– Lesson 2 –

Are you looking to challenge yourself to eat healthy but can’t sacrifice your “foody tastebuds?” Korean food is the perfect choice…healthy, fresh, and packed with flavor. Korean cuisine mainly consists of a few key ingredients, knowing what they are will get you cooking in no time.

Chamgireum 참기름

[cha-um-ghee-rum]  Sesame Oil

Made with roasted sesame seeds, its distinct nutty aroma and flavor adds fullness to most Korean dishes. It goes well with kimbap, bibimbap, bokkeumbap, stir fried dishes, and a variety of side dishes. Chamgireum also makes a great dipping sauce for grilled meat like samgyupsal (pork belly).

 

Gae 깨

[qué]  Roasted Sesame Seeds

Korean dishes are often garnished with sprinkles of gae to add complexity, nuttiness, and to make the dish more visually appetizing. There are several kinds of sesame seeds available today. They are black, white sesame, and toasted sesame salt, which can substitute plain salt.

 

Shikcho 식초

[shic-cho]  vinegar

Often made through fermentation of fruits or grains, it is used to add tartness and zest in many dishes. It’s often added in salads and dishes like nengmyeon to brighten their flavors, and generally avoided in dishes that require the use of heat.

Pa 파

[pah]  Scallion

A Korean mom’s top 10 grocery list-maker, scallions can be diced and thrown in to sauces and chopped to be used in stews and other side dishes. You can also use scallions to make kimchi or slice them thin as a compliment to bulgogi and samgyeopsal.

 

Ssal 쌀

[sal]  Rice

Every meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner, rice is always so very nice. If someone in Korea says that they’ve run out of rice, it may send a message that they may be going through a tough time at the moment. Rice is the main source of food included in every traditional meal and one can only wonder how Koreans could survive without it. Compared to Jasmine and Basmati rice, Koreans prefer rice with higher glutinous level that’s easier to cook in rice cookers.