Must-Try Unique Korean Foods

Must-Try Unique Korean Foods

Introduction

Korean cuisine offers a rich and delicious selection of flavors, textures, and aromas, with each dish telling a story of tradition and innovation. It has a unique blend of spicy, sweet, and savory tastes, offering something for every palate. In this blog, we are going to explore ten must-try Korean dishes that are unique, flavorful, and reflective of Korea's rich culinary heritage.

 

1. Fish Cake (Eomuk)

Fish cake, or Eomuk, is a very popular street food in Korea. These savory fish cakes are made from pureed fish mixed with flour and other ingredients, then molded into various shapes and cooked. Often skewered and served in a hot broth, these fish cakes are a comforting snack during the winter. The broth, typically made from dried anchovies, kelp, and radish, is both light and flavorful, perfectly complementing the soft and chewy texture of the fish cake. Eomuk can also be stir-fried with vegetables and a sweet-spicy sauce, creating a versatile dish enjoyed by many. If you want to try a cute and sweet version of these fish cakes, do not miss out on our July Seoulbox! To get our mouth-watering fish cakes, shop here!

 

2. Gyeran Jjim (Steamed Egg Custard)

Gyeran Jjim is a delicate, savory custard made by steaming eggs with various ingredients like green onions, carrots, and seafood. The result is a fluffy, soufflé-like dish that is both light and satisfying. It is often served as a side dish (banchan) and pairs well with many Korean meals. The simplicity of its ingredients and the gentle cooking method bring out the natural flavors, making it a comforting dish suitable for all ages.

 

3. Jjimdak (Braised Chicken)

Jjimdak is a hearty and flavorful dish originating from Andong, a city in Korea known for its traditional cuisine. This dish features braised chicken cooked with glass noodles, vegetables, and a savory-sweet sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar. The addition of dried chilies provides a subtle heat that balances the dish's sweetness. Jjimdak is often enjoyed as a shared meal, served in large portions perfect for eating together with family and friends.

 

4. Jeonbok-juk (Abalone Porridge)

Jeonbok-juk is a luxurious porridge made with abalone, a type of shellfish prized for its subtle flavor and nutritional benefits. This dish is a traditional Korean comfort food, often consumed for its health-boosting properties. The abalone is cooked with rice and sesame oil, creating a creamy and fragrant porridge. The subtle, umami flavor of the abalone shines through, making Jeonbok-juk a dish often reserved for special occasions or as a healing meal for those recovering from illness.

 

5. Hobak-juk (Pumpkin Porridge)

Another porridge from the land of porridges, Hobak-juk is a smooth and slightly sweet pumpkin porridge made with pureed pumpkin, rice flour, and sometimes sweetened with sugar or honey. This dish is popular in the fall and winter months, offering a warm and comforting meal option. The bright orange color of the porridge is visually appealing, and its creamy texture makes it a favorite among both children and adults. Hobak-juk is often garnished with small rice cake balls (tteok) or pine nuts for added texture and flavor.

 

6. Ojingeo Bokkeum (Stir-fried Squid)

Ojingeo Bokkeum is a spicy stir-fried squid dish that is a true example of the bold flavors of Korean cuisine. Fresh squid is stir-fried with vegetables such as carrots, onions, and bell peppers, and then coated in a spicy gochujang sauce, garlic, and soy sauce. This dish is a perfect balance of spicy and sweet, with the tender squid absorbing the flavors of the sauce beautifully. Ojingeo Bokkeum is often enjoyed with a bowl of steamed rice, which helps to mellow the spiciness of the dish.

 

7. Hongeo-hoe (Fermented Skate)

Hongeo-hoe is one of the more adventurous dishes in Korean cuisine, known for its strong aroma and acquired taste. This dish consists of fermented skate fish, which has a strong ammonia-like smell due to the fermentation process. Hongeo-hoe is typically served sashimi-style, accompanied by side dishes such as kimchi, garlic, and chili paste. It is often enjoyed with soju, Korea’s national drink, which helps to balance the intense flavors of this unique dish. While it is not for the faint of heart, Hongeo-hoe is definitely a unusual and memorable culinary experience for those willing to try it.

 

8. Seolleongtang (Ox Bone Soup)

Seolleongtang is a milky-white ox bone soup that is both nutritious and comforting. This soup is made by boiling ox bones for several hours, which extracts the collagen and marrow, creating a rich and flavorful broth for the soup. The soup is typically seasoned with salt, pepper, and green onions, allowing you to adjust the flavor to your liking. Seolleongtang is often served with thinly sliced beef, rice, and radish kimchi, making it a complete and satisfying meal. This dish is particularly popular in the winter months for its warming properties.

 

9. Bossam (Boiled Pork Wraps)

Bossam is a delicious and versatile dish made of thinly sliced, boiled pork belly that is typically served with a variety of accompaniments. The pork is boiled with spices such as garlic, ginger, and onions, making it tender and flavorful. Bossam is often enjoyed with napa cabbage leaves, garlic, slices of radish, and a spicy, tangy sauce made from fermented shrimp or salted anchovies. You can create your own wraps, combining the pork with the various side dishes, creating a burst of flavors in every bite. This dish is often enjoyed during celebrations and family gatherings.

 

10. Haemul Pajeon (Seafood Scallion Pancake)

Haemul Pajeon is a savory Korean pancake made with an assortment of seafood, such as shrimp, squid, and clams, and green onions. The batter is made from a simple mix of wheat flour, rice flour, and water, which creates a crispy and chewy texture. Haemul Pajeon is pan-fried until golden brown and is typically served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and chili peppers. This dish is popular as an appetizer or a snack, especially enjoyed with a glass of makgeolli, traditional Korean rice wine.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, Korean cuisine is a vibrant and dynamic part of the global food landscape and these ten must-try dishes we picked in this blog represent just a fraction of the incredible variety and depth that Korean food has to offer. By exploring these dishes, you will not only satisfy your taste buds but also gain a deeper appreciation for Korean culinary traditions. So, embark on this culinary adventure and discover the unique and delightful flavors of Korea. Happy eating!

 

Image credits:

 

https://takestwoeggs.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Korean-Fish-Cake-Takestwoeggs-final-photography-sq.jpg

 

 

https://whatgreatgrandmaate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/gyeran-jjim-16-683x1024.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Andong-jjimdak.jpg

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Korean_abalone_porridge-Jeonbokjuk-02.jpg

https://www.maangchi.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/hobakjuk-tube.jpg

https://www.maangchi.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/ojingeobokkeum-cooked.jpg

https://static1.straitstimes.com.sg/s3fs-public/styles/large30x20/public/articles/2018/03/27/korea1.jpg?VersionId=ZeH3q9Zo6cMxO0vJawVdpySpd6N_vQxo

https://www.koreanbapsang.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/DSC5969-2-e1569820635523.jpg

https://www.maangchi.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/bossam-plate.jpg

https://img-global.cpcdn.com/recipes/2f47d69361c5b558/1200x630cq70/photo.jpg

 

Author: Tugba

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