Korean cuisine at korean restaurants remains a great unknown on the Asian continent. We have been conquered by its cars and its televisions, mobile phones, and is chemical industry (did you know that hyaluronic acid and a large quantity of the ingredients that are later used to make the creams of the leading European and North American cosmetics are made there? ?); In fact, more and more people use Korean cosmetics or listen to KPop groups beyond Gagnam Style. But what about the food?
In recent years, numerous Korean restaurants have opened in large Spanish cities. This has allowed a significant diversification, while, in the beginning, there were only establishments designed for those who could afford to pay a lot for dinner. Now, without reaching the level of fast food, it is possible to organize a Korean dinner for less than €10 per person and without leaving the centre!
Those who think that being between Japan and China on the map, the Korean is a mixture of both are mistaken. It has some similarities, of course, but no more than ours with the Greek or the Italian. With its recipes and uses that are unique worldwide, Korean cuisine is gastronomy in itself. For those who have not yet decided to dive into your kitchen, these 15 previous lessons are enough. Nobody will notice that it is your baptism of fire or, better said, ‘of kimchi ‘. Grab the chopsticks!
And it is that these fermented cabbage leaves with paprika are, nothing more and nothing less, the national dish. However, giving it the dish’s rank is exaggerated because this is like bread in Korea. It accompanies all meals, can be mixed with everything, and is not lacking from the omelette to breakfast. Yes, it is quite a cultural leap, and it is hard to believe that they prefer to eat something so spicy rather than toast with oil… By the way, kimchi and virgin olive oil are among the healthiest foods in the world. Know more about Koreana restaurant in Dubai.
Like their neighbors, Koreans also eat with chopsticks. But they are not wooden, nor are they lacquered. Theirs are made of metal, narrower and thinner, and require a different dexterity when picking them up to eat (although if you know how to eat with the Chinese, there will be no problem with these). The spoons also change: they are not small and thick, but elongated and thin, similar to ours. Ask for the complaint book if you get wooden chopsticks at a Korean restaurants. You will not be able to live the whole experience if it is not with 100% K cutlery.
3. Ying and yang.
If even its flag reflects the country’s interest in balance, how could its gastronomy not do so? Soup is never lacking as an accompaniment to any dish. You don’t eat rice if there isn’t a nice soup nearby. The solid-liquid combination even carries over to sweets: rice cake is often accompanied by a bit of persimmon punch. Keep visiting our blog Hulm Dubai for more interesting stories.
4. Cooked rice.
In Korean restaurants, bap, three letters repeated in countless names of dishes are nothing more than the literal translation of what will be served (come on, like our ‘Arroz con Pollo or ‘Rice con lobster’, but in the Korean alphabet). It is the main ingredient, but it does not have to be always present. Of course, if you see it written on the menu, do not doubt it will be in bulk.
5. Tables and musketeers.
The usual thing in Korea is that restaurants have tables with holes in the centre where you can place different grills or metal plates where the food is finished cooking, especially if it is meat. It is common to order a single meal to share. Hence, several grills are unnecessary and subdivided into sections, so you can always avoid an ingredient.
The quintessential Korean barbecue and the most popular dish outside of Korea. And there is nothing simpler than putting a good grill and strips of raw meat that will be fried little by little. Then, a leaf of lettuce is taken, some vegetables that will have been placed in small dishes on the table, and small bundles of meat are created with the vegetables. Delicious.
Remember, bap is rice, and in this case, rice with vegetables. It is one of the most beloved and complete dishes, perfect if you do not want to share because it can be prepared for one person. Of course, always in a pottery or metal bowl where it will finish cooking, taking advantage of the heat. Cooked rice and strips of numerous vegetables, topped with a fried egg and then scrambled with paprika paste, the quintessential Korean hot sauce.
It is like the Japanese maki, or the California Roll, because of its large size, but these morsels of boiled rice wrapped in seaweed are not accompanied by pieces of raw fish, especially vegetables. Some regions of the country add small strips of meat, but not in all. Perfect for sharing as starters or as a main course if we go alone.
The most classic omelette in Korea, and, like ours, it is enough to chop it so that everyone rushes for their piece. In this case, they are usually square since it is a thin omelette made of egg, wheat flour and fresh spring onion that, in addition to being delicious, is perfect to start an excellent Korean feast. If you want, you can dip it in soy sauce.
Koreans don’t have a great dessert tradition. If we accept rice cake and its derivatives, we will find little else that is not a late cultural adaptation of classics such as ice cream (it is easy to see ice balls with syrup) or American pastries. This is because they were reserved for special occasions. Of course, you should never say no to some rice crackers with walnuts and dates… They are out of this world.
11. Long live wine!
A glass of chrysanthemum wine? In Korea, it is possible. Also, the plum. These are recipes for fermented rice liquor to which flowers or fruits are added. The most famous rice wine is Gyeongju, which mixes two types of rice and has an alcohol content of 15%. This liquor is drunk at all times, and it is usually impolite to ask for it and not accompany it with a minimum of snacks. You know, the ying and the yang…
If you are lucky enough to go to Korea, you will see how they will drink half a glass of every four jugs of water you order. No, it is not exaggerated. They usually drink little during meals, and in restaurants, the glasses are small, like those of a coffee machine, because they don’t need more. When you ask for the third pitcher of water, they look at you with the face of Obelix saying, “these Romans are crazy”…
Korean restaurants cuisine has surrealism like all, especially for the taste buds of a Westerner. It should not be the choice for the first time, but if we are the most reckless in the place, what better than a Gosari-namul, seasoned and lightly fried fern shoots; or the Daegutang, a very spicy and thick cod and beef soup with vegetables and paprika or chilli paste.
The black legend of Korea. Its consumption is currently prohibited by law, but it was a reasonably widespread tradition until the 1988 Olympic Games, when it was restricted so as not to give the country a bad image. Today it is a minority custom, and most young people have never eaten it.
Or what is the same: ‘thank you. In Korea, it is educated, as well as in Spain. If we don’t leave here without thanking and saying hello, they won’t either. And there is nothing that a Korean likes more, especially if he runs a restaurant outside of his country, than the fact that the client speaks to him in his language.