of alcohol is important, and maintaining it around 8 degrees C allows the enjoyment of the perfect taste. To preserve the same temperature while you drinking, put the bottle in an ice bucket like for wine. Some people prefer to drink traditional alcohol warm, but cool is more common.

There are two types of cups used for drinking traditional Korean alcohols: jan and bae. Bae refers to a smaller cup. To maintain a cool temperature, a ceramic jan is better. For glass cups, ones with handles are better in that body heat is less likely to affect the temperature of the alcohol.

When opening the cap
To allow any built up gas in the bottle to escape, you should open the bottle slowly and wait a short period before serving.

The right selection of side dishes and alcohols
Traditional Korean alcohols have stronger sweet and sour tastes compared with other alcohols. Throughout history, banju (alcohols served with meals) were consumed for relaxing and stimulating the appetite and aid in digestion. Guests usually drank 1 or 2 shots before a meals. When drinking with meals, ones with a dry taste are better.
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Re: An Intro to Some Korean Food Products

Post  bjeb318 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:11 am

Specialty Foods

In Gyeonggi Province, both rice farming and dry-field farming are actively pursued. With plenty of seafood from the West Coast and mountain greens from the eastern mountain area, a variety of food products are easily available here. Except for Gaeseong, whose food is renowned for its elaborate elegance, Gyeonggi foods are generally simple in appearance and offered in large quantities ; the taste is neither too strong nor weak , and seasonings are used sparingly.
Because Gyeonggi border s the provinces of Gangwon , Chungcheong and Hwanghae , there are a number of similarities and many dishes share the same name. In the countryside, tasty bumbug (thick mixed-grain porridge), pulddeggi (thick gruel of grain flour), and sujebi (soup with dough flakes) are made with pumpkin (or zucchini), corn , flour, and red beans. People enjoy steamed five-grain rice as well as more common varieties. There are delicious noodle dishes including kal-guksu (hand-made noodles) and buckwheat kal-ssakdugi (hand-made noodles whose strips are wider) . Naeng-kongguk (cold soybean soup), which is also frequently made in Chungcheong and Hwanghae , is one of the favorites in the region. Because Gaesong was the capital during the Goryeo era, there still remain traces of cuisine from that time. Authentic Gaeseong cuisine is as elaborate as that court cuisine.

Recommended Foods

Sanchae Bibimbap (Rice mixed with wild greens)

At the entrance to the Mt. Yongmun National Tourist Resort in Yangpyeong County are many sanchae bibimbap restaurants that use wild greens picked on the mountain. You can taste all kinds of foods containing wild greens including sanchae jeongsik , special deodeokgui (roast deodeok) and sanchae beoseotjjige (mushroom stew). Various kinds of unusual wild greens such as chuinamul, daraesun ( actinidia arguta shoots), soksae, ggaesun (sesame shoots), yuchae and bandi are prepared in diverse ways in foods that are fragrant and simple . In addition, climbers can drink native rice wine with a rich flavor on the way down the mountain.

Beef Ribs

Seasoned beef ribs have been famous in Suwon City since 1956, when Hwachunok in Yeongdong Market, a traditional market, began to serve ribs seasoned with natural spices and roasted over a charcoal fire. The ribs are famous for their size and excellent flavor . The secret of Suwon beef ribs is the salt used to preserve the unique flavor of the meat and produce an unadorned taste.
The greatest reason for the popularity of the ribs is not only the taste but also the ease of eating. Ribs are cut into long pieces and roasted so that diners can enjoy succulent mouthfuls.

Steamed Crucian Carp / Hot Pepper Soup

Although known to be good for women's health, crucian carp has been neglected due to its strong fishy smell. However, in Bunwon-ri of Gwangju City, you can experience crucian carp dishes from which the smell has been eliminated using a newly developed cooking method. Groups of women visit the restaurants serving this dish to enjoy the refreshing taste, particularly in late autumn. It is good for preventing adult diseases and promoting healthy skin.

Local Chicken

Local chickens in Goyang City are brown, low in fat, and savory. The taste and effect of chicken soup varies according to ingredients. It is effective in strengthening the spirit, enhancing stamina, nourishing the body, calming the mind, and preventing amnesia, dizziness, headaches and fatigue.

Sondubu (Hand-made bean curd) / Dubu Jeongol (Bean)

Pajugol Sondubu was first sold by a small restaurant in Seongnam City that served Korean rice wine with bean curd as a side dish to mountain climbers. The store then began to sell hand-made bean curd as a main dish. Now, about ten restaurants sell the same product. The characteristic of hand-made bean curd is the vivid flavor of the bean and the delicate sensation when swallowing. It is served with kimchi as well as rice and bean sprouts mixed in a large bowl. Add some perilla oil and pepper sauce to the rice and mix to complement the taste of the hand-made bean curd.

Grilled Eel

Freshwater eels are well known as a healthy food in Paju City, containing high levels of protein and vitamins A, C and E. They are good for skin care, effective in preventing cancer, and relieve fatigue due to anti-acidification. In addition, eel dishes are good for improving weak constitutions and recuperating after disease or childbirth.


In Icheon City there are many restaurants that serve rice in a stone pot with various side dishes. Icheon rice is cooked by combining rice with ginseng, jujube, pine nuts and other cereals into a stone pot. Rice in restaurants approved by Icheon City has a different look and fragrance. It is clean and transparent in color, and very sticky. A table that features this steaming rice along with dongchime (watery kimchi), japchae (noodles), saury, soy bean sauce soup and various greens is fit for a king. Restaurants in Icheon operate together with ceramic pottery exhibitions halls and natural resorts, so visitors can enjoy the food as well as sightseeing.


Budaejjige originates from the presence U.S. Armed Forces in Korea since the Korean War. In Uijeonbu City and elsewhere, food supplied to the U.S Army in Korea, such as ham and sausages, which were highly prized at that time, found its way out of the army camps and was used by some restaurants to make a Korean- style stew called budaejjige. Today, of course, there are few restaurants that make budaejjige with ingredients from U.S. army camps. Budaejjige is prepared using sausage , ham , various vegetables and kimchi. The hot and savory taste of the soup is fantastic.
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