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Traditional Food in South Korea
Kimchi is a bit part of the national identity and is therefore served with pretty much every meal in South Korea. It’s usually made from fermented cabbage and chili, and it’s fair to say it’s a bit of an acquired taste for travellers. You’ll also find lots of other kimchi flavoured foods in South Korea, so try to like it! Barbecue
Korean Barbecue Meal
Korean barbecue has become popular in the west, but health and safety usually means restaurants can’t use a charcoal broiler at the table like they do in South Korea – undoubtedly key to the best flavours. Generally at a barbecue restaurant you’ll find bulgogi, cuts of marinated meat (usually pork or beef), and galbi, ribs that are usually unmarinated. You cook these yourself at your table, and then choose from a number of sides or sauces to complete the meal.
Many waiting staff might supervise or even try to do all the cooking for you, but have confidence and assure them you can do it yourself to get the full experience.
Rice dishes
South Korea Barbecue Dishes
Restaurants in South Korea serve a near limitless variety of rice dishes, so here are a couple of the most common (and tasty) to look out for:
Bibimbap – This is a bowl of rice served with a range of condiments – vegetables, shreds of meat, egg – that you can mash together and stir in some chilli sauce to taste.
Gimbap – You might think of this as Korean sushi, as it consists of rice, meat or fish, pickled radish, and sesame seeds wrapped up in dried seaweed. The difference from sushi is how the rice is flavoured with salt and sesame oil. A roll of gimbap can be a useful snack to carry with you, but is also an option in a restaurant or cafe.
Soups and stews
Again, the amount of soups and stews you’re likely to encounter in South Korea is ridiculous, and the difference between soup and stew might not always be clear. Soups are known as guk or tang, while jjigae usually means stew. You’ll find soups and stews made with vegetables, kimchi, seafood, meat, tofu, noodles, and more, sometimes all at once. We recommend experimenting to see what you like (and being careful if you have food allergies).
Noodles are popular in South Korea. Look out for naengmyeon, a thin and chewy buckwheat noodle served in an ice cold beef broth – a Korean speciality. The recipe of the broth can vary heavily from place to place, so you might need to try a few before you find your favourite. You’ll also find japchae (yam noodles fried with vegetables, beef, and/or dumplings), ramyeon (Korea’s spicy answer to ramen, served with kimchi), and u-dong (thick wheat noodles similar to Japanese udon).
Seafood is massive in South Korea, and many restaurants will have bays of fish tanks containing live specimens for you to choose from. It’s remarkable that there’s anything left in the ocean.
A traditional South Korean seafood dish is hwe, served raw (similar to sashimi) and flavoured with a hot pepper sauce. Note that in some places the fish will be prepared while still alive to ensure maximum freshness, which can be an altogether unpleasant experience for you. You could also try haemultang, a spicy hotpot stew made with crab, shrimp, squid, along with vegetables and noodles. Drink in South Korea
South Korea is the home of cheap alcohol and heavy drinking: someone considered to be an average drinker here could well be considered a heavy drinker in the UK.
Bars in South Korea are a place for inhibited businessmen to cut loose, and many business deals and promotions are agreed over a drink or three, and sometimes in a late-night karaoke joint. There are even small rooms and spaces that can be rented for the night to sleep it off, instead of going home. Traditional drinks in South Korea
The national drink of South Korea is soju. It’s a bit like vodka (around 20% proof), and you’ll usually find it’s the cheapest beverage on the menu. There are numerous soju cocktails available, all of which will get you drunk remarkably quickly. The way it’s made means soju tends to result in a mean hangover, even if you’ve only had a little – you’ve been warned! You can also try takju, Korean rice wine, and ginseng wine, which is more expensive but generally has a better taste. Beer
The most popular brands of beer in South Korea are western-style lagers – Cass, Hite and OB. All three are fairly light and cheap, meaning you can drink more.
Many bars and pubs in South Korea expect you to order food along with your beer, and some might bring food (and charge you for it) automatically. Soft drinks
Like many Asian countries, tea is popular in South Korea, usually green tea. Coffee is growing increasingly popular, and Starbucks has not missed the opportunity to spread across the country.
You’ll find loads of familiar soft drinks like Coca Cola and Mountain Dew, but you can also try sikhye, a sweet and grainy rice drink sometimes served with dessert, and sujeonggwa, a cinnamon-flavoured drink made from persimmons. Many cafes in South Korea will serve a variety of fruit juices and smoothies, and with a Baskin Robbins on almost every corner you’re never too far away from a milkshake.

Homemade black garlic and sauce  Print Recipe

To make Black garlic sauce: place 5 or 6 cloves in a blender with a little soy sauce, oil and water.

One reason for its popularity is that black garlic, like fresh raw garlic, has antioxidants and other key nutrients that can help to improve your health and prevent serious health-related issues and add a transformative umani flavor to food. The resulting black garlic has exceptional sweetness with date, balsamic, and slight garlic undertones.

Serves: 8
Preparation time:1 hour
heads of garlic
Please Read before embarking on this recipe:

To make black garlic you need:
heads of garlic (the whole bulb that contains the cloves): choose normal garlic and not new garlic.
A rice cooker with “keep warm” function

The success of the recipe depends on many criteria, the main one being the model of the cooker: is it airtight, at what temperature is the “keep warm” function, and so on.

If the garlic is too harsh, and this is often the reason for a failed homemade black garlic, it's that the environment you put it in wasn't humid enough. This happens either because your cooker heats up too much, or your cooker is not airtight enough, or has a steam outlet which lets too much moisture escape, maybe the pods were already dry. before heating them, etc.

So,by sealing the cooker tightly, putting weight on the lid, insulating with a tea towel, plugging the drain hole, etc. Some people put a small glass of water in the cooker to increase the humidity inside the cooker and the feedback is good. Cooking is not an exact science!

Preparation of the recipe :

To sum up, put the garlic heads in a rice cooker and leave the appliance on the "keep warm" function for 15 days, then air dry the cloves.

To be more precise:

Nothing could be simpler than to prepare black garlic yourself, put the bulbs (which contain the cloves) unpeeled, directly in the rice cooker and put the rice cooker on the "keep warm" function.
Leave to heat for 10 to 20 days non-stop. The cooking time will vary depending on how much garlic you are going to cook, but generally it's good from 12 days, check by opening a clove, if it's charcoal black it's okay.
Once the garlic has turned black, stop cooking and air dry the cloves (very important step!), At room temperature for 10 to 20 days.
When they have become firm enough, your black garlic is ready! Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Important tips:

Do not fill the cooker to more than 80% of its capacity.

Turn the pods 2 or 3 times during the fermentation period, as the cooker heats more from below, which could "toast" the garlic.

In terms of flavor, black garlic is ready from the 10th day, but depending on the quantity, check their color from the 12th day: cut a clove with a knife and observe the color in the heart of the clove, it is necessary that the pod is charcoal black and not just brown.

Open the cooker as few times as possible and for as short a time as possible. Close it as soon as the verification is complete. I know that at first you want to see what's going on in it, especially the first time around, but you have to resist the temptation for the recipe to be successful.

Be careful, if you open the cooker, especially at the start of cooking, the steam and gas will have the same effect as a tear gas, if you are not careful you can cough, cry, and have irritation of the mucous membranes.

The first week, the smell of garlic coming out of the cooker is really strong! If you have the possibility, put the cooker outside, it will prevent a stinging smell! The smell fades over time.

Prefer bulbs in large regular cloves, few in number, black garlic will be easier to use, especially if you want to cut it into slices.
Details on the preparation:

For black garlic to caramelize, you need an environment between 130° F and 175° F (55 and 80 ° C), with a humidity of between 70 and 95%. All methods of reproducing this environment are good, but the easiest way is to use a rice cooker.

Once the recipe is finished, the garlic is very tender, it will harden a little as it dries, it is also at this time that it will finish taking all its flavors: the acidity comes little by little, as well and its sweet side is
reminiscent of balsamic vinegar.

Seafood green onion pancake haemul-pajeon  Print Recipe

When making pajeon, most Koreans use green onion, and the most popular kind of pajeon is made with seafood. A recipe related to
Serves: 2
Preparation time:15 minutes
Cooking time:12 minutes
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon potato starch
½ teaspoon kosher salt plus a pinch of salt
a pinch of ground black pepper
¾ cup stock (anchovy kelp stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock), or water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 green onions, roots and tops trimmed to 8 to 9 inches long (to fit your skillet)
4 to 5 ounces (½ cup) seafood (peeled and deveined shrimp, squid, clams), chopped
1 large egg, beaten in a small bowl
1 fresh red pepper, sliced

For dipping sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon gochu-garu (Korean hot pepper flakes)
1 green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
dipping sauce:
1. Put soy sauce, vinegar, gochu-garu, green onion, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
2. Mix and set it aside.
3. Prepare pancake ingredients:
1. Combine the chopped seafood, pinch of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper in a small bowl. Mix it well and set aside.
2. Combine flour, potato starch, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¾ cup stock (or water) in a large enough to accommodate the green onions. Mix with a whisk until smooth.
Make green onion pancake:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and swirl to coat evenly.
2. Add the green onions to the batter to coat them. Using tongs or your hand, place them side by side in the skillet, alternating white end to green end, so they form a neat rectangle.
3. Add the seafood to the leftover batter in the bowl. Using your hands or tongs, spread the battered seafood on top of the battered scallions, scraping out any excess batter remaining in the bowl.
4. Add the sliced red pepper and pour the beaten egg over top of the pancake in the skillet.
5. Quickly wash your hands!
6. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 6 minutes, until the bottom is light brown and crispy.
7. Turn the pancake over with a large spatula. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil around the edges of the skillet. Lift one edge of the pancake with your spatula and tilt the skillet so that the oil flows underneath the pancake. Cook for another 3 minutes until nicely browned and crisp.
8. Turn the pancake over again. Turn up the heat to medium high heat and cook for 1 minute, until the bottom turns crunchy.
9. Transfer to a large plate, with the egg and seafood side up. Serve right away with the dipping sauce.
How to eat:
1. Mix the dipping sauce with a spoon. You can cut up the large pancake into several pieces before eating. Take 1 piece to a small individual plate and drizzle some dipping sauce with the spoon and eat. If you don’t want to precut the pancake, you can use your chopsticks to tear off a chunk of batter with a green onion and seafood, and then eat it with the dipping sauce. I prefer the second way because I love to eat the whole cooked green onion.

Singapore noodles  Print Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation time:15 minutes
Cooking time:15 minutes
8 oz vermicelli rice noodles
1 tbsp mild curry powder
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 sweet pepper, yellow or orange
6 oz bean sprouts
1 red chilli, sliced (optional)
Soften the noodles in a large pan of boiling water to cover, pushing the noodles under the water. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the noodles are completely soft. Mix the curry powder, turmeric, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce and 1 tbsp water in a bowl.
Heat a wok until very hot. Add the sunflower oil, onion and pepper. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until softened and starting to brown in places. Drain the noodles and add to the pan, along with the sauce mixture and bean sprouts. Stir-fry for a further 3-4 minutes, tossing everything through the sauce, until hot. Adjust the seasoning with a little more soy or sugar, if you like, and scatter over the chilli, if you like more spice.

Brown rice and chicken stir fry with edamame and walnuts  Print Recipe

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:40 minutes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves, thinly sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon honey
4 teaspoons oriental sesame oil
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked short grain brown rice, cooled
2 cups shelled cooked edamame beans
2/3 cup chopped green onions
Stir walnuts in nonstick skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted. Drizzle 2 tablespoons soy sauce over walnuts; stir until soy sauce coats walnuts. Cool.
Combine chicken, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and honey; toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add chicken and stir fry 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and stir fry 30 seconds. Add cooked rice and edamame; reduce heat to medium and stir fry until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Divide rice mixture among plates.
Sprinkle with green onions and walnuts

Meringues with ginger ice cream and chocolate sauce  Print Recipe

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time:1 hour 30 minutes
1 1-inch piece ginger root
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups whipping cream

5 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups sugar
pinch of salt

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons butter


Grease and flour 17x11-inch jelly roll pan or line with parchment paper. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar and salt until stiff and glossy. Pipe or spoon meringues, about 1/2 inch high, into 8 individual circles.
Bake in 250 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until light golden. Turn off oven; let stand in oven for 1 hour.
In food processor fitted with metal blade or in blender, blend ginger with sugar. Whip cream until soft peaks form; gradually beat in half of the ginger sugar until firm. Break two of the meringues in small pieces; fold into whipped cream. Pack into airtight container and freeze for 4 hours or until set, or for up to 5 days.
Let ice cream soften in refrigerator for about 20 minutes before using.

Combine chocolate, corn syrup, remaining ginger sugar and milk in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until melted, while stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
Stores well for up to a month in refrigerator.

To assemble, place meringues on individual plates; top with scoops of ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Oriental lemon chicken  Print Recipe

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:20 minutes
1 lb boneless chicken breast (skinless), cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch diluted in 1 tablespoon water
1 lemon (skin grated) and juiced
2 tablespoons sherry
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons celery leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup cooking oil
Combine chicken strips and soy sauce. Mix well and marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Heat oil. Meanwhile, dredge the chicken strips in 4 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Fry the coated chicken pieces until color turns light brown. Do not overcook.
Remove the chicken from the pan, place in a plate, and set aside.
Drain excess oil until about 1 tablespoon is left. Saute garlic and stir in the celery leaves.
Pour in the chicken broth and sherry. Add sugar, salt, grated lemon, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir and let boil.
Pour-in the cornstarch mixed in water. Stir until the sauce thickens.
Add the fried chicken slices. Stir and cook for another minute.
Transfer to a serving plate. Serve.

Spicy peanut chicken  Print Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:20 minutes
4 teaspoons smooth peanut butter
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons water
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried chili peppers
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 teaspoons butter
1 medium chopped onion
4 chicken breasts
In a saucepan, combine the first 8 ingredients. Mix well. Heat. Add butter and melt. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Let cool at room temperature. Arrange onion and the chicken breasts in a single layer in a shallow glass or baking dish.
Pour on the marinade and let stand, covered, for an hour or more in the refrigerator.
Cook the chicken about 7 to 8 inches from the broiler heat for about 10 minutes on each side, turning several times during the cooking process.

Tomato stack salad  Print Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes
8 Italian Roma tomatoes, cut in half
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chiffonade of basil
1/2 small red onion, -- julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1 beefsteak tomato, -- cut into 6 slices
1 yellow beefsteak tomato, -- cut into 6 slices
8 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
4 cups assorted baby greens
4 fried green tomatoes, for top of salad
Black pepper for the rim
edible flowers
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the Roma tomatoes with the olive oil. Place the tomatoes, seed side down, on a baking sheet and roast for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Julienne the tomatoes.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil and red onion together.
Add the julienned tomatoes. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Season each side of the tomato slices with salt and pepper. Season each side of the mozzarella slices with salt and pepper. Toss the greens with 2/3 of the vinaigrette.
Reserve the remaining dressing. Alternate layering the tomatoes, cheese and greens.
Use 3 slices each of the tomatoes and cheese plus 1 cup of the greens for each salad.
Garnish each salad with the fried green tomato, remaining vinaigrette, black pepper on the rim, parsley, and edible flowers.
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