– Lesson 1 –
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.
[go-choo-jahng] Red Pepper Soy Bean Paste
Gochujang is one of the most iconic sauces in Korea. It’s made by fermenting red pepper powder and soy bean paste to create a both spicy and flavorful paste. People often use gochujang in bibimbap, tteokbokki, and other foods that require a little bit of a spicy kick.
Quick Tip: When purchasing your next gochujang, keep in mind that sundried red peppers offer superior quality compared to those that aren’t!
[dwen-jahng] Soy Bean Paste
Fermented boiled soy beans make a great base paste. Doenjang’s salty and savory flavors add both depth and boldness to any dish. It’s often used as a base in soups, stews, lettuce wrap sauce, and it’s also a go-to ingredient used to get rid of the gamey taste in meat.
[go-choo-gah-ru] Red Pepper Powder
Gochugaru is made by pulverizing sundried red peppers. Coarse red pepper powder is used to make kimchi and stews spice and visually expresses the vibrant red color. Fine red pepper powder is used to make side dishes and sauces that add a pinch of flavor. Unlike gochujang, gochugaru offers another facet of spiciness that Koreans love! Use them both accordingly to create balanced spiciness.
[gahn-jahng] Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a salty brewed condiment made with boiled soybeans and salt water. It is primarily used as a seasoning, as well as a dipping sauce for sashimi, fritters, and other lightly seasoned foods. There are several types of soy sauce available in the market today. Jin ganjang (aged soy sauce) provides a deeper flavor profile which makes it the most versatile. Guk ganjang (soup soy sauce) has a softer flavor profile compared to aged soy sauce, it’s used in soups to create an aromatic flavor. Whatever the potency, soy sauce is a must have in every cook’s spice rack.
You better believe it; garlic is in almost everything we cook. We keep jars of whole cloves in our every fridges for every meal. We mince it, we sauté it, and use them whole. It is what gives our dishes that Korean flavor like no other spice.