Learning a language is not only about learning words and grammar, but also getting in touch with a lot of culture. You do not need to enjoy all aspects of culture, but who does not love to discover new types of food to make? Here are 9 favorite Korean dishes I can actually make.
1. Kimchi Jjigae – 김지찌개
Kimchi jjigae (김지찌개) is perhaps one of my favorite Korean dishes that I learned to make myself. The spicy flavor mixes well with the pieces of meat, kimchi and tofu. Want to know a secret? I think the day after you made this delectable stew it tastes even better. This dish is often made with pork meat, but I prefer using beef.
2. Budae Jjigae – 부대찌개
Budae jjigae (부대찌개) was the first Korean dish I fell in love with. When I first began tasting Korean food I did not like things like kimchi. The sour taste and the “awful” smell really bothered me. This changed when my Korean roommate prepared Budae Jjigae for me. This fun to make stew with several delicious ingredients such as sausage, tofu, kimchi and dumplings is absolute heaven. It is so easy to make, I think anyone can make it!
3. Baechu Jeon – 배추전
Baechu jeon (배추전) is a simple dish that is great as a side dish. My Korean roommate absolutely loves to eat this fresh tasting Korean pancake. It truly is simple to make as you simply need to make the batter and drench leaves of Chinese cabbage (배추) with that batter. Then put it in a pan and you have yourself a delicious pancake!
4. Haemul Pajeon – 해물파전
I made haemul pajeon (해물파전) for the first time during a cooking party at the Korean Cultural Center in Brussels with my Korean class. While others made bibimbap (비빔밥) and bulgogi (불고기), I made haemul pajoen. This Korean pancake is similar to the previous mentioned baechu jeon, but instead it is filled with spring onions (파) and seafood (해물). Like the other pancake, this one is also easy to make.
5. Oi Muchim – 오이무침
Oi muchim (오이무침) is a dish I often make for my Korean roommate whenever he is studying as he likes to nibble on something while studying. This Korean side dish takes so little time and ingredients to make. Oi Muchim takes 5 minutes to make and you just need to slice the cucumber in this slices, some sesame oil, vinegar, dash of sugar and Korean red pepper powder (고춧가루).
6. Buldak – 불닭
Buldak (불닭) is perhaps my favorite Korean dish. I love its hot spiciness along with the hint of sweetness. However, my Korean roommate is not such a fan of extreme spicy food, but cover it some mozzarella cheese and you cannot stop him from devouring this great dish. I would not recommend eating this if you have a weak stomach or if you cannot handle spicy food.
7. Korean Fried Chicken – 닭강정
Ever heard of KFC? No, not Kentucky Fried Chicken. I mean Korean Fried Chicken (닭강정)! It is absolutely deliciously crunchy. I made this chicken when my Korean roommate when he was down due to missing his family and his country. I searched everywhere just to make sure I knew exactly how to make it. Actually I was surprised that not only he, but also his visiting relatives said that my Korean Fried Chicken (with proper sauce) tasted exactly like the chicken in Korea. I was so happy.
8. Tteokbokki – 떡뽂이
Tteokbokki (떡뽂이) is one of the most famous Korean street foods. Its sweet and spicy flavor has enamored thousands of tourists from everywhere. This is also one of the very first Korean dishes I learned how to make and I thoroughly enjoy making it. Though I love eating the rice cakes covered in the sweet and spicy sauce even more. Do you love Tteokbokki too?
9. Gamcha Jorim – 감자조림
Gamcha jorim (감자조림) is another simple side dish that anyone can make, but takes a lot longer than the previously mentioned side dish, oi muchim. This dish simply requires potatoes, soy sauce, garlic and sugar. Once done the potatoes are covered in a sweet and sticky soy sauce and once you taste it you simply cannot get enough! You just want to keep eating it.
Bonus: Baechu Kimchi – 배추김치
Of course, I simply could not leave out this last one out: Baechu Kimchi (배추김치) or simply kimchi. I admit it I know how to make kimchi as I learned it from my Korean roommate’s relative while she was in Belgium. It takes a long time to make, but the process of making kimchi is just to darn fun; especially when you are covering the Chinese cabbage with the kimchi paste. Fun 100% guaranteed. She will return to Belgium in September and we already decided to make a lot of kimchi again together.
Lots of Korean Dishes
Korean dishes are fun to make and very delicious. These are only those that I can make and I love to eat, but there are also a lot of dishes I do not know how to make, nor dishes I have tried yet. What is your favorite Korean dish? Have you tried preparing it yourself as well? Let me know in the comments.