As the North and the South come together in one of the strangest handshakes ever caught on camera, people across the globe watch on in the hope that Korea is becoming a much more sociable and inclusive country.
Great for world peace, sure. But for foodies, it’s brilliant news, as Korea is home to some of the most amazing flavours the world has to offer and has some more undiscovered gems in its back pocket.
There’s a few weird names and strange concepts (as you’d guess) so we’ve picked our favourite five and made it simple for you.
Kim, sit down and put your bib on. It’s time to scran...
Kimchi is a classic side kick for most Koreans. An absolute bloody staple and a worthy trend in the UK. It’s salted and fermented vegetables, mainly the napa cabbage from China and an array of radishes. Seasoning includes chilli powder, garlic and ginger, but some crazy chaps are doing weird and wonderful things with kimchi, like Booch and Brine in our home city, sold at the stunning Pollen Bakery. These guys have an incredible Horseradish Kimchi, which complements our Buffalo marinated chicken wings in the office. Check them out.
Kongguksu is a soy milk noodle soup, often made with cucumber, soybean broth, nuts and sesame seeds. It’s usually served cold and has been on Koreon tables since the 1800s. It’s wheat-heavy, but it’s very good. It’s yet to make a mark in the UK.
Here we go. Nice work, Korea.
Simply put, bulgogi is stunning. In English, bulgogi means “fire meat” and that’s what it is. Thinly sliced, marinated pieces of pork and beef are grilled on a barbecue or in a pan. Locals usually go for sirloin or rib-eye. It’s huge in South Korea and it comes in all shapes and sizes, from fine diners to street food trucks.
It’s simple, but when it’s done well, it’s fantastic. If you’re in Manchester, get to Seoul Kimchi; it’s done very well there.
Warm, tasty and hearty, bibimbap is a bit like a ramen, but with rice. Think warm rice, seasoned vegetables, chilli pepper and soy sauce topped with a fried egg or stunning cooked beef. It’s regularly listed in top dish polls as it seems to have everything.
It was first created years ago, around the 1400s, to utilise all the leftover vegetables before the start of the new lunar year. They chucked it all into a bowl with some rice and the dish was created.
It’s lasted this long because it’s incredibly versatile and tastes amazing. You’ll start noticing it more and more in the UK as places like Bibimbap open up.
Gochujang is a red chilli paste, ticking savoury, sweet and spicy flavours in one mouthful. It contains chilli powder and ground rice, with a touch of fermented soybean. You’ll find good gochujang on good bibimbap and it goes well with good bulgogi – a condimental must for any Korean barbecue.
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